THE multiverse is gone, long live the multiverse. A far-reaching new view of observing quantum mechanics proposes that even the multiverse will come to an end. A general understanding of the multiverse says that our universe is only one of an ever-inflating crowd of separate "bubble" universes. These bubbles are everlastingly budding off new universes even as separate universes age and die.
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But a new vision of quantum effects – the idea of Sean Carroll at the California Institute of Technology and his coworkers – dares this picture. It is also possibly very beneficial for quantum theorists, as it does away with some pointed problems that presently dog cosmology, counting a particularly mysterious paradox concerning ghostly consciousnesses known as "Boltzmann brains". Carroll's vision originates from a fresh way of viewing random motions known as quantum fluctuations.
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