Parallel Universes: Are They More Than a Figment of Our Imagination? A Galaxy Classic

By | June 11, 2009

Multiverse_2“The multiverse is no longer a model, it is a consequence of our models.”

~Aurelien Barrau, particle physicist at CERN

The Hollywood blockbuster, The Golden Compass, adapted from the first volume of Pullman’s classic sci-fi trilogy, “His Dark Materials” portrays various universes as only one reality among many, but how realistic is this kind of classic sci-fi plot? While it hasn’t been proven yet, many highly respected and credible scientists are now saying there’s reason to believe that parallel dimensions could very well be more than figments of our imaginations.

“The idea of multiple universes is more than a fantastic invention—it appears naturally within several scientific theories, and deserves to be taken seriously,” stated Aurelien Barrau, a French particle physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

There are a variety of competing theories based on the idea of parallel universes, but the most basic idea is that if the universe is infinite, then everything that could possibly occur has happened, is happening, or will happen.

According to quantum mechanics, nothing at the subatomic scale can really be said to exist until it is observed. Until then, particles occupy uncertain “superposition” states, in which they can have simultaneous “up” and “down” spins, or appear to be in different places at the same time. The mere act of observing somehow appears to “nail down” a particular state of reality. Scientists don’t yet have a perfect explanation for how it occurs, but that hasn’t changed the fact that the phenomenon does occur.

Unobserved particles are described by “wave functions” representing a set of multiple “probable” states. When an observer makes a measurement, the particle then settles down into one of these multiple options, which is somewhat how the multiple universe theory can be explained.

The existence of such a parallel universe “does not even assume speculative modern physics, merely that space is infinite and rather uniformly filled with matter as indicated by recent astronomical observations,” Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at MIT in Boston, Massachusetts concluded in a study of parallel universes published by Cambridge University.

via Parallel Universes: Are They More Than a Figment of Our Imagination? A Galaxy Classic.

6 thoughts on “Parallel Universes: Are They More Than a Figment of Our Imagination? A Galaxy Classic

  1. Patrick

    This is interesting. Yesterday I was lying in bed thinking about multiple universe theory, and how, if it is true that each possibility we think of creates its own universe, then it is possible that by having a negative outlook, you create a path for yourself of continuously unfolding negative scenarios/universes.
    I just wish all the negative people would stay out of my universe 🙁

  2. Xeno Post author

    It is certainly true day to day on an interpersonal level. After I wrote the “Works Out Fine” song, some things turned around in my life. Some long term problems started to melt away, just as I said they would. So, I think there is something to the theory that we create our own universe. Some people use positive coincidences as proof of a deity, but you can have the same (superstitious?) experience just attributing good fortune to the power of positive thinking. Even if it is only my filter, my perception that has changed, there is no doubt that enjoyment of life is improved by the wearing of modestly optimistic lenses.

  3. Ann

    Sounds very close to “Positive Thinking” as in Norman Vincent Peale circa 1950s. … How do you separate the Pollyanna attitude that everything’s fine and dandy in my world, when there’s so much suffering in the world?

    Ok, so I’ll …

    Ok, so I’ll think positively and avoid all those people with negative thoughts and feelings as I step over the drunken bums, because it’s all their fault they drink too damn much?

    Ok, I’ll ignore high rates of unemployment among the poor, after all its all their fault they don’t want to work?

    Ok, so I’ll ignore the U.S. manipulation of the affairs of foreign countries, because its their fault they don’t realize the U.S. has the best interest of everyone?

    Ok, so I’ll ignore that people are consuming carcinogenic pollutants in the U.S, and more so abroad and agree with the chemical industries that it isn’t a problem?


    Now, I can live in my own beautiful world and ignore the rest of it.

    Because, this I know to be so true: Jesus is own my side.

    Keep smiling!

  4. Ann

    Well then here’s how to avoid a Pollyanna attitude and still have a positive attitude:

    “The fact is that by constantly seeking out the unknown and unfamiliar, we grow, develop, mature. We become adept at problem solving only by solving a lot of them. In attempting to escape from the problem-filled world we are actually creating more of the very thing we are trying to avoid … problems. … [By being positive you should welcome problems as opportunities] … Recognize problems are a way of life, everyone has them.. [To have positive is not escaping from the world, but to be very much part of it, with all its problems] pp 148-9

    Your Mind Power Unleashed pages Thomas W. Foster
    Pathfinder Publishing, Inc., 2001

    The book is online

  5. pria

    sounds facinating,being a finance student and having hated science especially physics all my life, its weird i am sudennly going gaga ’bout these physics thingys like the string theory m theory etc.well is this something like a shift in ma parralell universe ?? sounds cranky aint it ??? but i am in a confused state do these universe really exist ?? if million versions of me really exist ?? WILL I BE ABLE TO MAKE A CONTACT WITH TE OTHER VERSION MYSELF ??? this is haunting me!!!!!

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