Scientists around the world are debating the merits of competing theories regarding one very astounding possibility: the existence of parallel universes.
We can't see this clearly yet, but it may be that this universe is not the only universe; this life may not the only life we have. There may be another "you", another "me" somewhere out there in a different space-time.
It all comes from continuing explorations in the area of quantum mechanics and quantum theory.
At the turn of the century, when physicists were grappling with that thorny problem of whether light acts as a particle beam or as a wave, it became evident that the only solution is that light actually exhibits both qualities. It behaves either as a beam or as a wave, depending on the circumstances. A real paradox.
In came quantum theory, suggesting that all matter exists in a state of pure potential. Only when measured, does matter take a specific form. In other words, it takes on the form we expect to see, but only when we look for it. This is mind-boggling for those of us who are not physicists. At the basic level of atoms and particles, things could be in two places at once, and also move instantly somewhere else, seemingly defying the laws of physics as we know them.
It's all very heady, but quantum theory isn't new; it has been around for at least 80 years. Physicists have since moved on to working on elaborate mathematical models and experimentation. Now they no longer question the existence of dimensions other than the ones we can measure in this world. Their equations show many more dimensions are mathematically possible. The debate, then, revolves around which vision of these unseen dimensions is the most likely to be accurate. Some even wonder if our universe might one day collide with another.
Scientists are asking what the properties of these additional planes of existence might be and whether it may be possible to cross over from one to the other.
Recently, German physicists at the University of Koblenz conducted an experiment they claim shows sub-atomic particles doing just that; crossing over a barrier instantly, faster than the speed of light, something previously considered impossible. As you would expect, the data is being scrutinized very carefully.
Physicists and mathematicians continue to study these intriguing possibilities of matter and energy, with the aid of increasingly more powerful computers.
Now some are predicting we may eventually witness what was once just science fiction becoming scientific reality.
For more information, see:
Scientists find a way to measure multiple dimensions:
Special report on the quantum world: