There’s a new scientific theory proposing that the spooky behavior of subatomic particles can be explained by the existence of multiple universes sharing space with our universe, but in different dimensions. But while all the headlines say it’s time travel, but no one really gets there.
It may be possible, if this theory bears out, to travel – or at least communicate – with alternate universes inhabiting different dimensions. And that would be cool and weird and awesome, but not time travel.
All of these universes coexist with us in the same time stream, and they would all have separate, different histories and futures.
The researchers in question, Dr. Dirk-Andre Deckert from the University of California, Dr. Michael Hall, and Professor Howard Wiseman both from Griffith University’s Center for Quantum Dynamics in Australia, published their theory in Physical Review X.
The theory suggests that the weird, counter-intuitive superposition of subatomic particles found in quantum mechanics can be explained by the influence of alternate universes, each in its own dimension, interacting with our universe at the quantum level; pulling on their identical counterparts in minute ways.
“One way to think about it is that they coexist in the same space as our universe, like ghost universes,” Wiseman told New Scientist.
They posit that this makes as much mathematical sense as any other explanation.
They write in the popular summary of their article:
“The world we experience is just one of an enormous number of essentially classical worlds, and all quantum phenomena arise from a universal force of repulsion that prevents worlds from having identical physical configurations. Probabilities arise only because of our ignorance as to which world an observer occupies. This picture is all that is needed to explain bizarre quantum effects such as particles that tunnel through solid barriers and wave behavior in double-slit experiments.”
The different worlds theory has been around since the 1950’s, but in that version, the alternate universe created each time a particle is observed (seriously) are always separate and removed from each other. The Interlacing Worlds theory holds that they interact in tiny ways all the time.
“Our “many-interacting-worlds” approach hinges on the assumption that interactions between deterministically evolving worlds cause all quantum effects. Each world is simply the position of particles in three-dimensional space, and each would evolve according to Newton’s laws if there were no interworld interactions.”
The ultimate hope of their findings is to provide a framework for further research, particle wave functions, superposition, and even the nature of gravity.
Maybe there’s an alternate universe where Dr Who has a coherent continuity. But I wouldn’t count on it.