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Quantum Mechanics and Immortality

Article #58 • Written by Alan Bellows

Quantum Mechanics is a curious area of study which began in the early 20th century when scientists began to discover that the theories of electromagnetism and Newtonian mechanics, which so elegantly describe the movements of normal objects, completely fell apart at extremely tiny atomic and subatomic scales. It soon became clear that a separate theory would be necessary to describe subatomic interactions, and thus Quantum Mechanics was born.

The theory of quantum mechanics describes a tiny realm completely foreign to the one we observe normally. At quantum levels, matter exists simultaneously as particles and as waves (wave-particle duality), a particle's position and momentum cannot be precisely known at the same time (Heisenberg uncertainty principle), and the state of two objects can be intertwined, regardless of the physical distance between them (quantum entanglement). Niels Bohr, one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, once said, "Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it."

The predictions of quantum mechanics have never been disproved in any experiments in over a century of development. It has been studied by brilliant minds including Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman, and though there is much disagreement about what it all means, there is little doubt that it is true. Some even think it provides us with a means to live forever.

Quantum mechanics is not in the business of exact predictions, rather it deals in probabilities when describing the position or momentum of a given particle at a certain time. This inexactness is not because the theory is incomplete, but because those qualities of a particle are inherently unpredictable with any precision; or to put it another way, because there seems to be some degree of randomness at play in the universe. Einstein was famously uncomfortable with this facet of quantum physics, asserting that "God does not play dice!" But despite spending a good deal of his life after 1925 trying to back up his assertion, he was never able to.

In 1957, a student named Hugh Everett suggested that perhaps the reason that a particle's outcome can't be predicted is not because of randomness, but because every possible outcome does occur. This idea led to the "many-worlds interpretation" (MWI) which postulates that at the quantum level, everything that can happen does happen, and that each possible outcome branches the universe into another which is at first identical aside from the alternate outcome. So the seemingly "random" outcome is actually just representative of the one possible outcome one's current universe happens to be based upon. The overlapping universes, between which no information can pass, would then continue to develop individually, each of them branching endlessly as well. Among physicists worldwide, this "multiverse" idea has become one of the most widely accepted interpretations of quantum physics.

On a larger scale, MWI would mean that everything which can happen will happen in at least one universe. Based on this, Max Tegmark at Princeton University suggested an experiment to prove that the many-worlds interpretation is correct, where one points a loaded gun at one's head, and pulls the trigger. If you were to try this test, it is highly unlikely that you would survive... but if the gun failed to go off, and continued to do so in subsequent tests, you could eventually become reasonably confident that you're in one of the branched universes where something caused the gun to misfire each time. Of course only the "you" in those "miraculous survival" universes would know this, the others would all be dead from gunshot wounds to the head.

Obviously this ridiculous test is not recommended, but if MWI is true, wouldn't that mean that there are universes where I decided to try this for myself, and in at least one of those universes I survived miraculously? This article is probably much more exciting in those universes. Incidentally, in this branch, my brain is currently trying to gnaw its way out of my skull in self-defense.

In such a way is the argument for Quantum Immortality made. Some say that regardless of the cause of death, if the many-worlds interpretation is true, then there will always be at least one branch where the "miraculous survival" scenario is realized, and that version of "you" will never die. Of course the odds are overwhelmingly against the possibility that anyone in this universe is a perpetual miraculous survivor. Although the whole idea is wildly speculative, quantum immortality violates no known laws of physics.

Article written by Alan Bellows, published on 26 November 2005. Alan is the founder/designer/head writer/managing editor of Damn Interesting.

Article design and artwork by Alan Bellows.
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41 Comments
Alex
Posted 26 November 2005 at 07:27 pm

That's the happy side. That means that there's other branches where everything awful will happen. But I digress, as now I'm looking at the glass as half empty. (Oh I'm sure someone will pick me apart for saying that)

I've never felt that I truely understand Quantum Physics, more of a simple or basic understanding. I read this article with previous knowledge, and I am still amazed. If anything, next to exploring further into space, this is something that needs to be heavily studied and thought-out.


Marius
Posted 27 November 2005 at 06:29 am

I do not pretend to even begin to grasp the mathematics involved in Heisenberg's principle, but I always assumed that it boiled down to the fact that measuring a particle's properties invariably changes them. At the quantum level even an interaction with a photon is significant, so measuring a particle's direction by bouncing a photon off of it and measuring the result will alter its spin, and vise versa. The whole basis for the MWI is a mathematical artifact, and not a true representation of reality. Of course, I could be very wrong about this.


Alan Bellows
Posted 27 November 2005 at 11:09 am

Despite my studies, I don't understand quantum physics quite as well as I'd like to, so it is possible that I have misrepresented the cause of the randomness that MWI derives from.

Before MWI was suggested, the most popular interpretation was Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation, which stated that a particle is whatever it is measured to be (e.g. a wave or a particle), but that it cannot be assumed to have any specific properties, or even to exist, until it is measured. In this interpretation, it follows that an object is actually in ALL possible states simultaneously until we observe it. Before observing it, it is in an uncertain state called a "wave function." Observing the object "collapses" the wave function, which is what happens when you open the box to see Schrödinger's cat.

MWI suggests that rather than collapsing the wave function upon observation, we're merely revealing which of the possible states our universe contains.

Stephen Hawking sides with the many-worlds theory, incidentally... though I don't know if he's ever commented on quantum immortality.


0bvious
Posted 27 November 2005 at 06:41 pm

Surely consciousness is the greatest mystery the universe (or 'universes') has to offer. If you ever get the chance do check out Olaf Stapledon's sci-fi masterpiece 'Star Maker'... It explored some aspects of the many worlds interpretation around the time that the concepts were first being drafted (1930s) and, I believe, it has not been bettered since in terms of the wonderment it inspires


JustAnotherName
Posted 28 November 2005 at 07:38 am

Observing the object "collapses" the wave function, which is what happens when you open the box to see Schrödinger's cat.


MWI suggests that rather than collapsing the wave function upon observation, we're merely revealing which of the possible states our universe contains.

Stephen Hawking sides with the many-worlds theory, incidentally… though I don't know if he's ever commented on quantum immortality."

I tried to read that "CAT" book. It was my brothers and I do believe he understood it. All I could figure out is if you look at something on the level of quantum physics, you actually change the way it would have looked or it's outcome.

We have a great big Black Hole in our galaxy that they are studying. They brought up Steven Hawking and his theory (which he could never prove and was quite upset by the fact) that "Time will run in reverse" with the collapse of a star which creates a black hole. Personally, I don't think time can run in reverse even in a black hole and I have no mathematical skills to prove my point. I only have my ......ahem....... common sense and the fact Hawking could not mathematically prove it.


Interested
Posted 28 November 2005 at 03:41 pm

I have never fully understood Quantum physics, or quantum anything for that matter. But it has always interested me. Anything is possible. When I read this article it brought me back to something I read many years ago about Edgar Cayce and his interpretation of the Akashic Records that he seemed to be able to read from. Now, if you coupled his expaination of those records with MWI it seems there might be something there that scientists may not be looking at. Maybe he was seeing all the possibilities at once. Just possibilities. Or maybe they have happened. Or will happen. Whatever...he was seeing something.


phazeshifter
Posted 30 November 2005 at 03:56 am

I used to watch "Quantum Leap". That is the extent of my knowledge about anything quantum. This was a great article though and I find Schrodinger's Cat to be a very helpful explanation/insight into the possible (non)workings of quantum mechanics.


cedricindra
Posted 09 December 2005 at 07:15 pm

I am an avid reader of books on quantum physics, but it certainly does not make me a quantum physicist. I take a romantic approach to the subject by letting it fill my imagination with the possiblities derived from the knowledge of quantum properties. In tune with the information on this page, quantum has convinced me that everything is indeed possible.

Now, in relationship to the many worlds interpretation, what's the trick to get yourself into the best of the infinite worlds at any given moment ? I propose, given MWI, that there is no trick, and the best of all worlds is indeed the current one we perceive together at this moment.

This further involves that the notion of consciousness is our abililty to perceive a balance in all possibilities simultaneously occurring (for we will, at best, only see chaos if we are allowed to witness the occurrence of every possibility). Taking the interpretation on a global level, the notion of collective conscience would then be the greater balance of all balances perceived. The result being the constants that we observe in being "awake", such as your computer sitting firmly on your desk and more generally, life and death.

