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Physical cosmology
WMAP 2010.png
Universe · Big Bang
Age of the universe
Timeline of the Big Bang
Ultimate fate of the universe

A multiverse (or meta-universe) is the theory of a set of multiple possible universes, including our universe, which make up reality. These universes are sometimes called parallel universes. A number of different versions have been considered. They all have the same weakness: there is no known way these ideas can be tested.

You can think of universes as "bubbles". When two of these "bubbles" collide they may have caused the big bang. They can also separate to form two smaller universes.

The term "multiverse" was coined by psychologist William James.[1]


  1. James, William 1895. The Will to Believe, and earlier in 1895, as cited in OED's new 2003 entry for "multiverse": 1895 W. JAMES in International Journal of Ethics 6 p10. "Visible nature is all plasticity and indifference, a multiverse, as one might call it, and not a universe".