Is everything really happening everywhere, all at once?

Enter the Multiverse

With the outstanding question of "what caused the Big Bang" continuing to puzzle physicists, one of the world's most respected academics in the field has proposed a devilishly simple bargain: that we're living in a multiverse — and he'd be willing to bet his dog's life on it.

In a piece for The Conversation, Cambridge cosmologist and astrophysicist Martin Rees noted that even the Big Bang may not be as unique as we believe it is — and that if there were others like it, and we could prove that they happened, they could be the precursors for proof of a multiverse or the existence of universes beyond our own that we're unable to detect.

"We don’t ultimately know if there are other Big Bangs," the UK Astronomer Royal wrote. "But they’re not just metaphysics. We might one day have reasons to believe that they exist."

A Big Wager

While some critics claim the multiverse theory "is unscientific because we can’t ever observe other universes," Rees notes that lack of observation doesn't preclude theorizing on, say, what happens inside black holes.

"We can’t observe the interior of black holes, but we believe what physicist Roger Penrose says about what happens there," he added.

In his Nobel Prize-winning theory, Penrose posits that black holes have a conical point on the inside that, once reached, induces a singularity beyond which no matter can exist— but as the cosmologist noted, "his theory has gained credibility by agreeing with many things we can observe."

Rees said that more than a decade ago, he sat on a panel at Stanford where he and other experts were asked to rate, on a level of seriousness between the life of a goldfish, the life of their dog, and their own life, how much they believe in the concept of a multiverse.

"I said I was nearly at the dog level," Rees wrote. "[Physicist Andrei] Linde said he’d almost bet his life."

Later, on being told this, [Nobel Prize-wnning] physicist Steven Weinberg replied that he’d 'happily bet Martin Rees’ dog and Andrei Linde’s life.'"

"Sadly," he mused, "I suspect Linde, my dog and I will all be dead before we have an answer."

More on multiverses: Startup Trying to Test Whether People on DMT Experience a Shared Alien Universe

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