The theory of parallel universes is not just maths – it is science that can be tested

September 3, 2015 by Eugene Lim, The Conversation
Scientists are searching for collisions between different ‘universe bubbles’ in the cosmic microwave background. Credit: Geralt

The existence of parallel universes may seem like something cooked up by science fiction writers, with little relevance to modern theoretical physics. But the idea that we live in a "multiverse" made up of an infinite number of parallel universes has long been considered a scientific possibility – although it is still a matter of vigorous debate among physicists. The race is now on to find a way to test the theory, including searching the sky for signs of collisions with other universes.

It is important to keep in mind that the multiverse view is not actually a theory, it is rather a consequence of our current understanding of theoretical physics. This distinction is crucial. We have not waved our hands and said: "Let there be a multiverse". Instead the idea that the universe is perhaps one of infinitely many is derived from current theories like and string theory.

The many-worlds interpretation

You may have heard the thought experiment of Schrödinger's cat, a spooky animal who lives in a closed box. The act of opening the box allows us to follow one of the possible future histories of our cat, including one in which it is both dead and alive. The reason this seems so impossible is simply because our human intuition is not familiar with it.

But it is entirely possible according to the strange rules of quantum mechanics. The reason that this can happen is that the space of possibilities in quantum mechanics is huge. Mathematically, a quantum mechanical state is a sum (or superposition) of all possible states. In the case of the Schrödinger's cat, the cat is the superposition of "dead" and "alive" states.

But how do we interpret this to make any practical sense at all? One popular way is to think of all these possibilities as book-keeping devices so that the only "objectively true" cat state is the one we observe. However, one can just as well choose to accept that all these possibilities are true, and that they exist in different universes of a multiverse.

The string landscape

String theory is one of our most, if not the most promising avenue to be able to unify quantum mechanics and gravity. This is notoriously hard because gravitational force is so difficult to describe on small scales like those of atoms and subatomic particles – which is the science of quantum mechanics. But string theory, which states that all fundamental particles are made up of one-dimensional strings, can describe all known forces of nature at once: gravity, electromagnetism and the nuclear forces.

The theory of parallel universes is not just maths – it is science that can be tested
The cosmic microwave background. Scoured for gravitational waves and signs of collisions with other universes. Credit: NASA / WMAP Science Team/wikimedia

However, for string theory to work mathematically, it requires at least ten physical dimensions. Since we can only observe four dimensions: height, width, depth (all spatial) and time (temporal), the of string theory must therefore be hidden somehow if it is to be correct. To be able to use the theory to explain the physical phenomena we see, these extra dimensions have to be "compactified" by being curled up in such a way that they are too small to be seen. Perhaps for each point in our large four dimensions, there exists six extra indistinguishable directions?

A problem, or some would say, a feature, of string theory is that there are many ways of doing this compactification –10500 possibilities is one number usually touted about. Each of these compactifications will result in a universe with different physical laws – such as different masses of electrons and different constants of gravity. However there are also vigorous objections to the methodology of compactification, so the issue is not quite settled.

But given this, the obvious question is: which of these landscape of possibilities do we live in? String theory itself does not provide a mechanism to predict that, which makes it useless as we can't test it. But fortunately, an idea from our study of cosmology has turned this bug into a feature.

The early universe

During the very early universe, before the Big Bang, the universe underwent a period of accelerated expansion called inflation. Inflation was invoked originally to explain why the current observational universe is almost uniform in temperature. However, the theory also predicted a spectrum of temperature fluctuations around this equilibrium which was later confirmed by several spacecraft such as Cosmic Background Explorer, Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe and the PLANCK spacecraft.

While the exact details of the theory are still being hotly debated, inflation is widely accepted by physicists. However, a consequence of this theory is that there must be other parts of the universe that are still accelerating. However, due to the quantum fluctuations of space-time, some parts of the universe never actually reach the end state of inflation. This means that the universe is, at least according to our current understanding, eternally inflating. Some parts can therefore end up becoming other universes, which could become other universes etc. This mechanism generates a of universes.

By combining this scenario with string theory, there is a possibility that each of these universes possesses a different compactification of the extra dimensions and hence has different physical laws.

Testing the theory

The universes predicted by and inflation live in the same physical space (unlike the many universes of quantum mechanics which live in a mathematical space), they can overlap or collide. Indeed, they inevitably must collide, leaving possible signatures in the cosmic sky which we can try to search for.

The exact details of the signatures depends intimately on the models – ranging from cold or hot spots in the to anomalous voids in the distribution of galaxies. Nevertheless, since collisions with other universes must occur in a particular direction, a general expectation is that any signatures will break the uniformity of our observable universe.

These signatures are actively being pursued by scientists. Some are looking for it directly through imprints in the cosmic microwave background, the afterglow of the Big Bang. However, no such signatures are yet to be seen. Others are looking for indirect support such as gravitational waves, which are ripples in space-time as massive objects pass through. Such waves could directly prove the existence of inflation, which ultimately strengthens the support for the multiverse theory.

Whether we will ever be able to prove their existence is hard to predict. But given the massive implications of such a finding it should definitely be worth the search.

Explore further: Detection of mini black holes at the LHC could indicate parallel universes in extra dimensions

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spencerpencer
4.3 / 5 (6) Sep 03, 2015
How many times has this info been rehashed? I've read this at least a dozen times. There's literally nothing new or noteworthy in this article.
spencerpencer
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 03, 2015
Just had an idea. Might be crazy. Might have already been thought of.

What if there were a bunch of universes at the beginning, but, just like the theory that says the position of a particle can't be known until it's "observed," maybe all the different possible universes (including those without the possibility of life or even atomic cohesion) collapsed into one when the one capable of sustaining life evolved to the point where something inside it could observe it. OR! Maybe something outside our universe observed the possibilities and they all crunched down into this certain one.

Of course that's as provable as the Botzman's Brains theory. Just a thought.
julianpenrod
1.4 / 5 (11) Sep 03, 2015
Those who pretend to "study" the idea of parallel universes inevitably appeal only to what's generally considered inanimate physics. Absolutely none invoke the idea of what parallel universes mean to the idea of living, thinking and higher systems. Parallel universes encompassing all possible variations on a theme will mean each person mush consider there are infinitely many places where, even following their set of ethics, they still engage in the foul and malignant. There will be infinitely many universes where each person dropped s kitten in a bath of acid, to see it struggle. Too, there will be infinitely many universes where God does not involve Himself to reward decency and punish the guilty.
jlewis
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 03, 2015
There's a kind of semantic game in play in these discussions. If the universe is actually infinite (and this itself seems to be itself a semantic football - either the universe is expanding at a finite rate and so has a definite size - or the universe is infinite and what we think of as the universe is the observable universe) the argument goes that you can subdivide it into as many infinitely large subuniverses (infinity / 2 = infinity) as you want and each one, being infinite is a 'universe' of its own.

That's kind of a weasel interpretation of the concept and doesn't actually have anything to do with the Everett multiverse concept which was constructed explicitly to handle superposition of quantum states before an observation causes a collapse - such as a single photon going through two slits. That model is still contested and has no evidence of being real.
jlewis
4 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2015
Just had an idea. Might be crazy. Might have already been thought of.

What if there were a bunch of universes at the beginning, but, just like the theory that says the position of a particle can't be known until it's "observed," maybe all the different possible universes (including those without the possibility of life or even atomic cohesion) collapsed into one when the one capable of sustaining life evolved to the point where something inside it could observe it. OR! Maybe something outside our universe observed the possibilities and they all crunched down into this certain one.

Of course that's as provable as the Botzman's Brains theory. Just a thought.


You're falling into a classic trap here - observers don't have to be alive or sentient. The word Schrodinger used simply means something that takes a measurement and it got translated into 'observer' which has extra content. When two electrons interact - they measure each other - that's an 'observation'.
Mimath224
3 / 5 (3) Sep 03, 2015
@spencerpencer '...rehashed...' quite so. With SST just about anything is possible but this is more to do with compact dimensions rather than extra macro D. But even that is 'old news' with maths calculating 4+ D 'objects'. Suppose both to be true we might have extra compact D and Hyper D...yeah, just speculation. Lets move on eh?
rpaul_bauman
1 / 5 (6) Sep 04, 2015
Artical and author are a waste of TIME !
If they were infinite or less Big Bangs and infinite time or at least a long time ago, we would SEE IT NOW !!!!!!
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 04, 2015
It is a common practice to review areas such as science. (Google science reviews.) You may have read each piece before, but it is an up-to-date picture of what has been done and what is done.

Further, since many argues -without any evidence - that predicted consequences like multiverses are untestable, Lim has done a piece of advocating. (Which really doesn't suit his review, but it is sometimes seen.)

I agree with Lim. Maybe collisions doesn't exist (they don't in all models or for all parameter values), but we don't know that yet. Multiverses are like EM bias effects, an open consequence that you can dismiss in most cases, or measure in others.
inkosana
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 04, 2015
the idea that the universe is perhaps one of infinitely many is derived from current theories like quantum mechanics and string theory.
This should read "derived from the shamaan-interpretation of quantum mechanics" which is based on the absurd concept that reality is non-reality.

Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (5) Sep 04, 2015
@jlewis: "a kind of semantic game - each one, being infinite is a 'universe' of its own."

I think you are confusing physical, (in principle) observable structures - observable universes (infinite in forward time) or pocket universes (also infinite in spatial directions) - with subjective divisions. The observable universe is, as the term implies, observed while we have also observed that the universe is (much) larger than that. [Planck legacy archives.]

@jlewis, rpaul_bauman: "either the universe is expanding at a finite rate and so has a definite size"; "If they were infinite or less Big Bangs and infinite time or at least a long time ago, we would SEE IT NOW"

Wrong! You are probably confused about what "big bang" expansion is. It happens everywhere at the same rate at the same time, independent of the (finite or infinite) size of the expanding universe. And we do see it now, we have seen the expansion since the last century. [Planck legacy archives]
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (5) Sep 04, 2015
@inkosana: "based on the absurd concept that reality is non-reality."

? The MWT theory is one of the few realist theories predicting quantum mechanics.

It is the other theories that have quantum properties being not realized between observations (with the possible exception of the wavefunction itself).
inkosana
1 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2015
@inkosana: "based on the absurd concept that reality is non-reality."

? The MWT theory is one of the few realist theories predicting quantum mechanics.
What is MWT theory? Can you please spell it out.
HTK
1 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2015
How many times has this info been rehashed? I've read this at least a dozen times. There's literally nothing new or noteworthy in this article.


where is your evidence?
jsdarkdestruction
3.5 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2015
"Before the big bang the universe underwent a period of rapid acceleration called inflation"
What?
HTK
4 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2015
Artical and author are a waste of TIME !
If they were infinite or less Big Bangs and infinite time or at least a long time ago, we would SEE IT NOW !!!!!!


You do know what light is, right?
Noumenon
5 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2015
the idea that the universe is perhaps one of infinitely many is derived from current theories like quantum mechanics and string theory. - above article


This is actually factually incorrect. The mulitiverse idea is the basis of an interpretation of QM, rather than being derived from it.

