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Parallel universe proof boosts time travel hopes
The Telegraph ^ | 9/21/2007 | Roger Highfield

Posted on 09/22/2007 8:52:50 PM PDT by bruinbirdman

Science fiction looks closer to becoming science fact.

Parallel universes really do exist, according to a mathematical discovery by Oxford scientists that sweeps away one of the key objections to the mind boggling and controversial idea.

The work has wider implications since the idea of parallel universes sidesteps one of the key problems with time travel. Every since it was given serious lab cred in 1949 by the great logician Kurt Godel, many eminent physicists have argued against time travel because it undermines ideas of cause and effect to create paradoxes: a time traveller could go back to kill his grandfather so that he is never born in the first place.


Time travellers: David Tennant as Doctor Who
with Billie Piper as Rose

But the existence of parallel worlds offers a way around these troublesome paradoxes, according to David Deutsch of Oxford University, a highly respected proponent of quantum theory, the deeply mathematical, successful and baffling theory of the atomic world.

He argues that time travel shifts between different branches of reality, basing his claim on parallel universes, the so-called "many-worlds" formulation of quantum theory.

The new work bolsters his claim that quantum theory does not forbid time travel. "It does sidestep it. You go into another universe," he said yesterday, though he admits that there is still a way to go to find schemes to manipulate space and time in a way that makes time hops possible.

"Many sci fi authors suggested time travel paradoxes would be solved by parallel universes but in my work, that conclusion is deduced from quantum theory itself", Dr Deutsch said, referring to his work on many worlds.

The mathematical idea of parallel worlds was first glimpsed by the great quantum pioneer, Erwin Schrodinger, but actually published in 1957 by Hugh Everett III, when wrestling with the problem of what actually happens when an observation is made of something of interest - such as an electron or an atom - with the intention of measuring its position or its speed.

In the traditional brand of quantum mechanics, a mathematical object called a wave function, which contains all possible outcomes of a measurement experiment, "collapses" to give a single real outcome.

Everett came up with a more audacious interpretation: the universe is constantly and infinitely splitting, so that no collapse takes place. Every possible outcome of an experimental measurement occurs, each one in a parallel universe.

If one accepts Everett's interpretation, our universe is embedded in an infinitely larger and more complex structure called the multiverse, which as a good approximation can be regarded as an ever-multiplying mass of parallel universes.

Every time there is an event at the quantum level - a radioactive atom decaying, for example, or a particle of light impinging on your retina - the universe is supposed to "split" into different universes.

A motorist who has a near miss, for instance, might feel relieved at his lucky escape. But in a parallel universe, another version of the same driver will have been killed. Yet another universe will see the motorist recover after treatment in hospital. The number of alternative scenarios is endless.

In this way, the "many worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics allows a time traveller to alter the past without producing problems such as the notorious grandfather paradox.

But the "many worlds" idea has been attacked, with one theoretician joking that it is "cheap on assumptions but expensive on universes" and others that it is "repugnant to common sense."

Now new research confirms Prof Deutsch's ideas and suggests that Dr Everett, who was a Phd student at Princeton University when he came up with the theory, was on the right track.

Commenting in New Scientist magazine, Prof Andy Albrecht, a physicist at the University of California, Davis, said of the link between probability and many worlds: "This work will go down as one of the most important developments in the history of science."

Quantum mechanics describes the strange things that happen in the subatomic world - such as the way photons and electrons behave both as particles and waves. By one interpretation, nothing at the subatomic scale can really be said to exist until it is observed.

Until then, particles occupy nebulous "superposition" states, in which they can have simultaneous "up" and "down" spins, or appear to be in different places at the same time.

According to quantum mechanics, unobserved particles are described by "wave functions" representing a set of multiple "probable" states. When an observer makes a measurement, the particle then settles down into one of these multiple options.

But the many worlds idea offers an alternative view. Dr Deutsch 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. This work was attacked but it has now had rigorous confirmation by David Wallace and Simon Saunders, also at Oxford.

Dr Saunders, who presented the work with Wallace at the Many Worlds at 50 conference at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, told New Scientist: "We've cleared up the obscurities and come up with a pretty clear verdict that Everett works. It's a dramatic turnaround and it means that people now have to discuss Everett seriously."

Dr Deutsch added that the work addresses a three-century-old problem with the idea of probability itself, described by one philosopher, Prof David Papineu, as a scandal. "We didn't really know what probability means," said Dr Deutsch.

There's a convention that it's rational to treat it for most purposes as if we knew it was going to happen even though we actually know it need not. But this does not capture the reality, not least the 0.1 per cent chance something will not happen.

