Parallel Worlds exist and will soon be testable, expert says

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Is there another you reading this article at this exact moment in a parallel universe? Dr. Brian Greene, author of The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos, believes that this freakish quirk of nature may exist; and he discusses its amazing possibilities in this 3-minute TV interview.

A growing number of cosmologists agree with Greene that we are but one of many universes and at least one of these other worlds lies close to ours, maybe only a millimeter away. We can't see this world, because it exists in a type of space different from the four dimensions of our everyday reality.

    MIT's Max Tegmark believes this multiverse model of 'many universes' is grounded in modern physics and will eventually be testable, predictive and disprovable. "This is not sci-fi," he says, "its real science."

    As research at the CERN Large Hadron Colliderprogresses, scientists are talking increasingly of a "new physics" on the horizon, which promise to help researchers understand more of the unknowns about our universe. This new approach includes developing a better understanding of dark energy, a mystery force that some forward thinkers believe indicates that a 'sister' universe lurks in our neighborhood.

Written By: Dick Pelletier
continue to source article at ieet.org

63 COMMENTS

    • In reply to #1 by McCourt:

      Here’s my question: if this were true, would there really be TWO versions of me, or would there actually only be one version, that exists in two places at once?

      The difference is subtle.

      I think that is one of those questions, like the “if a tree falls in the forrest” or “which came first the chicken or the egg” that seem profound because they are imprecise questions and once you nail down the actual question they aren’t profound or subtle at all.

      So what does two versions of you mean in this sense? Two people who think exactly the same thoughts? Obviously that isn’t the case. Two people who are essentially interchangeable when it comes to various psychologic metrics we could use to evaluate beliefs and personality types? That all depends on how divergent the experiences of the two alternative universe individual are. And so on, if you clarify exactly what you mean by “two versions of me” it becomes a fairly simple question to answer.

    • In reply to #1 by McCourt:

      Here’s my question: if this were true, would there really be TWO versions of me, or would there actually only be one version, that exists in two places at once?

      The difference is subtle.

      The other would have a little goatee and be evil. Unless you yourself are already evil and bearded in this way, in which case the alternate version of yourself would be good and clean-shaven.

      Laurie isn’t the only female trekker.

      • In reply to #13 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #1 by McCourt:

        Here’s my question: if this were true, would there really be TWO versions of me, or would there actually only be one version, that exists in two places at once?

        The difference is subtle.

        The other would have a little goatee and be evil. Unless you yourself are already e…

        Or if you are a good hetero girl in one universe you end up an evil bisexual dominatrix in the other (Major Kira in DS9)

        • In reply to #16 by Red Dog:

          In reply to #13 by Katy Cordeth:

          In reply to #1 by McCourt:

          Here’s my question: if this were true, would there really be TWO versions of me, or would there actually only be one version, that exists in two places at once?

          The difference is subtle.

          The other would have a little goatee and be evil….

          Or an evil bisexual dominatrix vampire, even.

          It’s amazing to think that in an alternate universe a blink away from this one there could exist a version of myself who isn’t a borderline psychopath, hasn’t spent a lifetime using and abusing people, and would actually stop and help if she ran over a kid on a cold Christmas morning while taking her new motor car out for a spin… for example.

          Shudders

          • In reply to #17 by Katy Cordeth:

            Or an evil bisexual dominatrix vampire, even.

            Thanks for the pic, although I knew who you meant even before clicking. I can’t believe I forgot about her, that makes two good girls turned into bisexual dominatrix in the alternate universe, this is definitely a trend!

          • In reply to #17 by Katy Cordeth:

            In reply to #16 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #13 by Katy Cordeth:

            In reply to #1 by McCourt:

            Here’s my question: if this were true, would there really be TWO versions of me, or would there actually only be one version, that exists in two places at once?

            The difference is subtle.

            The other would have…It’s amazing to think that in an alternate universe a blink away from this one there could exist a version of myself who isn’t a borderline psychopath

            Borderline… ??….. Wouldn’t you just be the Wicked Witch of the East – And – the Wicked Witch of the West at the same time…? Tee Hee

          • In reply to #42 by Light Wave:

            In reply to #17 by Katy Cordeth:

            In reply to #16 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #13 by Katy Cordeth:

            In reply to #1 by McCourt:

            Here’s my question: if this were true, would there really be TWO versions of me, or would there actually only be one version, that exists in two places at once?

