What is the Multiverse vs Parallel Universes / World Theory ? (2023)

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Multiverse and Parallel Universe Facts

  • The Multiverse is only a theory as it has not yet been proven or disproven to exist yet.
  • The Multiverse theory states there are multiple versions of the universe, each slightly different from the other.
  • There are many types of Multiverse theory but the most well known is the Many-Worlds theory, the one where in this universe we do one thing, in the parallel universe, we take the opposite action.

What is the difference between the Multiverse and Parallel Universe?

What is a Parallel Universe?

A Parallel Universe is a version of the Universe that might be similar to ours but something is different, it might be a major difference, it might a minor difference. Some people might call the parallel universe a parallel dimension.

What is the Multiverse?

The Multiverse Theory is a theory that there many parallel universes exist including our own and the collection of parallel or multiple universes is known as the Multiverse. There is an infinite number of universe in the multiverse. You couldn't say there is 10,000 universes, you just can't put a figure on the number.

There are many different types of multiverse theories but the one that catches most peoples minds is the Many-Worlds theory where you turn left in this universe but turn right in the other.

The difference therefore is that a Multiverse is the name for all the parallel universes within the multiverse and parallel universe is just one instance of an universe.

What is the Omniverse?

Some times the Multiverse is also known as the Omniverse like it is mentioned in the cartoon Ben 10. Some refer to the Omniverse as being bigger than the Multiverse, encompassing many Multiverses but as Multiverse contains an infinite number of universes, the Omniverse is taking it one step too far.

Many Worlds / Infinity Worlds Multiverse

When people think of the Multiverse / Parallel Universes, the vision that would come to most peoples mind is the Many-Worlds theory but there are other types as well. Lets start with the Many Worlds theory, have you ever wondered if you had made a different decision to the one you had made say last year or the year before that, what would life be like now? There is a theory that there is an alternative universe where that decision was taken. The theory is referred to as the Megaverse, Multiverse, Parallel Universes or Many Worlds Theory amongst others to come. The Multiverse says there are many parallel universes that exists, each one different from the other.

A Parallel World is not time-travel where you can go back in time and change, as it name implies, the other universe is running in parallel at the same time as ours. You can't jump over or someone jump over and tell you what next weeks lottery ticket is.

A parallel universe could probably have the same look and feel as this one but something has changed. The change might be ever so slight as not to notice or one that is totally different. For example, say you walk down the street, you turn left, in the other parallel universe, you will have turned right. That action will determine the order of things. Also known as the Butterfly Effect, the slightest change could have the biggest effect. In our universe, you were born, in the other universe, your parents might have put off having you, you won't exist there.

Just think, whatever bad luck is happening to you here, it could be better or worse in the other universe. There is no way to tell.

What is an Alternate Universe / Reality Theory?

Alternate Universe is another term to describe another Universe within the Multiverse. Essentially, an Alternate Universe is another way of saying Parallel Universe. An Alternate Reality is an alternate way of things happening now. In an alternate universe, the Earth can be radically different. Author Harry Turttledove writes a lot of stories based around alternate worlds. In the Colonization Quadrilogy, aliens known as the Race gate-crash the Second World War. He has also written novels where weapons of today being used in wars of yesterday.

Some Universes', the changes may be slight, you didn't make a fool of yourself the other night. At the other extreme, Nazi Germany won the Second World War like how Robert Harris envisaged in his book Ref: Fatherland . The television series Sliders starring Jerry O'Connell takes this as its theme as they visit different worlds every episode.

Your Dreams, a Portal to an Alternate Universe

When you dream at night or daydream, what you see yourself doing could be happening in another universe. Where you dream of winning the lottery, that has already taken place in another universe. Where you dream of being say James Bond, you are that man saving the world from despots. In fact, in one universe, you could be the despot being bought down a peg or two by James Bond.

In the Many-Worlds Multiverse, every possible possibility could be being played out in another universe. The result is mind-blowing to think about. Whilst your dreams could be a reality in the other universe so could your nightmares.

(Video) The True Science of Parallel Universes

Is there proof or evidence for the Multiverse?

