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Author Topic: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!  (Read 5769 times)

Ralf Maximus

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Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« on: November 20, 2007, 09:53:10 AM »
Well, not exactly breaking since it was back in September, but a team of UK mathematicians led by Dr. David Deutsch have "showed mathematically that the bush-like branching structure created by the universe splitting into parallel versions of itself can explain the probabilistic nature of quantum outcomes".
Multidimensional.png

Briefly, events observed (har) at the quantum level really do split into alternate dimensions.  Every decision made results in the opposite decision also being made, repeated with infinite regression.  If you play the lottery and don't win, rest assured that some other version of you has won the lottery.  And yet another you won it twice.  And so on.

Note that this being a work of mathematics, nothing has been really proven.  But if validated, it lays an excellent foundation for experimentation, and finally, building the Time Travel device of my dreams.  I'm coming to kill you, great-great-grandfather!

Article from Breibart & The Press Association here.

Came up dry on finding the actual paper referenced, but the good Doctor's websites are here:
http://www.qubit.org/people/david/
http://www.qubit.org...ple/david/David.html

(Lots of dense scientific papers at the 2nd site: Eyes-Crossed Index Rating 8.7)

Interesting related DC thread about Time here.

Cow-related events that can only have occurred in a parallel dimension here (streaming video cartoon thingy).

Eóin

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2007, 10:14:14 AM »
Devils advocate- A scientific theory must a) agree with observed data, b) be able to make future predictions and c) must be provable or disprovable by experiment.

I'm not saying that this development doesn't meet those criteria, without a more detailed explanation it would be impossible to tell and I'm not knowledegable enough to be able to study the material. But this whole thing strikes me as being yet another notion which has garnered support because of it elegance in explaining what we have already seen rather than actually providing us with some deeper understanding of what the true structure of the universe really is.

It reminds me of the mathematically and geometrically beautiful proposals as to what and how DNA works all of which were nowhere even remotely close to what we later learned about it.

P.S. Ralf this rant was not at all directed at you :)
« Last Edit: November 20, 2007, 10:16:30 AM by Eóin »

app103

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2007, 10:50:54 AM »
Note that this being a work of mathematics, nothing has been really proven.  But if validated, it lays an excellent foundation for experimentation, and finally, building the Time Travel device of my dreams.  I'm coming to kill you, great-great-grandfather!

I would hate to shatter someone's dreams, but the type of time travel you imply is probably not possible.

If it were possible, we would know it was already, from the evidence of people from the future doing it and traveling to our time or earlier. How could we not know about it going on? As humans, we are bound to blab our secrets when we shouldn't, so some time traveler would have spilled the beans about it. It's our nature. We screw things up.

The fact we have no proof in our current time that there are time travelers in the future that have visited the past, leads me to believe one of 3 things are true:

A. Time travel, of the type you imply, isn't possible.
B. Humans become extinct before they discover how to do it.
C. The evidence of time travelers is being hidden in the biggest global conspiracy/cover-up of all time.

C is a bit far fetched, because like I said...we can't keep secrets that well.
B...I don't want to think about, even if it is true...so I'll just believe in A.

Of course a 4th possibility could be true:

D. People will someday figure out how to travel to the future but never how to travel to the past. (but then that would mean one-way tickets, we would have no proof that it worked since the traveler could never come back and tell us, and we would assume it just messed up and killed him, and abandon the project before anybody else got hurt.)

f0dder

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2007, 10:52:13 AM »
Sometimes I wonder if those unified theories etc. could be relevant, or if it's simply the result of mathematicians gone insane. People like Holger Bech Nielsen and Steven Hawking are quite some characters, and I'm simply not smart enough to tell if they're raving mad or geniuses.
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Ralf Maximus

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2007, 11:00:05 AM »
Quote
I would hate to shatter someone's dreams, but the type of time travel you imply is probably not possible.

Ah, but consider this...

Assume for the moment that the Many Universes theories are true, and that there exists an infinite number of yous making every decision both ways.

