The Multiverse

The Multiverse, a word familiar to all. Something frequently cited in popular culture, especially in science fiction films, literature, and television programs. With its depictions of parallel realms, other realities, and varied universes that exist outside of our own, it grabs the viewer's attention. This idea has grown commonplace in storytelling because it offers a blank canvas on which to explore the limitless possibilities and the unknown. The universe never ceases to amaze and motivate viewers on a variety of media platforms, whether it is presented as a limitless source of adventure or as a mirror of existential concerns.

But, what is this “Multiverse”? An unproven theory of the existence of alternate universes where every choice, every event unfolds differently across the separate realms. This notion challenges conventional thinking, encouraging us to consider our place in a vast, interconnected tapestry of existence. 

In simple parlance, “multiverse” is a totally different world where you did something your other self turned a blind eye to in the other timeline. An alternate universe where you might have been born as the opposite gender or maybe another timeline where you could have been an animal or perhaps a non - living being, the possibilities are limitless. Boundless universes resulting in endless timelines with infinite versions of you all interconnected by the existence within the same overarching multiverse structure. This implies that every version of you belongs to the same overarching reality or framework, even though each universe within the multiverse may have different physical laws, properties, or configurations. Therefore, the commonality lies in their shared context within the multiverse concept, despite their individual differences.

Something we all wonder about is whether the 'multiverse' is something that truly exists or is it just used in films to grab our attention? Exploring this idea pushes us to think about what's real and what's just theory in physics.

Although the existence of the multiverse has been theorised by some cosmologists and physicists, there is currently no clear observational evidence to support this theory. The nature of the fundamental constants of the cosmos and the quirks of quantum mechanics are only two of the many unanswered physics-related topics that researchers are still exploring, and which may be explained by the concept of multiverse. The authenticity of the multiverse notion is still being investigated and debated by scientists using theoretical frameworks and observational studies. 

The sci-fi film "Everything Everywhere All at Once," which came out in 2022, may be the most entertaining explanation of the multiverse and how it functions. The storyline of "Everything Everywhere All at Once" revolves around Evelyn, the owner of a laundry, who finds an old relic that allows her to travel to several universes. Evelyn meets Jobu Topuki, who plans to destroy the multiverse but also acts as a mythical guide who assists Evelyn in navigating the multiverse, together with her husband Waymond and their daughter Joy. As she struggles with this newfound power, she gets entangled in a cosmic struggle between multiple realities, facing a variety of incarnations of herself and coming across odd and dangerous beings. The movie emphasises self-discovery and interconnectivity by fusing comedy, action, and existential concerns. The film presents a profound investigation of embracing one's real self throughout endless possibilities inside the universe through visually captivating narrative.

Or perhaps a well known movie, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”, the groundbreaking animated sci-fi film released in 2018 that explores the concept of the multiverse within the Spider-Man universe. Following the life of Miles Morales who gains spider-like abilities after being bitten by a radioactive spider. As Miles navigates his new powers, he discovers a device called the "Super Collider" built by Wilson Fisk (Kingpin), which opens portals to alternate dimensions. This leads to multiple versions of Spider-People from different universes, including Peter Parker, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Peni Parker, and Spider-Ham, getting transported to Miles's universe.

Using a variety of Spider-Man incarnations, each with their own origins and aesthetics, the movie deftly investigates the idea of the multiverse. For the Spider-People to escape Kingpin's scheme and get back to their own universes, they will have to cooperate. The visual beauty and dynamic experience of the film are enhanced by the animation style, which mirrors the diversity of the characters and dimensions. In the end, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" emphasises themes of bravery, diversity, and the impact of self-discovery while celebrating the notion that anybody can don the Spider-Man mask.

The concept of the multiverse, while grounded in scientific theory, is nonetheless exciting and theoretical and forces us to consider the size of the world and the possibilities that lie outside of it. The multiverse, whether depicted in movies like "Everything Everywhere All at Once" or "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," provides a backdrop for investigating various realities and existential issues. The concept of multiverse remains mostly theoretical, however there are several concepts and hypotheses within theoretical physics and cosmology that suggest its existence. Direct observational proof of the multiverse still stands elusive. 

One of the many concepts that suggest its existence is the well known theory called “Many world interpretation” which suggests that every potential outcome of a quantum event exists in its own universe. According to this understanding of quantum physics, the cosmos breaks into several branches, each of which represents a potential outcome, whenever a quantum event with several possible outcomes takes place. When a coin is flipped, for instance, it may land tails up in one reality and heads up in another. According to this hypothesis, there are a plethora of parallel universes, each with a unique interpretation of reality.

Another is the “Bubble Multiverse, ” where several of the ‘bubbles’ or universes coexist because distinct areas of space - time may have distinct fundamental constants or physical rules. This hypothesis proposes that our universe is one of several bubbles or "pocket" universes floating in a bigger, higher-dimensional space. Each bubble could have a unique set of physical laws, constants, and characteristics. The various bubbles may even collide or interact with one another, producing traces in the cosmic microwave background radiation or other visible phenomena.

Although scientists are still debating whether the multiverse is physically real, its appeal is due to the issues it brings up regarding identity, free will, and the essence of reality itself. In the end, the multiverse encourages us to be curious, question our assumptions, and consider the wonders that might exist outside the bounds of our own reality. The multiverse continues to be a lighthouse for exploration as we travel through this cosmic adventure of discovery, encouraging us to consider the seemingly endless possibilities that might be found within the fabric of existence.
Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. The editorial team includes Chubamenla, Asst. Professor Dept. of English and Rinsit Sareo, Asst. Manager, IT, Media & Communications. For feedback or comments please email: