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A Mathematical Answer To the Parallel Universe Question

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the evil-twins-always-have-a-goatee dept.

Math 566

diewlasing writes to mention that Oxford scientists have proffered a mathematical answer to the parallel universe question that is gaining some support in the scientific community. "According to quantum mechanics, unobserved particles are described by 'wave functions' representing a set of multiple 'probable' states. When an observer makes a measurement, the particle then settles down into one of these multiple options. The Oxford team, led by Dr. David Deutsch, showed mathematically that the bush-like branching structure created by the universe splitting into parallel versions of itself can explain the probabilistic nature of quantum outcomes."

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Yes... (4, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732315)

...but this is only a valid answer in some parallel universe.

Yeah, yeah, I know it only affects physical outcomes. Laugh anyway. It's Monday.

Re:Yes... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20732351)

bitches come and go. we all know this is fake. there is one one reality.

dynamic shitposting (0, Troll)

R00BYtheN00BY (1118945) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732467)

Maybe you should have done a fucking search of the contents of the page before SHIT FUCK? Let's see, ctrl-F, type SCUTTLEMONKEY, yup - highlighted right there at the top. But no, you couldn't be bothered to do that. You had to jump in and start FAGGOT because your tiny little brain didn't BLACK PEOPLE. Have some sympathy for others and don't fucking post here ever again you stupid INJUN. I hope your MAILMAN gets LAID tonight.

Re:Yes... (4, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732665)

In some parallel universe you simply posted a link to goatse.

Re:Yes... (4, Funny)

Selfbain (624722) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732763)

And got a +5 insightful.

Re:Yes... (4, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732843)

And yet, no matter how many parallel universes there are, he still never gets laid. Where's the justice?

But in Bizarro World he gets ... (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 6 years ago | (#20733013)

blown by a gorgeous blond with a fabulous rack, an ass that stops traffic and a face that camera's love.

"She's got the face of an angel, the heart of a saint ... and the mouth of a two dollar whore"
  -Three Dead Trolls in a Baggy

Re:Yes... (5, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732797)

...but in that universe, goatse is a picture of a cat going "LOL I'm all up in Schrodinger's box. I can have tuna?"

Re:Yes... (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732775)

...but this is only a valid answer in some parallel universe.

Yeah, yeah, I know it only affects physical outcomes. Laugh anyway. It's Monday.
I guess Mondays are a physical invariant across all universes.

Re:Yes... (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 6 years ago | (#20733025)

Laugh anyway. It's Monday.

Not in MY universe.

Why is this news? (5, Informative)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732369)

It's just the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, and I don't see anything in the article that's a shocking new revelation about it. The article's just a rehash of an idea that's been around since the 50s.

Re:Why is this news? (2, Funny)

ShatteredArm (1123533) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732493)

Yeah, the article seemed to be a little lacking in the "mathematical proof" area.

Proof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20733039)

Put a gun to your head. Pull the trigger. If you are still alive, you have proved the many-worlds theory.

Re:Why is this news? (3, Insightful)

Kristoph (242780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732555)

Well, I am not a physicist, perhaps you are ...

  Commenting in New Scientist magazine, Dr Andy Albrecht, a physicist at the University of California at Davis, said: "This work will go down as one of the most important developments in the history of science."

I would image something that is 'one of the most important developments in the history of science' might qualify as news. Don't you think? Even if proven not to be 'one of the most important' it certainly qualifies for recognition based on that possibility, IMHO.

]{

Re:Why is this news? (3, Insightful)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732673)

The problem is that the brief news story was more focused on explaining what the Many Worlds hypothesis is to a lay audience and not really pointing out what the new breakthrough is really all about to a geek audience. Someone needs to link to science site and not a general news site.

Re:Why is this news? (4, Funny)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732677)

The moon landing was "one of the most important developments in human history", but that doesn't mean you should report it as news on slashdot forty years later!

Re:Why is this news? (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732731)

On top of that, the article is a terrible representation of quantum mechanics. It's about time people stopped referring to superposed states as if they were somehow less real than pure states. (And, of course, all the examples are fanciful macroscopic many-worlds ideas.)

