# Thread: Quantum Theory and The Many Worlds Theory

1. Originally Posted by mal4mac
Have a glance at a few MWI papers. Of course there is mathematical formalism! If there isn't it's just not physics...

Actually, can't you just use the wave equation? In one universe its indeterministic, but if there are many universes then *all* solutions are instantiated, i.e. determined.
What MWI paper do you recommend?

No one can use the wave equation if they want a deterministic solution. They need some sort of particle equation, but that no one has been able to provide so far. Here's the Wikipedia article on the uncertainty principle to prove this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle Look at the "Proof of the Kennard inequality using wave mechanics". The uncertainty principle is derived from wave mechanics. It is part of wave mechanics. If you use wave mechanics, you use the uncertainty principle. I think this is why Schrodinger and Einstein were hoping there was something else, some hidden variables. Bell's inequality and the tests that confirmed it showed that was not possible.

If you do come up with a particle equation, you would then have determinism, but would it simulate the results of the wave pattern observed in QM? I don't think it can, no matter how many worlds you employ. Actually, the more worlds the more unlikely one can simulate a wave pattern. What you would get would look like a random scattering of particles, a uniform distribution on the detector screen, not the oddly ordered wave pattern that is actually observed.

Look at the wave pattern in the talk Feynman described that you referred me to earlier: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAgcqgDc-YM The wave pattern is not random. It is not deterministic either. How can particles coming from a single or many worlds simulate that?

2. Originally Posted by billl
Anyhow, Yes/No, I tried. I don't think I can do much better. It should be obvious that Everett was never at all sheepish about involving the wave function in the MWI--it is an absolutely essential and core part of MWI and part and parcel of his inspiration in formulating it. The interference between versions of a particle might be strange/mysterious (it obviously is), and you might not see reason to consider it as a reasonable interpretation, but for many people it is preferable to other strange/mysterious interpretations. If you believe that the MWI is not determinate, I don't know what more to do to help get you past that, but it is obviously an indication that you're still struggling with this.
The reason Everett liked the wave function was that it was linear. He could keep all the results that didn't happen as summands, much like a pack rat. Then he assumed that by discretizing any potential result set of the wave equation and putting the results that we don't see magically in other worlds, he solved the problem of uncertainty. But the problem of uncertainty is contained within the wave equation itself. If the wave equation never collapses, there is always uncertainty. That means one never gets a deterministic result.

I see MWI as influential in some philosophy, some new age religions and science fiction. I don't see it useful for science itself.

3. Originally Posted by YesNo
I see MWI as influential in some philosophy, some new age religions and science fiction. I don't see it useful for science itself.
You're wrong, and your combination of prior beliefs and ignorance is blinding you as to why. Every objection you raise implicitly assumes this is the only world and that the wave function is collapsing into this single world indeterministically. You've yet to to present one thing that is relevant to the alternative that MWI proposes, and are instead using the single-world/indeterminate assumptions to disprove the interp that questions/challenges both. This wouldn't be so bad if you weren't combining it with the implied arrogance that the majority of QPs are not only wrong, but that you, someone who is admittedly rather ignorant on this subject, knows something they don't that falsifies their interpretation. I'm begging you, YesNo, would you please just admit that the fault more likely lies with your misunderstanding than with the various MW advocates whom you haven't read in full?

FWIW, I seemed to have bookmarked this FAQ back when I was reading up on this. I remember thinking that it seemed to do a good job of explaining what MWI exactly is and why it fares better with the data than the others. You might want to give it a thorough read-through.

4. Sorry, for the late response, I haven't much time lately ...

MS: I was reading a thread on Hinduism that also wanted to use the MWI interpretation to justify its religious perspectives. I think science offers many justifications for religious belief of various sorts, but the many worlds or parallel universe interpretation is an attempt to justify determinism. Unless the religion in question is promoting determinism, I doubt MWI would be on its side.
As far as Hinduism or Far East Religions which sprung from the Axial Age ... in terms of multple worlds, environs, places or even multi-dimensional entities which may exist in a time, place or event ... be a good place to start ... but determinism states a philosophical doctrine holding that every event, mental as well as physical, has a cause, and that, the cause being given, the event follows invariably. This theory denies the element of chance or contingency.

