All Headline News
The End Is Coming - For One Of Yourselves

February 23, 2006 10:00 p.m. EST

Andrea Moore - All Headline News Staff Reporter

Fairfax, Virginia (AHN) - According to a controversial new analysis, researchers say our universe may one day be obliterated or assimilated by a larger universe.

The work suggests the parallel universes proposed by some quantum theorists may not actually be parallel, but could interact with disastrous consequences.

Robin Hanson of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia says, "This is what the math suggests if you take it literally." But the idea that "every microsecond, the universe splits into a bunch more universes boggles the mind."

Hanson is taking a new approach to the "many worlds" interpretation, arguing that multiple universes are not actually independent, as was thought, but interacting and sometimes destructive.

Quantum theory states that all universes are not created equal - each "parent" universe is much larger according to a particular quantum measure than its later descendants. Hanson says, the interactions can "smash or mangle the small worlds." He believes the small universes would be either destroyed or assimilated by the large universes, like specks of dust colliding with a planet.

Hanson's theory suggests the universe we live in now could be mangled at any moment by a larger universe. He says, "It could be there's a moment of pain before the end. But you could be comforted by the fact that versions of you will go on, even if you don't."

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