But no, it doesn't provide much in the way of actual information, does it?

Re:Why is this news? (2, Insightful)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732777)

As described in this article, the factor they claim to have "proved" does indeed make no sense - I was under the impression that the many worlds theory was defined so that this branching tree structure could describe the probabilistic nature, such that this result is a direct consequence of the theory. But I must admit, I'm more of a practical physicist, the minutiae of the underlying explanations for quantum mechanical processes don't really affect me much - is there any kindly passing mathematician who can explain what might be interesting about this result?

Occam's razor (4, Funny)

Biff Stu (654099) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732839)

So they say they have a mathematical description of the parallel universe theory. One can construct a mathematical model that describes the geocentric solar system perfectly well, but the the heliocentric version is much simpler.

So, which is simpler?

(1) Shit happens.

(2) Shit happens. Parallel universes are created.

Re:Occam's razor (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732977)

Actually, I believe it would be something more like

(1) "Observation" somehow collapses the wave function and creates reality. Shit happens.

(2) Shit happens. Parallel universes are created.

Re:Occam's razor (2, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 6 years ago | (#20733029)

Occam's razor proves nothing (and is often wrong!). Phrase the question differently, which is simpler:

We're in the only universe, which just happens to be perfectly suited and tuned to our existence.
There's an infinite number of universes, and we're in one where we're possible.

Publication? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20732375)

The linked article doesn't indicate where this research has been published. Anyone know?

Re:Publication? (3, Insightful)

ZombieWomble (893157) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732593)

You honestly think they waited for this to be peer-reviewed and published before they belted out the press releases? That would mean they may be expected to provide some detail, which would be madness!

Seriously though, there's no sign of a citation from any of the people running the story (most of which are nearly identical, so they're probably just copying from the same press release), and there's no sign of it on arXiv or from a quick trawl of journal feeds, so it's a very good chance that it's either unpublished work, or a conference paper somewhere. Not surprising, given how many "most significant discoveries in the history of science" turn out to be much less dramatic under the cold hard light of review than when they're first reported.

Obligatory ... (5, Funny)

JeepFanatic (993244) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732383)

But can this explain why all the men have goatees?

Re:Obligatory ... (3, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732743)

Better they have goatees than goatse.

Re:Obligatory ... (1)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732919)

I'd like and explanation for the cowboy hats as well.

Is THIS the answer we're looking for? (0, Redundant)

Eberlin (570874) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732395)

maybe, maybe not...or both!

Yes, but can it answer the question... (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732399)

Does Spock have the beard in that parallel universe?

Parallel Universes conflict with Mind-Body Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20732401)

Think about it.

Re:Parallel Universes conflict with Mind-Body Prob (3, Funny)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732581)

Think about the "mind-body problem" Okay ...

I did ... and here's my solution. Basically, there are other branches where life sucks less, and others where life suck more, etc. I'm going to find the one where life sucks less and kill my alter ego so I can take their place!!!!!!!! (Of course, that means that there's ANOTHER me in an even suckier universe gunning for me, so better be quick!)

You'd better watch out - there may be a doppelganger of you looking to do the same thing...

Re:Parallel Universes conflict with Mind-Body Prob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20732927)

lol

[I am poster of GP]

Re:Parallel Universes conflict with Mind-Body Prob (2, Interesting)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732721)

Life is like a dream. You never die in your dreams. You never die in your observed life. You just die in alternate universes. This carries on until you reach the next plane of intelligence (wake up) whereupon you realize that there was no mind-body problem to begin with.

Fixed!

This is confusing (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732403)

So does this mean that the dog really did eat my homework (in another universe) and thus I'm not really telling a lie?

Re:This is confusing (1)

GammaKitsune (826576) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732477)

Yes, but your instructor will only give you an "A" in another universe.

Re:This is confusing (1)

smist08 (1059006) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732993)

Or as Terry Pratchett postulates: There is an alternate universe out there somewhere where all those checks really are in the mail and the post office is very very busy.

the answer? (2, Funny)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732415)

It happens to be that the answer to life, the universe and everything in that universe is 43

Re:the answer? (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732667)

Possibly, but what is the question? And has it been discovered for that universe yet?