            The differenc…

            …Borderline… ??….. Wouldn’t you just be the Wicked Witch of the East – And – the Wicked Witch of the West at the same time…? Tee Hee

            I’ll get you, my pretty.

            And your little dog, too.

            (You will have to get a dog if you don’t already have one. A little one.)

    • In reply to #1 by McCourt:

      Here’s my question: if this were true, would there really be TWO versions of me, or would there actually only be one version, that exists in two places at once?

      Necessarily two versions at once, if the typical “many worlds” idea is correct. The “many worlds” theory says that the universe is constantly branching off — and at a rate so high that it involves numbers which are uncomfortable for human minds to think about. So there’s a pseudo-infinite number of “you” which are essentially the same (because the thing that branched them off wasn’t anything which has effected you yet), and a pseudo-infinite number of “you” which are similar but different enough to be recognizable (say, for example, you switched jobs a year ago), and a pseudo-infinite number of “you” which are barely recognizeable (you moved to another country shortly after being born, or lost an eye in an accident at the age of 2, or something else which would have a profound change on your life, but which happened after you were born and named), and a pseudo-infinite number of “you” which are not immediately recognizable but “fill the same space” (different sperm and egg cells met in the womb), and a pseudo-infinite number of “you” which are only vaguely “you” in the first place (born to a different pair of parents but have the same name as you and in the same place), and a much larger — but we’re dealing with such large numbers that it’s essentially pointless to specify this — number of universes where there is no “you” at all (no such place as your home town, your continent was never populated, humanity never evolved at all, the earth never formed in the first place, etc.)

      It cannot, however, be possible to arbitrarily send material objects to a parallel world, because if it were, then there must be a parallel world which already has that technology and decided to test it by putting a 1-ton lead weight in what turned out to be exactly 1 foot above your head one minute ago. (Yes, the universe would have bifurcated into versions where that failed and where it didn’t, but it’s an infinite regression: for EVERY bifurcation, there must be a parallel world which accidentally killed you via lead weight tuned to that bifurcation.) Therefore there MUST be some kind of limitation to what can and can’t be done with this, whether it’s “only information can pass” or “sending things through requires a very rare set of circumstances which are much more likely to arise by deliberate action, so in effect we have to wait for someone to build a matching portal on the other side”.

      • That part about the lead weight doesn’t make much sense : yes, in some universes this would have happened, but given the number of possible universes, the chance would be small that it happened to this universe, and it would be even less likely that it just happens to be over someone’s head.

        In reply to #14 by The Vicar:

        In reply to #1 by McCourt:

        Here’s my question: if this were true, would there really be TWO versions of me, or would there actually only be one version, that exists in two places at once?

        Necessarily two versions at once, if the typical “many worlds” idea is correct. The “many worlds” theory says…

    • In reply to #1 by McCourt:

      Here’s my question: if this were true, would there really be TWO versions of me, or would there actually only be one version, that exists in two places at once?

      The difference is subtle.

      I always had a problem with the idea that because there might be an infinite number of universes there must be a replica of me.
      An infinite set does not necessarily contain ‘everything’, for example the set of rational numbers does not contain PI, nor does it contain more than one zero. Someone with better maths than me may be able to explain why the physicists come to this conclusion.

      • In reply to #20 by Stuart Coyle:
        >

        I always had a problem with the idea that because there might be an infinite number of universes there must be a replica of me.

        Well, if for “balance” there was an “anti-me” and your matter shook hands with its anti-matter when you met – BANG!

      • In reply to #20 by Stuart Coyle:

        I always had a problem with the idea that because there might be an infinite number of universes there must be a replica of me. An infinite set does not necessarily contain ‘everything’, for example the set of rational numbers does not contain PI, nor does it contain more than one zero. Someone with better maths than me may be able to explain why the physicists come to this conclusion.