One piece of evidence of the existence of the multiverse is the activities of particles in Quantum Mechanics. In the early twentieth century, scientists found that when they tried to pin-point the exact location of atomic particles such as electrons, they couldn't. They found that they could be in multiple points at once or it seemed like it. They are able to be in many places at once. Ref: Phys

There is research currently going on to find out if there is evidence of the Multiverse in Cosmic Background Radiation. If universes had collided then there would be a sign of it in the background radiation. There's been no proof found yet but if they find something then the multiverse will in existence. If they don't, it won't necessarily mean that the multiverse doesn't exist.Ref: Wired

A theory was put forward was that these particles were swapping between our universe and another universe. Ref: Daily Mail .There is a theory going round that suggests that our universe was created by the collision of two parallel universes. If that is true, that would mean our universe is reckoned to be about 13.8 billion years old, the Multiverse could be infinitely older.

Thinking aloud, did the big bang create the Multiverse or did each universe have its own big bang, occurring at the same time or later. Maybe a parallel universe is our universe that's a year or millions of years behind us on its way to catch up. However if it aims to catch up, is its day faster than ours, a minutes action here is completed in under a second. If you see Blink of an Eye, the planet that Voyager visits speeds through time much faster than ours.

There's no hard evidence for the existence of the Multiverse, its theoretical because its not been proven or disproved. There's evidence but its all non-fact at the moment, there's no paper on the internet that proves the existence of the multiverse, only talks about evidence.

Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a large experiment deep under the Swiss-French border which is trying to recreate the moments after the big bang. The LHC works by smashing hydrogen protons against one another at the speed of light and monitoring the fall out. Detecting parallel universes aren't the primary objective of the experiment but they could discover a parallel universe.Ref: Daily Mail

There were some who fear that the experiment could blow up the world by creating a black hole. The petitions included to the President of the United States and to European Court of Human Rights, neither of which were successful. Ref: Telegraph

How do we travel to and visit another parallel universe in the Multiverse?

If they exists, how do we get there? The most likely theory on getting there is with a portal or wormhole of some kind that punches a hole through time and space. Although there are other suggestions of where they are, i.e. not in another time and space but beyond our visible horizon. Our universe is level zero.

In Sliders, its easy for the scientists to cross from one universe to another by using a device at a certain time. However the mechanics of how we can travel to another universe is currently theoretical.

The technology and know how to get to an alternate parallel universe only exists in the minds of science fiction writers at the moment. One possible way is though to travel beyond what is know, to the farthest reaches of space and travel across to another universe. One Parallel Universe theory says that the parallel universe are side by side so possibly able to travel from one to another. You would need an unimaginable amount of energy and time to get there.

In Science Channel clip, Prof. Michio Kaku talks about opening a portal to another universe. The technology at the moment doesn't exist especially as it talks about putting a laser in the asteroid belt. The portal would be a wormhole to the other alternate universe but he talks about not going himself but sending a copy.

Tegmark Classifications of Multiverse

If you've only ever known of the multiverse through the medium of television and film, you'd expect there to be only one type. However, according to Max Tegmark, there are four types of multiverse and the third level is the type that you will most be familiar with, the many-world theory. More detailed discussion of each of his levels can be found at his page at Ref: M.I.T.

Level One - Regions Beyond The Cosmic Horizon

Level One says that a parallel universe is a copy of our universe somewhere else in the universe. However it is too far away for us to get to. Our observable Universe is 46 billion light years across, this is based on the distance the furthest light has travelled from has taken 13.8 billion years. Ref: Phys . A parallel universe would exist in the same universe but much further out, maybe 100 billion light years away for example.

Level Two - The Bubble Universe

This theory has the universe living in a giant bubble with other universes living in other bubbles. These bubbles can merge, split and grow thus creating new universes. In the screenshot, each bubble is a separate universe. Each universe is far beyond what we can see and know about. Given its distance from Earth, it can't be seen, it is and probably will always be a theory. The screen shot came from Brian Greene's TED presentation. Ref: Futurism

What is the Multiverse vs Parallel Universes / World Theory ? (1)What is the Multiverse vs Parallel Universes / World Theory ? (2)
(Video) The Multiverse Hypothesis Explained by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Level Three - Many Worlds / The Science Fiction Favourite

Level Three is the one we are all more familiar with, the one where universes exist in the same time and space but different different dimensions. It is born out of the fact that some particles can be in the two places at once. Some say that they pop into the other dimension and back again. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle governs this area of physics. Whilst our knowledge finds it hard to believe that it can be in two places at once, the HUP states it must be in two places at once. Level Four parallel universe is one where the universe doesn't exist, the universe didn't form, it is still gas.

It is said that when a decision is made here, another decision is made elsewhere, another universe is spawned from the opposite action. Therefore, tweaking Newtons third Law, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite universe."