Then theoretically, it's possible to locate a universe that is exactly like this one, but at a different point in their timestream.  For example, if I want to videotape the sinking of the Titanic, all I have to do is hop sideways far enough and find a place where 1912 is happening right now.

Then, once there, I heroically save the ship and it makes port in New York.

I've changed history!  Well, there, anyway... our universe still has Titanic at the bottom of the ocean, unchanged.  When I return, the history here remains intact.

Thus it *really is* possible to off great-great-great-granddad, but it won't erase my existence here.  Just piss off great-great-great-grandmom in another universe.

As to the reason why we're not overrun with time-travelling (or dimension hopping) touristas?  Simple... with an infinite number of universes, the probability is infinitely small that we'll actually encounter one.

nudone

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2007, 11:43:27 AM »
i'm an idiot for opening my mouth but i think this kind of thing just shows (again) that we really have no understanding of what infinite implies.

every branch that is taken that forms a new path obviously then leads to a further infinite number of universe paths - each one of those infinite universe paths also having an infinite number of branching universe paths. in other words, we're multiplying infinities by infinities. every possibility is happening and has happened and will happen.

taken to the extreme i'm trying to say something like this: in an infinite number of these universes there is a device that eliminates all universes - that's all infinite universes wiped out. how so?

at some point in an infinite number of universes (note i'm not saying in one single universe - as an infinite number of branching universes allows me to have an infinite number of universes within that infinite set that all have the same event occurring), okay, at some point in an infinite number of universes a device is created that has the ability to transcend time and prevent the origin of the universe(s). therefore an infinite number of universes are eliminated from ever existing.

likewise there are an infinitive number of universes that has a device created as some point that prevents the above device being constructed.

etc. etc.




Deozaan

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2007, 11:46:17 AM »
There's a reason this stuff is called SciFi. Because it's fiction.

Don't get me wrong, I love science fiction, but when people start claiming that fiction is fact, I get a little perturbed. I must admit that I don't have a deep understanding of quantum physics, but I doubt there's any such thing as an alternate universe.

Of course, a large part of this has to do with my religious views, which I know are off-topic to this site, so I'll just summarize and say that if I believe there is a God who purposely created us all, I can't believe there are infinite copies of us in alternate dimensions. Those beliefs seem mutually exclusive to me.

Human logic isn't always foolproof. I've seen people "prove" all kinds of things with mathematics, like 2+2=5. It was a fun thing for major nerdgeeks (yeah, I just invented that word) to try to show off how smart they were in high school by confusing everyone else.

Anyway, if you want to discuss some of the fun theories about time travel and alternate dimensions/universes, lets do it, but don't try to pass it off as proven fact that these things really exist.

Like Eóin's post, this isn't directed specifically at anyone here. Just my take on the matter.


tinjaw

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2007, 11:46:37 AM »
Well, not exactly breaking since it was back in September,

Well, you should take comfort that it is current breaking news in a parallel universe !  :P

Deozaan

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2007, 12:04:03 PM »
Okay, with my rant out of the way, and on to the fun topic of time travel possibilities as explained by theories for fiction...

Note that this being a work of mathematics, nothing has been really proven.  But if validated, it lays an excellent foundation for experimentation, and finally, building the Time Travel device of my dreams.  I'm coming to kill you, great-great-grandfather!

I would hate to shatter someone's dreams, but the type of time travel you imply is probably not possible.

If it were possible, we would know it was already, from the evidence of people from the future doing it and traveling to our time or earlier. How could we not know about it going on? As humans, we are bound to blab our secrets when we shouldn't, so some time traveler would have spilled the beans about it. It's our nature. We screw things up.

The fact we have no proof in our current time that there are time travelers in the future that have visited the past, leads me to believe one of 3 things are true:

A. Time travel, of the type you imply, isn't possible.
B. Humans become extinct before they discover how to do it.
C. The evidence of time travelers is being hidden in the biggest global conspiracy/cover-up of all time.

C is a bit far fetched, because like I said...we can't keep secrets that well.
B...I don't want to think about, even if it is true...so I'll just believe in A.