        I’ve had similar thoughts. Actually, you raise an interesting question that I don’t know the answer to, perhaps someone reading does, how many alternate universes are there? Is it infinite or just a really, really large number? I thought it was not infinite but I’m probably wrong. And if it is infinite what sort of infinity is it? That isn’t a crazy question, there are two types of infinity from a math perspective: countable and uncountable. The reals are uncountable and the integers are countable. You can map an infinite number of countable sets into an uncountable set.

        • In reply to #27 by Red Dog:

          Actually, you raise an interesting question that I don’t know the answer to, perhaps someone reading does, how many alternate universes are there? Is it infinite or just a really, really large number?

          I think this is an “exactly how long is the coast of Australia?”-kind of question. You can always make it longer by using a shorter measuring stick. What counts as a universe? You can vary the position of a particular particle as little as you like and call it a different universe.

          • In reply to #35 by Nigel S:

            In reply to #27 by Red Dog:

            Actually, you raise an interesting question that I don’t know the answer to, perhaps someone reading does, how many alternate universes are there? Is it infinite or just a really, really large number?

            I think this is an “exactly how long is the coast of Australia?”-kind…

            I don’t know the Australia thing but there is a big difference between saying “a really large number” and “infinite”. And I would be surprised if there isn’t a definite answer. You can still do math on equations with infinity in them but in my experience (which is I admit pretty basic when it comes to math) you never have a variable where you say “that’s either a really big finite number or infinite”, it’s got to be one of the other. If it’s infinite you can still do various operations, find ways to cancel out the infinity, find the limit of the formula as the variable approaches infinity, etc. But you can’t do any of that stuff if you don’t even know whether the number is infinite or not.

            I looked up “many worlds” on Wikipedia though and it said the many worlds are “a very large number, possibly infinite”, so you might be correct.

          • In reply to #39 by Red Dog:

            I don’t know the Australia thing but there is a big difference between saying “a really large number” and “infinite”. And I would be surprised if there isn’t a definite answer.

            There can’t be any definitive answer to the question of the length of the coastline of Australia. See the Coastline Paradox.

            The idea in Many Worlds is that every particle exists in all possible points in space simultaneously, and since there are infinitely many points in space, technically there must be infinitely many universes, but at some point they will be indistinguishable from one another by any reasonable measurement. Should an alternative universe that’s identical to ours except for one single atom deep inside Mount Everest really by considered a separate world? Can there be a definitive answer to that?

            It’s not saying that there couldn’t be different versions of you in an alternate universe but rather of all the billions of billion of possible alternate universes the chance that if you could move into an alternate it would be an alternate with another you in it, that chance is infinitesimally small.

            Okay. But it’s worth thinking about that if time-travel is possible (big if), it’s really traveling into an alternative universe if you change anything in your past.

      • In reply to #20 by Stuart Coyle:

        I always had a problem with the idea that because there might be an infinite number of universes there must be a replica of me. An infinite set does not necessarily contain ‘everything’, for example the set of rational numbers does not contain PI, nor does it contain more than one zero

        There are only so many ways you can put atoms together. I guess it’s logically possible that you can throw a die infinitely many times and get a six only once, but it’s more reasonable to expect a lot more sixes than that, I think.

        • In reply to #33 by Nigel S:

          I guess it’s logically possible that you can throw a die infinitely many times and get a six only once, but it’s more reasonable to expect a lot more sixes than that, I think.

          Actually, I don’t think that is possible unless the die is rigged but I think you are missing the point. It’s not saying that there couldn’t be different versions of you in an alternate universe but rather of all the billions of billion of possible alternate universes the chance that if you could move into an alternate it would be an alternate with another you in it, that chance is infinitesimally small.

  1. Christian apologists appalled by the threat the multiverse idea poses to their “one universe perfect for human life=proof of God” have dismissed the multiverse as the atheists “escape hatch” from the fine-tuning argument. They are suggesting that we do not really believe it possible, but accept it on “Faith” to deny the “fine-tuning” argument.

    They are, of course, wrong. I am not a scientist, but when I first heard the multiverse concept (while waiting in line to see the “Graduate” in 1968 (then a new idea that I heard it from a girl whose boyfriend was an astronomy major)), I was startled. But after a little thought, I realized it is the idea of one universe that is hard to believe. Multiple universes is a much more intuitive concept. One of anything is what is inconceivable. Remember? One sun? No. One galaxy? No. And so on.

