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MWI bugging me

  1. Nov 16, 2007 #1
    I'm a complete newbie on quantum physics and I don't think my mind is made to understand such complex features of science.
    Although I've stumbled upon a few MWI articles that has melted my mind down a bit.

    What I do not understand is, lets suppose MWI is true.
    Does this state I am constantly moving form one universe to another, that my mother is not really my mother?

    Or does it state we are all in the same universe all the time? like this universe with all the conscious humans in it is constnatly branching off in the same universe?
    and that the other "worlds" are the other worlds, always seperate from this world that is consitant?
    So I can stop thinking every person I meet is a new person even if it's my brother I grew up with?

    this **** is tearing my sanity apart, please clear this up for me in layman terms if your so nice:)
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2007 #2

    Ben Niehoff

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    It is entirely meaningless to say the many-worlds interpretation is "true" or "untrue". It is merely an interpretation of the equations, and it has no independent consequences on our experiences or experiments. Whether there is one world undergoing quantum probabilistic evolution from one state to the next, or many worlds bifurcating at every possible juncture such that their overall structure obeys quantum principles, is really just a matter of definition (or abstraction). It has no bearing on the actual physics.
  4. Nov 16, 2007 #3
    this meaning there is one universe and not 95728958932085732785920 as David Deutsch says?
    And the you who responded this post now, is the same as the one who is going to respond again or are we "jumping from universe to universe" all the ****ing time?
  5. Nov 16, 2007 #4


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    You shouldn't look too deep into interpretational issues of quantum theory until you understand well enough the formalism and the reasons/arguments for a certain view.
  6. Nov 16, 2007 #5
    Heh, no ****, I understand that now but.. a little too late.

    I now feel that life is utterly meaningless if it is true that we are jumping universes all the time and my girl is not the girl i fell in love with at first sight and my mom is just a clone and my friends etc....

    Is this what MWI states or does MWI state our universe is consistant and every inhabitant will forever remain in it?

    Anyone care to answer that simple question those who has the proper understanding of MWI
  7. Nov 16, 2007 #6


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    If you push MWI all the way, yes, that's it, more or less. But it doesn't make any observational difference.
  8. Nov 16, 2007 #7
    I dont care about "oberservational difference" i care for the truth...:\

    Is there any middle way MWI an science support or is MWI go kill yourself the only truth?

    I read this is the proof of MWI:

    To predict that future quantum computers, made to a given specification, will work in the ways I have described, one need only solve a few uncontroversial equations. But to explain exactly how they will work, some form of multiple-universe language is unavoidable. Thus quantum computers provide irresistible evidence that the multiverse is real. One especially convincing argument is provided by quantum algorithms — even more powerful than Grover’s — which calculate more intermediate results in the course of a single computation than there are atoms in the visible universe. When a quantum computer delivers the output of such a computation, we shall know that those intermediate results must have been computed somewhere, because they were needed to produce the right answer. So I issue this challenge to those who still cling to a single-universe world view: if the universe we see around us is all there is, where are quantum computations performed? I have yet to receive a plausible reply."

    How the hell is this even released to the public I wont ever be able to function normall again:(
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  9. Nov 16, 2007 #8


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    What does meaningless mean ? I'd rather believe that an interpretation of reality is meaningless than reality itself is meaningless.

    But when you will have managed your crisis, at least you will be aware of the fact that some ideas are useful while others aren't that useful...
  10. Nov 16, 2007 #9
    Yeah but I mean, is this true?
    I have a friend who studies MWI a lot and says Hugh Everett / David Deutsch does not believe in the splitting type of ****...? it's just Max tegmark who also support the crazy idea of Quantum Immortality and another concept that completely defies all known laws of physics.

    My friend tells me most serious phycisists believe in new small universes spawning, nto even noticeable, not WHOLE universe, only smaller than a ****in dice for a limited period of time, then it disolves again.

    Anyone got any information on this? cause this makes more sense.

    I simply deny to believe We all split universes all the time, that makes zero sense in ALl ways, cuz if as much as a ****n atomic thing went different in ANY of the other universes, you would not sprung into existance which leads me to conclude u can only exist in one universe for ever, together with everyone else....

    anyone agree's with me on any of this or is my friend wrong? (he's read most MWI books and it's history)
  11. Nov 16, 2007 #10


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    I guess some people will share your concern about that. But this is a free world and every idea will find its natural habitat. Some ideas survive, others don't.
  12. Nov 16, 2007 #11


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    As has been said before, this is not a question of true and untrue. This is just an interpretation that tries to make sense out of the probabilistic ingredients of quantum mechanics. But you don't need it to make physical predictions.

    Then your friend should get his facts straight. None of my presumably serious colleagues believes in such things. But I'm sure there are enough people who devote their lives to exploring MWI. So this is obviously dependent on social context...

    Maybe you keep much more calm about all this if you don't let yourself impress that much by people's efforts to explain what they don't yet understand.
  13. Nov 16, 2007 #12


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    Ah, then you're in for a shock: "truth" is not something that can be scientifically established (or in any other way btw). The best you can do is "is observationally in agreement".

    The reasons to adhere to MWI will become clearer when you learn about the formalism of quantum theory: it is just a straightforward application of the elementary postulates of quantum theory, and it is formally nicer than any other approach, although it is of course intuitively terrible. Does this mean that your implications are then "true" ? Maybe, maybe not. My personal opinion is that if the quantum formalism as we know it today will stand the test of time, then there are serious reasons to take on the MWI view. But then, whether our current quantum formalism is something that will stand the test of time is something I'm agnostic about. In the mean time, MWI is a good way to look upon the formalism of quantum theory, when using it. It helps getting insight in how the formalism works.

