Some big news came out recently about potential proof of cosmic inflation. I’d never heard that term before, but once I read about it and realized what it suggests I got pretty excited.
For anyone that hasn’t heard about this yet, here’s an excerpt from a Space.com article by Miriam Kramer that deals with what I’m referring to (emphasis added by me):
“The first direct evidence of cosmic inflation–a period of rapid expansion that occurred a fraction of a second after the Big Bang–also supports the idea that our universe is just one of many out there, some researchers say.
On Monday (March 17), scientists announced new findings that mark the first-ever direct evidence of primordial gravitational waves–ripples in space-time created just after the universe began. If the results are confirmed, they would provide smoking-gun evidence that space-time expanded at many times the speed of light just after the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.
The new research also lends credence to the idea of a multiverse. This theory posits that, when the universe grew exponentially in the first tiny fraction of a second after the Big Bang, some parts of space-time expanded more quickly than others. This could have created “bubbles” of space-time that then developed into other universes. The known universe has its own laws of physics, while other universes could have different laws, according to the multiverse concept.”
The latest discovery in science could be evidence in support of theories that our universe is only one among many. As a writer, this is one of the most thrilling pieces of news I’ve heard in my life. I certainly do not understand all of the complex physics involved–though, really, does anyone truly understand it all?–but I know something awesome when I see it. For anyone who’s ever wondered about what might be out there, scholars are finally beginning to approach those questions. Obviously, this is all very new and none of it has been conclusively proven. This is sort of a big deal, so I do expect that more research will be done to either deny or confirm it.
We’re talking about the possibility of infinite worlds. Just think about that word for a second: infinite. As with anything, people are bound to have wildly varying reactions to this news. How does this fit into your worldview: as a individual, as a member of a religious or secular community, or as part of a family? I think that’s a question that more people will start to ask as scientists continue to delve into the mysteries behind the creation of our universe. Discoveries like this can have far-reaching effects, and not just in the world of science. This could mean many things to many people. What could it mean for you?
For me, this is like a lightning bolt of encouragement. I spend a lot of time considering what it would mean to be part of a multiverse. I tend to think that it’s the most likely scenario for our existence, even if science can’t definitively prove it one way or the other. I think it’s only a small leap from the idea of an infinitely expanding universe to the idea that said universe is not alone. This is what inspires me to write stories, to tell tales of people struggling with their own lives against the backdrop of an infinite expanse of life. There’s an interesting dichotomy that this approach presents: a character’s life can be filled with events which, in their own world, are momentous, but these same events are miniscule when viewed as part of the fabric of something much larger.
Maybe, somewhere, there’s another version of me sitting in front of his computer and writing a blog like this one. Or maybe writing a blog about music or sports. Maybe somewhere out there I became a teacher, like I once thought would happen here in our world, or maybe somewhere I learned to be a carpenter like my dad. Perhaps there’s somewhere out there where I was never born, and never will be. There might even be millions of worlds like those, each one as similar or as different as you could possibly imagine.
I believe all of those worlds could exist, and so many more than I could ever hope to think of even if I lived for a hundred-thousand lifetimes. The boundaries of what we consider to be ‘real’ and what we call truth may be as subjective as someone’s favorite color. Anything is possible.
Do you see why I want to write fantasy and science-fiction stories?
This is a great time to be a writer.
What do you think? If you don’t mind, please take a second to answer the poll. I’m curious to see what others think about this subject.