    • In reply to #2 by PeterDunning:

      Christian apologists appalled by the threat the multiverse idea poses to their “one universe perfect for human life=proof of God” have dismissed the multiverse as the atheists “escape hatch” from the fine-tuning argument. They are suggesting that we do not really believe it possible, but accept it o…

      As if we need other universes to refute that argument. Of course this one is fine tuned to create and sustain life as we know it, or we would not be here to observe said universe! Another universe with vastly different circumstances will be just as perfectly tuned to the life it creates as this one is to us.

      And don’t even get me started on the premise that this universe is in fact perfect for humans. Have you ever seen “Bad Universe”?

    • In reply to #2 by PeterDunning:

      Christian apologists appalled by the threat the multiverse idea poses to their “one universe perfect for human life=proof of God” have dismissed the multiverse as the atheists “escape hatch” from the fine-tuning argument. They are suggesting that we do not really believe it possible, but accept it on “Faith” to deny the “fine-tuning” argument.

      +McCourt @1

      For the sci-fi concept of parallel universes running alongside each other, with another “you” living in one or more, both universes would have to be incredibly “fine tuned” and predestined, as ANY variation would multiply up over time to make them very different.

    • In reply to #6 by groo:

      it is not testable yet?
      It’s not science yet.

      I think that is far too rigid a definition of science and one that if various scientists through history had adhered to would have stood in the way of many interesting discoveries. It is perfectly acceptable to develop a theory for something that we may not yet have the technology required to test.

      What is not acceptable is when you have a theory (e.g. Freud) that is theoretically immune from testing, i.e., no matter what the result on any experiment the theory is flexible enough to come up with an explanation that fits any data. A theory that is that flexible in reality provides no explanatory benefits and is not science. But it is quite feasible that we can develop theories that we may not be able to test due to various limitations, e.g., we don’t have technology sophisticated or accurate enough.

      Actually, the theory of relativity is a good example of something that for most of history would have been untestable because humanity lacked the technology to do measurements accurate enough to validate it. Luckily, technology kept pace with Einstein but if he had come up with his theory a few decades earlier it could have been criticized at that point as “untestable”.

    • All I said was that the multiverse premise is easier to accept than a one-universe concept because experience has shown that whenever humans have assumed only one of a type of thing exists, they have been proven wrong. An infinite regress is, for me at least, incomprehensible.
      In reply to #8 by dave7444:

      Peter Dunning doesn’t what your saying suggest an infinite regress.

  2. I can imagine a conversation between me and, well, me as we first meet. Two voices together, “Wow. This is really weird. How did you…No you go first. This isn’t going to work is it?”

  3. I happen to know for certain that builders live in a parralell universe; rather like my not being able to see infrared light, they can’t see plant life, and in consequence they almost invariably crush and smash it to death.

  4. I actually have a serious question, for once; for me. Though a non-science bod, I’m familiar with the idea that every decision one makes will result in an alternative universe’s being created. This would mean there were literally trillions of universes being created every second. Gazillions actually, given this is happening on a subatomic level rather than being dependent on whether we decide to go for the chocolate or vanilla ice cream or whether we caught or missed the tube, a la Sliding Doors.

    So, if all these alternate realities are popping into existence every nanosecond, that means they have to be sort of reaching back fourteen billion years or thereabouts to the time of the Big Bang and recreating it. A newniverse can’t just piggyback off the one it was created from. It doesn’t get to say “Na it’s all right, the one I came out of handled all that planet forming, continental drift, evolution stuff.” It has to have – it has to have had have – its very own Big Bang.

    I get that the universe could have come from nowhere, but where in the name of God is the energy for all these alternate cosmoses arriving from?

    Don’t tell me… it’s turtles, isn’t it?

    • In reply to #21 by Katy Cordeth:

      I get that the universe could have come from nowhere, but where in the name of God is the energy for all these alternate cosmoses arriving from?

      There are no new universes being created. The idea is the whole universe is in superposition all the time. Here’s a good explanation.

    • In reply to #21 by Katy Cordeth:

      I get that the universe could have come from nowhere, but where in the name of God is the energy for all these alternate cosmoses arriving from?