Yet why isn't this world as perfect as we all want it to be ? Notably, because the act of tying all possibilities into one coherent experience is a balancing act, and that involves a certain number of sacrifices on every side to achieve a not so perfect center, but a center none the less that we are all, at one point in time, very greatful to be living in.

To exemplify this idea further, consider this : to perceive a phenomenon, one must also perceive it's complimentary phenomenon. Example : to perceive something as light, one must perceive something else as dark, or less light. In essence, reality as we experience it, although as convincing as it may be, is not made of constants such as black or white, but more likely of relationships between phenomena that are best interpreted as darker or lighter. Thus the center, the perception, this world, is built on a flux of phenomena that exist only with it's compliments. In essence, for a perfect world to exist, imperfection must exist too, so this world will never be as perfect as we want it to be. Although it is possible in theory, it becomes impossible if we are to perceive it.

I do not have the intention, and in this balanced world, i probably don't have the ability to prove many worlds interpretation. But what happens when we let go of our consciousness (ie. our perception of this world) such as during sleep ? Doesn't everything indeed become possible when we dream ?


rp2
Posted 12 December 2005 at 11:32 am

I've already lived 253 years.


waq
Posted 16 February 2006 at 07:17 am

I've always thought of the multiverse system as remarkable. Never have a I thought of it as a way to live forever though. My understanding always went along the lines of the universe splitting an endless number of times along each possible choice and action. The example I always used in my mind was Manchester United Football Club having the perfect game. Imagine instead of each pass having a chance of reaching the target, each one did reach the target. Every pass, tackle and action would be perfect. The chances of this happening in this universe is 0% but in one of the possible multiverses it could happen in every game

cedricindra said:
Yet why isn't this world as perfect as we all want it to be ? Notably, because the act of tying all possibilities into one coherent experience is a balancing act, and that involves a certain number of sacrifices on every side to achieve a not so perfect center, but a center none the less that we are all, at one point in time, very greatful to be living in. "

I agree and think that this world is in a sense perfect, in another sense is it just the most likely. Maybe there is an element of probability involved where things that are more likely to happen split the universe not equally but across a larger number of universes. If we think in the context of the the gun example, the odds of a bullet not firing are maybe 1% or maybe even .1%. Now instead the universe splitting twice, once in which the bullet fired and one in which it didn't, what if it split a 1000 times? I always thought using this line of thinking gives us a better explanation of this universe and why it has a balance, it would also mean that of the endless number of universes more are likely to be similar to this one than an extreme.

Immortality never interested me though. I guess I'm just a football fan.


bug
Posted 19 March 2006 at 11:12 pm

I fail to see the connection between the quantum physics article and a 'balance' in the universe?


KeaponLaffin
Posted 22 March 2006 at 10:43 am

Aside from all the (not so fanciful, they are researching it) multiverse and possible immortality.

Link
(Sorry, guess I don't know how to enter HTML links here)

Quantum theory has more 'real life' aspects concerning immortality. For example: Some scientists believe that, even if we could figure out how, you wouldn't survive 10,000 years of 'cold-sleep' on the way to the stars. Various quantum level interactions (Not to mention standard radioactive-decay) would render yer body non-viable over a long period of time.
Also, it is believed that your 'self' (memories, personality, ect) is stored Quantum-Mechanically in the brain. Which means it can't be copied like Classical Information. So no, even if we figgered that out, you can't UL yer mind into a 'puter very easily.
Sorry aspiring Cyborgs, it can be done, but it'd proly involve annhilating your brain, converting it into energy, (with 100% efficiency) then using that light-borne information to 'program' some sorta quantum computer. Transfering your mind into another medium.
Sounds a bit risky to me....for now...;)


Byrden
Posted 06 May 2006 at 11:41 am

I think we would get a better understanding of QM if we stopped looking at it in terms of mass, velocity, and all the usual properties we like to work with. Instead we should look at it in terms of information.
In this approach, it makes perfect sense that the properties of a particle are 'fuzzy'. After all, suppose that the position of the particle were perfectly certain and fully knowable (at least, knowable to the particle itself). That means it would have three numbers (its X, Y and Z locations) that would have an infinite number of digits after their decimal point. This is the way we usually imagine things to be (because of the math we learn in high school).
But if they have an infinite number of digits, that's an infinite amount of information! I don't think infinite information is any more feasible than infinite mass or speed. I think the 'fuzziness' of quantum theory is all caused by limits on the information carried in things.