Level Four - Other Mathematical Structure

This is a catch all for all other types of multiverses that could exists that don't fall into the other types.

Prof. Brian Greene Classifications of Multiverse

Professor Brian Greene of Columbia University in New York, United States has nine classifications which incorporate different aspects of Tegmark. Using ThoughtCo, you can see how they match up with Tegmarks' classifications.

Level 1 - Quilted Multiverse

This is similar to Level 1, where the other universes are so far away that we have not and will probably never ever see another universe.

Level 1 - Cyclical Brane Multiverse

A Brane could collide with one another and therefore causing other universes to be created. It is the theory to help explain why the Big Bang occurred so many years ago. It is theorized that two branes collided and therefore causing the big bang. If this was the cause, a brane collision, then it would mean that the multiverse is older than 13.8 billion years.

Level 1, 2 and 4 - Landscape Multiverse

This is a theory that says each universe has its own rules. It means rules in our universe where life is based on oxygen, could be based on say nitrogen in order for life to exist. Although Thoughtco says only 1 and 4, I believe it should contain 2 as well because it mentions there being bubbles.

Level 2- Inflationary Multiverse

This is equivalent to the bubble universe where each universe exists in its own bubble. Each bubble is so far way that we are unable to see or detect.

Level 2 - Brane Multiverse

It seems to be hard to define what a brane is. According to this article on Columbia University's website, the term brane can mean different things to different people. Part of the problem comes what context the person is talking about. Ref: Columbia. In terms of the multiverse, our universe is just one brane and that there are other branes out there.

Level 3 - Quantum Multiverse / Many Worlds

This is the multiverse that is favoured by the science fiction community in which there are similar galaxies but are different for slight reasons.

Level 4 - Holographic Multiverse

In a Holographic Multiverse, another universe would be a perfect mirrored image of our universe down to the smallest of items. Should there be an universe like that, there would be no point because you'd still not have won the lottery there. To add to that, the identical universe could be time-lapsed, maybe a year or thousands of years behind. That's my theory, someone else has probably thought it too but I have not looked.

Level 4 - Simulated Multiverse

This isn't a real-world multi-verse so to speak in the same way as the other multiverses. This multi-verse is created in a computer where the multiverse is simulated. Our technology has gotten to that level yet but who knows, one day may.

Level 4 - Ultimate Multiverse

This multiverse contains every possible universe based on different mathematical laws

What is Super String Theory (SST) ?

At the moment this is no one whole unifying theory of everything (TOE), at the moment the sciences of the Big Bang and String Theory don't match up. Big Bang is very large physics whilst String Theory is quantum physics, physics of the very small. In the beginning when people started talking about String Theory, they were able to match the two up perfectly. However as more people researched the area, they found that there was no theory that could match them both up. They soon found that there was more than one string theory which destroyed the whole idea of a Theory of Everything. Ref: Physics

What is the Multiverse vs Parallel Universes / World Theory ? (3)
(Video) "Unravelling the Mystery of the Multiverse - A Parallel Universe Documentary"

Conventional wisdom tells us that there are three dimensions, height, width and depth. Time is referred to as the fourth dimension and that dimension we can only go in one direction. String Theory holds that there are more dimensions that we can't see, they are at a subatomic size which not even our best microscope have been able to see. At the very smallest, it is believed that there are strings that vibrate. How a string vibrates determines its features, its characteristics and whether it be a neutron or electron. Strings can be closed or open and each one vibrates. Ref: TED

Strings are so small and tiny, its hard to comprehend. If an atom was enlarged to the size of , a string would only be about the size of a tree. You'll need a pretty powerful microscope to get that far. In other words, a string is a millionth of a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a centimeter. Visually, it would be written as 10-33. Ref: PBS

In the start there was just one string theory however over time that change. There soon became five competing string theories, they are known as Type I string theory, Type IIA string theory, Type IIB string theory, heterotic SO(32) (the HO string) theory, and heterotic E8xE8 (the HE string) theory. The SST provides some way in matching the two sciences up. All the five ST had to be reconciled otherwise all the work they had done would go out the window. Ed Witten worked out that they were all not all different theories, they were linked and were all different ways of viewing the same puzzle. It know became M-Theory. Ref: Quora

Supergravity, a different look on Superstring Theory

According to some scientists there is a competing theory called Supergravity. In the most basic of explanation is Supergravity is combination of Supersymmetry and General Relativity. Supersymmetry is a theory that is used to unify the fundamental physical forces (Gravity, Electromagnetism, Weak Nuclear, Strong Nuclear) and proposes a physical symmetry between bosons and fermions. Ref: Wikitionary

It is not much different from String Theory except it says that there are 11 dimensions. Although you might find on the internet that there could be more dimensions right up to 26 but most sites only talk about up to 11. In his video, Professor Michio Kaku, a world renowned theoretical physicist will say that if you go above 11, the universe will come unstable. Therefore assumed that they don't exist.

Trying to find out what the eleven dimensions are has proved to be hard. There is information about the tenth dimensions so possibly the eleventh dimension is the zeroth dimension. If anyone finds the eleventh condition is the zeroth condition, please do let us know. The ten dimensions are :-

  • Length
  • Height
  • Depth
  • Time
  • Possible Worlds
  • Universe where all worlds have the same start conditions
  • Universe where all the worlds have different start conditions
  • Universe where all the worlds have the same start conditions but branching out differently
  • Universe where all the possible starts conditions and laws of physics
  • Universe where everything is possible

Ref: Ultraculture

Our Universe, Our Rules

Thinking out aloud, in our universe, everything is governed by our rules. Another universe may have a different set of rules. In our universe, people are white, brown and black. In another universe people they could be blue, green or red in colour. Our sky is blue, in their the sky could be green or yellow.

Where in our universe, magic is illusions, in theirs, magic is pure magic with dragons, warlocks and such like. Its likely though that fantasy and magic would inhabit another universe because that universe would have to obey the rules of physics. Whilst magic breaks the rules of physics, Orcs, Goblins, Elves could exist though. Imagine that, instead of playing World of Warcraft, you're actually liviing the game.

Schrödinger's cat

In 1935, Austrian Scientist Erwin Schrödinger created a thought experiment in which he said that a cat could be both dead and alive in a room. In the room is a Cat, a radioactive substance, a Geiger counter and poison. When the substance has decayed and the Geiger realises this, it releases the poison to kill the cat. Only when you open the room would one state exist, dead or alive. In Multiverse, one universe, the cat would be dead, another, the cat would be alive. Schrödinger came up with the theory in reaction to the 'Copenhagen Interpretation' of quantum mechanics which states that a particle exists in all states until it is observed. Ref: Telegraph

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect is the name given to the theory that a tiny minuscule event can have far reaching consequences. The term was coined by American Scientist Edward Lorenz in the twentieth century to describe a theory that a butterfly flapping its wings could eventually cause a hurricane. Ref:Wiki.

The effect has been covered in films, most notably a film of the same name starring Ashton Kutcher who time travels into the past to change miniscule things and then in the present have such wide ranging consequences.

Multiverse/Parallel Universes in Science Fiction Television and Films

The Many World Multiverse theory has caught the attention of science fiction writers of book, television and film. Here are just a few of the more famous ones. There are two examples, Friends and Sliding Doors where they use the Multiverse theory in a way that the unaware watcher won't have cottoned onto it.

In 'Sliding Doors', we see follow two stories of the central character, one who missed a trained because a little girl got in the way as she ran for the train and another where the woman caught the train. In one universe, she would have caught the train, and in the other universe she missed the train so two parallel worlds caused by an insignificant event.

In "Turn Left", an episode of Doctor Who, Donna Noble is persuaded to turn right instead of left which has dramatic consequences for the The Doctor and his companions. The next time you wished you'd taken a different decision, think that the alternate version of you in the parallel universe is probably having a worst time than you are having now.

(Video) Parallel Worlds Probably Exist. Here’s Why

Multiverse in Star Trek

The Multiverse first appears in the Star Trek episode 'Mirror, Mirror' in the original series. The Multiverse is the opposite, the United Space Federation are a war hungry force who leaders use threats and torture to show their authority. Capt. James Tiberius Kirk, Doctor Leonard Bones McCoy and Lieutenant Uhura fall into the other universe through a transporter malfunction. Their alternate equivalent come to our world. Before leaving their universe, Kirk plants seeds of doubt in the mind of Spock. This has an effect on him which ripples through the mirror universe. The alternate federation dematerializes, in effect they no longer go out and attack. They also become less able to defend themselves. In Deep Space Nine, members of the DS9 travel to the mirror universe on a number of occasions and discover that that universe has fallen to The Alliance ( Klingons and Cardassians ). The worlds in the Star Trek are grim compared to our own.

