The Curious Case of Time Travel, Parallel Universes, and Alternate Dimensions
Why is time travel so complicated, and is it even possible? Are there other universes in “space” apart from ours, and what exactly is the meaning of alternate dimensions? Here’s what we know so far.
The truth is we are still not entirely sure how our reality functions. Although complicated, physics is doing its best to make things more understandable to the general public, but nonetheless remains complicated for most to understand.
The late Professor Hawking was excellent in explaining complicated scientific subjects to the general public, and many of his books have brought science in an understandable way to the masses.
In this article, we will discuss, among other things, the subject concerning parallel universes and dimensions beyond the three that are familiar to us, in a perhaps equally understandable way.
How did we come up with the idea of higher dimensions?
General relativity explains how the force of gravity, large-scale stars, and galaxies behave, while quantum mechanics describes how small atoms, subatomic particles, and three fundamental forces interact.
However, it’s hard to bring these theories together because each seems to have very different rules that govern the level they observe.
Einstein made one of the primary efforts to solve this dilemma in the 1940s by postulating String theory, which claims everything is made up of 1-dimensional strings in a universe with extra dimensions.
This was the first step in better understanding why large-scale objects and gravity behave differently than small particles.
These theories have in common that they propose a reality based on 10 or 11 dimensions. Well-known physicist Michio Kaku believes this to be precisely the kind of reality we live in.
What’s hidden in these higher dimensions?
In the early 20th century, scientists formulated the theory of dark matter because galaxies’ motions didn’t match the calculations based on known gravitational theories.
According to previous calculations, some galaxies would have floated apart, or they couldn’t form in the first place. They seem to be tied together by some unseen matter, which makes up 85% of our universe. Some theories suggest this invisible matter exists in the extra dimensions.
Are there parallel universes?
According to the theory of the multiverse, each time we make a personal decision, a parallel universe is created where this decision plays out. In another parallel universe, we might have made a different decision with different consequences.
This also seems to be the case with quantum particles making arbitrary decisions under scientific observation. Not only is it possible that there’s another almost identical universe to ours where the particle acted differently than here, but it’s also possible such parallel universes are interacting with our own.
Where are these extra dimensions and parallel universes?
Trying to understand the interactions of a 4-dimensional hypercube will be a difficult task for a layman. It might be easier to explain the 11 dimensions in the following way; As human beings, we are trapped in 3 spatial dimensions plus the fourth “time “dimension. What we call “time “is a “line “in the 4th dimension. We are moving from dot to dot on this line in a single forward direction, from one moment to the next.
We can move through 3-D spaces more or less as we wish, but we can’t do so through the 4th dimension. If we could hypothetically be in the fifth dimension, then time (“line “) and all its moments (“dots “) would become as freely movable space to us – we could go forward into the future and backward in the past as we wish.
In the 5th dimension, we might see our entire life’s timeline from birth to passing away, all at once in front of us, just as if it were a spatial object.
If we hypothetically looked at things from the 6th dimension, we would see all different possible timelines of events in our universe as a single space across which we could travel.
In the seventh dimension, we could go to a universe with a different set of physical laws, in the 8th travel between all such possible universes, in the 9th navigate between all possible timelines in all possible universes.
Finally, in the 10th, all possibilities would exist, even things seemingly impossible in our universes.
So the question is, will we ever be able to travel to these extra dimensions?
It’s a tool that helps us keep track of past events to calculate future happenings and support our logical decision making in the present.
Through our imagination, our brain tries to visualize possible timelines in case we make different decisions.
We may even imagine a universe with different physical constants. In a way, our brain helps us imagine higher dimensions.
Perhaps, developing technology will make navigating through parallel universes a bit easier?
According to John D. Barrow’s revised Kardashev scale measuring, the developmental phases of civilizations are as follows: type 1 – capable of building structures, harnessing the energy of its planet; types 2 and 3: manipulating genes and molecules, uses the energy of stars and galaxies; type 4, 5 and 6: manipulating atoms, quarks, creating complex artificial life and harnessing the energy of the entire universe; and finally type Omega: capable of manipulating the multiverse, space and time.
Is there any civilization in our universe that managed to become type Omega?
The strange thing is that over 40 billion planets in our galaxy alone could support life, as per astrophysicists. For the last 50 years, we have made serious efforts to try and pick up any radio or communication signal from an advanced civilization but to no avail.
So far, there seems to be no trace of any highly technological species whatsoever. As scientist Enrico Fermi famously asked, “Where is everybody? “
Ancient civilizations often told stories about immortal intelligent deities such as gods and angels who seem to be outside the dimension of time, traveling through space instantaneously and assuming shapes according to their wish.
They are even said to have created humans. Could this be a written record of type Omega civilization that mastered the multiverse and creation of complex artificial life?
We may never know.