Ummm . . . (4, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732419)

. . . so it "can" explain (mathematically) the outcome of quantum level observations using the many worlds theory. But is it falsifiable?

Re:Ummm . . . (1)

druske (550305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732531)

" so it "can" explain (mathematically) the outcome of quantum level observations using the many worlds theory. But is it falsifiable?"

Yes and no.

Re:Ummm . . . (1)

somepunk (720296) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732833)

Actually, it isn't technically "a theory". It is an interpretation of quantum mechanics, of which there are many, which all give the same (in)correct predictions.

Cheers!

Re:Ummm . . . (5, Informative)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#20733021)

This is a fairly subtle point, so I'm not sure that I'm going to explain myself properly... but here's my best shot:

The Many-Worlds [wikipedia.org] concept of quantum mechanics was originally presented as an interpretation of the theory. It was viewed by many as being ridiculous, or "non-economical with universes" as the joke goes. Work in fields like quantum decoherence [wikipedia.org] has, over the last few decades, helped to explain how "normal" (classical) states emerge from quantum superpositions. Decoherence, briefly, explains how a superposition of quantum states evolves deterministically (no randomness!) into a discrete set of pseudo-classical states (due to entanglement with the many degrees of freedom available in the "environment"--i.e. the universe at large). This extension to quantum mechanics has been tested experimentally and verified.

The remaining issue in a theory of quantum + decoherence is that the classical states have the right probabilities, but there is still nothing to explain why we observe a particular classical state (photon measured spin-up instead of spin-down). However the (ad-hoc) postulate of wavefunction collapse, no longer being necessary to explain how the probabilities arise, can in fact be entirely removed if we allow that the global superposition never collapses.

Thus, a local observer (e.g. an instrument or a human) perceives a single outcome only because they are a participant in this "global superposition" (the superposition of the entire universe). The wavefunction of the universe as a whole evolves deterministically.


Okay, that was a long-winded preamble, and I still have not answered your question. The answer is that the existence of multiple universes cannot be falsified per se. But, then again, in this formalism Many-Worlds is not an axiom: it is a prediction. Given that it is a prediction of a thoroughly successful theory, we should be compelled to accept the prediction as correct even if we cannot directly test it. We can, at least, test other predictions of the theory. In principle, we can test for superpositions as big as we like (superpositions of entire galaxies, etc.), but we cannot ever test that final prediction: that the universe as a whole is also in a superposition. But, if we've tested the theory in every other way, can we really "throw away" the final prediction about the global superposition?

Now, I know many of you will counter-argue that non-falsifiable predictions are not science, and should be ignored as metaphysics, or even "meaningless." Perhaps. But allow me to draw an analogy: One of the fundamental assumptions of science is that there is such a thing as "physical law." That is, we can extrapolate from one measurement to others. Put otherwise, we accept that the laws of physics are the same here as they are in a distant galaxy. Note that, because of the expansion of the universe and the speed-of-light-limit, there are some regions of the universe that we cannot ever explore (even in principle, assuming our current physics is correct). Thus, the prediction that "the laws of physics are invariant across the universe" is itself unfalsifiable, yet we generally accept it to be true.

Similarly, we need but extend this logic into quantum mechanics, where if assume that the laws of physics are the same everywhere in the universe (and everywhere within the wavefunction of the universe), then we should accept that the global superposition is probably correct: i.e.: Many Worlds "exist" (but are inaccessible to us). I agree that this conclusion is uncomfortable, but it appears inescapable given our current understanding of physics. (Note: As a scientist I'm of course allowing for the possibility of future measurements disproving some part of this logic--this is entirely based on our current understanding.)

As I said, the point I'm trying to make is not obvious. Hopefully I've not muddled it beyond understanding.

Well if you can't believe in God.... (2, Informative)

isa-kuruption (317695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732429)

Hey, if you don't believe in God because "you can't see him/her/it" then you can't believe in a parallel universe because, hey, you can't see it. Nor can you believe in dark matter/energy. /troll.