One must presuppose mathematical idealism in regarding the wave-function as a physical entity of itself, as there is no experimental justification for such a premise.

billpress11
2 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2015
The first source seems to be in conflict with the last two.

There's no exact spot that the Big Bang happened. In fact, the Big Bang happened everywhere in the Universe.
http://www.univer...-happen/

Researchers at the University of Kansas working with an international team at the Large Hadron Collider have produced quark-gluon plasma—a state of matter thought to have existed right at the birth of the universe—

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp

the universe began by expanding from an infinitesimal volume with extremely high density and temperature.

http://www.ugcs.c.../BigBang

Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2015
maybe all the different possible universes (including those without the possibility of life or even atomic cohesion) collapsed into one when the one capable of sustaining life evolved to the point where something inside it could observe it


This is a common misconception even among physicists who should know better; In the Copenhagen interpretation of 'wave-function collapse', it is not that conscious mind 'reaches out' and 'does something' to collapse the state-vector,.... this is deliberately to portray the C.I. as an absurdity and is premised by a realist pov.

What is occuring imo is that the underlying-reality is projected and conformed to our conceptual structure. The 'collapse' is a collapse into conceptual form and through experiment, conceptual values. Afterall, the Hilbert space representation, the vector basis for the vector-state (wave-function) is indeed dependent upon macro-scopic experimental arrangement for possible observation.

Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2015
You're falling into a classic trap here - observers don't have to be alive or sentient. The word Schrodinger used simply means something that takes a measurement and it got translated into 'observer' which has extra content. When two electrons interact - they measure each other - that's an 'observation'.


You have fallen into a problematic trap yourself. The deterministic evolution of the Scrodinger equation, and therefore Decoherence, does not in fact ever collapse the wave-function! It can't, ever (**).

Only an observer, a conscious one, can do this. If another observer then forms a new wave-function encompassing this observer and his equipment, then again this new wave-function description is collapse by the new conscious observer. Upon an actual experimental observation the superposition is lost, and a single value is obtained.

**apart from adding a non-linear term to specifically accomplish this; as in non-standard objective collapse theories.

Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2015
The MWT theory is one of the few realist theories predicting quantum mechanics.


The MWT interpretation, is a realist one in the sense of mathematical idealism. As Wheeler stated, it carries too much 'metaphysical baggage'.

It is the other theories that have quantum properties being not realized between observations.


What does "realized between observations" mean? Physical theories are merely mathematical models that link Observables together in a way that allows for predictions,.. and nothing more. It you desire to know more than this you desire metaphysics.


TheGhostofOtto1923
2.8 / 5 (5) Sep 04, 2015
Only an observer, a conscious one, can do this
-This smells like rubbish.

"There are other possible solutions to the "Wigner's friend" thought experiment, which do not require consciousness to be different from other physical processes [or even to exist at all, which it doesnt]. Moreover, Wigner actually shifted to those interpretations (and away from "consciousness causes collapse") in his later years. This was partly because he was embarrassed that "consciousness causes collapse" can lead to a kind of solipsism, but also because he decided that he had been wrong to try to apply quantum physics at the scale of everyday life (specifically, he rejected his initial idea of treating macroscopic objects as isolated systems)"
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.7 / 5 (7) Sep 04, 2015
Heres an experiment where measurement did not collapse the waveform.

"Murch says that the microwaves used to probe the superconducting circuit can be thought of as its environment because they are the predominant thing interacting with it. By monitoring the environment, the fluctuations in the microwaves become a known quantity rather than a source of unknown noise.

"That enables the quantum state to remain pure, as Murch and his demonstrated — a finding that has a practical consequence."
http://www.nature...-1.13899

-Consciousness is an illusion.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Sep 04, 2015
(the idea of ​​God is forbidden by political and economic reasons)
No, the theistic gods you entertain are forbidden by evidence. Science has examined the evidence and has concluded that the people and events described in the books these gods supposedly wrote never existed and never happened.

And so the gods that wrote them cannot be the omniscient, morally impeccable paragons they describe themselves to be in their books. And you cannot trust that these lying incompetents are able to grant your wishes, perform miracles just for you, punish your enemies with eternal fire, or reward your loyalty with eternal bliss.

This leaves only the philo-invented deistic gods which by design cannot be disproved.

And they have nothing whatsoever to do with the creatures you dream of.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2015
Only an observer, a conscious one, can do this
-This smells like rubbish.

"There are other possible solutions to the "Wigner's friend" thought experiment, which do not require consciousness to be different from other physical processes [or even to exist at all, which it doesnt]. Moreover, Wigner actually shifted to those interpretations (and away from "consciousness causes collapse") in his later years. This was partly because he was embarrassed that "consciousness causes collapse" can lead to a kind of solipsism, but also because he decided that he had been wrong to try to apply quantum physics at the scale of everyday life (specifically, he rejected his initial idea of treating macroscopic objects as isolated systems)"


I just explained above that I reject that notion of 'consciousness causes collapse'. If you're going to critique ones post, at least try to understand it. The reason for the collapse is because the observer is outside the quantum description.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2015
...which do not require consciousness to be different from other physical processes...


The brain is not any different than other physical processes,.... but thought is .
inkosana
1 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2015
The reason for the collapse is because the observer is outside the quantum description.
Huh! the atoms and atomic bonds that constitute an "observer" are outside the quantum description? How is that possible?
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2015
Heres an experiment where measurement did not collapse the waveform..


Yes, a weak/partial measurement. How does this refute what I have posted above, ...in your own words because I'm not reading your links anymore.

