Physical Evidence of the Multiverse

by Max Andrews

A relatively recent paper was published[1] 23 December 2010, which claims we have good evidence for the existence of the multiverse.  The most we could conclude from this data is that we live in Max Tegmark’s level two multiverse.

I don’t want overstate the claims the authors make.  They suggest that it is evidence in favor of the existence of the “possible multiverse” but it must be corroborated with the upcoming Planck data.  You can read their method for how they came to their conclusions but the general key for bubble collision detection was using a specified algorithm for detecting temperature modulations that would occur in such events.


The signatures of a bubble collision at various stages in the analysis pipeline. A collision (top left) induces a temperature modulation in the CMB temperature map (top right). The "blob" associated with the collision is identified by a large needlet response (bottom left), and the presence of an edge is determined by a large response form the edge detection algorithm (bottom right). *AUTHORS' CAPTION

W-Band 94 GHz, the original source the authors used for their data


New Planck data have released since the publishing of the paper but they have specified that they are waiting on the seven-year survey so we shouldn’t expect anything too soon.  You can view the Planck one-year survey image below (July, 2010).


The microwave sky as seen by Planck. CREDITS: ESA/ LFI & HFI Consortia


As I’ve said before, I cannot dismiss the multiverse a priori, though I will certainly constrain my position respective to the evidence.  The multiverse is not an adequate objection to the argument from fine-tuning nor is it an objection to the kalam cosmological argument (perhaps a later post for an elaboration). I want to encourage everyone to be more open to the multiverse hypothesis because there is more evidence coming in that is supporting it (don’t get me wrong, there is contrary evidence that must be weighed as well).  What is beautiful about this whole situation is that cosmologists and theoretical physicists predicted the multiverse from mathematical equations (and no doubt philosophical presuppositions).  If the multiverse hypothesis is true it’s a beautiful discovery because we would have gone from pencil and paper with numbers to actually finding what was predicted by those numbers.  We do live in an elegant universe [per Brian Greene].

I’m looking forward to what contributions Planck may have in finding more physical evidence of the multiverse.

[1] Authored by Stephen M. Feeney, Matthew C. Johnson, Daniel Mortlock, and Hiranya V. Peiris.


6 Responses to “Physical Evidence of the Multiverse”

  1. It’s awesome to have the evidence laid out like this. Thanks for the post.

  2. Before Youall get too thrilled with this multiverse thing, did you know,
    that it was not originated by a cosmologist, astrophysicist, or astronomer ?

    It was invented by DC Comics in1956. YES Batman Superman etc

    If this comic book fantasy can be translated into a mathematical language and thrill scientists, it can probably be done with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Perhaps in some other universe would be the way to go, to be really convincing LOL

    • Actually, the idea of the multiverse goes back to the pre-Socratics so the claim that DC Comics invented it is just false. Also, Hugh Everett started is PhD dissertation prior to ’56 and published it in ’56 so I highly doubt he stole the MWI from DC in the same year, the last year of his PhD. People keep pointing the comic book thing out, which is great and all, but it really ignores the historical development of many worlds from the pre-socratics up through Origen, Thomas Aquinas, Kant, and modern times.

      Here’s more on the REAL history…:

  3. The large scale peculiar velocity of our Local Group of galaxies is not consistent with gravitation effect since not enough mass nearby. Neither is the Hubble expansion (enlarging ‘universe’) explained by gravitation. Hence is there something else going on – such as an array of multiple manifolds I.e. multiple surfaces, multiple 3-volumes?

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