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What is the Multiverse?

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Multiverse theory suggests that our universe, with all its hundreds of billions of galaxies and almost countless stars, spanning tens of billions of light-years, may not be the only one. Instead, there may be an entirely different universe, distantly separated from ours — and another, and another. Indeed, there may be an infinity of universes, all with their own laws of physics, their own collections of stars and galaxies (if stars and galaxies can exist in those universes), and maybe even their own intelligent civilizations.

It could be that our universe is just one member of a much grander, much larger multitude of universes: a multiverse.

The concept of the multiverse arises in a few areas of physics (and philosophy), but the most prominent example comes from something called inflation theory. Inflation theory describes a hypothetical event that occurred when our universe was very young — less than a second old. In an incredibly brief amount of time, the universe underwent a period of rapid expansion, “inflating” to become many orders of magnitude larger than its previous size, according to NASA.

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