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If the multiverse theory exists, Where Are These Universes Coming From?


Thinking about bubbles in spacetime popping up with every quantum fluctuation can make one’s head spin. Cosmologist Andrei Linde sets upon the difficult task of explaining how fluctuating energy levels give rise to these new universes. He describes how they manifest unique qualities very different from our own universe, yet are able to exist harmlessly in adjacent space.

In addition to the multiple universes created by infinitely extending space-time, other universes could arise from a theory called "eternal inflation." Inflation is the notion that the universe expanded rapidly after the Big Bang, in effect inflating like a balloon. Eternal inflation, first proposed by Tufts University cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin, suggests that some pockets of space stop inflating, while other regions continue to inflate, thus giving rise to many isolated "bubble universes."

Thus, our own universe, where inflation has ended, allowing stars and galaxies to form, is but a small bubble in a vast sea of space, some of which is still inflating, that contains many other bubbles like ours. And in some of these bubble universes, the laws of physics and fundamental constants might be different than in ours, making some universes strange places indeed.

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