Cause, casuality, retro-causuality, the cause maybe a time, place or thing, the cause may serve some other purpose ... pre-emergence and entanglement are to such examples of questions which change the focus considerably ... Its still the best of all possible worlds ... everything has a beginning and an end ... If in the beginning God brought order to chaos and it was complete and then re-creation began [and for how long] ... everything has a beginning, everything has an end, everything that seeks life seeks greater conciousness, all that live die ... in eastern terms they wish to escape the wheel or cycle of materialism ... I can guarantee you as far as sentinence goes all understand life and death, pain and love

http://philosophynow.org/issues/89/T...erse_Conundrum
In his 1895 essay Is Life Worth Living? the American philosopher William James wrote, “Truly, all we know of good and duty proceeds from nature… [which] is all plasticity and indifference – a moral multiverse, as one might call it” and a new word was born. A century later, and James’s neologism has been commandeered by physicists and pressed into service in a somewhat different context ... [Leibniz was a] polymath of such remarkable achievements that Gottlob Frege described him as being “virtually in a class of his own.” To Leibniz’s way of thinking there were infinitely many possible worlds, each with different physics, subject to the overarching principle that all the laws of nature should together not imply a contradiction.

Most physicists agree: the harmonious results of the universe’s precise physical constants seems a bit too convenient to be overlooked as sheer accident, but what are we to make of the apparent coincidences? One possibility is that cosmic fine-tuning is the result of actual design ... When Albert Einstein asked, “Did God have any choice when he created the universe?” he was wondering whether physical constants such as the mass of the proton are not mere coincidences, but arise naturally from some as-yet-undiscovered physical laws which cover most possible worlds. If we could uncover such laws, we might even find that a universe like this one was almost inevitable.

A better argument for the multiverse is that the idea of it arises naturally from many of the mathematical models currently being deployed in theoretical physics. Eternal inflation, string theory and even Hugh Everett III’s ‘many worlds’ interpretation of good old-fashioned quantum mechanics, all suggest a vast number of universes, and conditions have to be bolted onto each of the theories to get the number of universes down to one. Without conditions the theories are much neater, but this theoretical simplicity comes at the cost of multiple universes. The various theories also suggest that the multiverse could come in different forms: the extra universes might be separated by tremendous distances, be embedded in different spatial dimensions, or might be separated only by time.

Andrei Linde argues that inflation could spawn new, disconnected regions of space, each with different properties, and that over time this process could give rise to all the different universes predicted by string theory. Researchers have recently noticed that the cosmic microwave background radiation – the echo left over from the Big Bang – contains traces of what might be ‘bruises’ caused by collisions between Linde’s other universes and our own.

Superstring theories are one of the leading candidates in the quest to unify gravitation with the other forces. The mathematics of superstring theories incorporates gravity into particle physics easily.

http://philosophynow.org/issues/89/T...erse_Conundrum
An infinite multiverse also completely does away with the fine-tuning problem. Any sentient being thinking about the problem could only be doing so from the comfort of one of the inhabitable universes, and that is all there is to be said on the matter ... As Tegmark points out though, the almost spooky power of mathematics to describe the world would hardly be a surprise if there was a direct correspondence between mathematical structures and actually existing universes.

http://www.philosophyetc.net/2008/11...revisited.html
"The particular multiverse hypothesis I have in mind is the claim that every possible cosmos is realized exactly once. It's not a matter of "causation", exactly, but if it's necessarily the case that exactly one Richard-counterpart will kick a puppy, then note the following two implications:"

This, I think, can be examined without the multiverse. With 5+ billion souls on earth someone, somewhere is going to kick a puppy. Given that a puppy is going to get kicked, should you kick one too? It would seem the answer is still no as you have the ability to control only your behavior, not everyone else's whether they exist in this universe or others.

If all possiblities exist then this is really an argument against free will. Every possible you exists ranging from perfect you to perfectly evil you and trillions of in between yous. If you kick the puppy you are simply demonstrating that we are in one of the middle universes with an imperfect [MS]. If you refrain we may hope we are in the universe with the better [MS].

