Every time You Make a Decision, New Universes Form

The ‘Many-Worlds’ Interpretation of quantum mechanics suggests that all possible alternative histories or futures are real and they exist in separate universes. Great for anyone who’s interested in counter-histories i.e. questions like; “what if Hitler never existed?” but also relevant if you ever wondered what would have happened if you didn’t make a certain decision. For example, you walk out of your house, in one universe you turn left, subsequently other universes form in which you turn right or do any number of other things. Every possible outcome of you leaving the house now exists in separate universes. Terrifying for anyone who’s ever seen The Butterfly Effect, (2004) as even the smallest decision could change everything... There’s whole universes where you might not even exist.

The Universe Repeats Itself

The prevailing theory for the origin of the universe, the ‘Big Bang Theory’ (the actual theory, not the TV show) suggests that the universe is constantly expanding outwards. This is supported by the observation of red shift patterns. If the universe is constantly expanding then it could be infinite. If the universe is infinite then surely it must start repeating itself at some point. After all, there is only a limited way in which particles can be rearranged. Anything beyond what we can see in our ‘observable universe,’ could be considered a separate universe.

You’re Living in a Bubble

It’s possible that our universe is contained within a bubble, attached to many other bubbles, all containing separate universes. This also follows the ‘Big Bang Theory.’ If the universe as a whole is stretching and will continue doing so forever, it’s possible that bits of the universe stop expanding and become distinct bubbles. Because each bubble is closed off from other bubbles, they could each be completely different. For example, in some bubbles, gravity may not exist.

The Answer is Out There, Neo

When I first watched The Matrix (1999) I was convinced for at least three days that I was living in a computer simulation controlled by self-aware machines. I was around eleven, to be fair, and nobody could give me evidence that completely proved that we weren’t in fact, in the Matrix. To return to the point, although unlikely, completely convincing simulated reality could be possible. If it was possible, and we were inside such a reality, multiple such realities or ‘universes’ could exist. Scarily, simulated reality would probably be indistinguishable from the real world. As Morpheus says; “What is real? How do you define 'real'? If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.” Try not to think about it too hard.

Shun the Nonbeliever

Multiverse theories would explain why the earth exists in such perfect conditions for life. Stephen Hawking says that there could be an infinite number of parallel universes and that, “universes could’ve come and gone without producing anything at all.” Our universe could just be one of the lucky ones. And as he said in April, there’s probably a universe where Zayn Malik is still in One Direction. As it stands, there is no scientific way to definitively prove the presence of other universes; we can’t travel to them and they’re not observable. Equally they cannot be disproved. For now we will have to enjoy them in sci-fi books, films and programs. If you think about it, even stories like The Chronicles of Narnia and Alice in Wonderland depict parallel worlds…

If you don’t want to wait until you can other universes, enjoy exploring our own universe through Kurokawa’s unfold exhibition at FACT this March.