Consciousness is an illusion.


Only a crank would say that. It is quite literally the most immediate observable phenomena.

Of course the basis of consciousness is the physical brain which is subject to physical laws,... I have never stated otherwise. However the WAY the brain evolved to process and synthesize sense experience to form 'understanding' is itself synthetic and an artificial synthesis. Obviously given that the brain evolved a means of operating on macro-experience, how can it be equipped to process quantum experience?

You don't even believe that minds exist, so how can I have a rational discussion with you?

Noumenon
not rated yet Sep 04, 2015
The reason for the collapse is because the observer is outside the quantum description.
Huh! the atoms and atomic bonds that constitute an "observer" are outside the quantum description? How is that possible?


As stated above in principal, another observer could construct a quantum wave function of the first observer and equipment and system,... but that 2nd observer would then be outside the wave-function description in question.
inkosana
1 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2015
As stated above in principal, another observer could construct a quantum wave function of the first observer and equipment and system,... but that 2nd observer would then be outside the wave-function description in question.
This absolute nonsense and cannot be proved or disproved experimentally. How can the second observer construct something from which he/she is excluded? Is he then God? I wish you would start to realise that physics cannot be based on speculation and Wigner fairy-tales that cannot be proved or disproved by experiment.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2015
The reason for the collapse is because the observer is outside the quantum description.

Huh! the atoms and atomic bonds that constitute an "observer" are outside the quantum description? How is that possible?

As stated above in principal, another observer could construct a quantum wave function of the first observer and equipment and system,... but that 2nd observer would then be outside the wave-function description in question.
This absolute nonsense and cannot be proved or disproved experimentally. How can the second observer construct something from which he/she is excluded? Is he then God? I wish you would start to realise that physics cannot be based on speculation and Wigner fairy-tales that cannot be proved or disproved by experiment.


I'm relating standard QM, in which none of the above is controversial, except to a crank.
inkosana
2 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2015
@Noumenon:

What you claim is "standard quantum mechanics" is only "logical" to crackpots. On whose principle can "another" observer construct a quantum wave function of the first observer and equipment and system"? Bohr's hallucinations? Heisenberg's uncertainties? Dirac's autism? Do you have to cast a Voodoo-spell, or throw dice? LOL! Instead of flinging insults around, please answer my question: What action must the "other observer" take to "construct" a wave function of the first observer and equipment and system?
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2015
I'm not sure I understand your question. A wave-function is a mathematical description of the quantum state of a system. It is a superposition of all possible observable states of that system.

Obviously it is not practical to obtain such a description for a macroscopic object, like an observer and his equipment in addition to the quantum system under investigation,.... which is why I stated "in principle".

My comment was in relation to decoherence,.... which is that the quantum system loses its superposition coherence via interaction with the environment (if its not an isolated system),.... that decoherence, or theoretically the evolution of the deterministic Schrodinger equation in interaction with the environment,... does NOT cause wavefunction collapse to occur. Therefore the original point was that 'quantum interaction' is distinct from 'observation'.

How decoherence resolves to macroscopic observation is on going research via meso-scopic objects.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2015
Huh! the atoms and atomic bonds that constitute an "observer" are outside the quantum description? How is that possible?


When an experimentalist conducts a quantum experiment his theoretical calculations of expectation of course does not take into consideration the atoms in his body and equipment. He must isolate the system under study to avoid decoherence, because decoherence is loss of quantum superposition and thus loss of the application of QM under study. Therefore he is outside the isolated system.

However, another experimentalist, in principle, could construct theoretical calculations of expectation (a single wavefunction) for the first observer, the first equipment, and the original system under study. This 2nd observer would be outside that wavefunction description and would upon observation "collapse the wavefunction" (not a physical wave).

Schrodinger has written about this using his cat analogy.
Noumenon
not rated yet Sep 05, 2015
I'll emphasis again as above, I'm speaking of wavefunction as a Description of an isolated system,... Not as the wavefunction itself being a physical wave. Schrodinger originally had this in mind, and MWI still does,... but leads to either mathematical idealism, metaphysics, or incompatibility between state-vector evolution and experimental observation.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2015
JohanFPrins used to call physics beyond the 19th century, "voodoo". Seems a coincidence that you would use the same term.
inkosana
not rated yet Sep 05, 2015
I'm not sure I understand your question. A wave-function is a mathematical description of the quantum state of a system. It is a superposition of all possible observable states of that system.
This is not so: A wave-function is a possible solution of what is allowed under the boundary conditions that apply: Namely the potential-energy V of an electron. A single electron-wave cannot be a superposition of these possible solutions, since it would violate energy-conservation.

Obviously it is not practical to obtain such a description for a macroscopic object, like an observer and his equipment in addition to the quantum system under investigation,.... which is why I stated "in principle".
Why is this obvious? Any macroscopic object (even Jupiter) has a de Broglie wavelength, Therefore it is a coherently-moving single wave.

My comment was in relation to decoherence,
How can a wave-solution which must be a coherent-wave become decoherent? Not possible!

inkosana
not rated yet Sep 05, 2015
He must isolate the system under study to avoid decoherence, because decoherence is loss of quantum superposition and thus loss of the application of QM under study.
There is no such thing as quantum superposition of the possible waves for a single entity. How can a single coherent wave superpose with itself or with other possible waves which are not there? Superposition ONLY occurs when you have many entities so that you have many actual waves which can superpose..