sulkykid
Posted 19 May 2006 at 12:28 pm

Interested said: "I have never fully understood Quantum physics, or quantum anything for that matter. But it has always interested me. Anything is possible. When I read this article it brought me back to something I read many years ago about Edgar Cayce and his interpretation of the Akashic Records that he seemed to be able to read from. Now, if you coupled his expaination of those records with MWI it seems there might be something there that scientists may not be looking at. Maybe he was seeing all the possibilities at once. Just possibilities. Or maybe they have happened. Or will happen. Whatever…he was seeing something."

Yes, Edgar Cayce was seeing "something", dollar signs and photo ops.


sulkykid
Posted 19 May 2006 at 12:29 pm

Why does something as scientific as quantum physics bring out the the nuttiest of nut jobs?


rezophonic
Posted 14 June 2006 at 11:41 am

Firstly, I'd like to just say that even if anything that could happen would in infinite universes, wouldn't there still be the possibility that something just could not happen, videlicet one's immortality? What if our own immortality has zero chance of occurance? Perhaps even if we could live for billions of years through all improbability, the entropy of the universe or some end of the universe--perhaps returning to singularity before another Big Bang--would likely eventually lead to us lacking any probability of continuation.

Furthermore, in response to what KeaponLaffin said about us radioactively decaying if we were immortal, that relies on the incorrect assumption that we are constantly made up of the same matter. Our cells are refreshed throughout our lives, and, although we may have to find a new source of younger matter outside of our solar system or even galaxy, we could hypothetically, however unlikely it may be to do so, overcome that obstacle.
Lastly, all immortality asside, we're all familiar with the simple physics experiment of shining a laser through a thin slit to cause it to refract and produce interference patterns on some screen. So, physicists decided to reproduce the experiment one photon at a time, thus not allowing anything for the photon to interfere with. The result: The interference patterns appeared nevertheless. Their conclusion: That each photon interfered with other probabilities of itself--that it simultaneously took all (or many) possible paths. They repeated the experiment with other particles even as large as Bucky balls with similar results. So why do we not observe infinite realities, or even two, despite experimental evidence that our universe contains such? Sir Roger Penrose's suggestion (or an incredibly simplified version of such) was that it takes energy to defy gravity and exist in multiple places at once, and the larger something is the more energy it takes to occupy several probabilities, therefore preventing more than one reality at a level observable by an unaided human. My take, however, is that the infinite universes are all here, only since the randomness occurs purely at a quantum level, random occurrences throughout all the universes as well as other, contradictory random occurrences tend to average out to the coherent order we believe to be one probability. Although I must admit, I do like Penrose's theory because it suggests that, with a sufficiently large energy source and a proper method of applying that energy into causing macroscopic entities to exist simultaneously in several realities, we could create an infinite improbability drive, in which case Douglas Adams would have gotten it right before the rest of us.


Stead311
Posted 03 January 2007 at 03:13 pm

I will never understand this....

in this universe.


Xodarap777
Posted 02 April 2007 at 06:18 am

Unfortunately, quantum mechanics don't apply to the "macroworld," so it's not necessarily the case that "anything that can happen will happen" applies to that level either: ie, you probably won't try out the quantum suicide experiment in any of them, if you aren't so inclined. And "can happen" is so ambiguous: it certainly doesn't mean that all the universes in the modal logic of contemporary metaphysics "can" actually happen. After all, there are metaphysical universes composed of nothing but fish eyeballs (they're internally consistent, which is all that matters). No, there are tons of constraints, and the branching-out of universes only applies, like I said, to quantum events. Really tiny particle/wave interactions.
Still, you are right, MWI can be interpreted to mean that you can't die. Assuming, of course, that your role as an observer ends at your bodily death. Otherwise, you can observe worlds where you die, which wouldn't preclude you from entering them!
Unfortunately, David Lewis, the great philosopher (doing a *lot* of work with those metaphysical "other worlds") points out a nasty caveat to MWI quantum immortality: in the vast majority of the worlds where you continue to exist after a quantum process triggers a shotgun blast or a bomb detonation, he claims, you will be horribly disfigured, maimed, or otherwise left in unpleasant shape. If MWI quantum immortality applies to the macroworld and all events (not just those triggered by some sort of particle decay or the like), you may never die, but you will be infinitely subjected to horribly disfiguring events, over and over again, for all eternity. In fact, given the time involved in immortality, and the mere restraint that your ability to observe is maintained, this is virtually guaranteed. So maybe it's not so nice after all...


