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May 31, 2014 AT 1:00 am

How Futurama Gets Science Right With Parallel Universes (Sort Of) #SaturdayMorningCartoons

How Futurama Gets Science Right Sort of Photos Discovery News

Futurama on Parallel Universes. via DNews

In the season four episode “The Farnsworth Parabox,” Professor Farnsworth invents what appears to be a simple box, but inside the seemingly ordinary box is a parallel universe. The idea of consecutive (as opposed to parallel) universes was also explored in the sixth season episode “The Late Phillip J. Fry” in which Fry, Bender and the Professor take a time machine to the end of history only for their universe to reemerge in a subsequent Big Bang.

The idea of parallel universes, also known as a multiverse, may provide ample fodder of fiction, but it’s a question that both philosophers and physicists have wrestled with for over a century.

String theory, commonly known as a “theory of everything,” and other competing theories of quantum mechanics envision a world of multiple dimensions — and possibly parallels universes — beyond what we can observe.

Scientific American has devoted entire issues to the possibility of a multiverse. Although astronomers are able to see about 42 billion light-years into our cosmic surroundings, they have no reason to believe that’s where our universe ends — or that there aren’t other universes out there in which the same laws of physics apply.

Whether parallel universes exist in their own bubbles our own, whether life exists on those parallel universes and what that would mean for our understanding of our own nature — as well as whether they have their own version of “Futurama” — are questions waiting to be answered.

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