    BTW, if you *really* want to find life meaningless, consider then solipsism: your mind is alone and is dreaming up the whole universe, including the illusion that you have a material body. It cannot be contradicted. Is it "true" ? Maybe, maybe not.

    All these considerations are, IMO, good exercises to get your mind free from a priori considerations based upon daily experience. However, they are terrible ways to think about everyday life: we need another paradigm when living in daily life in order to function correctly. So: I consider MWI when I'm doing quantum mechanics, and I consider "everyday life as usual" when doing "everyday life", realizing that all this is probably at least partly illusionary. I'm not 100% sure that other people are "really" there when I talk to them or see them, but I take it as a working hypothesis which gives me good results in daily life (in other words, I can get organized my daily life much better when I think of them as being there "for real"). I have a similar attitude with MWI and quantum theory. I'm not 100% sure that all that superposition thing is correct, but I can handle quantum theory much better when I think of it as being so.
    And when I look at the moon, I'm not 100% sure that the moon is there the way Newton told us, but it helps me calculate and understand its motion.
    You should, for the thing you're doing/considering, use the ontological paradigm which helps you get the best results, realizing that you cannot be 100% sure about it.
  14. Nov 16, 2007 #13


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    This is an excellent example in this context. It took me years to get over solipsism and every once in a while I am suffering a relapse... :biggrin:
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  15. Nov 16, 2007 #14
    Thanks.... relapse in solipsism ive been strugglin with for the last 2+ years 24/7....:P

    OOO how did u get over it?

    Btw any of you BELIEVE in MWI that you jump from one universe to another 24/7?
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2007
  16. Nov 16, 2007 #15


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    Fine! You have lots of company. :smile:

    Just pick an interpretation of QM that you feel comfortable with, or at least, that you feel least uncomfortable with. Just recognize that so far, we have no way to distinguish between these interpretations using experimental evidence, because they all share the same mathematics, or at least reduce to the same mathematics, as far as experimentally testable phenomena are concerned. And they all have features that make some people uncomfortable (different people in each case, of course).

    I'm an agnostic myself, as far as interpretations of QM are concerned. I enjoy reading about them, but I try not to take debates about them too seriously.
  17. Nov 16, 2007 #16
    Thanks for the suggestion, I just acnnot take Copenhagen interpretations serious as I came to the same conclusion Ir ead einstein came to when denying it.

    is there any SINGLE UNIVERSE interpretations out there, if so could you "show me" ?

    The **** is I'm a 18 year old with way to much on his mind, basically existential crisis hit me with solipsism syndrome I've been trying to beat for 2 years.
    Which lead me to obsessively 24/7 research science and try to regain sanity.

    Solipsism is refuteable, you cannot think of new colors, therefore you did nto create anything of this.
    You cannot dream before you ahve percieved.
    Simple and easy...

    But anyone know of any QM's that doesn't **** your mind to the point where u wanna kill urself?
    I mean there must be SOMEONE who believe in objective reality and one universe? which is the only OBSErVEABLE THING EVER...?
  18. Nov 16, 2007 #17


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    With a good psychiatrist. No, seriously, the impression that I cannot change the world to my liking is the strongest evidence I guess. So there is no way to go wrong: the fail safe mode of operation of my brain is to think of an objective world, although I don't know exactly how it's working. Should I ever notice any extraordinary incidents, like levitating my desk with the power of thought, or guessing the lottery numbers, I'm darn sure that I will enjoy this unforeseen insight for the rest of my life. :surprised

    After all I'm convinced, that the cause of solipsism is just human hubris, the imbalance between what we can do and what we can imagine.

    I haven't spent any time on understanding its deeper structures. But from my superficial impression it sounds like nonsens to me. Like making UFO's responsible for the pyramids and such. But as I say, I don't know nothing about it. You asked me.
  19. Nov 16, 2007 #18
    Yeah definately....

    Solipsism is the worst delusion to go through...

    The **** is, after I stated 24/7 obsessing and not moving from my desk because of constant shock and just wanting to die Ive ntoiced so many coincidences... I think of something then I notice something on a webpage or something that corresponds to this.
    Like solipsism, Iw as thinkin about it 2miniutes before you guys wrote it doown...

    Know what the worst thing is? I DNO **** about quantum ****, but I got the worst imagination u can imagine.
    I can just visualize how it is and now wanting to die, and my mind works so quick so I think

    "if we jump form universe to unvierse all the time we never really get to see anyone, because visual perception takes 1 tenth of a second to percieve and then ur already in a new universe.....

    I have no **** nclue if i should try the quantum suicide experiment and hope its wrong or if my brain will recover this ever.. :\
  20. Nov 16, 2007 #19


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    As Feynman once said, whether the description of our world can be put into a finite set of equations is a totally open question. So killing yourself because our contemporary understanding of physics is not as complete as you expected, is a bit of overreacting, isn't it.

    I wonder if the stone age man would have been influenced in his bear hunting habits by our current discussion. The problem is a bit artificial, like an itching spot on your skin. If you keep on scratching the itch will get worse. But if you go out and have fun (which means for a physicist: do some constructive things with the tools you have :smile:), the itch will cease spontaneously.
  21. Nov 16, 2007 #20


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    I enjoy it when things don't go the way I like it :biggrin:
    Kind of "let the bastard go on, he doesn't exist really, and doesn't even realise it" :rofl:
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