Of course a 4th possibility could be true:

D. People will someday figure out how to travel to the future but never how to travel to the past. (but then that would mean one-way tickets, we would have no proof that it worked since the traveler could never come back and tell us, and we would assume it just messed up and killed him, and abandon the project before anybody else got hurt.)

There are 3 ways (that I can think of) to change the past and a total of 4 conclusions you can come to:

Ralf came up with one: That you simply change an alternate universe's history, but your own remains the same.

The second is that if you change the past everything that you know simply vanishes (except you?) and then history plays itself forward as if what you did was always that way. (read Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus for this example)

Third is that the changes you make only slightly alter the events, but the end result is the same. An example of this is the newer movie The Time Machine (2002). His girlfriend/fiance dies and he builds a time machine to save her. Every time he saves her, she dies another way in a matter of hours/days. The reason is because if she had survived, he never would have built the time machine to save her. Thus you can change minor events, but ultimately history will be the same.

Fourth is that you simply cannot change the past. If you go back to kill Hitler to prevent WW2, then WW2 never would have happened and you never would have gone back in time to kill him. Thus, because you never went back in time to kill him, he would be alive and then WW2 would have happened. It's a never ending loop called a time paradox. So if time travel were possible, something will happen to prevent you from changing anything, and that something that happened to prevent you from changing anything already happened back then but it wasn't notable so nobody knew about it in history. Because history already happened, you can't change it. Your attempt to go back in time and change it already happened back then. A movie that illustrates this (and presents a neat time paradox) is Somewhere in Time. In the movie, a very old woman comes to lead role (Christopher Reeve) and gives him a watch telling him to come back to her. He finds out later she was a beautiful actress from the early 1900s and goes back in time, they fall in love, and he gives her the watch. So the question is, where did the watch come from? She got it from him, but he got it from her.


Ralf Maximus

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2007, 12:06:18 PM »
Quote
taken to the extreme i'm trying to say something like this: in an infinite number of these universes there is a device that eliminates all universes - that's all infinite universes wiped out. how so?

Perhaps such a device exists, but to operate it would require an infinite amount of energy.

Just because they're infinite doesn't mean each universe's internal rules and physical laws go away.  Each existence must remain internally consistant to um... er, exist.  For example, my "time travel" shenanigans as described above would still have to obey conservation of energy; thus an equal amount of energy and/or matter would have to be exchanged with the target universe should I want to go there.

HOW is a topic I will leave to the wild-eyed backyard physicists/engineers with too much time on their hands.

Anyway, if you want to discuss some of the fun theories about time travel and alternate dimensions/universes, lets do it, but don't try to pass it off as proven fact that these things really exist.

Of course.  I posted the initial article with a kind of tongue-in-cheek "wouldn't this be cool?" frame of mind firmly in place.  I think mathematics is a form of mental masturbation until somebody comes along and actually applies it.  If you Google Dr. Deutsch you can quickly find all sorts of contrary opinion, much of it equally on solid ground.

Like I'm qualified to know.  :-)

And a quick reminder to those who dismiss such fancy as mere Sci-Fi, remember that many things we take for granted now were at one time considered ridiculous to contemplate.  Atomic energy, air travel, the nature of disease and the possibility of curing it.  For awhile, it was "known fact" that man would never travel faster than a horse since the flow of oxygen would be cut off by the gale-force wind and he'd suffocate.

Quote
Of course, a large part of this has to do with my religious views, which I know are off-topic to this site, so I'll just summarize and say that if I believe there is a God who purposely created us all, I can't believe there are infinite copies of us in alternate dimensions. Those beliefs seem mutually exclusive to me.

Personally, I find no conflict with belief in God and alternate universes.  Without triggering a religious discussion I too am spiritual, and believe that a beneficent creator left us with a wonderous universe to play in and learn.  If the playground is bigger than we first imagined, even better.

