A guide to Gaea Parallaxis --------------------
The Lovecraftian Universe
A guide to the Cthulhu Mythos --------------------
The Asimov Universe
A guide to Isaac Asimov's Future History --------------------
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- Multi-Verse Digest -
- parallel universes & other continua -
- a guide to the best known alternative histories and other worlds of fiction, folklore, film and games -
The Multi-Verse Digest is Harbinger451's new compendium of the most notable alternative Worlds and Universes that have been speculated upon in some of our worlds most popular books, movies and games. There are a multiverse of proposed parallel universes & other continua out there... and in this quantum age each is just as likely as the next! Harbinger451 will be exploring them soon.
Parallel Universes (coming to the left soon) are worlds, planes and universes that somehow mirror, run parallel to, or are connected to - in time and/or space - with our own continuum.
Other Continua (coming to the right soon) are worlds, planes and universes that are completely separate and distinct from our own continuum and have no direct association (necessarily) with it.
What is a multiverse?
In its broadest sense a multiverse (or meta-universe) is a collection of multiple universes, any number of which could be very similar to or very different from our own and each other. Many types of multiverse (and universes within them) have been theorised and none, some or all could exist simultaneously either together or apart. Here is a list of the basic types of multiverse that could exist... maybe.
The Cyclic or 'Yo-yo' Multiverse:
What if our Universe is one in a potentially infinite series of expanding and contracting universes that each end in a big-crunch before spawning the next with another big-bang. This oscillating model of the universe means that every big-bang could reincarnate the universe in a slightly (or even drastically different) form.
Extrapolations of this cyclic model, using string- and M-theories, have proposed that the big-bang was due to a collision of two branes (or higher dimensional planes - each of which is, in essence, its own potential universe) causing the universe, as we see it now, to explode into existence on one of them. Potentially this collision would not just happen once though, but repeatedly over time causing a cycle of contracting and expanding universes, big-bang followed by big-crunch followed by big-bang and so on.
The Wider Cosmological or 'Bubble' Multiverse:
Our Universe is everything within the cosmological horizon... but what about beyond that horizon, are there a potentially infinite number of other universes out there in the great unknown "void" beyond our observable universe? If our Universe inflated suddenly like a bubble, surely others have done so also... many others, for when dealing with a potential infinity almost anything is possible and, to varying degrees, probable. So a vast and massively varied amount of other bubble universes almost HAVE to be out there... don't they?
This type or model of multiverse has largely arisen from the idea of eternal- or chaotic-inflation... in which an inflationary universe will just continue to inflate forever - filling a potentially infinite "void" - but with quantum fluctuations that can cause localised or regional differences in the rate of that inflation, producing various fractal consequences that can bring about bubbles of false vacuum, pockets of inflation collapse, or singularities spawning essentially new mini-universes existing within a dominant super-universe.
[This form of "infinite" multiverse now seems much more likely after the recent discoveries of the BICEP2 Project.]
The Black-hole Conduit or 'Real-time' Multiverse:
What if our Universe's cosmological horizon is the same as a black-hole's event horizon... but seen from within? That's right - you heard me - the Universe is just one super-super-massive black-hole (containing the whole of our space-time continuum) that exists within a much larger (higher-dimensional?) "Mother-universe". This Mother-universe will have many black-holes (as does ours), each of which will have their own universe inside. In a similar fashion the black-holes of our Universe may each have other universes within them. An Infinite Multiverse of universes within black-holes, within universes within black-holes, etcetera, etcetera. This could mean that each black-hole is a one-way door or conduit into another universe... so if you cross the event-horizon you get a one-way ticket from this universe into another - or, at least, you get a one-way ticket for the shredded particles that were once you.
If each universe is "seeded" with a new generation of universes, this allows for the evolution of universal models that change over time... the laws of nature change generationally with each new universe - and time becomes an overarching reality, not an illusion caused solely as a by-product of the fixed and unchanging natural laws of a single universe.
