In Search of the Multiverse: Parallel Worlds, Hidden Dimensions, and the Ultimate Quest for the Frontiers of Realityby John Gribbin
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)
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 FlapIs 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.