Self Care – Astronomy Picture of the Week: The Multiverse

Okay… you might be thinking I’ve jumped the shark with this series now, but before getting back to images of objects within our observable universe, I just have to go here…

You see, I’m fascinated by the idea of multiple universes, especially the idea that there could be an infinite number of universes, because that means that everything is real. In such a multiverse, there is no such thing as fiction or fantasy. I kind of love that. I won’t go into detail, because this is largely an image series, but just let your imagination go wild thinking about this.

It’s awesome.

The following image is an artist’s rendition of one idea born out of various multiverse ideas, including String Theory, Superstring theory, and M-Theory. I got it from an article on The Physics of the Universe.

Artist's visualization of rippling membranes

Artist’s visualization of rippling membranes

I remember seeing this membrane idea described on one of those TV science documentary shows. It was something like this…

The multiverse consists of membranes that ripple with energy, similar to freshly-washed sheets hanging outside to dry rippling in the wind. Every once in a while, they clash, giving off energy. Now, when two sheets clash, we don’t notice the energy given off. But when two membranes clash, because of their sheer size, the energy given off could, potentially, create a universe like ours. I’ve always thought that this would neatly explain the expansion of the universe…

While energy cannot be created or destroyed, it does dissipate. The expansion of the universe is, then, just the energy from the clash of our membrane with another one dissipating.

Obviously, none of this is tested or proven, and some scientists aren’t even sure if it’s testable to begin with. For all we know, we may never be able to see past the moment of the Big Bang, which means that we may never know what caused the Big Bang… which further means that we may never know if there are other universes, or if our universe is all there is.

So this is all conjecture.

But it’s still damn cool, and damn fun to think about.

Leave a Reply