However, another experimentalist, in principle, could construct theoretical calculations of expectation (a single wavefunction) for the first observer, etc.
This is nonsense. How can an experimentalist construct a reality for the first observer solely through theoretical calculations? This is why Schroedinger played the fool with this concept by means of his cat experiment. You can only have two separate waves superposing. Two cats not a single cat superposing with itself.
inkosana
not rated yet Sep 05, 2015
I'll emphasis again as above, I'm speaking of wavefunction as a Description of an isolated system,... Not as the wavefunction itself being a physical wave
Why not? The Lorentz transformation demands that a moving electron MUST be a physical EM wave that moves with a de Broglie wavelength. Do you reject the Lorentz-transformation as not being real physics?
Schrodinger originally had this in mind
Schroedinger was correct and should not have allowed Bohr and Heisenberg to shout him down
, but leads to either mathematical idealism, metaphysics, or incompatibility between state-vector evolution and experimental observation.
On the contrary, it is the probability-interpretation that is metaphysics which has led to wrong mathematics.
inkosana
2 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2015
JohanFPrins used to call physics beyond the 19th century, "voodoo". Seems a coincidence that you would use the same term.
Parks have written a book called Voodoo Physics. Am I now Parks? The word Voodoo has been used by many physicists.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2015
A wave-function is a mathematical description of the quantum state of a system. It is a superposition of all possible observable states of that system.

This is not so: A wave-function is a possible solution of what is allowed under the boundary conditions that apply: Namely the potential-energy V of an electron.


That's correct, if boundary conditions apply in the given case, and follows from what I have stated. The free electron form of the Dirac equation does not include a potential term.

A single electron-wave cannot be a superposition of these possible solutions, since it would violate energy-conservation.


No, because the Hamiltonian in the Schrodinger equation includes the description of the energy of the system. You're regarding the wavefunction as a physical wave,... while instead it serves to give probabilities for particular observations. No energy is lost by 'wavefunction collapse'.

Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2015
How can a wave-solution which must be a coherent-wave become decoherent? Not possible!

In QM 'coherence' refers to the superposition of the wavefunction,... i.e. the possibility that constructive and destructive interference and thus quantum-strangeness occurs. An analogy is Fourier analysis where an arbitrary wave can be decomposed into pure sin/cos waves.

.... There is no sense in continuing here as you're arguing from the premise that the wavefunction under discussion is a physical EM wave. This is not close to what I mean by referring to 'wavefunction',.. so it is quite impossible to have a coherent discussion.

A single entity is represented by a superposition wavefunction,.... multiple entities are represented by a single superposition wavefunction. In the case of multiple entities, the basis space becomes a tensor product and we are then referring to phase-space, ...not ordinary space in which a physical wave evolves.
inkosana
not rated yet Sep 05, 2015
That's correct, if boundary conditions apply in the given case, and follows from what I have stated. The free electron form of the Dirac equation does not include a potential term.
Dirac's so-called wave equation of a free-electron is not commensurate with the Lorentz transformation. It cannot give the length for a moving free electron as is required from the Lorentz transformation that it must.
A single electron-wave cannot be a superposition of these possible solutions, since it would violate energy-conservation.
No, because the Hamiltonian in the Schrodinger equation includes the description of the energy of the system.
Exactly, that is why each wave represents a different energy!
You're regarding the wavefunction as a physical wave,
that is exactly what it must be or else it would not have diffracted and it is what the Lorentz transformation demands that a single electron-wave must be.
No energy is lost by 'wavefunction collapse'.
see below
inkosana
not rated yet Sep 05, 2015
No energy is lost by 'wavefunction collapse'.
you have a superposed wave where each of the waves that constitute it has an energy. Thus the superposed wave must be the sum of these energies. It collapses into a state that only has ONE of these energies, and you then claim that "no energy is lost"! LOL! Or does the superposed wave, before collapses, only have this energy: f it has only this energy it must be the wave with that specific energy and then no collapse is required!
Noumenon
not rated yet Sep 05, 2015
No energy is lost by 'wavefunction collapse'.
you have a superposed wave where each of the waves that constitute it has an energy. Thus the superposed wave must be the sum of these energies. It collapses into a state that only has ONE of these energies, and you then claim that "no energy is lost"! LOL! Or does the superposed wave, before collapses, only have this energy: f it has only this energy it must be the wave with that specific energy and then no collapse is required!


The Schrodinger equation given its use of a Hamiltonian is compatible with energy conservation.

In the case where there is uncertainty in energy of the system, the probabilities for the possible observed energies, derived from the wavefunction, do not change in time.

inkosana
not rated yet Sep 05, 2015
The Schrodinger equation given its use of a Hamiltonian is compatible with energy conservation.
This is ONLY correct for each single wave of all the probable waves for a single entity, as well as for the superposition of single waves, each of which is a different single entity. It is, however, not the case when you superpose probable waves for a single entity, so that only ONE of these probable waves can be the entity. If, as you claim, such a superposition is the single entity before a measurement is made, what is the energy of this superposition of waves that constitute this single entity before measurement?

