The Big Idea: Parallel universes and other dimensions

- Every day some seven billion people roam planet Earth. People moving through time. Through space. But what if there was more than meets the eye: additional dimensions or perhaps another universe, entirely?

We're talking about the possibility of parallel universes: entire worlds, existing independently of ours, and alternate dimensions; areas of time or space that could exist within our current universe.

This summer, the Netflix sensation "Stranger Things" brought these to life. A little boy named Will Byers is caught in a parallel universe -- the world of the upside down. This is Hollywood. But it is in fact a real theory supported by real science.

According to Cal Tech researcher Dr. Ranga Ram Chary these possibilities, appear to be illuminated by anomalies in scientific data. It starts with the radiation, left in wake of the big bang theory. Images show some spots brighter than others. Researchers think that this may be due to a collision with an alternate universe with completely different physical properties than our own. But the problem is it is right at the edge of the cutting data and we need to get much better data at different frequencies to test that hypothesis.

In fact, according to Dr. Chary these alternate universes may actually be failed universes, dimensions where the ratio of matter and vacuum energy, two vital properties, may be vastly different than what we see in our universe.

In the show "Stranger Things," Will Byers' friends want to access his parallel universe to bring him home, but they can't. The kids are told it would take a massive rip in the atmosphere to bring will home.

It is part of a theory put forth by Columbia physicist Professor Brian Green.

The fascination with parallel universes and alternate dimensions stretches a hundred years or more. Newton, Einstein, and those who followed have attempted to determine what lies beyond the mathematics and if those worlds be accessed. That reality is still a ways off. But these physicists believe there is reason to persist.

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