by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground e-Magazine
What the heck…I seem to have a small series of blogs going here, so I might as well take them to their logical conclusion.
A few days ago, I posted about advances in science that seem to be leading us straight into a science fiction future (Are You Ready for a Sci Fi Future?)
And then, yesterday, I blogged about the realities of teleportation in The Implications of Teleportation. So, I’ve been thinking about one more teeny tiny little thing. Parallel universes.
The brilliant Richard Feynman once said, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.”
I am among the people of whom he was speaking. Quantum mechanics is mind boggling at best. It is insanely complicated. All I understand are tiny bits and pieces of it. Probably just enough to be dangerous. Maybe this is why the subject is so fascinating to me.
Quantum physicist, Hugh Everett, came up with the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. His interpretation is widely accepted – though hotly debated. The quickest way to explain the many worlds interpretation is this: quantum particles remain in a state of quantum superposition where all possibilities exist until an observer comes along and determines the outcome (for more information about this, you can wiki Schroedinger’s Cat). As soon as the observer is present, the outcome is determined in that universe in which the phenomenon was observed. The many worlds interpretation of this states that even though the observer saw one outcome, all other possible outcomes still exist – in different worlds. According to the many worlds interpretation, whenever a superposition of all possible states exists, all of the possibilities continue on along their own trajectory; however, the observer is unaware of each of the other possibilities existing because his observation was placed on only one particular outcome.
Simply stated on a grand scale…suppose you came to door A and door B. You choose to go through door A and you life continues on from there. However, in another universe that was created at the very moment that you selected door A, you went through door B, and your universe continued on from there.
When you consider the granularity of the universe – that is on how small and dense of a scale that quantum events occur — the number of Door A/Door B decisions becomes mind boggling. It’s a number that I don’t even know what to call it. A craploadillion.
If the many worlds interpretation is, indeed, a reality, then who are we really? If craploadillions of universes exist and we’re in a lot of them, then how are we here in this one? Is this just the universe that we chose to observe? And in the other universes – are those people us – or are they someone else entirely? Since we are a product of our experiences, can we really be ourselves in a different universe where our experiences are different? How does this whole thing really work? Does our attention jump between universes, but we’re only aware of ourselves in the present universe, and so we are unaware of all of those other versions of ourselves (including this one) depending on where we are?
*Poof*. My head just exploded. Feynman was right. How can we truly understand something so complex? But it just goes to show you – our universe is far more complicated than we can ever imagine. Doesn’t that make just about anything possible?