Scientists Say: Multiverse

This is the idea that there are lots of universes out there, each with a different reality


The multiverse is the idea that there are loads of other universes out there. They might have nothing to do with us. Or they might be alternate versions of our reality.


Multiverse (noun, “MUHL-tee-vers”)

This is the idea that our universe isn’t the only one out there. Instead, it’s one of many, many universes. How many? No one knows. There could be lots.

In one version of the multiverse, a lot of universes might have formed right after the Big Bang, when our universe expanded very, very quickly. If that expansion continued outside our universe, there might be other universes, ones that don’t have anything to do with us. These are called “bubble universes.”

In another version of the multiverse, other universes have everything to do with ours. In this “many worlds” idea, each universe would be an alternate version of our own reality. In this universe, you wore sneakers today. In another, you might have worn sandals. In a third, you might not exist.

The bubble universe and many worlds idea are only two options. There are other ways to make multiverses. But not all scientists agree that multiverses are real. After all, no one has ever found another universe other than our own. There’s not even consensus on how to find them. One way might be to look at gravity. Other universes might be large, with a lot of gravity. That gravity could pull on our universe. By measuring that pull, it could be possible for scientists to detect a multiverse. But so far, there is no evidence.

In a sentence

In some theories of the multiverse, every time you decide to wear a red shirt instead of a blue one, there’s another world in which you made the opposite decision. 

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Bethany Brookshire was a longtime staff writer at Science News Explores and is the author of the book Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains. She has a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology and likes to write about neuroscience, biology, climate and more. She thinks Porgs are an invasive species.

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