What if we lived in a hypothetical universe? Pt.2
This part is going to take a slightly different, more, dare I say, philosophical view on quantum mechanics and how this applies to the world.
Warning–the following paragraphs contain a staggering amount of mind-bogglement. If you like having a sense of sanity, some semblance of self-worth, and a cozy, dark, little hole in the ground to live in, do not read on.
The universe as a whole, the Existence as a whole, it’s a thought that nobody likes to think about. And deep inside, each of us know why. From a purely scientific standpoint, we don’t matter. From a philosophical standpoint, it is impossible to comprehend it. From a religious standpoint, there is so much to doubt and so little to believe in. From a normal standpoint, it is a sense of loneliness and cold, and we as humans tend to stay away from that. And to think about it all is overwhelming. If you don’t think it’s overwhelming, you’re not thinking about it. When these thoughts flood your brain, there is little else that can function, so this is why we keep it locked away, deep in the crevices of our mind so we don’t have to deal with it.
So you never have to think about it if you don’t want to. But one must, for it is the question that has haunted all life since its beginning.
“Why do we exist?”
Mind bogglement: What if there were others, just like us, but not in our plane of existence? What if there was a different me or you going, “Why do we exist?”
Would you like a cold cup of perspective? http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/
It’s an amazing, beautiful universe, and if you don’t think so, that’s pretty short-sighted and narrow-minded of you. The Existence is a terrible/awe-inspiring, both at the same time, and it transcends every thought that you thought you knew.
Now getting to the point, there is a different interpretation of quantum mechanics that allows for a whole different type of reality, philosophy, time, and choice. That very interpretation is the Many-Worlds Interpretation. Its implications are staggering. If it were proved to be true, then for every moment in our lives, there is an infinite number of different universes that spring from that moment, and the choice we make at the moment is the reality that we live in. The other infinite choices that we possibly could have made are actual realities in parallel universes. Sounds sci-fi, right?
Well, put into scientific terms, what happens at the point at which we observe electrons is the key. The Copenhagen interpretation asserts that electrons undergo wavefunction collapse and become what we see. Many-worlds interpretation states that electrons do NOT undergo wavefunction collapse and instead split into separate realities.
Each of these realities is as real as the next. There is another you and another me in another universe, exactly the same except for a minor change in the flow of our lives. And another you and me in another universe. And a universe in which we never existed in the first place. There is a reality for everything.
This is like the equivalent of freaking Sparta in science.
So this universe…it could very well be that it is unremarkable. Indistinguishable. One among infinite. One universe in the entire multiverse.
Many-worlds interpretation tries to explain Schrödinger’s Cat with the idea that in our universe, the cat is dead, but the alternate reality of it living splits off into another universe. We’d never know because we only exist in one plane of reality.
Most people perceive the flow of life as one continuous river, and maybe determinists see it as the only river. The introduction of this interpretation means that time and reality is more like an infinitely forked road at every moment in our lives. So what is time? Just a bunch of choices that we make that keeps reality in motion? Does this affirm the existence of free will and choice? Are those separate universes impossible to reach? What does this mean for what’s beyond us?
These questions are some that should address the implications of this theory. Yes, it is a little spine-chilling, yet awesome at the same time.
Well, thanks for reading! Yes, this is what I read about in my free time.
Everything you’ve learned in school as “obvious” becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There’s not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines.— R. Buckminster Fuller – Beyond Apathy