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Science Lay Person Question about Many Worlds Theory

  1. Nov 20, 2011 #1
    The logical objection that the 'science layperson' has (in my opinion) to the many worlds theory of quantum mechanics is the 'artificial' solution the construction of a new universe based on two possible options appears to present. The example of flipping a coin, and in one universe a heads appearing, in another tails, is fundamentally unsatisfying regardless of whether it is currently construed to support the mathematics underlying it.

    Firstly there are not only in fact two options for the 2 'new' universes to accept, there are potentially limitless options thus limitless quantities of universes required to play out the options. Does the coin land back in my hand or is my hand affected by something and it falls to the ground; am I interrupted by a fall, a wind, a heart attack; does a bird swoop down and catch it. And at the simultaneous (quantum) moment, someone observing the flip, do they see the flip or miss it in a blink; do they catch the coin or let it land in my hand; do they anticipate the outcome rightly or wrongly; get distracted by a sudden thought of what to cook tonight, or an unpaid bill, or not be distracted at all, etc. Simultaneously once more, what of other conscious beings within sight and their remotely connected options, as well as those far from sight, in addition to the unconscious entities - does a leaf fall or not fall during the same quanta of time. The options approach the infinite at every given smallest quantum measurement of time, and these unlimited options will all apply to observer, non observer (or entity unable to observe) connected or unconnected, terrestrially and beyond, and will 'require' a universe for each permutation or combination. It would be arrogant for us to argue that 'no' the outcome of heads or tails is the only relevant outcome on the basis that the head or tail outcome is our only conscious focus - in 'reality' the options are far more analogue than digital. In addition to the real potential outcomes of heads, tails, in between (lands on side), neither (coin is unexpectedly destroyed by a meteor), both (coin unexpectedly splits down the middle) and all the near (if not absolute) infinite variations in between (e.g. outcome delayed on quantum time scale by slight alteration of local gravity via subterranean tidal magma surge) are the manifold options that also 'apply' to this (simultaneous) singular occurrence requiring a yet 'extra' universe for the action to unfold. By definition, if an outcome is 'possible' then a universe is 'required', not just universes for what we (as humans or similar) think should be required.

    Secondly, and more importantly, in reality the outcome of the coin flip is not a quantum choice option (and lay people remain hopeful that the example is ubiquitously provided as an analogy only for the real scientific equivalent), it is an entirely deterministic outcome when all relevant data is available - strength and angle of toss; wind direction and speed; location, speed and direction traveled and intention of bird(s) who may potentially swoop on the coin; the condition of my heart at the time of flipping. The apparently only true 'quantum' option is whether I 'decide' on heads or tails, not the physical outcome of the toss, and it is arrogant and human centric to believe that a universe is constructed each time a human (or similar) makes a decision about something. To think that an extra universe is required whether I decide to turn left or right at an intersection is just too arrogant to consider. To think that two universes are required for whether a car crashes into me while I turn or not is also moot because classical physics will answer that without the need for a quantum layer. So when is the quantum split universe actually required? The answer appears to be never, or alternately an infinite amount of universes required at all given quanta divisions of time.

    Quantum Mechanics is always described as bizarre, hard to fathom etc. But to the science layperson in majority the concepts (entanglement and non-locality, super-position) are, although bizarre, within some kind of reason - reason that perhaps betrays that there is more to learn about (e.g.) 'spooky distance' that may provide new understanding and perspective. Multi-worlds however stands out as bizarre but beyond reason and purpose. The justification for multi-worlds always seems to comes back to the fact that although appearing to defy reason the maths supports it. However 1 human female + 1 human male can equal 2 persons + 1 baby (3 people), and that can appear to support the maths that 1+1=3 when viewed through a sufficiently modeled filter.

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  2. jcsd
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