muhoboika
Posted 13 May 2007 at 11:49 am

Could some one explain what might happen when a person dies from aging? I understand the examples made with a firing gun to the head. Now lets say you are 96 years old and die of natural causes, if following this theory you should reapear in alternate universe where you survived, but that does not change the fact that you are still 96 years of age and still aging and dying. Does this mean that at some point you will just start to experience an infinite number of deaths(as your body continues to fall appart more and more)? This sounds pretty horrific.


tampagirl
Posted 14 May 2007 at 10:11 am

I slogged through this article and the comments because I wanted to discuss something other than boobs...but all I can think of are "Horton hears a Who" and .... blast, all this thinking of highly complex scientific stuff has caused me to forget the other show. Oh Yeah!!! That Robin Williams movie about the robot that "lives" two hundred years..Bi-Centennial Man? In the first no one knew about the existence of this tiny world, and in the second he lived so long that he craved death. There is no perfect...we as a species will always find the flaw.


Merciless
Posted 08 June 2007 at 01:38 pm

As in the article by Alan(not sure how to show red): On a larger scale, MWI would mean that everything which can happen will happen in at least one universe. Based on this, Max Tegmark at Princeton University suggested an experiment to prove that the many-worlds interpretation is correct, where one points a loaded gun at one's head, and pulls the trigger. If you were to try this test, it is highly unlikely that you would survive… but if the gun failed to go off, and continued to do so in subsequent tests, you could eventually become reasonably confident that you're in one of the branched universes where something caused the gun to misfire each time. Of course only the "you" in those "miraculous survival" universes would know this, the others would all be dead from gunshot wounds to the head.

What this tells me is if you're playing russian roulette in this universe and there is a malfunction, you're still alive here but headless in another universe. What if you're unknowingly playing RR in another universe and the gun misfires, meanwhile in the here and now, BOOM, cleanup on aisle three. Sorry to shoot holes in this example.
I don't understand this multi-universe mumbo-jumbo. Way over my head. I for one hope this is the only universe. Don't care to die more than once.
Damn Interesting article though.


mashwoo
Posted 12 September 2007 at 03:12 am

Consider if this applys to human choice as the actions of thought can be brought down to biological, cellular, atomic and then quantum level. When presented with a fork in the road of life you actually take every possible path in other Multi worlds. This means that in some worlds you may be making choices and leading a life you would never consider or which would even be totally against everything the you in this world believes in. Does this mean that the values and achievements of the individual in this world is just a product of quantum randomness?

Does this make freewill just a perception or are we in control of our own decisions?

I think the you in another universe may not even be considered you as I think the different environmental factors shaping you produce a different person altogether. Therefore you can only be held accountable for your decisions in this multiverse. Free will still exists in the context of the multiverse the individual exists in.


Kao_Valin
Posted 12 September 2007 at 12:32 pm

I dunno about the rest of you, but I am a constant in all realities. One day all the me's in the other realities will get together and woop at girls :).

Seriously thought, just because at the microlevel things are random, it doesnt mean that each atom related differently in an infinately different number of ways. An atom doesnt instantly change how much thermal energy it has, or instantly change how much mass/velocity it has. This macrolevel is an encapsulation of events that have solidified already at the microlevel. Cause and effect doesnt simply go out the window because a minute change has been made at the micro level.

There is just as much argument that random doesnt have to change anything about our level of reality despite any change made at quantum levels. Remember it isnt really random so much as it is everywhere. In which case, we are the "multiverse", thus no, you will just blow your brains out in this universe alone.

Who knows, we might be in the universe where everything I say is right (feel the irony) :)


Remarque
Posted 25 August 2008 at 05:25 pm

Some say that regardless of the cause of death, if the many-worlds interpretation is true, then there will always be at least one branch where the "miraculous survival" scenario is realized, and that version of "you" will never die.