      That may not be a problem as it is possible that the total energy content of the universe is zero. This explanation is from Stephen Hawking’s book “The Theory of Everything”, “Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less [positive] energy than the same two pieces a long way apart, because you have to expend energy to separate them against the gravitational force that is pulling them together, Since it takes positive energy to separate the two pieces of matter, gravity must be using negative energy to pull them together. Thus, “the gravitational field has negative energy. In the case of a universe that is approximately uniform in space, one can show that this negative gravitational energy exactly cancels the positive energy represented by the matter. So the total energy of the universe is zero.”

      So, if the one universe we’re actually aware of is the ultimate free lunch it doesn’t take any more energy to offer an infinite number of extra courses.

      Or, of course, it’s turtles…..all the way down.

      • In reply to #26 by Katy Cordeth:

        In reply to #23 by newmac:

        Could we really have copies of ourselves in another universe?

        Yes

        From the standpoint of fiction though the idea that if you zapped into an alternate universe there would be another version of you is what I think is insanely improbable. I think that’s the point. Quite possibly it could be a universe where the laws of nature didn’t even enable the complex molecules required for life. But even if it was and there was an earth that had humans etc. the chance that there might be another you would be very unlikely unless you imagine some kind of teleological guidance in the universe zapper. But of course there are all sorts of convenient plot devices like that in Science fiction. It makes the stories more interesting and I’m always in favor of anything that increases the prevalence of bisexual dominatrixes in a story.

  5. The article states “as the Andromeda galaxy, 2.2 million light-years away is speeding towards the Milky Way at 200,000 mph.”
    This is not news – but how can this be…. if all galaxies are supposed to be expanding ‘away’ from each other at increasing speeds ?
    can towards and expand away both occur at the same time ?…surely one or the other is correct….

    Since there are multiple stars and multiple galaxies its logical to assume that there should be multiple universes – but I don’t see how another universe should be an identical copy or mirror opposite to this one…unless universe have twins but even then wouldn’t they be slightly different…I know twin pulsars exist but do twin galaxies ?

    • It is quite possible. The expansion of the universe is measured by the average velocities of galaxies. Galaxies move in all sorts of directions but those further away from us are moving, on average, away from us faster.

      In reply to #34 by Light Wave:

      The article states “as the Andromeda galaxy, 2.2 million light-years away is speeding towards the Milky Way at 200,000 mph.”
      This is not news – but how can this be…. if all galaxies are supposed to be expanding ‘away’ from each other at increasing speeds ?
      can towards and expand away both occur at…

  6. The chances of me existing in this universe are very small. All my ancestors had to meet and have sex. I find it absurd that if multiverses exist that the one next door will have a parallel version of me. Sorry that is stretching things too far. I can accept that there could be a multiverse next door that also had a big bang moment, but probably not 4.3 billions years ago and not with a parallel me.

    • In reply to #38 by KeithSloan:

      The chances of me existing in this universe are very small. All my ancestors had to meet and have sex. I find it absurd that if multiverses exist that the one next door will have a parallel version of me. Sorry that is stretching things too far. I can accept that there could be a multiverse next doo…

      Exactly.

    • In reply to #38 by KeithSloan:
      >

      The chances of me existing in this universe are very small. All my ancestors had to meet and have sex. I find it absurd that if multiverses exist that the one next door will have a parallel version of me. Sorry that is stretching things too far. I can accept that there could be a multiverse next door that also had a big bang moment, but probably not 4.3 billions years ago and not with a parallel me.

      My understanding of this parallel worlds business, all of it gleaned admittedly from science fiction, is that a new reality pops into existence every time there are two or more possible options; two roads diverging in a yellow wood as Robert Frost would have it. We take the fork to the left, but in another, unseen universe, newly created, we also go down the one on the right, and the two versions of us then go on to have all sorts of merry adventures, each of them blind to the other’s beingness. In reality, were this to happen it would be occurring on a subatomic level rather than in the sort of scenario I just described, and all the time.

      If that is how these things work, I think you would struggle, as the inventor of some sort of dimension-hopping device, to find a reality which didn’t contain another you, presuming you had it set to take you to universes in the reverse order in which they were created, if you get my drift; working backwards from the newest.

