[extropy-chat] Is Many Worlds testable?

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 31 06:14:36 UTC 2006

--- Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:

> At 07:56 PM 12/30/2006 -0800, Stuart wrote:
> >For me MWI has greater scope than
> >simply a quantum phenomenon. For example, I flip a
> >coin. According to MWI, the universe splits into
> two
> >universes, one in which the coin lands on heads and
> a
> >second where it lands on tails.
> My (limited) understanding is that a coin toss is
> not relevant to 
> MWI, unless you can show that the outcome is
> quantum-conditioned.

Ah but my point was that MWI seems to have greater
scope than quantum mechanics. Instead it seems to be a
generalizable interpretation of probability and thus
finds its way into QM by that route. Probability is a
way of quantifying ignorance of the future. QM insists
that some degree of this ignorance is unavoidable no
matter what you do to try to control for it. Thus the
output of a quantum theory consists of probabilities
and by extension, many worlds.

> The 
> Cat needs a radioactive, quantum-stochastic chooser
> to put it into 
> the superposed alive/dead state.

Yes that is the set up of Schrodinger's gedanken. But
what of the cat's mind itself? Is it superposed
alive-dead to its own consciousness? Or only in the
human observers? Does simply hitching a conscious
being's macroscopic state to a quantum system allow
the being itself to subjectively experience its own
quantum entanglement and superposition? Or are these
phenomena only evident to an outside observer?

> The spin and fall
> of a coin might be 
> chaotic (or might not be--I'm told some experts can
> control the thing 
> perfectly after long practice) but it's not
> quantal--it's classical. No?

You are correct, it is chaotic classical. Controlling
a thing is an attempt to eliminate ignorance regarding
its future state. Both quantum mechanics and chaos
theory pretty much say that you cannot make this
ignorance go to zero. But yeah with practice you can
be right 95% of the time on coins you flip yourself.
Still whether you successfully control it or not,
there could be an Everett branch forming with every
flip of the coin.

Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"Aagghh! Who knew that bio-engineered food would lead to smart puke."
-Willy the school janitor from the Simpsons.

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