Something tells me that the probability that that branch exists is almost nil. Extremely improbable, in other words.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but:
Posted 03 October 2008 at 02:30 pm

the thing about infintie universes though, is if it's possible, however long the odds, it's there. Stuff like this just blows my fucking mind. I mean consider this, the gun scenario. now as Waq says, let's say that chance of you surviving the shot is 0.1%. So you are 1000x more likely to die. But the thing with infinite universes, is that there would be an infinite amount of cases in which you die... and yet an infinite amount of cases where you live. for every scenario which results in your death, there can be one where you survive. So therefore the odds of being in a universe in which you survive the gunshot, should be 50/50. This could be applied to other things as well. If there is an infinite number of decimal places, then there is the same amount of numbers between 1 and 0 as there is between 2 and 0. That has nothing to do with multiple universes I just think infinite is a hard concept to grasp. And consider this, if everything that can happen does happen, how much really can happen? I give you a scenario, lets say you are in a room with two boxes a blue one on the right, and a red one on the left, lets say you choose the blue one. Totally random choice right? or is it?! Let's say you were an expierament and you were reintroduced to the scenario, WITH NO RECOLLECTION of having made this choice before. Keep in mind, for the sake of accuracy it would have to be the exact same scenario, your mood, hunger level, what you were thinking of before you were represented with the choice, your memory would have to be the same, EVERYTHING 100% identical. it's possible that if the scenario could be recreated with 100% accuracy that you would make the same choice every time. Now for a choice where it is a mental toss up it's hard to imagine that one would make the same choice everytime, but let's say it was something like, (i know this sounds morbid) seeing your child be deliberatly killed by some person. What are the odds of you not hating this person? What are they of forgiving him/her? What are the odds of falling IN LOVE with said individual? Most people would feel very comfortable saying zilch, 0%, never. Now you made that choice to hate them, because there isn't any other choice you could've made. I would've been impossible for you to do anything else. I personally hope that our minds aren't quite as infersitile because then it seems like we have no control, and everything is just fate. But those are just my ramblings on a subject that i have very limited knowledge of.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but:
Posted 03 October 2008 at 02:48 pm

that should say inversitle..... i think. God help me i can't spell.


stholas
Posted 31 December 2008 at 11:31 am

As always, everyone's wrong. I am God, I am the immortal, and you're all living in my universe. Get out.


ValiantDefender
Posted 15 January 2009 at 11:08 am

I love quantum mechanics.
I'm LDS/Chrisitan/Mormon whichever one you want to use as a description.

Religion/Christianity has long predicted the existance of mutliple dimensions (although we never called them dimensions) states of being and such.

Some commenter's statements, if true, would demand the existence of a person who, by the laws of infinite probability, had arrived at all knowledge and is able to manipulate things at a quantum level. This being could read all possible outcomes simultaneously and slip between all possibilities at will...thus making them all knowing and all powerful.

I would venture to say that based on what we know of this being and what we know if this earth, that He has set the parameters to make our existence to be exactly as he wanted it to be so that we perceive what we do (rather than the other infinite possibilities that quantum mechanics describes as possible) to fulfill a certain purpose. This existance is perfect to accomplish the task for which it was constructed. "To prove them herewith to see if they will do all that I, the Lord, do command them"

By staying out of our dimension but communicating to a few of us directly (prophets) he makes his will known. His will, generally speaking, is that we be kind, loving, wise stewards over this planet and all its inhabitants (animals etc).

The purpose would be to see what we will do with our advanced state (having been previously only capable of existing in a spiritual realm/dimension but desiring to be more like Father). So, he watches to see how we behave "when dad isn't around" and when its all said and done...to some of us he'll give all the knowledge he has. This would include understanding of quantum mechanics (and beyond because I'm sure there are many things to learn beyond what we have just barely begun to observe).

None of this is Doctrine, btw. This is all my conjecture of how science and religion mesh.

See, if the point of this life is to follow the example of Christ and be "love" etc, then knowing HOW the world works isn't really part of the test. It isn't required to know and understand. All we need to know is that God is there and that he created it...how is something we'll learn if take our time here and use it well.

