Physicists think the infinite size of the multiverse could be infinitely larger: ScienceAlert

Not only does God play dice, that great casino of quantum physics could have many more rooms than we ever imagined. An infinite number more, in fact.

Physicists from the University of California, Davis (UCD), Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US and Switzerland’s Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne have redrawn the map of fundamental reality to show that the way we understand objects in physics connecting things together could keep us from seeing the bigger picture.

For about a century, our understanding of reality has been complicated by the theories and observations that fall under the banner of quantum mechanics. Gone are the days when objects had absolute measures such as speed and position.

To understand the structure of which the universe is made, we need mathematics that breaks down games of chance into probable measures.

This is far from an intuitive view of the universe. In what has become known as the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics, it seems that there are waves of possibilities until there are no more. Even now, it is not at all clear what ultimately determines the fate of Schrödinger’s cat.

That hasn’t stopped physicists from considering the options. The American physicist Hugh Everett suggested in the 1950s that all possible measures constituted their own reality. What makes this one special is just the fact that you happen to observe it.

Everett’s “many worlds” model is less a theory than a way to anchor the absolute strangeness of quantum mechanics into something tangible.

We start with an impression of the infinite multiverse of maybes, or what physicists might call the sum of all energies and positions, known as a global Hamiltonian, and then zoom in on what interests us, limiting the infinite to a finite and much more manageable Hamiltonian subsystem.

But could this “zooming in” hold us back as a means of understanding the infinite? Or is it, as the researchers behind this latest exercise put it: “too provincial an approach, born from our familiarity with certain macroscopic objects?”

In other words, we could easily wonder whether Schrödinger’s cat is alive or dead in the box, but we could not wonder whether the table beneath it is hot or cold, or whether the box is starting to smell.

In an effort to determine whether our tendency to keep our focus on what’s inside the box matters at all, the researchers developed an algorithm to consider whether some quantum capabilities, known as pointer states, might be set a little more persistently than others, making some critical properties less important. likely to get tangled.

If so, then the framework describing Schrödinger’s cat is, to some extent incomplete unless we consider a long list of factors that could potentially extend far into the universe.

“You can have part of the Earth and the Andromeda Galaxy in one subsystem, that’s a completely legitimate subsystem,” UCD physicist Arsalan Adil explained to Karmela Padavic-Callaghan on New scientist.

In theory, there are no limits to how subsystems can be defined, adding long lists of near and far states that can partition a reality in subtly different ways.

Starting with Everett’s “many worlds,” the team has come up with what they call a “many more worlds” interpretation — taking an infinite set of possibilities and multiplying them by an infinite set of realities that we wouldn’t normally consider.

As with the original interpretation, this new version is less a commentary on how the universe behaves and more about our attempts to study it piece by piece.

The researchers emphasize that they have not attached much conceptual significance to their algorithm, but do wonder whether it could have applications in developing better ways to investigate quantum systems, such as those in computers.

No doubt they already have the answer in another reality.

This research has yet to be peer-reviewed and is available on arXiv.