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Re: Continuous observables (was Re: Teleportation and the MWI)

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  • Bob Cain
    ... Yes, and I simply cannot get my head around the idea that the universe splits into a continuum of subsequent universes (or all the other equivalent ways
    Message 1 of 54 , Sep 1, 2004
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      Charles Goodwin wrote:

      > Not given the definition of a continuum. To say that the multiverse is a predetermined size would be like saying that there are only
      > a finite number of real values between 0.000... and 1.000...

      Yes, and I simply cannot get my head around the idea that
      the universe "splits" into a continuum of subsequent
      universes (or all the other equivalent ways of looking at
      that) wherein an uncountable, smooth "possibility function"
      is exhaustively made manifest. The notion of "splitting"
      into a continuum sounds an awful lot like an oxymoron to me.

      "Many" is just conceptually different than a continuum and
      no word comes to mind to replace it that even begins to
      express the continuous case. "Many" implies countability by
      its very nature.

      I guess it doesn't matter whether it's possible to get one's
      head around it if that's what the formalism says, but as I
      said before, it becomes sufficiently unfathomable to not
      really matter all the way to the point of not being worth
      even thinking about. Such a structure has no interesting
      interpretation or consequence. It's so feature rich that it
      becomes featureless.


      Bob
      --

      "Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
      simpler."

      A. Einstein
    • Charles Goodwin
      From: Bob Cain ... rather than splitting. For example in FOR there are diagrams ... different states. The splitting idea
      Message 54 of 54 , Sep 12, 2004
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        From: "Bob Cain" <arcane@...>
        > Charles Goodwin wrote:
        >
        > > This is why people tend to talk about the multiverse "differentiating"
        rather than splitting. For example in FOR there are diagrams
        > > of "blocks of multiverse" which start out identical and then change into
        different states. The "splitting" idea probably comes from
        > > Hugh Everett's original presentation (or possibly from the science
        fiction that preceded it).
        >
        > The picture I'm beginning to get out of this is one of
        > nothing really existing or actually happening. An "event"
        > or interaction of two items is just the touching of two of
        > these bubbles I think you described, expanding at light
        > speed each of which contain something I'll call the
        > continuous possibility function of some prior events, i.e.
        > the wave function which is the superposition of the
        > continuous values possible for the observables involved in each.

        Nothing "actually happens" according to special relativity, which describes
        what is called a "block universe" - a four-dimensional continuum. The MWI
        has a rather more complicated picture in which (to quote David Deutsch)
        "other times are just special cases of other parts of the multiverse" or
        words to that effect. This also involves nothing happening: there are simply
        a Vast (possibly infinite) number of slices through the multiverse, some of
        which are in states which make them appear to be earlier or later than other
        slices. I'm not sure what is supposed to expand at lightspeed. I don't think
        the region of differentiation does, that expands at the speed of
        decoherence, which can be quite low. In fact it can be zero for a while, at
        least, e.g. in the 2-slit experiment while the particles are in flight.

        Charles
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