5. Originally Posted by KillCarneyKlans

http://philosophynow.org/issues/89/T...erse_Conundrum
An infinite multiverse also completely does away with the fine-tuning problem. Any sentient being thinking about the problem could only be doing so from the comfort of one of the inhabitable universes, and that is all there is to be said on the matter ... As Tegmark points out though, the almost spooky power of mathematics to describe the world would hardly be a surprise if there was a direct correspondence between mathematical structures and actually existing universes.
If there were these multiverses, it would do away with the issue of fine-tuning. That is one of the purposes of presenting them.

I don't see any reason to accept a multiverse since the fine-tuning doesn't bother me.

6. Originally Posted by YesNo
That is one of the purposes of presenting them.
No, that's just one of the consequences of it. Scientists don't bother with such trivial silliness.

7. Fine-tuning is one minor at best component but it can be complicated a bit by the fact that the bio-info [which is 6x the normal rate of correlation] in the cosmological constant ... had to be there before the process of evolution could occur ... so we can assume that worlds like ours would be similar with slightly different physics [communication still possible]. Also to note, if this was a one time event as they assume here

http://www.philosophyetc.net/2008/11...revisited.html

We would have to assume a "template" for they bio-info from which all other could be drawn from and the problem of overcoming the condition of some form of intelligent design would get much trickier, Anyways

http://www.historum.com/blogs/killca...elligence.html
http://www.historum.com/blogs/killca...d-origins.html
http://www.online-literature.com/for...t=68852&page=5

http://www.historum.com/blogs/killca...number-37.html
Strings unlike the chaotic Quatum World or the rather? .. the mundane physical world, dimensions itself in a torus or torodial plane, a donut shape ... Which leads me back to 496 and transcendental dimensionless numbers and 37 and prime numbers, computer encryption, the [Bible] text, and last but not least, apparent Data in life forms that began as a pre-cursor to evolution ... They refute traditional ideas about the stochastic origin of the genetic code. A new order in the genetic code hardly ever went through chemical evolution and, seemingly, originally appeared as pure information like arithmetic itself."

8. Originally Posted by KillCarneyKlans
Fine-tuning is one minor at best component but it can be complicated a bit by the fact that the bio-info [which is 6x the normal rate of correlation] in the cosmological constant ... had to be there before the process of evolution could occur ... so we can assume that worlds like ours would be similar with slightly different physics [communication still possible]. Also to note, if this was a one time event as they assume here

http://www.philosophyetc.net/2008/11...revisited.html
I don't think I'm following all of this, but I wonder where you stand on the issue of many worlds. Do you think there are many worlds or not?

9. Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman
No, that's just one of the consequences of it. Scientists don't bother with such trivial silliness.
I don't want to change your mind on this topic. It is good to discuss issues with people who have different viewpoints.

My viewpoint is that many worlds was created to put determinism back into QM. I don't think Everett succeeded since he used the wave equation from which uncertainty can be derived. The fine-tuning issue probably was not on Everett's mind, but the many worlds provides a solution for that as well and would be a reason today for people to accept it who are becoming more aware of that issue.

I think the need for many worlds or multiverses in general corresponds to a need to bring back an out-of-date materialistic determinism. It looks like desperation to me. The way it gets presented, especially by people like Yudkowsky, sounds more like proselytizing than scientific argument.

10. Originally Posted by YesNo
My viewpoint is that many worlds was created to put determinism back into QM.
There's not a single shred of evidence for this and your viewpoint is blinded by a bias to confirm your prior beliefs. . MWI interpretation is a direct consequence of taking the wavefunction as a real, objective entity. All of your objections come from assuming the very things that MWI are questioning.

Originally Posted by YesNo
The way it gets presented, especially by people like Yudkowsky, sounds more like proselytizing than scientific argument.
You haven't read all of Yudkowsky, so, fail. Yudkowsky is trying to present it to laymen, which you are. You object to his rhetoric but you can't follow the technical science from people like Tegemark and Deutsch. You've clearly fortified yourself against believing it regardless. That you've had at least three different people in this thread trying to show you why you're wrong, that you've been given countless links to people that explain it, but continue to not address their relevant claims, is a clear-as-day indication of this.

11. Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman
There's not a single shred of evidence for this and your viewpoint is blinded by a bias to confirm your prior beliefs. . MWI interpretation is a direct consequence of taking the wavefunction as a real, objective entity. All of your objections come from assuming the very things that MWI are questioning.
I've provided the evidence for my viewpoint. I haven't heard anyone adequately address it.