Re:Well if you can't believe in God.... (1)

loafula (1080631) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732541)

yes, but we see hard evidence dark matter. i'm still waiting on the slightest shred of evidence that suggests "god" actually exists

Re:Well if you can't believe in God.... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732765)

It's right here!

Damn. I didn't even type that statement above. That's what I get for using Emacs in fundamental-mode to type Slashdot messages. ;)

Re:Well if you can't believe in God.... (0)

db32 (862117) | more than 6 years ago | (#20733059)

Science never have and never will prove or disprove God. Science and Religion are entirely separate concepts and the "pro science/anti-religion" crowd is just as arrogant and ignorant as the "pro religion/anti-science crowd". Quite frankly it stuns me that these two groups don't get along better since they share so many traits. Both of these groups rely on an overly simplistic "angry 4yr old with a bucket of playdoh and crayons he used for creation" interpretation of God to prove their point.

I'm just gunna throw this out there...but...do you think...that maybe...just MAYBE...that anything that us humans are capable of figuring out (you know DNA, dark matter, gravity, etc) that "God" probably has a pretty intimate working knowledge of? Quite frankly I think the Anti-religion group are just weak minded anti-scientists trying to blend in with the crowd. To think...once upon a time someone said "I'm still waiting on the slightest shred of evidence that suggest that DNA/Atoms/Cells/etc actually exist".

That having been said maybe you can learn something from Francis S. Collins [go.com] talking about God and DNA.

Re:Well if you can't believe in God.... (1, Funny)

CaseCrash (1120869) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732559)

Sure you can. You can believe anything you want to. Making logical sense has nothing to do with it. (reference: see all religions)

Re:Well if you can't believe in God.... (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732767)

I'm sure this isn't enraged/disgusted response you were looking for, since you're admittedly trolling, but as an atheist I have to agree with you.

I don't believe in a personal god, and I consider the existence or nonexistence of a universal creator to irrelevant, as it cannot be known. Same goes for parallel universes. I won't believe in them unless or until we can interact with them in some determinable fashion.

And the whole dark matter/dark energy thing strikes me as a load of humbug... saying there must be some undetectable, magical force acting on all the matter in the universe because the calculations we've come up with so far are inaccurate strikes me as lazy and uncreative.

Re:Well if you can't believe in God.... (1)

maharvey (785540) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732883)

I consider the existence or nonexistence of a universal creator to irrelevant, as it cannot be known Doesn't that make you an agnostic, rather than an atheist?

Re:Well if you can't believe in God.... (1)

jx100 (453615) | more than 6 years ago | (#20733055)

Agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive. Atheism (well, weak atheism) is the lack of belief in a deity. Agnosticism is, as you point out above, the opinion that the existence or nonexistence of a deity cannot be conclusively proven either way. It is possible to not believe in the existence of a deity and believe that that nonexistence is not provable.

Re:Well if you can't believe in God.... (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#20733061)

saying there must be some undetectable, magical force acting on all the matter in the universe because the calculations we've come up with so far are inaccurate strikes me as lazy and uncreative.

You don't think that scientists are working to figure out a way to detect them? Currently, dark matter and energy are placeholders that people use while they characterize the anomalies that brought the concepts about. If we assume that *something* causes the anomalies, then we can study it until we know enough about it to try to detect it directly. If we refuse to even think about the whole thing because it's "uncreative", then we're never going to solve anything.

Good Luck with that Tag Line (0, Offtopic)

MutualDisdain (998780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732863)

As you can see, if your opinion differs from the status quo it is real easy to lose Karma. I miraculously lost 5 points on 4 different posts within the span of 3 minutes. Either several slashdotters banded together to overcome that number, or an Admin with unlimited points finished me off.

Re:Well if you can't believe in God.... (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732933)

I am an atheist but how would we know if God lit the blue touch paper for the big bang?

One question... (3, Interesting)

StandardCell (589682) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732431)

How does this reconcile with reality as we see it?