In The Alternative Factor, Kirk travels to an alternative universe which made up of Anti-Matter rather than Matter which is what our universe is made up of. If Matter and Anti-Matter molecule collide, they will destroy one another. The guest character 'Anti-Matter Lazarus' has to prevent 'Matter Lazarus' from destroying the universes by trapping them between the Universes and so not to destroy either universe. There is that possibility that there is an Anti-Matter universe somewhere.

The Borg in Voyager have opened a wormhole to another parallel universe, one where space is filled with liquid. There's nothing to say that this can't happen, its just very unlikely. In the other universe, the Borg have made enemies of Species 8742 who then cross over to our universe to carry on the fight.

It is said that at the beginning of the universe, some 13.6 billion years ago, there was the same amount of Matter and Anti-Matter but all the Anti-Matter is no longer exists, This all happened within the first second of the creation of the Universe. Exploratorium

Multiverse in Farscape

In Farscape, when John Crichton on board the Farscape One travels through a wormhole, he is captured by an Ancient. He sends John through a number of unrealized realities. These are essentially parallel/alternate worlds. In one, the Scarrans have found Earth and have genetically altered people. Another world, John is a Peacekeeper who has to kill Sikozu Svala Shanti Sugaysi Shanu.

D.C. Comics Multiverse

Barry Allen, aka The Flash has crossed over into other universes in the television series. Most likely also in the comic but I've never read it. The main antagonist in the second series is Zoom, a speedster from Earth-2. The series doesn't just limit to two but mentions there being many more with a re-occurring character Gypsy coming from Earth-19.

Kara Danvers, aka Supergirl inhabits another universe to the rest of the characters in the D.C. arrowverse so it is called. The Flash and Supergirl are able to cross to each others universes by travelling fast and have been known to work together.

Multiverse in Sliders

By far the most well known series based on the principles of the Multiverse is "Sliders". It is dedicated solely to the subject of parallel worlds. It follows four people who travel through a multiverse portal machine. Each episode they have to survive their new world in order to the progress to the next. Amongst the stories are dinosaurs not being wiped out, Russians have invaded America and the World Wars never happened.

Multiverse in other programmes

The television series Friends did a number of What-IF episodes, if the decisions that they had made were the other ones. (The One that Could Have Been, Eps:- 6.15,6.16) For example, what-if Phoebe was still a corporate high flyer. What is Monica was still overweight and Ross was none the wiser about his first wife.

In the film Sliding Doors, the principle is the Butterfly Effect, what if something so ever so slight had happened a different way, what would your life be like. One story arc would follow adventures in our universe. The other arc follows what would have happened in another universe. The film isn't aimed at the parallel universe principle but it applies.

The third other programme is the cartoon series 'GI JOE/Action Force'. In one episode (Worlds without Ends), the JOES are transported to another dimension, one where COBRA has won. One of the JOES is revealed to be romantically involved with the Baroness who decides to stay to rebuild the resistance.

Last Modified : 6th December 2022
Date Published : 16th April 2014

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BrendanFriday, 13th November 2020 12:40:04 AM
Definition of universe 1: the whole body of things and phenomena observed or postulated : COSMOS: such as a: a systematic whole held to arise by and persist through the direct intervention of divine power b: the world of human experience c(1): the entire celestial cosmos To our knowledge we live in a universe, but there is a theory of a multiverse. I don't see how we can refer to the different levels within the multiverse as "universes" because the term itself means that there is only one. Isn't there a better word we can use?
jonathan ortega [philippinesThursday, 11th October 2018 12:13:37 PM
is there a way to go another universe or is been hide with all the years in this place that no one can see that other can ? there are places that connected to the other a way point what they call ?
mr gordon smart
talking about the multi-universe and its existance. if you are interested i can explain the fact that they exist very simply and from the point of veiw that i hold regarding this matter it is almost poetic but never the less obvious. remember that we cannot always see the forces that shape us even though we know they exist, it just comes natural to some more than others.


1. If The Multiverse Exists, Are There Infinite Copies of You? Brian Greene on Multiple Universes
(Science Time)
2. The Multiverse is real. Just not in the way you think it is. | Sean Carroll
(Big Think)
3. Scientists Believe a Parallel Universe Exists
4. Parallel Universes: Many Worlds
5. The Mysteries Of The Universe
(Question Everything )
6. Quantum Theory reveals Parallel Universes and Quantum Immortality in alternate universes
(Arvin Ash)
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