      Set the thing to ‘random’ and it’s a whole ‘nother ball game, but the worlds splitting off from our one would be depressingly, boringly familiar. You could travel from one to the next from now until doomsday without coming across anything even remotely novel.

      If, on the other hand, all these alternates burst into being at the same time as our own, fourteen billion years ago, everything you said about the possibility of there being another you would no doubt be true.

      • *In reply to #49 by Katy Cordeth:

        We take the fork to the left, but in another, unseen universe, newly created, we also go down the one on the right, and the two

        Perhaps my aversion to this sort of scenario is due to the implied ‘purpose’ of everything. I’m just a collection of atoms in my thinking, so another universe or alternate reality in which ‘I’ make completely different decisions along with everyone else seems to suggest that somehow what I do is of consequence.

        • In reply to #52 by Nitya:

          *In reply to #49 by Katy Cordeth:

          We take the fork to the left, but in another, unseen universe, newly created, we also go down the one on the right, and the two

          Perhaps my aversion to this sort of scenario is due to the implied ‘purpose’ of everything. I’m just a collection of atoms in my thinkin…

          The classic split universe scenario (as in Terry Pratchett’s Trousers of Time) is that each time a choice is made the consequences of each choice is played out in a separate, parallel universe. Of course, one of the many issues with that is what defines ‘choice’. Would such a split happen over a choice of, say, which trousers to wear? How could a universe ‘know’ this?

          So instead of choices it would have to be at the most indivisible points of potential probabilities; the movement of atoms. But atoms do not have choice. A question I would like to ask is that although the movement and behaviour of atoms on a quantum level is described by probabilities, is there any scope for an atom behaving differently than it might (and therefore causing a parallel universe split)?

  7. I have received great enjoyment reading the books of Brian Greene. I plan to order this book, The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos. Dr. Greene writes popular science books which include accessible explanations of complex theories and hypotheses. (but he has even been called a “pseudoscientist” by a few commenters on this website for one of his more provocative interpretations of the theory of special relativity}

  8. I expect to be castigated as a scientific heretic by saying this, but when highly speculative areas come up, I get nervous. There seems to be an opening for various peddlers of woo can slip in the notion of miracles or an extra dimension or two. I’m happy to let Lawrence Krauss et al, beaver away until they have a proof that can be communicated to the rest of us, but until then I think the prospect of parallel universes existing entangled with the our own seems to be a bit like religion ( without the cast of characters).

    • In reply to #45 by Nitya:

      I expect to be castigated as a scientific heretic by saying this, but when highly speculative areas come up, I get nervous. There seems to be an opening for various peddlers of woo can slip in the notion of miracles or an extra dimension or two. I’m happy to let Lawrence Krauss et al, beaver away u…

      I always think it’s a mistake to worry about how stupid or evil people are going to misinterpret something. Stupid and evil people will twist things no matter what, the way to deal with that is to point out how they are twisting arguments but once you start worrying ahead of time that some hypothetical argument may get twisted this way or that you end up wasting a lot of time on a pointless exercise. Science needs to go where the theories and data take us and we should discuss things based on that not on how ignorant people may misinterpret the idea.

      • In reply to #46 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #45 by Nitya:

        I always think it’s a mistake to worry about how stupid or evil people are going to misinterpret something. Stupid and evil people will twist things no matter what,

        You are right of course. The gullible are going to be fooled by far flimsier notions that these. Perhaps, if I analyse my feelings about the existence or not of any parallel universes, my antipathy stems from the fact that I have an ‘other-worldly’ reaction to the proposition, never mind anyone else. I happily embrace the thought of a multiverse, but baulk at the suggestion of a universe being played out within millimetres of the one I’m experiencing.

        When evidence comes to light, showing that this is definitely the case, I’ll accept it. Until then, I reserve judgement.

        • In reply to #47 by Nitya:

          In reply to #46 by Red Dog:

          In reply to #45 by Nitya:

          I always think it’s a mistake to worry about how stupid or evil people are going to misinterpret something. Stupid and evil people will twist things no matter what,

          You are right of course. The gullible are going to be fooled by far flimsier n…

          I feel the same way about the idea. I find it fascinating and I love the possible ways you can use it in fiction but my gut reaction is that it doesn’t seem plausible and the more I understand it the less plausible it seems.

