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infinite universes


15 Nov 2002

Parallel Universes
Not just a staple of science fiction, other universes are a direct implication of cosmological observations
By Max Tegmark

Is there a copy of you reading this article? A person who is not you but who lives on a planet called Earth, with misty mountains, fertile fields and sprawling cities, in a solar system with eight other planets? The life of this person has been identical to yours in every respect. But perhaps he or she now decides to put down this article without finishing it, while you read on.

The idea of such an alter ego seems strange and implausible, but it looks as if we will just have to live with it, because it is supported by astronomical observations. The simplest and most popular cosmological model today predicts that you have a twin in a galaxy about 10 to the 1028​ meters from here. This distance is so large that it is beyond astronomical, but that does not make your doppelgänger any less real. The estimate is derived from elementary probability and does not even assume speculative modern physics, merely that space is infinite (or at least sufficiently large) in size and almost uniformly filled with matter, as observations indicate. In infinite space, even the most unlikely events must take place somewhere. There are infinitely many other inhabited planets, including not just one but infinitely many that have people with the same appearance, name and memories as you, who play out every possible permutation of your life choices
that reminds me of a dream I once had (i remember what I dreamed about every 2nd night). :)
I am explained strange theories in many of such dreams, like how to make light faster than light, what earth looks like in millions of years or what the centre of the universe looks like.
Anyway, in that dream, I was explained that each planet is a copy flying around, and in the time between the creation and destruction of each planet, the copy will be in "viewing distance" (so you can see the copy-planet).
bizarre dreams, but an interesting one nonetheless. :)

Oh, anyway, according to that article, because the size of the universe is infinite (or nearly infinite), anything is likely to happen. So one of the "anything" is that someone of a planet teleports a large amount of money and gold right now into my room. right now. *looks around* no gold here. so I guess the universe is not large enough for that. A pity. I should move to a larger one. ;)
maybe the gold was teleported to the universe next door and you just got the wrong room number? :D or the wrong universe... :eek:
:) hmmm...did anyone read the continuation of the article? i've heard of this theory before in connection with quantam physics. does anyone rememeber the movie called 'timeline' which came out some months ago in the u.s.? it was written by michael crichton, the same guy who did sphere (based on astrophysics) and jurassic park (originally based on chaos theory, but the movie downplayed it for hollywood :eek: ). well, anyway, the story deals with the theory of not just our infinite universe, but the strong scientific evidence for an infinite number of universes as well; some scientists believe that every decision we make causes another universe to spring up where we either made the opposite or a different decision or even made the same desicion a half hour later, which might change the course of events significantly. timeline's a good book, and these people go to middle ages france using the theory. i'm not sure how good the movie is though... :?
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