Physics Theories in the Context of Multiverse

Posted: 9 Oct 2017 Last revised: 1 Apr 2018

See all articles by Ivan Karpenko

Ivan Karpenko

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: October 9, 2017


The article analyzes the problem of physical theory nature and its criteria in the context of several concepts of modern physics. Such physical concepts allow multiple possible universes (the last usually happens to be a random consequence of the theory). Since the study requires several universe models, which basic principles (physical laws) can vary, the two theories have become the objects of analysis: the first, which includes the concept of eternal inflation, the second – the string cosmology (the string landscape). Both theories allow for a large variation of physical laws (no matter, whether these are fundamentally different physical laws or different versions of the same basic principles). The amount of dark energy (cosmological constant) has been selected as a physical law parameter, changing its value in possible universes.

The analysis of the physical theories, which allow a multiplicity of universes, has shown that the standard requirements for the theory, which connect its veracity with the criteria of observability and the need for validation of our universe basic principles, are not entirely consistent. Theoretical physics is moving towards the formulization of models that become a real (in some cases, apparently irresistible) challenge for experimental verification. The article proves that such verification probably can not be required in several physical theories, since, in particular, the postulation of this kind of connection between theory and reality is no more than a manifestation of anthropocentrism. The theory can also register some more common grounds, which lie beyond the scope of observation.

Keywords: philosophy of science, physical theory, physical law, eternal inflation, dark energy, anthropic principle

JEL Classification: Z19

Suggested Citation

Karpenko, Ivan, Physics Theories in the Context of Multiverse (October 9, 2017). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 154/HUM/2017, Available at SSRN: or

Ivan Karpenko (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017

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