In the case where there is uncertainty in energy of the system, the probabilities for the possible observed energies, derived from the wavefunction, do not change in time.
That means that the SAME superposed wave cannot collapse into different energies. It can only have the same single energy into which it can collapse when measuring its energy.


rpaul_bauman
1 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2015
Blank Holes don't seem cooked up. they are cooked up.
DavidW
not rated yet Sep 06, 2015
Laura Mersini-Houghton provided the math and some evidence that parallel universes do indeed exist. So, we can match up some things, but how many things must match before anyone really tosses everything else out that doesn't agree. I'm not convinced that anything outside that which is observable can really be tested.

https://www.youtu...1-vzMvmA
A little old, but worth a view.
Osiris1
not rated yet Sep 06, 2015
How about three dimensions of time...three temporal dimensions and three translationable dimensioins for a total of six among the posited 11 required for the math to work. Then a given universe can use a subset of any six of the available, leaving the other five 'outside'. This does away with having to 'roll them up' Never liked the 'rolling them up' inasmuch as it reminds one of the philanderer who keeps his extra 'friend list' 'rolled up' in a tiny cylinder the size of a cigarette filter, hiding it in a pack of coffin nails he never smokes and would never grab.....belonged to his mother, etc. I think nature loves the sensible and abhors the excessively complicated, like entropy seeking the simplest path. Besides with three temporal dimensions allows all kinds of time travel backwards and forwards. IN 3D-T, all timelines are temporal functions completely subject to calculus as well. Only reversing YOUR temporal function in would be prohibited. Sliding to another 'line' is OK!
DavidW
not rated yet Sep 06, 2015
http://www.scienc...14006686 says, "Carolina's Laura Mersini-Houghton shows that black holes do not exist", which is not what she actually says that the math says. She says that they can't form with what we are currently observing, in the first place. A big difference and exploited by her own university to discredit her work. Apparently, whoever wrote it was trying to discredit her and her work. Chauvinistic egos.
Noumenon
not rated yet Sep 06, 2015
Carolina's Laura Mersini-Houghton shows that black holes do not exist"....A big difference and exploited by her own university to discredit her work. Apparently, whoever wrote it was trying to discredit her and her work. Chauvinistic egos.

Unless one is saying she can't possibly be correct on account of her tits, ... they are no more being chauvinistic than she is, in trying to discredit the notion that BH's exist.

How about three dimensions of time...three temporal dimensions and three translationable dimensioins for a total of six

There should always be some independent physical justification for invoking more dimensions, imo. If Archimedes was a string-theorist he would have said , 'grant me enough degrees-of-freedom and a parallel universe in which to stand, and I could explain everything, whether it exists or not'.

Noumenon
not rated yet Sep 06, 2015
That's correct, if boundary conditions apply in the given case, and follows from what I have stated. The free electron form of the Dirac equation does not include a potential term.

Dirac's so-called wave equation of a free-electron is not commensurate with the Lorentz transformation. It cannot give the length for a moving free electron as is required from the Lorentz transformation that it must


The Dirac equation is Lorentz invariant and is commensurate with all such effects of SR,... however whether the electron is observed as a particle (photo electric effect, Compton scattering) or a wave (diffraction through crystals) is dependent upon the experimental arrangement. The underlying reality (apart from observation) must be neither because it can't be both at the same time. So, you would need to specify what exactly you mean by 'electron length'. Do you mean wave-packet length or wave-length. In the particle conceptual form it has zero extension.
inkosana
not rated yet Sep 06, 2015
There should always be some independent physical justification for invoking more dimensions, imo. If Archimedes was a string-theorist he would have said , 'grant me enough degrees-of-freedom and a parallel universe in which to stand, and I could explain everything, whether it exists or not'.
This statement is NOT an independent physical justification for anything! It is unadulterated dementia.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (1) Sep 06, 2015
Multiverse occurs because the only fundamental thing in physics are probability waves. Energy is simply a wave in a straight line, while matter is simply a wave caught in a circle. A special kind of wave is trapped in geometry with other mater-like waves folding upon itself forever, which creates life and consciousness

Living is simply harvesting zero point energy, which biological shapes are optimized to do
kochevnik
not rated yet Sep 06, 2015
What is occuring imo is that the underlying-reality is projected and conformed to our conceptual structure. The 'collapse' is a collapse into conceptual form and through experiment, conceptual values. Afterall, the Hilbert space representation, the vector basis for the vector-state (wave-function) is indeed dependent upon macro-scopic experimental arrangement for possible observation.
Perhaps the collapse is a realignment of missing frequencies present in the other?
Noumenon
not rated yet Sep 06, 2015
There should always be some independent physical justification for invoking more dimensions, imo. If Archimedes was a string-theorist he would have said , 'grant me enough degrees-of-freedom and a parallel universe in which to stand, and I could explain everything, whether it exists or not'.
This statement is NOT an independent physical justification for anything! It is unadulterated dementia.


You don't give me a reason for this reaction. I don't mean that space and time are themselves physical, but rather they should be justified in some way by a physical system. As mentioned above, for example in GR Einstein was careful to Define time operationally (in a 'instrumentalist' manner) to be another physical system, i.e, a clock, and Defined space to be a physical measuring rod.
Noumenon
not rated yet Sep 06, 2015
Perhaps the collapse is a realignment of missing frequencies present in the other?