From my perspective, even if this mathematical "proof" is true, it is only true in the ontological sense, i.e. that these branches can happen and maybe do happen, but not in reality. Then again, I believe the entire basis for the universe is ultimately ontological but that's a different matter.

My point is that these alternate "universes" may only exist in infinitesimally-small times (possibly below the Planck time threshold) and then simply cease to exist again as compared with our reality in the next moment, moment after moment.

Re:One question... (1)

He Who Waits (1102491) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732589)

What causes these moments to cease to exist? Does the next moment replace the previous one?

If so, you're saying that reality is serial, not parallel (as the Many Worlds Interpretation would suggest).

Re:One question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20732889)

Oh sure when a mathematician proves it can be done we all laugh but when the engineers/physicists figure out a way to actually travel then we get all excited. :( We mathematicians are the place kickers of the science world while the engineers and physicists are the quarterbacks and halfbacks. Whose your favorite kicker? Euler!

Re:One question... (2, Funny)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732909)

I don't understand how you're using the word "ontology". Can you explain that some other way?

OT: near miss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20732441)

A motorist who has a near miss, for instance, might feel relieved at his lucky escape.
This term has always bothered me. If something is a "near miss," doesn't that imply that they actually hit?

Re:OT: near miss (1)

_14k4 (5085) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732527)

We, in the fire department (when driving our elevated platform aroudn town), use the phrase, "A miss is as good as a mile." Especially as an answer to the question, "Did you come close to that telephone-poll/car/sign?" :P

Re:OT: near miss (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20733069)

Not really. It's convetionally interpreted as "It was a miss, but a near thing." And convention generally trumps nitpickers. :)

You *can* use "near hit" and I believe the safety industry actually uses the two interchangeably. It might be one of those glass half full or half empty situations.

But it boils down to what it really was. Was it a hit or a miss, and what kind of hit or miss.

Here's how *I* would put it:
Near miss: Objects miss, but it was close.
Near hit: Objects collided in glancing blow.
Distant miss: Objects missed, we're not close, but maybe it's something to look into.
Distant hit: meaningless

And then there's:
Direct hit: Bang on target!
Direct miss: Meaningless outside of satire, :)

Right from wrong. (1)

He Who Waits (1102491) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732443)

I don't believe this. On the other hand, I do.

Re:Right from wrong. (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732875)

The word you are looking for is paradox.

Raises the question (2, Insightful)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732465)

If there are an infinite number of parallel universes for each possible quantum outcome, why do we only experience -this- one?

Re:Raises the question (1)

mfender9 (725994) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732529)

Because in all of the others, you are not posing this question.

Re:Raises the question (2, Insightful)

Teresita (982888) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732613)

Because in all of the others, you are not posing this question.

You got it 180 degrees out. The answer is the equivalent, but the reverse, of the Anthropic Principle. Every parallel universe also has copies of him asking that same question.

Re:Raises the question (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732537)

We need a gate to get to them and the last time we opened one we took out a big part of the power grid to open it. Now we use ZPM's and NAQUADAH GENERATOR's to open them.

Re:Raises the question (1)

cromar (1103585) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732565)

The particles that make up our being only "exist" in this dimension, to put it loosely. Ourselves in the other dimensions experience those dimensions, if indeed there are multiple dimensions.

Re:Raises the question (2, Informative)

EvilSpudBoy (1159091) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732651)

If there are an infinite number of parallel universes for each possible quantum outcome, why do we only experience -this- one?

Because you are in this one. If you were in a different one you would wonder the same thing.

That's the anthropic principle.

Re:Raises the question (2, Insightful)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732703)

How would you compare universes to be able to differentiate between them? How can you say which one you are experiencing? There is no "control universe" you can step back into.

Re:Raises the question (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732719)

I think what it is saying is our universe split like cells, at LEAST at every point you make a quantum measurement. You don't exist in a single universe, per se, but rather a long string of universes you used to be in, up to the point of the one you are in now.
 
So maybe underneath, this says something about what time really is.

Re:Raises the question (1)

He Who Waits (1102491) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732733)

One possibility is that Time's Arrow runs backwards, resolving a massive cosmic nest of wave functions (existing some time in the future) down into a singularity (existing some time in the past), and what we experience as Now is just the wavefront of that collapse.