If nothing else, the Multiple Universes theory neatly addresses the old queston, "why does God let bad things happen to good people?"

nudone

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2007, 12:31:57 PM »
 :D there may be an infinite number of universes where the device requires an infinite amount of energy to operate but likewise there will be an infinite number of universes where the device doesn't require an infinite amount of energy.

an infinite amount of energy isn't a problem anyway. there will be an infinite number of universes that have resolved the problem of requiring an infinite energy source - maybe they are swallowing up an infinite number of universes as their energy source.

i don't think you can lock the infinite inside thermodynamic laws - or any other law or rule. how do i know?

god told me.

Lashiec

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2007, 03:24:10 PM »
Interesting topic. Personally, I think it's thinking too high to proclaim that you have found we live within an universe that "runs" in parallel with another, considering that practically we don't know anything about our universe. We still don't even know what happens with the matter absorbed by dark holes, we haven't researched how wormholes might work or even if they exist (it's been said a wormhole could grant matter instantaneous teleportation between two parts of the universe very distant one from the other), we don't know how quasars works and if it's possible their light could go faster than normal light (another theory I heard over the years). Heck, even when a couple of weeks ago a group of scientists said they measured light moving faster than 300.000 Km/s, it was featured in the mass media as a breakthrough discovery, it was quickly dismissed by other scientists that the experiment had been seriously flawed, nobody took care of talking to the media again and saying: "Hey, it could exist an error in their argumentation".

The theory of multiple universes makes sense when formulated in the way that multiple different universes could exist, but parallel ones... I think those guys are talking about infinite universes which contain different versions of the same moment in time, but what is the duration of that moment, 1 second? 1 nanosecond? 1 minute? A day?. OK, you have proved the thing with mathematics, now try to explain it in a way that makes sense outside of numbers. We can't almost understand how simple things work, even less something so complex as an universe. Even if we understand it (impossible I'd say), we'll still be asking ourselves: "But, is there something BEYOND?"

Time travelling might be possible to the past, providing you maintain certain kind of link or portal with the exact moment in time from where you took off. To the future it would be a suicide, you would land in a different moment in time everytime, in one you witness the Third World War, in the other, you see people travelling to Mars... and where are only talking about things that people can influence with their work and free will, who knows what could be happening in the universe, we could have been hit by that comet coming beyond the Kuiper Belt, which is currently the biggest object in the Solar System.

Wow, longest post ever, and everything is probably wrong ;D. Those things are truly fascinating.

Ralf Maximus

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2007, 07:51:25 AM »
BREAKING BREAKING NEWS: First evidence of an alternate universe?
http://www.itwire.co...ent/view/15488/1066/

Some background on the mysterious space wedgie:
http://www.space.com...70823_huge_hole.html

chickenparallel.jpg

Lashiec

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2007, 09:31:08 AM »
Another universe, now that's a sensible possibility.

Renegade

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2007, 02:59:59 PM »
Details! Schmeetails!

The IMPORTANT thing is that in some parallel universe I really am absolute Lord and Suzerain Dictator Supreme of Life, the Universe and Everything! :D

Muahahahaha~!

Isn't math just grand? :)

Oh yeah... And in MY universe there's no killing of any grandpas allowed Ralf! 50 lashes with a wet noodle for you!

But cereally... It is very interesting whether or not it has any practical application. Eóin brings up a good point about science though - Karl Popper basically finished all of science in that it's a method - whether or not the multiple universes things fits into that method or not is an interesting question as well. It seems to fit into mathematics... So it's good on at least one level.



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Deozaan

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2007, 03:22:13 PM »
By the way, app, and any others interested:

The new Futurama Movie heavily involves time travel and presents a few theories on how this is possible. It's a comedy of course, so it isn't trying to be the most scientifically accurate, but there's not really any scientific accuracy for things science has no real way of proving or disproving.


Lashiec

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2007, 03:44:24 PM »
FUTURAMA?! Where? How? When? GOD DAMN, IT WAS TIME! ;D

Ralf Maximus

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Re: Breaking News: Multiple Universes Exist!
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2007, 06:01:25 PM »
Everything you want to know about the new Futurama movie, Bender's Big Score.

And, good news everybody!  There are at least three more movies to be released starting in 2008.