As millions of fans know, Marvel Studios recently released its latest superhero blockbuster Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Like earlier Marvel films, this offering unfolds within an interconnected network of parallel universes known as the “Multiverse.”
Popular culture has grown increasingly fascinated with the concept of alternative universes. The idea has been featured in comics since the 1960s and in movies like Sliding Doors, the 2009 reboot of Star Trek, and the films in DC Entertainment’s Extended Universe series. Mark Zuckerberg has even advanced the idea of infinite alternative digital universes.
So what exactly is the Multiverse and why has it generated so much interest? Isn’t one universe enough?
Although it may seem like pure science fiction, the Multiverse has gained traction in popular culture largely because serious scientists first proposed it. According to some scientists, every possible event that could have occurred in our universe actually has occurred (or is occurring) in another parallel universe.
Thus, strangely, the Multiverse concept implies that a copy of each of us exists—not just in one other universe, but in an innumerable array of other universes. It also implies those other copies of ourselves are experiencing infinitely many different circumstances—some similar to those in our world, some dramatically different.
In 1956, physicist Hugh Everett first proposed the Multiverse as an interpretation of a strange quantum phenomenon known as “the collapse of the wave function.”
In the 1980s, Physicist Alan Guth, introduced “Inflation Theory,” suggesting that as our universe expands it will eventually birth an infinite number of new bubble universes.
Physicists conceive of parallel universes as disconnected realities that have, nevertheless, emerged from some common “universe-generating mechanism.” In science fiction, however, characters can “teleport” between universes through “wormholes” or via dreams.
So given its weirdness, what accounts for the popularity of the Multiverse?
In physics, the Multiverse has gained adherents because it seems to explain an otherwise inexplicable mystery known as “fine-tuning.”
Since the 1960s, scientists have discovered that the physical laws and parameters of our universe have been finely tuned, against all odds, to make our universe capable of hosting life. Even slight alterations—such as the expansion rate of the universe or the strength of gravity or electromagnetism or the exact masses of elementary particles—would make sustainability or even the existence of life impossible.
In essence, physics has revealed that we live in a “Goldilocks universe” where the forces of physics have just the right strengths and balances and the properties of matter just the right characteristics to allow for life. Physicists refer to these many fortuitous factors as “cosmological fine-tuning.”
Many scientists initially concluded that this improbable fine-tuning points to a “Fine-Tuner”—an intelligent creator who established the physical parameters of the universe with life in mind.
As former Cambridge University astrophysicist Sir Fred Hoyle argued: “A common-sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics” to make life possible.
To avoid this conclusion, some physicists have doubled down on the Multiverse.
Continue reading the article at the Daily Wire.