Or not.

Re:Raises the question (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732861)

If there are an infinite number of parallel universes for each possible quantum outcome, why do we only experience -this- one?

It's only *us* experiencing this one.

We're punished for something, I just know it.

Re:Raises the question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20732901)

If there are an infinite number of parallel universes for each possible quantum outcome, why do we only experience -this- one?
Because all your experience is just a set of of electro-chemical reactions. Your "experience" is just the result of stimuli from this universe.
By the same token, we existed in the past, and exist in the future, but only "experience" the present.

Re:Raises the question (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732917)

If there are an infinite number of parallel universes for each possible quantum outcome, why do we only experience -this- one?
I could answer you, but I'm afraid it is equally likely that you are the one that doesn't receive my answer, so I won't.

Re:Raises the question (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 6 years ago | (#20733071)

How do you know you're only experiencing one universe? What if you're experiencing billions of universes and interpreting it as one for the sake of convenience?

Another version of this post in an parallel uni. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20732483)

An +5 insightful +5 funny post should be posted here.

So this universe (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732485)

Would it have senile felines? You know like schrodinger's cat!

Re:So this universe (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732735)

Schroedinger's cat may or may not have died of old age by now, depending on whether or not it survived the initial box/gassing experience. Somewhere in Vienna near Schroedinger's house, there is a gravesite which may or may not contain cat bones.

or... (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732561)

Or perhaps instead of having parallel universes, it's all one universe with segments separated by space/time. Of course we are a long way off from truly understanding this universal paradox.

On another note, why are scientists wasting their time with this when Sliders [wikipedia.org] solved this mystery for us over a decade ago?!

Look, just let me know when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20732629)

...the final count of parallel universes is calculated, so that I can finally create my multiverse transporter and kill myself in all parallel universes, thus making me the all powerful...

circular dependency (4, Insightful)

u19925 (613350) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732635)

There is a circular dependency here. The author assumes that the parallel universe interpretation is correct and then argues that if this interpretation is correct, then we can derive probabilistic nature of quantum of mechanics. All this means is that the parallel universe is a self-consistent theory. Nobody has argued against this for the last 50+ years.

The problem with quantum mechanics interpretation is that as of now, no interpretation exists which is not bizarre in our traditional world view. Parallel universe is just one of them.

Re:circular dependency (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732681)

The author assumes that the parallel universe interpretation is correct

      Ahh, but the parallel universe interpretation HAS to be correct because the mere fact that we think it's possible collapses the quantum waveforms and MAKES it possible - see?

      You are arguing about circular references in a circular, ok sorry "quantum", field...?

Oh great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20732653)

So now we don't even know what universe were in? Well it better be universe A damn it!

Can it be true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20732661)

The explanation is hardly paractical one. Mathematics is good at imaging imaginary universes. For example, it could plausible theory
that something which we can't see disappears or clone itself and then reassembles just before our eyes. Perhaps quantum universe just contain
enough inobservability to think we have multiple (and still multiplying) solutions to the "equation of the Universe".

Even if done right, mathematics explains nothing unless it prooves that solution found is the only possible one. Consider the following equation in natural numbers:

1 + x + y + z + 5 = 15

What is the solution to that? I've just discovered that x=2, y=3, z=4. It explains a lot of oddities we had.

We Need Space (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732689)

the bush-like branching structure created by the universe splitting into parallel versions of itself can explain the probabilistic nature of quantum outcomes.

But where are we putting all of them?

What is the name of the space that contains Universes?

Quit making so may decisions/observations lest we run out of space for all the different outcomes.

bush-like branching structure ? (1)

mozkill (58658) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732709)

well, it sounds like a proof based off an invalid assumption. the first assumption of "bush-like branching structure" needs to be proved first, and it isn't. how could it be?

Oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20732739)

Yet more abstract and unintuitive maths goes into propping up theoretical physics. I majored in maths but even so I can't see us making progress 'till we really *understand* this quantum shit. And that means intuitive explainations please people.

