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B Is anything possible in the many worlds interpretation

  1. Nov 30, 2016 #1
    In the many worlds interpretation of Qm, is there one universe in which I am a horrible murderer, for example?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 30, 2016 #2


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    Gold Member

    After you commit (theoretically) your first horrible murder the universe will split another infinity times. So there will be an infinite number of them.

    Whether you do this or that in some alternative universe is not specified by the interpretation, which leads to much (pointless) argument.
  4. Nov 30, 2016 #3


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    Lol... also, maybe ?... there is one universe in which you are just a horrible murderer, for example? [COLOR=#black].[/COLOR] :devil: [COLOR=#black]..[/COLOR] :oldtongue:
  5. Nov 30, 2016 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    It depends. The MWI says that, whenever a measurement is made on a quantum system that is in a superposition of eigenstates of that measurement, the universe splits into multiple copies, one for each eigenstate, i.e., one for each possible measurement result. (Here "result" doesn't just mean the new state of the system, but the state of the measuring device, of all the people who observe the device's output, etc.) So for there to be a universe in which you are a murderer, there would have to be some kind of quantum measurement process like that involved in the events that led up to your being a murderer, or not, depending on how the measurement came out.

    The assumption of many MWI proponents seems to be that the above is an obvious consequence of the MWI, but I'm not sure. There is an ongoing discussion in another thread on this topic; here is a recent post of mine there:

  6. Nov 30, 2016 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    I should also mention that there is another issue here, namely, what defines "I" in this hypothetical? In other words, suppose that there is some alternate MWI branch in which there is a horrible murderer; how do we know that that murderer is "you"? Presumably that person will have a very different personality and history from the "you" that posted the OP in this thread. So what makes them count as the same person?

    This is not really a question of physics, or at least not solely a question of physics. But I bring it up for completeness.
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