I like to think of it as a nuclear scienetist teachign a bunch of kids. The scienetist knows that the knowledge can be used to generate vast amounts of power which could be harnassed for good purposes or very destructive purposes...therefore, hes not going to give the knowledge to the kid in the back row who is misbehaving. If you want a military parable, we're trying to pass our security clearance exam right now... :D

ANyway string theory, quantum mechanics, etc etc are ALL DI.

My closing statement is the same in all Religionn vs Science debates (which seem inevitible for some people).
If a scientist came to all knowledge of how things worked and a Disciple of Christ came to all knowledge of how God created the universe, they would both have learned the same things.


Dugg
Posted 29 January 2009 at 09:44 am

How wonderful to find this article and comments! It occurred to me years ago that immortality is implicit in the MWI interpretation of quantum physics. According to the MWI, every decision one makes results in every possible outcome, no matter how improbable.

In the famous 'gun to the head' scenario, the instant the trigger is pulled a multitude of new universes is generated, in some you are killed instantly, these universes cease to exist since the universe is entirely subjective and with no observer there can be no observed. No matter how unlikely, there exists a slight chance that the gun will misfire, or the bullet is a dud, or you have lousy aim and you miss, or the bullet bounces harmlessly off your thick skull, perhaps there's even a chance that the bullet evaporates into thin air before reaching your head. The point is: THESE are the universes you find yourself in, because you are there to observe them.

Of course we are all immortal, because everytime there is a chance you will die there is also a chance you will live, both outcomes do occur, in countless variations, but you dont have to worry about finding yourself in a universe in which you died because obviously you won't be there!

An earlier commenter brought up the subject of free will. If every single decision you make is decided in every conceivable fashion, does free will even exist ? Yes! The choice you make determines which universe you are in. We need to make good informed decisions to insure that we are living in the best possible universe.

To wrap this up, Quantum Immortality is REAL! I know this first-hand. I performed the gun to the head experiment a few years ago. My choice was a 12-gage shotgun. No, the gun didn't misfire and no I didn't miss. I was rushed to the hospital where the doctors said I had a less than 1 in 100 chance of surviving the first hour. So obviously there are hundreds of universes in the multiverse in which family and friends mourned my passing, this is their reality, but for me these universes can't exist because I'M NOT THERE to experience them.

The doctors, nurses and hospital staff who released me after almost a year of multiple surgeries and intensive rehabilitation claim that my surviving this incident was a miracle. To them it may be a miracle, but to me it just seems highly improbable.
Of course I survived, of course I'm here because where else could I possibly be ?


Rodger Wrighthead
Posted 23 July 2009 at 06:57 am

Shouldn't the title to this technically be "Quantum Mechanics and Invulnerability".

Not as cool sounding, but more accurate if I have understood Quantum Mechanics correctly...


Rodger Wrighthead
Posted 23 July 2009 at 07:00 am

p.s. damninterseting.com is damn interesting...


Rodger Wrighthead
Posted 28 July 2009 at 03:04 am

p.s.s. damninterseting.com isn't as interesting as damninteresting.com.
Dyslexia wins again!


Brambleleaf
Posted 20 October 2009 at 05:17 am

I may be wrong but i thought that at quantum levels a particle had more than two states, wouldn't this imply that the gun fires yes, no model wasn't accurate. Should it not be yes no maybe maybe not etc, this would give you many more variations than dead not dead including maimed slightly injured etc.
On another level i have just been told that some senior scientist at the Hadron collider experiment thinks it won't work because it doesn'y want to, if it carrys on not wanting do does that mean that in universes where
it did work it had catastophic consequences, and does this make it a practical experiment of schrodingers cat theory.


Alucin Veritas
Posted 26 December 2009 at 12:08 am

I'd place my vote that all of the above is wrong. Most of it hinges on the assumption that true randomness is possible. Cause & effect have no inherent scale, so it should not stop working on the basic levels of reality. That means every action has a preceding cause that determines the action. Since the action was determined based on preceding events, it wasn't truly random. Any apparent randomness could easily be due to unknown or misapplied variables. Granted, electromagnetism may not exist on the quantum level, but a crane does not exist on the chemical. The building blocks exist, but within the scope of the level they do not form into a single dynamic identity.