There Is No Chance (1)

yakmans_dad (1144003) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732753)

So, after every quantum time interval there are 2^(number of quanta in the universe) new universes being created. Each with an identical number of quanta in the exact location of the universe it split from. And this has been happening ever since Time began.

That's a lot of universes. You'd think that in one of them I could [fill in the blank].

1 = 2? (3, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732799)

Where does the energy come from to give existence to this second universe? This whole splitting of the universe thing seems common in physics, so I'm sure I'm not interpreting this correctly. It seems like there's entire universes being created because of the uncertainty of a single particle.

Re:1 = 2? (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732945)

Actually, the energy gets divided which is why I am so tired. Either that or it is Monday.

So why is it (1)

Anonimouse (934959) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732811)

i'm always in the universe where XP crashes? By rights i should also see XP perform smoothly and securely but that doesn't happen. Ever. I say bullshit!

Where is the paper? (3, Interesting)

kmac06 (608921) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732821)

I would very much like to find the publication of this, or least more details given by the authors if anyone can fine a link.

By the way, Deutsch is a well known physicist, not some crackpot. One of the first problems discovered to be theoretically sped up by a quantum computer is named after him (link [wikipedia.org] ).

omgz i made the number trees line up! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20732831)

dear researchers (read: ill-informed mathematicians & faux-losophers):

many worlds is the answer to a question that didn't need asking. why assume that superposition means that each state is uniquely there and existing, like a huge OR statement?

look. we get it, it's weird. a particle can't "spin" both ways. the cat can't be alive or dead. it makes your brain hurt, and keeps you up at night.

but you know what? i don't care. neither does reality. it's going to just keep on being whatever it is. and as far as we can tell, that is: things behave like waves. then we observe them, and they behave like particles.

why are you worried about the other possible states? you're just making a philosophical assumption, that they were there to begin with. just accept the fact that things can behave according to probabilistic models, and we can all get on with our lives.

an old chestnut... (4, Funny)

Speare (84249) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732849)

  • An engineer says that the equation approximates reality;
  • A physicist says that reality approximates the equation;
  • A mathematician simply doesn't care.

Blazing Universe (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732873)

Mathematically the bush-like branching structure created by the universe splitting into parallel versions of itself can explain the probabilistic nature of quantum outcomes. - The Oxford team, led by Dr David Deutsch

My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives. - Hedley Lamarr

Move Along, Nothing to See (1)

CyberGarp (242942) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732949)

This is yet another example of an academic discovering how easy it is to generate press. Math can prove that a mathematical system is consistent, and within that system can prove properties that result in that system. There are several wonderful mathematical models that describe physical phenomena with incredible accuracy. However, these models do not prove these properties, they just expose some relationships and properties of our world that are not necessarily obvious, and are useful in planning, engineering etc. The claims of "proof" of parallel universes is an abuse of the mathematical language.

Great! (1)

hanssprudel (323035) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732967)


Whose up for a game of quantum suicide?

ALL YOUR BASE (1)

AragornSonOfArathorn (454526) | more than 6 years ago | (#20732991)

ARE BELONG TO US. At least in this universe. In some parallel universe, Zero Wing was translated properly and AYBABTU never became an internet meme. Sucks to be them ;-)

Sliders (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 6 years ago | (#20733033)

What if you found a gateway to a parallel universe where you the same but everything else is different...I found the gateway

Recursive world problem (1)

davro (539320) | more than 6 years ago | (#20733057)

Pfft at Parallel Universe redirect to Many World theory (MWT) or relative state formulation, theory of the universal wave function

Assume the MWT theory is valid, if possible.

Question) Is the MWT valid in any of the parallel/many world's. If so then there could be a recursive world problem ?

One of MWI's strongest advocates is David Deutsch. According to Deutsch the single photon interference pattern observed in the double slit experiment, can be explained by interference of photons in multiple universes. Viewed in this way, the single photon interference experiment is indistinguishable from the multiple photon interference experiment.

Personally i thought Holly solved this problem back in October 11, 1988 with the Holly Hop Drive (a box with Start and Stop on it)


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