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Multiverse

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Definition: The multiverse is a theoretical framework in modern cosmology (and high energy physics) which presents the idea that there exist a vast array of potential universes which are actually manifest in some way. There are a number of different types of potential universes - the many worlds interpretation (MWI) of quantum physics, braneworlds predicted by string theory, and other more extravagant models - and so the parameters of exactly what consitutes the multiverse is different depending on whom you speak to. It's unclear how this theory can actually be applied scientifically, so it's still controversial among many physicists.

One application of the multiverse in modern discourse is a means of invoking the anthropic principle to explain the finely tuned parameters of our own universe without recourse to the need of an intelligent designer. As the argument goes, since we are here we know that the region of the multiverse in which we exist must, by definition, be one of the regions that has the parameters to allow us to exist. These finely tuned properties, therefore, require no more explanation than explaining why humans are born on land instead of under the ocean surface.

Also Known As:
  • multiple universe hypothesis
  • megaverse
  • meta-universe
  • parallel worlds
  • parallel universes
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