As for MWI, it may be that alternate dimensions exist but if every action is predetermined by cause and effect they wouldn't be parallel but rather divergent from the origin. As for "miraculous survival", I wouldn't bet my life on it.

My understanding of quantum physics suggests it's not worth understanding.


Thought provoking
Posted 02 April 2011 at 02:34 pm

So many arguments.... this is possibly the most interesting discussion I have ever followed.

The crucial point I take from all of this is that nothing exists until it is measured (or something like that). If that is the case then we are all prisoners in our own heads for something can only be measured if we are conmscious of it. Reality is what we percieve it to be then, yes? Thus we all have our own unique universe, different to all others - there's a paradox there somewhere I'm sure.

I'm so confused and yet amazed all at once.


Thought provoking
Posted 02 April 2011 at 02:37 pm

conscious *

In another universe I spelt it correctly.

Although this random error is unlikely to produce an extreme alternate universe the time it's taken to write this correction has altered my timing. I better be careful crossing the road tomorrow!


nadabing
Posted 26 September 2012 at 06:57 am

Here is a posit ive been working off--<<<>>>>

Also in response to Marius who wrote-

I do not pretend to even begin to grasp the mathematics involved in Heisenberg’s principle, but I always assumed that it boiled down to the fact that measuring a particle’s properties invariably changes them. At the quantum level even an interaction with a photon is significant, so measuring a particle’s direction by bouncing a photon off of it and measuring the result will alter its spin, and vise versa. The whole basis for the MWI is a mathematical artifact, and not a true representation of reality. Of course, I could be very wrong about this.
Posted 27 November 2005 at 06:29 am • reply

Light striking off a mirror and taking every possible route is an example


nadabing
Posted 26 September 2012 at 06:59 am

...also i forgot to wright on how I am very interested in the idea of consciousness as a balance between all these worlds


Ben
Posted 10 April 2014 at 02:52 pm

If MWI is correct, is there a universe were every possibility DID happen at once, in the one universe... I'd love to go and study this, but i don't know if my brain could handle it lol.


rudrappa agadi
Posted 18 May 2014 at 11:04 am

CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG!

I do fully agree about quantum Immortality. The proof of this is about how I have come to know by reading the autobiographies of famous Hindu Saints
who have appeared to their disciples even after death. Apart from that, there is one famous Saint in Hinduism called Mahavatar Babaji who was born in 216 B.C. who was he master of famous Yoga and had the power to appear at will through his Light body. Just around 20 years ago, he appeared to one of my friend, say after nearly 2000 years after leaving his body and he appeared at the mid of night 'through wall' in my friends bed room when he was just 8 years old convent boy, who was a Prince during his past life in Chola dynasty and he is still 'assigning' some of the works for the betterment of world and humanity, to nullify nuclear installations, reduce bombs for the peaceful co-existence of human on earth plane. His appearance even to other 3-4 of his most devoted disciples shows his Immortality even after Death and by collecting the 'atoms' in the ether, he has given appearance to many of his most faithful disciples. Actually, he had taught many Yogic techniques to Lord Jesus who had visited Himalayas (the most famous place on earth for Spiritual seekers). Any viewers of this article can write me at rudrappaagadi@gmail.com With love and divine blessings: r.m. agadi.


Salamandre
Posted 28 December 2014 at 07:17 am

Dugg said:
To wrap this up, Quantum Immortality is REAL! I know this first-hand. I performed the gun to the head experiment a few years ago. My choice was a 12-gage shotgun. No, the gun didn't misfire and no I didn't miss. I was rushed to the hospital where the doctors said I had a less than 1 in 100 chance of surviving the first hour. So obviously there are hundreds of universes in the multiverse in which family and friends mourned my passing, this is their reality, but for me these universes can't exist because I'M NOT THERE to experience them.
The doctors, nurses and hospital staff who released me after almost a year of multiple surgeries and intensive rehabilitation claim that my surviving this incident was a miracle. To them it may be a miracle, but to me it just seems highly improbable.
Of course I survived, of course I'm here because where else could I possibly be ?"

Now, children, don't let's try this at home!

While I wholeheartedly agree quantum suicide is impossible, this is only true for the Cat in Schroedinger's box. The observing lab personnel - i.e. Your friends and relatives in this universe and many others - will experience the loss of a loved one, no matter what.


END OF COMMENTS
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