What does it mean to take "the wavefunction as a real, objective entity"? The wave function is supposedly equivalent to Heisenberg's matrix formulation. So instead of saying the wave function is a real, objective entity, you could say the matrix formulation is a real, objective entity. In either case, what does that mean?

As a result of this thread, I have read enough of the MWI to be convinced that it has "not a single shred of evidence" for its position. It is all spooky magic and weird fantasy. You might as well believe that Santa comes down the chimney. The Copenhagen interpretation makes more sense.

Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman
You haven't read all of Yudkowsky, so, fail. Yudkowsky is trying to present it to laymen, which you are. You object to his rhetoric but you can't follow the technical science from people like Tegemark and Deutsch. You've clearly fortified yourself against believing it regardless. That you've had at least three different people in this thread trying to show you why you're wrong, that you've been given countless links to people that explain it, but continue to not address their relevant claims, is a clear-as-day indication of this.
I'll probably read more of Yudkowsky, but at the moment I'm reading Barry Parker's Quantum Legacy. Refreshingly, I haven't seen any reference to many worlds in it. I also was not impressed by either Max Tegmark or David Deutsch. I don't see why Tegmark has to bring up unscientific polls. I find that very suspicious. Deutsch just rambled. I felt he was wasting my time. Of course, that's my opinion, but I stand by it.

The "countless" links you refer to were actually countable and I did check out each one. That I haven't been convinced is not evidence that there is something wrong with me. It just means that I haven't been convinced.

12. Originally Posted by YesNo
I've provided the evidence for my viewpoint.
Your evidence would get you laughed out of any university by any student of QP.

Originally Posted by YesNo
What does it mean to take "the wavefunction as a real, objective entity"?
http://www.physics.wustl.edu/~alford...s_FAQ.html#faqThe bolded part is what I was referring to:
Many-worlds comprises of two assumptions and some consequences. The assumptions are quite modest:
1) The metaphysical assumption: That the wavefunction does not merely encode the all the information about an object, but has an observer-independent objective existence and actually is the object. For a non-relativistic N-particle system the wavefunction is a complex-valued field in a 3-N dimensional space.

2) The physical assumption: The wavefunction obeys the empirically derived standard linear deterministic wave equations at all times. The observer plays no special role in the theory and, consequently, there is no collapse of the wavefunction. For non-relativistic systems the Schrodinger wave equation is a good approximation to reality. (See "Is many-worlds a relativistic theory?" for how the more general case is handled with quantum field theory or third quantisation.)

The rest of the theory is just working out consequences of the above assumptions. Measurements and observations by a subject on an object are modelled by applying the wave equation to the joint subject-object system. Some consequences are:
1) That each measurement causes a decomposition or decoherence of the universal wavefunction into non-interacting and mostly non- interfering branches, histories or worlds. (See "What is decoherence?") The histories form a branching tree which encompasses all the possible outcomes of each interaction. (See "Why do worlds split?" and "When do worlds split?") Every historical what-if compatible with the initial conditions and physical law is realised.

2) That the conventional statistical Born interpretation of the amplitudes in quantum theory is derived from within the theory rather than having to be assumed as an additional axiom. (See "How do probabilities emerge within many-worlds?")

Many-worlds is a re-formulation of quantum theory [1], published in 1957 by Dr Hugh Everett III [2], which treats the process of observation or measurement entirely within the wave-mechanics of quantum theory, rather than an input as additional assumption, as in the Copenhagen interpretation. Everett considered the wavefunction a real object. Many-worlds is a return to the classical, pre-quantum view of the universe in which all the mathematical entities of a physical theory are real. For example the electromagnetic fields of James Clark Maxwell or the atoms of Dalton were considered as real objects in classical physics. Everett treats the wavefunction in a similar fashion. Everett also assumed that the wavefunction obeyed the same wave equation during observation or measurement as at all other times. This is the central assumption of many-worlds: that the wave equation is obeyed universally and at all times.

