Reality and super-reality: properties of a mathematical multiverse

Alan McKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ever since its foundations were laid nearly a century ago, quantum theory has provoked questions about the very nature of reality. We address these questions by considering the universe—and the multiverse—fundamentally as complex patterns, or mathematical structures. Basic mathematical structures can be expressed more simply in terms of emergent parameters. Even simple mathematical structures can interact within their own structural environment, in a rudimentary form of self-awareness, which suggests a definition of reality in a mathematical structure as simply the complete structure. The absolute randomness of quantum outcomes is most satisfactorily explained by a multiverse of discrete, parallel universes. Some of these have to be identical to each other, but that introduces a dilemma, because each mathematical structure must be unique. The resolution is that the parallel universes must be embedded within a mathematical structure—the multiverse—which allows universes to be identical within themselves, but nevertheless distinct, as determined by their position in the structure. The multiverse needs more emergent parameters than our universe and so it can be considered to be a superstructure. Correspondingly, its reality can be called a super-reality. While every universe in the multiverse is part of the super-reality, the complete super-reality is forever beyond the horizon of any of its component universes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453–478
Number of pages26
Early online date8 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Reality
  • Super-reality
  • Multiverse
  • Mathematical structure
  • Emergent properties


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