Could we ever detect other universes?
In another universe is there an identical you sat at an identical desk, reading this identical question?
The idea that the Universe is just one of many, making up one, truly infinite ‘multiverse’ is among the most intriguing – and controversial – theories in modern physics. It’s based on attempts to find the one true ‘Theory of Everything’ (ToE) that describes all the particles and forces making up reality in a single set of equations.
Some attempts to create the ToE suggest that there are myriad different universes beyond our own, each with different laws of physics. According to some theorists, these differences may reveal the existence of universes neighbouring our own. Exactly how they’ll be revealed is unclear, but one possibility is via distortions in the heat left from the Big Bang. This has been mapped with exquisite precision, and may contain telltale patterns consistent with the lurking presence of another universe.
Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.
Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.
May Half Price Sale
- Save up to 52% when you subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine.
- Risk - free offer! Cancel at any time when you subscribe via Direct Debit.
- FREE UK delivery.
- Stay up to date with the latest developments in the worlds of science and technology.