In the other what, parallel universe? In MWI there is no collapse.
inkosana
1 / 5 (1) Sep 06, 2015
Multiverse occurs because the only fundamental thing in physics are probability waves.
This is the biggest delusion in science EVER. "Probability waves" do not exist. Consider a spherical ball of matter moving with a speed v. It has a diameter D when it is stationary. When it is moving the Lorentz transformation of its stationary diameter into its moving diameter gives an elongation of this diameter along its direction of motion so that it has a length L=(gamma)*D. And it gives a phase time interval along this length of (delta)t=(gamma)(v/c^2)D. This phase time gives the moving spherical ball a de Broglie wavelength. This wave is thus a real EM-wave NOT a probability wave. It is the same for an electron, a neutron, etc. The intensity of these waves is the wave's mass energy m*c^2: It has NOTHING to do with any demented probability-distribution
Laborious_Cretin
not rated yet Sep 06, 2015
First the man world has not shown up on quantum computers in the way it should have by now. So many worlds theory is wrong and can be used to weed out the delusional or misguided. It gets rid of a lot of them off the bat. Second inflation theory has big problems. From production and spin and causing closed time like curves and a godel universe. To inflations speed and running into a digital universe theory. ( Just look up the measurement that would reveal if the universe was digital ) . Again it is good to weed out the bad scientists to me. You can kick 80-90 of the rif-raf . The fact this theory keeps showing up in science publications underscore how delusional people are and why to test them in ways. No to get into the energy density and curvature of space on a early universe.
kochevnik
not rated yet Sep 06, 2015
This wave is thus a real EM-wave NOT a probability wave.
EM waves ARE probability waves, which is why photons are the simplest particles with unity spin
inkosana
1 / 5 (1) Sep 06, 2015
This wave is thus a real EM-wave NOT a probability wave.
EM waves ARE probability waves, which is why photons are the simplest particles with unity spin
YOU are thus arguing that a continuously emitted, coherent radio carrier-wave with a single frequency is a probability-wave? A probability of what?? Photons are not "particles". Each photon is a coherent wave with continuously-distributed EM-energy within its volume, where this distributed energy adds to have a total value equal to hf when this wave has a frequency f. A single coherent-wave with distributed EM energy and a frequency f does not have to have a total energy hf. It can have far more energy than this as in the case of a laser beam. And maybe even less energy than hf.
someone11235813
not rated yet Sep 06, 2015
Wow, there really might be untold trillions of parallel universes, or there might not, but supposing there are, the consequences for the human race is what precisely?
Egleton
1 / 5 (1) Sep 07, 2015
Get rid of the mysterious T axis at rt angles to the other 3 and all you have left is the "Now". No BB, no strange 11 dimensions, rolled up into a pedophiles cigarette.

Occam's razor and the quantum erasure experiment supports this interpretation.
People proclaim confidently that mind is an illusion. This is an act of faith in the existence of their Materialist illusion.
Only Mind exists.
History is adjusted to support the observed facts. It would seem that history is bending itself into a multi dimensional pretzel to offer some self consistent explanation of our creation . In the end I suppose it will faill some logic test and go "poof" and it will all be your fault for asking too many "but why? " questions.
Egleton
1 / 5 (1) Sep 07, 2015
Nice video DavidW. Her error is to assume the existence of time.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Sep 07, 2015
but supposing there are, the consequences for the human race is what precisely?

The possibility of reading out parallel states (if some sort of trans-universe measurement is possible). At the most basic level this could give you computers that would be able to zcompute (or look up) anything instantly.

At the most far reaching level it could tell us something about the nature of reality (which is always something worth knowing...because like in any game: the one rule that you don't know WILL eventually kill you).
someone11235813
5 / 5 (1) Sep 07, 2015
@antialias_physorg,

So you are saying that if there is such a thing as parallel universes that we will have access to them in some way? I was under the impression that they were like whatever came 'before' the creation even for our current Universe, which is not something that that is accessible even in principle.
antigoracle
not rated yet Sep 07, 2015
I'd rather believe in oblique universes, then one day....boom...another collides with ours.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Sep 08, 2015
So you are saying that if there is such a thing as parallel universes that we will have access to them in some way?

Access in the way that we may be able to measure what is going on..not in the way of actually stepping into one.

The parallel universes talked about in the article exist alongside us (in the 'bulk' https://en.wikipe...nd_bulk) - not sequentially (although there may be that kind, too)
Noumenon
not rated yet Sep 08, 2015
There is zero empirical evidence of parallel universes. There is zero empirical evidence for even forming the hypothesis of parallel universes. There is only mathematical idealism and metaphysical speculation.

At present.

IOW, one would have to start with the premise that rather than mathematical models of physics representing merely a predictive link between observables, ... they in fact model reality as it exists between observables. The former represents the proper scientific method, while the former enters metaphysics via mathematical idealism.
Noumenon
not rated yet Sep 08, 2015
EDIT: "while the [latter] enters metaphysics via mathematical idealism."
inkosana
not rated yet Sep 08, 2015
....one would have to start with the premise that rather than mathematical models of physics representing merely a predictive link between observables, ... they in fact model reality as it exists between observables.
If they cannot do the latter, physics is impossible: ONLY metaphysics then remains.
The former represents the proper scientific method, while the (latter) enters metaphysics via mathematical idealism.
Just the opposite way around!! Mathematics is ONLY a language which, when used to only model a "predictive link", is NOT modelling physics but metaphysics.
Noumenon
not rated yet Sep 08, 2015
Perhaps you should reread; I think we agree that if one confuses the mathematical model for reality (as MWI seems to do) then they're engaging in mathematical idealism which is a form of metaphysics, if not substantiated with empirical verification.

Science is fundamentally based on observation which is all that is available to us wrt knowledge of reality, therefore physical laws are merely mathematical models that link observations together in a way that allows for predictions,.. and nothing more.

It you desire to know what Reality is like in between observations, then de facto, you desire metaphysical knowledge.
DavidW
1 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2015
but supposing there are, the consequences for the human race is what precisely?

The possibility of reading out parallel states (if some sort of trans-universe measurement is possible). At the most basic level this could give you computers that would be able to zcompute (or look up) anything instantly.


Thank you for that.

Option A: The tech is used to save life, but then eventually someone asks the computer how do I make the rest of mankind work as slaves for me for eternity?

Option B: The first thing that gets asked is: "How do I make the rest of mankind work as slaves for me for eternity?

