Do you ever wonder how your life would have turned out differently if you had made different decisions? Maybe there is one decision, in particular, you think back on, whether it was asking out your crush after all, or quitting your job when you burned out. Maybe a version of you in another world did making all of those decisions and is living out the life you missed out on.
The idea that there are multiple versions of you, existing across a number of worlds too numerous to count, goes directly against our understanding of how the universe and the time and space within it work. Yet physicists have long suspected that quantum mechanics allows two observers to experience different, conflicting realities. This means that there may be a parallel reality after and now they’ve performed the first experiment that proves it.
“It’s almost suspicious that it works so well,” they say, and here why.
Multiple Versions Of You
it goes against everything we’ve learned so far to think that the universe splits apart. Some scientists have suggested that according to the quantum world, it depends on which direction molecules bounce. This gets even odder when thinking that these atomic splits would apply to us too, creating an alternate version of us.
“It’s absolutely possible that there are multiple worlds where you made different decisions. We’re just obeying the laws of physics,” says Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist. When asked just how many versions there might be, he says: “We don’t know whether the number of worlds is finite or infinite, but it’s certainly a very large number,” adding “There’s no way it’s, like, five.”
But this is not the only theory that suggests that there be might another reality beyond this one…
The Wingner’s Friend Theory
Eugene Wigner was an actual Nobel prize-winning Physized who experimented a lot in the more abstract concepts of quantum mechanics. In 1961, he outlined a specific experiment to show how the strange nature of the universe allows two observers, such as if we were to say Wigner and Wigner’s friend, to experience different realities.
This is how the “Wigner’s Friend” theory was created and used as a foundation for future physicists to explore and measure. Naturally, not all scientists were in agreement and any started to experiment more to try and establish objective facts.
Repeating Patterns Changes Electricity
At the time, The Wigner experiment was just a provoking thought experiment. But more recently, physicists finally got to an advanced enough place in quantum technologies to make reproducing the Wigner’s Friend test a real experiment. They thought at first that it would not be possible to create different realities and compare them in the lab.
Then, two researchers from the University of Maryland released their findings in a study e the journal of Physical Review Research. They weren’t looking for a second reality specifically, but they did find repeating patterns that changed the way electricity moves. Let’s explore what that means.
An Accidental Clue
Based on their research, the researchers believe they have accidentally found a clue that could explain some of our current universe’s mysteries. The scientists realized that experiments on the electrical properties of stacked sheets of graphene produced results that looked like little universes.
Basically what happened was that in stacks of graphene, electricity changed behavior when two sheets interacted. This lead them to conclude that unique physics could also emerge from interacting layers in other places, maybe even across the entire universe.
It Seems Suspicious
The experiment was surprising because of how well it worked: “In a sense, it’s almost suspicious that it works so well by naturally ‘predicting’ fundamental features of our universe such as inflation,” study co-author Victor Galitski said in a statement
Performing the experiment for the first time allowed scientists to create different realities and compare them. Their conclusion is that Wigner was right, the realities do sometimes conflict. This makes it possible for more objective facts to be made about the theory.
Questioning How The Universe Works
Scientists have questioned how the universe works for as long as we can remember. In fact, we all have because we crave to understand our place in the world and we would like to believe that we’re playing a part in something bigger. This theory could mean however that it’s not just our world we need to understand, but potential other ones we haven’t even been to yet.
“Before you look at an object, whether it’s an electron, or an atom or whatever, it’s not in any definite location,” Carroll says. “It might be more likely that you observe it in one place or another, but it’s not actually located at any particular place.”
After this experiment, it’s harder to deny that the physical world is beyond what we have assumed of it.
Two Realities At Once
Even Einstein had questioned our assumptions before we had all this technology to test. He often asked what happened to all of the other possible locations where the object could have ended up, and how all the other different outcomes played out. He was clearly beyond his time and on to something!
Wigner also was ahead of his time, because he considered it to be a fact that a superposition of two realities existed. His theory meant that measurement can’t even take place unless both friends are able to contact each other from their respective realities.
So the two realities are at odds with each other. “This calls into question the objective status of the facts established by the two observers,” explains the researchers.
Still A Long Way To Go
Making this experiment a reality has opened doors and is changing the way we understand the universe and the reality of the world we live in. But our understanding is still at a minimum level: “We haven’t explored all the effects — that’s a hard thing to do,” co-author Alireza Parhizkar said.
Scientists still have to use these findings to solve the conflicts and confusion this create about the law of physics.
The next step is to go further and increase the alternate realities that can’t be reconciled. Who knows maybe a version of us in another reality has already figured this out!
More Questions Than Answers
No one knows for absolute certainty where we came from, where we’re going and whether there are multiple realities playing at the same time. For now, our reality is a balance between faith and science.
These findings get us thinking about how the world and nature work in a new way. In a way, everything is connected.
Are you still searching for your life purpose? You won’t believe what the science of Numerology can reveal about you!
That’s right, the numerology of your birth date, regardless of what month you were born, can reveal surprising information about your personality.
Aria Misty is a recent university grad. She did her undergrad in media, information & technoculture with a Master in Journalism & Communications in 2018.
Aria has a particular interest in all things astrology and spirituality. This is driven by her desire to create healing. In fact, Aria went back to school for A master’s in counseling p[…]