Ever wondered where your life would have ended if you had taken certain life choices differently?
Often we think back into the past, simulating alternative career choices, relationships finally coming back to the present reminding ourselves “this is it, the only life we will ever have”. But this might be not just “it”.
There might be a version of you that had taken different choices, living a completely different life. A version of you that might be a writer or a soldier and much more, because of the varying choices that were available to you.
Sean Carroll from the California Institute of Technology deals with this whole notion in his book “Something Deeply Hidden.” He believes there are alternate universes filled with alternate versions of ourselves.
This popular analysis of quantum physics, also known as the “many-worlds interpretation”, suggests that any event that has got more than two outcomes splits the world into alternate realities. With each reality housing a different outcome of the event.
It is quite out of the ordinary to think that the universe could be split based on the chance of where an atom of a molecule could bounce off to. It gets when even odder when thinking that every interaction between atoms could generate new universes.
If this can happen at the subatomic level, it would also apply to bigger things- including us. That means there might be a version of you playing golf right now instead of reading articles on quantum physics.
Sean Carroll says “It’s absolutely possible that there are multiple worlds where you made different decisions. We’re just obeying the laws of physics, Just how many versions of you might there be? “We don’t know whether the number of worlds is finite or infinite, but it’s certainly a very large number,”.
While renowned scientists such as Roger Penrose dismisses the idea altogether, the late Stephen Hawking describes many-worlds interpretation as “self-evidently true.” In fact, the whole many-worlds interpretation of reality began in 1926 with Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger demonstrating the blurry nature of the subatomic world mathematically.
Though all of this sounds as if it is taken from a sci-fi movie, Sean’s new book explores the various puzzling questions and possibilities that arise within the interpretation. It is only natural for people to wonder whether a person can travel from one reality to the other. The answer is a disappointing no.
“Once the other worlds come into existence, they go their own way. They don’t interact, they don’t influence each other in any form. Crossing over is like travelling faster than the speed of light. It’s not something that you can do.”, says Sean in his interview with NBC News.