Imagine you have a television remote that wasn’t just a television remote. What if this remote could also change the universal channel, and even switch to other dimensions. Don’t like this dimension? Sick of all the paperwork your boss keeps harassing you about? No problem, just switch over to another dimension. Even take a holiday there for a while, once you’ve had enough, just press a button and you’re back home in your own dimension. Brings a whole new meaning to the term “channel surfing” right?
Of course the reality of this awesome device would only be possible in the distant future. But scientists are already laying down the foundations to make this a reality, thanks to the fourth level of parallel universes and M-Theory.
This level of parallel universes and dimensions could exist in the same space and time as our own, there could be a lion sitting right where you are now, in another dimension of course. There could theoretically be an infinite number of the dimensions existing like layers on all around us. Hard to imagine? Think of your television, you can see and hear everything that’s on one channel because your television is tuned to that frequency. But that doesn’t mean the other channels no longer exist, they still exist and carry on as they always have, in the same space and time as the rest of the channels, you just aren’t tuned to any of them, and therefore cannot see them. So what if there possibly thousands of worlds around us, living breathing creatures, fireballs from a volcanic eruption, even an alien invasion happening all around you, but you’re just not tuned to that dimensions frequency? It’s a spectacular realisation with endless possibilities.
Physicists believe these extra dimensions and universes could actually exist, and they may be created by either quantum fluctuations, or by “Branes” Smashing together. These two concepts are incredibly complex in their own respects, and I won’t go into much detail. But for now lets just picture two pieces of paper, one on top of the other, separated by a few millimetres. These two pieces of paper are blowing around in the wind and eventually these two pieces of paper will collide in different areas. Now imagine these pieces of paper are each a parallel universes or “Branes”, and that each collision creates a new universe or Brane. This is a simplified explanation for this part of M-Theory.
So how can we tell if these extra dimensions really exist? Surprisingly scientists are using Quantum Mechanics, the study of some of the smallest imaginable particles, smaller than even atoms, to prove the existence of an entire universe.
The Quantum world is an indefinite and chaotic world full of all sorts of weird and wonderful particles, from electrons and protons, to all manner of unimaginably small objects. None of which seem to know what they’re doing. According to Quantum Mechanics, an electron, the particle that carries electricity, can be in two places at the same time. Other particles can appear out of nothing in one spot, then completely disappear into nothing and reappear out of nothing somewhere completely different. But lets just focus on those electrons for now.
An electron is described as being in many different places at once, in parallel states. Now, we know our whole universe was once smaller than an electron and if an electron can be in different places at once in parallel states, then the universe must also exists in many places at once in parallel states. Once you realize that, then you inevitably get parallel universes, there’s simply no other choice.
Scientists are currently trying to either confirm or disprove this theory using giant particle accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, and the Tevatron Collider at Fermi-Lab. Using these massive scientific machines, they are trying to find the Gravition, the particle they believe is responsible for carrying gravity.
Gravity as we all know it, is what’s responsible for breaking our phones when we drop them. But gravity also serves a greater purpose, it holds the planets of our solar system in orbit around the sun, as well as the moon orbiting the Earth. It even keeps the entire milky way together. But in spite of all that, it’s actually an incredibly weak force. The simple action of lifting your pen off the desk has overcome the force of gravity. So why is gravity so weak? Scientists believe that gravity is so weak because gravitons are capable of jumping to other dimensions. So by using a particle accelerator to smash particles into each other at close to the speed of light, they are hoping to see the graviton go into the other dimension, or more specifically, not see it.
Surprisingly they hope to confirm the existence of the graviton, by never even seeing it. It’s actually a simple method of looking for something based on th concept that if all other possibilities have been exhausted, whatever is left must be the answer, no matter how implausible it may be. The theory states that if they smash a Proton and an Anti-Proton together, they will create an intense ball of energy, within which particles will come from the remains of the protons. These particles however only live for billionths and even trillionths of a second. But scientists don’t think they’ll ever actually see the graviton, because it would have already escaped to another dimension at the exact moment of the impact.
So how can we prove the existence of something we can never see? In order to answer this question, scientists are hoping to put these particle collisions back together, and if there’s any unexplained or missing energy once its all back together, that would most likely be the missing graviton. The logic behind it is that at the very instant of the collision, the graviton will escape to another dimension, and therefore will not be detected by the equipment. Its like getting a jigsaw puzzle with a missing piece, except in this case, a missing piece is what you want.
If the scientists at the particle colliders can find (or should I say lose) these gravitons, it may very well confirm the theory that we are surrounded by extra dimensions and universes. Of course there is a lot more work to be done before such a radical theory could be confirmed. But if it ever is, it would bring about massive changes to how we perceive the world around us. But could we ever travel to these extra dimensions and universes. It may be possible if we could focus enough energy at a single point in space, to tear a hole in space itself and create a wormhole to a parallel universe, or perhaps we could change our tuning to that of the other dimension’s frequency? unfortunately no-one really knows, there are theories and models both for an against this idea, but with the advances in modern physics, science is seriously considering the possibility of extra dimensions and Parallel Universes.