July 14, 2011
Multiverses And Quantum Mechanics
Maybe we are in a "supersymmetric multiverse with vanishing cosmological constant" where the multiverse is the same as quantum mechanics idea of the universe being a range of probabilities.
Today, Leonard Susskind at Stanford University in Palo Alto and Raphael Bousso at the University of California, Berkeley, put forward the idea that the multiverse and the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics are formally equivalent.
But there is a caveat. The equivalence only holds if both quantum mechanics and the multiverse take special forms.
Could this theory be true? I have no idea. Neither do these guys at Berkeley and Stanford. But that isn't the point, is it? The point is that a multiverse would be really fun (though risky) if you could imagine to cruise around between universes.
One of my favorite fantasies: traveling between parallel universes in the multiverse. Imagine worlds that were causally identical to current Earth until 500 or 1000 or 2000 years ago. How might they differ starting with the smallest quantum fluctuation? Go back further. Imagine an Earth that split off from our Earth some millions of years ago that does not have humans on it. Would it be in an ice age now due to lower atmospheric CO2? The real estate would be very cheap.
If one could find worlds more technologically advanced one could use that tech (e.g. robots, AI, nanotech factories, rejuvenation tech using microfluidic devices) to an unpopulated world and create a luxurious community in a clean environment with no terrorism or pollution or resource depletion. On the other hand, if multiverse travel is possible how soon till multiverse invasions by hostile species?
Travel between stars looks so hard that theories about the multiverse become much more appealing. If we can' travel around at warp speed then we need a way to slide between universes.
We need traversable wormholes to get around our own universe as well as to travel to other universes. Making traversable wormholes requires negative energy/matter. There may be ways to create this in the lab.
The human brain as presently constituted, with over 100 cooperating modules of various lineages, is too feeble to solve these problems.
Later in this century, the re-engineered brains of Homo sapiens 2.0+ will be better able to attack the problems, without having to posit ultimately untestable hypotheses.
Meanwhile, we'll have to be content with informed speculation. But it's like eating spoonfuls of granulated sugar: Ultimately unsatisfying.
You will pay for all your crimes in the alternative universes, where you will incur alternate scenarios until you understand that greed does not pay off. Wherever you go, there you are.
It may be well possible that the extra-terrestrial visitors that both American and Russian astronauts have claimed exist are in fact travelers (or intelligently controlled vehicles) from another such parallel universe.
I just recently heard about this upcoming movie "Another Earth":
that seems to be contemplating this very subject in an interesting manner.
I must admit that meeting myself on another Earth is a favorite fantasy of my own - I have always wondered if I would be more, or considerably less, wise if I had taken a less arduous path through life to this point.
I want to visit a universe where George Lucas actually made GOOD Star Wars prequels.
Can't recall where I saw this first, but it seems appropriate to paraphrase it here:
Science finds the idea of God so inconceivable that it invented an infinite number of universes to explain their disbelief.
That would explain politicians.
Cue H. Beam Piper and the Paratime Police.
I have always had the sense that, if I met an alternate-universe version of myself, we would be immediate and automatic allies and partners. Not "friends" - friends are people you don't know, there's an element of uncertainty there. I've always known who I am, my sense of myself hasn't changed much from when I was 10 or so till now. From what I remember being 6, I wasn't so different then either. I've learned to pretend to act like an adult since then, and it usually makes getting along in life easier ... but I'm still me. They'd be me too, even if they took different branches along the way. We'd be on the same side, in any question.
Rollory - Are you familiar with the TV show Fringe? I think they do a good job looking at potential situations dealing with multiple universes. "Walernate" is def not an automatic ally with "Walter". Most humans have a lot of innate selfish goals. While this may of aided humans to survive during our evolution, it doesn't bode well when we come in contact with any other humans, unless it leads to mutual advantage.