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Multiverse - whose idea?

  1. Dec 9, 2003 #1
    Anyone know just who (and when?) came up with the term 'multiverse' to describe the parallel or multiple universe theories?

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2003 #2
    Nevermind, I just found the answer myself on Wikipedia:

    "The term Multiverse was invented in December 1960, by Andy Nimmo, then vice chairman of the British Interplanetary Society, Scottish Branch, for a talk on the Everett many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics which had been published in 1957, to the branch. This was given in February 1961, and the word with its original definition, "an apparent universe, a multiplicity of which, go to make up the whole universe" was then first used. This was because the then dictionary definition of the word 'universe' was, "All that there is" and one cannot have "Alls that there is" etymologically. 'Uni' means one, and 'multi' means many, so you can have many multiverses.

    The word was then both used correctly and misused in both scientific and science fiction circles over several years by those who attended the meeting and others. In the late 1960s science fiction author Michael Moorcock interpreted the word in a novel that was read by David Deutsch. Deutsch then used the term "multiverse" in a scientific work as the totality of all possible universes throughout time, including our observable universe- the opposite of its previous definition. Other scientists, not being etymologists, then picked up and adopted the popular redefinition of the word. "

    ...sorry, I should have looked a bit first, then posted.
  4. Dec 10, 2003 #3


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    im sure this idea was even before everret interpetation of quantum mechanics, i strongly believe the notion of idea was in sci-fi literature.
  5. Dec 10, 2003 #4


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    Although alternate history novels (what if Napoleon had won at Waterloo, etc.) already existed in the nineteenth century, the credit for a universe that branches at decision points is apparently due to Will F. Jenkins, an sf writer who published his story "Sidewise in Time" in the late 1930s. The idea quickly became a popular theme of sf.
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