The universe has been expanding since the beginning. Or so we believe.
Let me turn your eye to “Dark Energy”, theorized to be widespread across the universe filling all the spaces between mass. Its gravitational repulsion is thought by some to be responsible for the universes’ constant and exponential expansion. Of course, if the universe is expanding, it has to be doing it into somewhere. This simple train of thought leads to the Multi-Verse Theory. It presents that our universe is not a sole, infinite universe that comprises all that exists. Instead, it is floating in a space filled with billions of other universes which are also expanding at different rates, their physical laws and characteristics completely unique. This leaves us with the obliged question: what happens when two of these universes collide? A couple of scenarios are logical to answer this question:
One possibility would be that the larger universe— or the one with the higher density— would swallow the other, lesser universe whole. The deconstructed universe would rebuild itself inside its new host universe as radiation. In other words, the disassembling of a universe and its reassembly as simple energy. We’ll call this Universe Deconstruction.
This is the most destructive outcome.
Another possibility would be a merging of both universes where the stronger, dominant universe maintains its integrity as the physical rules of the weaker universe ripple through its space-time as anomalies. Two become a stranger, more complex One. We’ll call this Universe Appropriation.
The final theory could be a bounce-off collision. Both universes would collide, their edges rubbing against each other for a short period of time (maybe just a couple million years) and then separate. Some of the axioms, energies and particles of the colliding universe would permeate through into the other one, invading and disrupting all the existing dynamics within it. Some believe this has happened before (the CMB Cold Spot) and many of what we believe to be “normal” laws of physics, are actually inherited anomalies. The “static” nature of physical laws, much like cultural ones, is actually a constant flux. Our perception of “essence” the product of inherited anomalies. We could call this a Universe Repulsion.
Some questions remain.
First, the question of dimensions. What would happen if one of the universes had a dimension which vibrated at a frequency which would be impossible in the opposing universe? What dynamic could these essentially incompatible universes engage in? Then, there is the question of consequence. Would we, in our universe be able to detect these dynamics? Can we predict that this impossible dimension would be detectable as a series of phenomena that occur within the boundaries of the physical laws of our universe?
Second, the question of the multiverse itself. If our universe is floating in a “Space”, what are the characteristics of this Space and what and where is it, if these interrogatives even apply? Is the word Space even applicable? It is clear that when would be a ridiculous question since we are theorizing well beyond the boundaries of the present, past or future.
This multiverse containing maybe billions of universes, would itself have to exist and since it exists, it would forcefully have to be in yet another universe to contain it, which leaves us in an infinite philosophical loop. Maybe the characteristics of this “Multiverse Universe” are beyond that of our reality, with variables that we are unable to even conceive. Almost certainly, language is lacking to describe it.
But that is beyond the point.
In any scenario, it is probable that the consequences of a collision are not catastrophic for the evolution of lifeforms. Otherwise, it would have to be true that our universe is yet to experience this event in its existence. Unless, of course, lifeforms themselves are the consequence of the collision of an otherwise lifeless universe with another.
An inherited anomaly.
As science progresses, we will surely learn the answers to the questions that this theory presents. Unless, of course, we face extinction before we have the technology to tackle them.
Statistically speaking, the latter is likely.
Illustration: Smith’s Illustrated Astronomy (Cady & Burgess, 1849).