The Mathematical or 'Ultimate' Multiverse:
Mathematical possibility and probability provides an ultimate multiverse that contains every mathematically possible universe made manifest according to different laws of physics, varying constants and differing initial conditions. The rational behind this theory is - if something is mathematically possible it must exist... somewhere. If it can exist - it will... especially in an infinite multiverse.
The Quantum Split or 'Spooky' Multiverse:
The basic building blocks of our universe, the sub-atomic quanta, can be observed in a range of possible manifestations - each with a different probability or likelihood of appearing. What if each of these possible observations correspond to a different manifest universe - running parallel or parallax to ours on weirdly different, strange sounding, M-theory dimensions, strings or branes. At the quantum level all matter and energy may be linked, bound or entangled through time, space or extra dimensions with their counter-part quantile manifestations. Some or all quanta may exist in multiple places, times or dimensions at once. Many theorist's use these apparent spooky properties of quanta to extrapolate wormholes and the potential for gateways or portals to another universal place, time, or even parallel world.
The Time-streams or 'What-if?' Multiverse:
This extrapolation of the Quantum Split Multiverse stipulates that every random event has many possible outcomes and connotations - each with a different probability. A die throw has six possible outcomes, each leading to a slightly different but equally possible future. What if all those possible futures play out in different branching time-lines - each equivalent to a whole parallel universe ultimately leading back in time to the same initial causal event - whether its a Big-Bang or not?
The Dark or 'Mysterious' Multiverse:
The observable universe appears to be lacking a great deal when it comes to matter and energy. Where is it and what is it doing? We only know of (can see) about 5% of the matter and energy that should be in our universe. The rest we have labelled (for want of better terms) Dark Matter (27%) and Dark Energy (68%). What if this hidden unknown is beyond our normal perception, it occupies the same space or void but is on different continuum or continua, or has the same continuum but occupies a different space or void. These would not so much be different universes but would be quantum flip, dark or just other-world versions or slants of ours.
The Virtual or 'Matrix' Multiverse:
The computer simulated virtual worlds we can create are getting more and more advanced. Eventually we will be able to virtually simulate a world that is, for all intents and purposes, as convincing and 'real' as our own actually 'real' one. There could be multiple digital copies of these virtual worlds and in some they could create virtual worlds of their own - as we have. This of course begs the question - how do you know if the 'real' world you are in now IS the 'real' world and not just one of many created by a Cosmic Programmer trying out different scenarios? Also - it rears the soul-destroying prospect of being in a virtual simulation within a virtual simulation... within a virtual simulation... and on and on ad-infinitum.
The Speculative or 'Fictional' Multiverse:
Many gifted story tellers have created believable fantasy worlds as the imaginative stage on which their tales are dramatised. Any of them could be real in an infinite multiverse of possibilities. There could be a universe where those fictitious events took place. There could be a universe where H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos is real, there could be one where Game of Thrones is actually happening and there could be one where the Galactic Empire relies on the control of a very rare spice from an obscure desert planet called Dune.
There could be universes out there where any form of magic system is real, or where the Force from Star Wars is real, or really Gothic ones where ghosts, werewolves and zombies roam among us and the vampiric Count Dracula is an actual historical character.
As counter-intuitive as it may seem for a relatively scientific speculation on the nature of everything - in an infinite multiverse there could be universes where any connotation of the religious or philosophical beliefs that we have invented while on this planet Earth IS real and true... for me - that is the most terrifying possibility of all.
What is a universe and what types of universe are there? Coming soon!
Comment on, discuss and debate the Multi-Verse Digest or the types of possible multiverseHERE!
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The Elder-Scrolls Universe
A guide to Bethesda's Tamriel --------------------
The Eternal Champion Universe
A guide to Michael Moorcock's Multiverse --------------------
The Greyhawk Universe
A guide to the D&D world of Oerth --------------------
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