In Search of the Multiverse

In Search of the Multiverse

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In Search of the Multiverse: Parallel Worlds, Hidden Dimensions, and the Ultimate Quest for the Frontiers of Reality by John Gribbin

This fascinating, well written book goes beyond The Universe Story and summarizes a number of scientific theories arguing that our universe is just one of numerous universes which exist in an all encompassing Multiverse or metaverse. Unfortunately, it seems some of these attempts are intended to eliminate the necessity of a singularity which produced the initial flaring forth of our universe and a metaphysical explanation of the origin of that singularity which may refer to a divinity. One model even goes so far as to suggest that given an infinite number of universes where anything is possible, it is likely that in some, a highly advanced civilization could develop the ability to create designer universes such as ours. Fortunately, this view is not widely accepted.
However, the overall perspective of this book seems to support the Puranic view that this universe is one of many floating in a causal ocean which is part of an infinite spiritual universe. Radha-Krishna and other forms of God-dess along with their devotees are said to inhabit eternal worlds in that spiritual universe. While no one quite knows just how any of this really works, the idea of parallel worlds, hidden dimensions, and frontiers of reality which surpass those we are now aware of are commonly accepted in the scientific community.
Whether Radha-Krishna’s abode of Braj exists in a multiverse or as one of the hidden dimensions of this universe I don’t know. I do know it exists somewhere, at least in my heart. It transcends the limits of spacetime as we know it. It is not subject to increasing entropy which would cause disease, old age, and death. The physical laws that govern that world are different from those in this world, and that is quite acceptable in different universes. As Gribbin says, “we can imagine an infinite variety of universes with different values of the physical constants. (87)”
“In an Infinite Universe, Anything Is Possible” is the title of the book’s introduction and that theme is repeated often. So, why not a place called Braj? Gribbin says:
One of the great scientific achievements of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries has been to establish that the Universe did begin in a Big Bang, almost exactly 13.7 billion years ago, and has been expanding ever since in line with the description of space and time provided by the general theory of relativity. The more sure cosmologists are that they understand the Universe we see around us, the more obvious it is that the only way to reconcile this view with quantum physics is to take on board the Many Worlds Interpretation . . . (31)
All possible quantum states exist, corresponding to all possible moments of time in all possible universes. . . . Anything possible can happen, but it is our decisions that determine which of those futures we experience. . . . everything is real. (82-83)
In spatial terms, there is room in an infinite universe not only for everything possible to happen, but for an infinite number of infinite universes, in each of which anything possible can happen an infinite number of times. . . . Cosmologists today are quite happy to consider the idea that the Universe is infinite in space, but their standard models start from the Big Bang at a definite moment in time, 13.7 billion years ago. But if our Universe is just one component of the Multiverse, the Multiverse itself may be infinite in all directions — in time as well as in space. (89)
If we are living in a fluctuation within such a meta-universe, all that can be said about the meta-universe is that it exists, and that within it other fluctuations exist. The arrow of time (or arrows of time) only exist within those fluctuations. (98)
Tegmark argues that the idea of a Level I Multiverse is implicitly built in to the assumptions cosmologists make when talking about their interpretation of observational evidence. (102)
There must be a choice of universes, and the nature of life forms like ourselves selects the kind of universe we see around us. (131)
The most exciting thing about M-theory, and the most compelling reason to take the idea of the Multiverse seriously, is that it offers an infinite choice of possible worlds, . . . Leonard Susskind has dubbed the variety offered by M-theory ‘the cosmic landscape’, and it is currently the hottest cosmological game in town. (165)
In the Multiverse, information can shift from one region of spacetime — one universe — into another through wormholes, so that in the entire Metaverse information is never lost. (178)
I think the spirit soul may be our quantum self which is able to move between these different universes or even live in more than one simultaneously.
Our universe has to be seen as just one component in a vast (presumably   infinite) array of universes connected by tunnels through spacetime. (184)
From the Inside Flap
Is our universe just one of many?
The most fascinating mysteries in modern physics seem to point us in that direction. As impossible as it seems—that other universes came before ours, float alongside ours, or even mirror ours—the evidence is surprisingly convincing.
In his most mind-blowing, sweeping work since Schrödinger’s Kittens and the Search for Reality, acclaimed science writer and astrophysicist John Gribbin takes readers In Search of the Multiverse, launching an extraordinary journey to the frontiers of reality. Touching on the newest research on quantum physics, thermodynamics, string theory, and even the nature of God, this brilliant tour of the current state of cosmology also goes beyond the realm of settled science to the astonishing questions theoretical physicists have only now begun to ask.
Gribbin has long been known for his ability to explain even the most bewildering and complex ideas in the simplest of terms, and that skill is fully on display here. In this new book, he reveals why even the greatest thinkers can’t explain the realities of quantum physics without bumping up against the unimaginable. He explores certain anomalies in our Universe that only make sense when you incorporate ideas that were once found only in science fiction. But which fantastical notion of alternate universes is the right one?
Gribbin guides you expertly through the competing Multiverse theories, who thought them up, and what problems they were hoping to solve with such outlandish ideas. You’ll visit a realm of infinite space containing an infinite number of regions separated by infinite distances and ruled by different sets of physical laws. You’ll drift along an infinite time line, on which different universes are strung out, one after the other, like beads on a wire. And you’ll leaf through an infinitely thick book stuffed with an infinite number of pages: each page a different universe, existing in a different dimension—tantalizingly close together, but eternally unable to communicate with each other.
If our universe is three-dimensional and infinite, how could it be inside something else? Is it possible to travel to one of these alternate universes? Are particles traveling there every moment? How can scientists prove the existence of the Multiverse if they can’t travel to it? Read In Search of the Multiverse and enter a world that is more mind-bending, thought-provoking, and imagination-sparking than the fantasy worlds you’d discover in a bookstore full of science fiction novels.
I highly recommend this book as a tool to expand our understanding of reality.

2 Responses to “In Search of the Multiverse”

  1. Michael Valle says:

    I love your balance of speculation with intellectual humility. My favorite line: “Whether Radha-Krishna’s abode of Braj exists in a mul­ti­verse or as one of the hid­den dimen­sions of this uni­verse I don’t know. I do know it exists some­where, at least in my heart. It tran­scends the lim­its of space­time as we know it.”

    This intense, spiritual passion combined with intellectual modesty is a welcome breath of fresh air in a world full of both despair on the one hand and dogma on the other!

  2. Thanks Mike. Good to get your feedback as always. Aloha.