D-wave anyone? sigh.Just what we need. People that have no education, practically whatsoever, in truth, other than the self-righteous religious positions that say, 'I can do whatever I want because I'm forgiven', as an example, developing a computer with the abilities to quickly make the current situation of blackness permanent.
inkosana
not rated yet Sep 09, 2015
Perhaps you should reread; I think we agree that if one confuses the mathematical model for reality (as MWI seems to do) then they're engaging in mathematical idealism which is a form of metaphysics, if not substantiated with empirical verification.
This is my point! Since Dirac and Heisenberg the mathematical models have been accepted as reality: That is why the 20th century brought us the mental sickness called "mathematical physics".

Science is fundamentally based on observation which is all that is available to us wrt knowledge of reality,
Not quite! Science is the logic therefore physical laws are merely mathematical models that link observations together in a way that allows for predictions,.. and nothing more.

It you desire to know what Reality is like in between observations, then de facto, you desire metaphysical knowledge.
inkosana
not rated yet Sep 09, 2015
I think we agree that if one confuses the mathematical model for reality (as MWI seems to do) then they're engaging in mathematical idealism which is a form of metaphysics, if not substantiated with empirical verification.
Since Dirac and Heisenberg, mathematical models have been accepted as reality: That brought us the mental sickness called "mathematical physics".
Science is fundamentally based on observation which is all that is available to us...
Not quite! Science is the logical interpretation of what we observe. Without logic and consistent re-interpretation of our observations, science is an illusion.
therefore physical laws are merely mathematical models that link observations together in a way that allows for predictions,.. and nothing more.
This is post-modern religious dogma which you cannot prove.
It you desire to know what Reality is like in between observations, then de facto, you desire metaphysical knowledge.
I disagree.
Noumenon
not rated yet Sep 09, 2015
Perhaps you should reread; I think we agree that if one confuses the mathematical model for reality (as MWI seems to do) then they're engaging in mathematical idealism which is a form of metaphysics, if not substantiated with empirical verification.

This is my point! Since Dirac and Heisenberg the mathematical models have been accepted as reality: That is why the 20th century brought us the mental sickness called "mathematical physics".


They have been substantiated with empirical verification, therefore they're valid.
inkosana
1 / 5 (1) Sep 09, 2015
They have been substantiated with empirical verification, therefore they're valid.
I have been doing physics for many-many years and do not know of such substantiation. How and where did this happen? All I know is that Bohr, Born and Heisenberg (and those who blindly followed them) were not able to do experimental substantiation of anything! They lived and are still living in fantasyland.

Bohr was so deluded that he stated: If some-one thinks he understands quantum mechanics then he does not understand it. This has become the motto of modern theoretical physics which you also adhere to. One must believe that It is impossible to understand physics and therefore, if someone claims it is possible, this person is doing metaphysics. Can you not see how absurd this is?
Noumenon
5 / 5 (3) Sep 09, 2015
Dirac predicted the positron, and anti-matter merely on the basis of making the Schrodinger equation linear in time and space. His use of purely mathematical matrices to accomplish this was later substantiated on the discovery of the positron just a few years later.

Bohr was so deluded that he stated: If some-one thinks he understands quantum mechanics then he does not understand it.


He said 'if one is not shocked by QM, then he does not understand it.'

Feynman said "no one understands QM",... by which he meant, no one has an intuitive understanding of QM, despite that it allows for predictive knowledge.

inkosana
1 / 5 (2) Sep 09, 2015
Dirac predicted the positron, and anti-matter merely on the basis of making the Schrodinger equation linear in time and space. His use of purely mathematical matrices to accomplish this was later substantiated on the discovery of the positron just a few years later.
This is nonsense: He did NOT "predict" the existence of the positron at all. He obtained solutions for the electron that cannot exist in free-space. So it is impossible that he could have predicted the positron in this manner.
Bohr was so deluded that he stated....
He said 'if one is not shocked by QM, then he does not understand it.'
Even worse!

Feynman said "no one understands QM",... by which he meant, no one has an intuitive understanding of QM, despite that it allows for predictive knowledge.
He was wrong, since quantum mechanics follows logically from Maxwell's equations as can be seen in my book! His intuition was impaired!
donjoseph
not rated yet Sep 24, 2015
This would be interesting if my Professor Eugenio Calabi (1959 at the U of M) was putting time in on this, don't think so!
Interesting stuff for a short excursion JMHO

FYI EC is the geometer responsible for Calabi-Yau geometry
Mimath224
not rated yet Sep 24, 2015
@InkosanaDirac predicted the positron, and anti-matter merely on the basis of making the Schrodinger equation linear in time and space. His use of purely mathematical matrices to accomplish this was later substantiated on the discovery of the positron just a few years later. This is nonsense: He did NOT "predict" the existence of the positron at all. He obtained solutions for the electron that cannot exist in free-space. So it is impossible that he could have predicted the positron in this manner.

Depends how one looks at it. In 1931 Dirac came to the conclusion that 'anitelectrons' were mass of the 'hole' in the 'Dirac sea' being the mass of the electron but + charge. About a year later later Carl Anderson discovered a particle that Dirac had predicted.
inkosana
1 / 5 (1) Sep 25, 2015
Dirac predicted the positron, and anti-matter merely on the basis of making the Schrodinger equation linear in time and space.
Dirac fudged the Schroedinger equation for a SINGLE ELECTRON, and found that this SINGLE ELECTRON must have an energy of minus infinity. If he was realistic he would have concluded that his equation does not work But he then turned arse over head by claiming that his equation is valid for an infinite number of electrons. Infinity does not exist my friend: Only an autistic person like Dirac would have claimed this absurdity. He then claimed that the positive charge he gets when an electron is excited across the gap is a PROTON. So where the hell did he predict the positron?

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