          One thing I’ve never understood is that it seems to me the theory violates all sorts of other physical laws about conservation of matter and energy in that it implies new universes are constantly being created out of nothing.

  9. In reply to #48 by Red Dog:

    One thing I’ve never understood is that it seems to me the theory violates all sorts of other physical laws about conservation of matter and energy in that it implies new universes are constantly being created out of nothing.

    That was the problem I had with it. Nigel S furnished me with a link in his comment #30, but it was over my head.

    Here is the link again.

    • In reply to #50 by Katy Cordeth:

      In reply to #48 by Red Dog:

      One thing I’ve never understood is that it seems to me the theory violates all sorts of other physical laws about conservation of matter and energy in that it implies new universes are constantly being created out of nothing.

      That was the problem I had with it. Nigel S…

      Thanks to Nigel for the link and thanks for posting it again. Now it’s all absolutely clear to me! No, not really but that article did help.

  10. I’m not much knowledgeable in physics at all, but isn’t the “many worlds interpretation” just that – an attempt to “objectively” interpret the “waveform collapse” in quantum mechanics? That is, it doesn’t actually add anything new to the theory, which stays exactly as is, it just gives us another way to “settle” the bizarreness of the whole thing in our heads. Unless I myself have…misinterpreted the MWI entirely, in which case, go ahead and correct me :)

    • In reply to #55 by JoxerTheMighty:

      That is, it doesn’t actually add anything new to the theory, which stays exactly as is, it just gives us another way to “settle” the bizarreness of the whole thing in our heads.

      That’s right. MWI merely takes seriously the observed fact that progressively larger objects are found to exist in superposition. There doesn’t seem to be an obvious limit, so why not the entire universe exactly?

      Proponents of the Copenhagen-interpretation say something must happen at some point as the size of quantum mechanical systems increases to force them to exist in only one state, but they have no idea at which point or what that something is. It’s tempting to echo Quine earlier in this thread. Got evidence?

      • In reply to #56 by Nigel S:

        In reply to #55 by JoxerTheMighty:

        That is, it doesn’t actually add anything new to the theory, which stays exactly as is, it just gives us another way to “settle” the bizarreness of the whole thing in our heads.

        That’s right. MWI merely takes seriously the observed fact that progressively larger…

        Comment (by “Shoe”) which got the most ‘recommends’
        from
        http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/dec/29/scientists-favourite-jokes

        Heisenberg and Schrödinger are out for a drive when they get stopped by the police. The policeman asks Heisenberg “Sir, do you know how fast you were going?” and Heisenberg says “No, but I know where I am!”. Confused, the officer says “Sir, you were doing 80 mph”, and Heisenberg throws his hands in the air and huffs “Great, now I don’t know where I am anymore!”.
        The policeman thinks something is going on, and orders the pair out of the car so that he can search it for contraband. He looks under the seats, in the glove compartment, in the back, and then walks around the car and opens the boot. He stares into it for a moment, turns to Schrödinger and says “Sir, did you know there’s a dead cat in here?!”, so Schrödinger rolls his eyes and snorts “Yeah, we do now!”.

  11. Many commenters seem to assume that time is shared across the many universes and thus things can exist or happen “at the same time”. But would time not be “local” to every universe? Is it not equally (un)true to say that all universes “happen” one after the other?

    • In reply to #60 by tomvdp:

      Many commenters seem to assume that time is shared across the many universes and thus things can exist or happen “at the same time”. But would time not be “local” to every universe? Is it not equally (un)true to say that all universes “happen” one after the other?

      That’s a good point. Actually even saying that things happen “at the same time”, that I can correlate my “now” with the now of someone on a planet a million light years away is incredibly problematic as Briane Green discusses in one of this books. Minor differences in velocity that would be trivial in terms of the effect on time measurements for objects relatively close to each other can become huge at massive differences. Green does a thought experiment where he describes how the “now” that would correspond to someone millions of light years away would be wildly different if for example they were driving in a car or not.

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