Everett discovered that the new, simpler theory - which he named the "relative state" formulation - predicts that interactions between two (or more) macrosystems typically split the joint system into a superposition of products of relative states. The states of the macrosystems are, after the subsystems have jointly interacted, henceforth correlated with, or dependent upon, each other. Each element of the superposition - each a product of subsystem states - evolves independently of the other elements in the superposition. The states of the macrosystems are, by becoming correlated or entangled with each other, impossible to understand in isolation from each other and must be viewed as one composite system. It is no longer possible to speak the state of one (sub)system in isolation from the other (sub)systems. Instead we are forced to deal with the states of subsystems relative to each other. Specifying the state of one subsystem leads to a unique specification of the state (the "relative state") of the other subsystems. (See "What is a relative state?")

If one of the systems is an observer and the interaction an observation then the effect of the observation is to split the observer into a number of copies, each copy observing just one of the possible results of a measurement and unaware of the other results and all its observer- copies. Interactions between systems and their environments, including communication between different observers in the same world, transmits the correlations that induce local splitting or decoherence into non- interfering branches of the universal wavefunction. Thus the entire world is split, quite rapidly, into a host of mutually unobservable but equally real worlds.

According to many-worlds all the possible outcomes of a quantum interaction are realised. The wavefunction, instead of collapsing at the moment of observation, carries on evolving in a deterministic fashion, embracing all possibilities embedded within it. All outcomes exist simultaneously but do not interfere further with each other, each single prior world having split into mutually unobservable but equally real worlds.
Originally Posted by YesNo
I have read enough of the MWI to be convinced that it has "not a single shred of evidence" for its position.
Sure you have. I'm sure you'll be explaining why quantum computing is bunk now.

Originally Posted by YesNo
Refreshingly, I haven't seen any reference to many worlds in it. I also was not impressed by either Max Tegmark or David Deutsch. I don't see why Tegmark has to bring up unscientific polls. I find that very suspicious. Deutsch just rambled. I felt he was wasting my time. Of course, that's my opinion, but I stand by it.

Originally Posted by YesNo
That I haven't been convinced is not evidence that there is something wrong with me.
It's not about you not being convinced, it's about you clearly not understanding and continually misrepresenting the theory every time you present "evidence" against it, despite three different posters trying to correct you, and despite the majority of physicists being against you, including the one you were reading and "citing" as evidence against MW. Your bias is as clear as the nose on your face. That you continually refuse to recognize it IS evidence that there's something wrong with you.

13. Originally Posted by MorpheusSandman
Your evidence would get you laughed out of any university by any student of QP.
Right, he's just engaging in disingenuous trolling, which is why I quit talking to him. He hasn't the slightest idea what he is talking about, and I'm sure he has read none of the literature that I've linked. His objections to MWI would be laughed out of the house even by those who doubt MWI. His objections are just stupid (and disingenuous, a polite world I'll substitute for what they really are.)

Meanwhile, science and the philosophy of science march on! To those who doubt how embedded MWI is in the literature, just visit the Phil Sci Archive, which I've already linked. Here is a rather technical paper I've just started, but it looks darned good. It's how Schrodinger himself may actually have hit upon the Many Worlds before Everett and in a way even clearer than Everett did.

Maybe I ought to introduce YesNo to the Block World, and see what that does to his precious free will and God bothering. There's a nice new paper just in on the Block World at the Phil Sci archive. Can't wait to read it!

14. Today at space.com, the multiverse -- with four other multiverses in addition to Many Worlds!

15. Sorry I'm dropping off the map here, as one poster said earlier I believe ... I only need to go back a few 100 years to find find seperate cultures who knew little or nothing of each other ... I know but what about MW&U's?

Still seems to me like mind/body question ... but instead of Descartes doing it, it's the universe ... in the QW once you become the observer the probablities are spelled out for you

Scientists formulating these theories also have to deal with infinities [where probabilities can't exist if all or no probabilities exist] and finite structures within the greater structure of the universe that can have probabilities computed against them ... this usually involves the components of the universe called time and space ... matter and energy, that's a different matter, but not entirely, anyways

It's a convenient way for scientists to formulate ideas to explain things ... but testing it in a real other sense is still a few light years away.

Can any theory really compute the possibilities of alien life, diverse enviroments, dimensions and consciousness, etc ... I'll give you this one, you put together some solid arguments.

Seeya .all.. I'll miss you ... I just can't be here as much ... I'll be in the background radiation .. keep up the good work!

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