Parallel Universe/Time Travel Theories: Multiverse Theory

Recently, two friends and I got talking about differing Universes in Doctor Who, which led to one of the theories about time travel/space/relativity that people seemed split about. We talked about a bunch, but the one that we spent the most time on was the Parallel Universe/Multi-Universe Theory- the idea that the world is comprised of infinite universes based on choices/general outcomes alone. It’s one of the most popular and heard about theories- the one that relates to the question “What if…?” or “If I had/hadn’t done _____, what would’ve happened?”.  It’s a Hollywood favorite as well, spawning movies like Sliding Doors , Next and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, along with many TV shows. On a darker note, it’s also what comes from “survivors guilt” (“What would’ve happened if I got hurt/died instead of this person/these people?”) While I can’t exactly recall who said what, I can essentially draw out the example one friend and I used, which may help clear the theory up for those who don’t understand it.

When you have to choose between three things, going with one of the three choices creates three different universes.  Let’s take picking up various household objects into consideration  since that’s what my friend and I used to describe it. Let’s say You have a glass of soda, a TV remote, and a magazine in front of you. There are two different ways you can look at this/you’re already looking at two ways this situation could create parallel universes. .One,  just using the remote as the example, one universe is created where you don’t pick up the remote, but another is created where you if you do pick it up. Then comes the second way-  if you pick up the remote instead of the glass or the magazine, you create a different universe for choosing the remote over the other two, and another for choosing one of the others over the remote, and so on.

For fellow visual learners, take this into consideration. We’re about to revisit tree diagrams from middle school math class:

Overall, the idea is that every little thing that happens, intentional or not, creates a new universe- you move one way, you hurt yourself, you turn one way on a two way street, you say something- your world is always splitting up into separate universes every moment as you go along. One could consider that as you’re reading this, there’s now another Universe going on outside of this one that  a) I never made this blog entry, and/or b) you never read this. Get it?

As a whole, the number of  multi-universe/parallel universe theories are near endless. I plan to continue describing more of them, as well as visiting those dreaded time travel theories, but I figured make what I assume is the simplest first.