"So," said Dr Deutsch, "the problems of probability, which were until recently considered the principal objection to the otherwise extremely elegant theory of Everett (which removes every element of mysticism and double-talk that have crept into quantum theory over the decades) have now turned into its principal selling point."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: callingartbell; drwho; manyworlds; paralleluniverse; paralleluniverses; quantumphysics; quantumtheory; stringtheory; timetravel
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1 posted on 09/22/2007 8:52:52 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
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To: bruinbirdman

Someone should give John Titor a buzz..


2 posted on 09/22/2007 8:55:38 PM PDT by mnehring (Thompson/Hunter 08 -- Fred08.com - The adults have joined the race.)
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To: bruinbirdman

freak en nutz


3 posted on 09/22/2007 8:57:04 PM PDT by CJ Wolf (Paul/Keyes '08)
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To: bruinbirdman

So, in a parallel universe Al Gore won the election, John Kerry won the election....


4 posted on 09/22/2007 8:57:29 PM PDT by swatbuznik
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To: mnehrling

>> Parallel universes really do exist, according to a mathematical discovery by Oxford scientists

Duh. Of course they do. That’s where the rest of your socks are. Occasionally your car keys spend a little time there, too.


5 posted on 09/22/2007 8:58:47 PM PDT by Nervous Tick
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To: bruinbirdman

Whew!


6 posted on 09/22/2007 9:00:36 PM PDT by Inyo-Mono (If you don't want people to get your goat, don't tell them where it's tied.)
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To: swatbuznik
"So, in a parallel universe Al Gore won the election, John Kerry won the election...."

Those universes aren't parallel to ours. They skew off at obtuse angles.

7 posted on 09/22/2007 9:02:11 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: bruinbirdman

Infinite universes and paralell worlds?...I think these guys are lost in their own minds.


8 posted on 09/22/2007 9:02:45 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: bruinbirdman
A motorist who has a near miss, for instance, might feel relieved at his lucky escape. But in a parallel universe, another version of the same driver will have been killed.

Is that not "macro", not quantum? Or is this just an analogy he's making?

There was a recent theory put forward that, in fact, quantum principles do apply on a macro scale. For example, "Schrodinger's cat" is real, not just a model. And if a tree falls in the forest, it makes a sound AND it doesn't -- until something observes it... at which moment the outcome is determined by probability.

9 posted on 09/22/2007 9:02:52 PM PDT by SteveMcKing
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To: bruinbirdman

I’m not buying.


10 posted on 09/22/2007 9:03:15 PM PDT by DB
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To: bruinbirdman

I don’t see any evidence, much less proof, there are parallel universes.


11 posted on 09/22/2007 9:04:01 PM PDT by mtg
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To: bruinbirdman
You Earthlings are sooooooo Silly!

Parallel Universes?

12 posted on 09/22/2007 9:05:43 PM PDT by BallyBill (Serial Hit-N-Run poster)
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To: bruinbirdman; carlr; Maximus of Texas; wallcrawlr; Tatze; TrueKnightGalahad; blackie; ...
Re: Parallel universe proof boosts time travel hopes

Gadzooks! Mary Ellen White2... in the parallel universe, we did-- Go-- All-- The-- WAY!

13 posted on 09/22/2007 9:05:57 PM PDT by Bender2 ("I've got a twisted sense of humor, and everything amuses me." RAH Beyond this Horizon)
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To: swatbuznik

>>So, in a parallel universe Al Gore won the election, John Kerry won the election....<<

And Brazil finally accepted the Fuehrer’s “invitation” to join the Großdeutsches Reich in 2002.


14 posted on 09/22/2007 9:07:11 PM PDT by Shion (Hunter 2008! www.gohunter08.com)
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To: bruinbirdman

On the Science Channel tomorrow afternoon about 05:00 PM Central time there is a show called Parallel Universe about M-Theory, it is very good. It makes the Big Bang Theory finally make some sense.

Still, a horrendous name for it.


15 posted on 09/22/2007 9:07:14 PM PDT by Duke Nukum (He burns at the center of time and he sees the turn of the Universe.)
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To: bruinbirdman; Bender2

Will our parallel universe have parallel parking?

Well we send each other messages via parallelograms?


16 posted on 09/22/2007 9:08:28 PM PDT by Larry Lucido (Hunter 2008)
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To: bruinbirdman

17 posted on 09/22/2007 9:08:31 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: bruinbirdman
But the "many worlds" idea has been attacked, with one theoretician joking that it is "cheap on assumptions but expensive on universes" and others that it is "repugnant to common sense."

Too funny.

18 posted on 09/22/2007 9:09:06 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: swatbuznik

If Al Gore won 2000. He’d win 2004, J. Kerry wouldn’t have won any thing in ‘0 nor be recognized. Heck he wouldn’t have even bin a contender. George Allen would have taken 2k4by storm.

If I’m gonna write re history.


19 posted on 09/22/2007 9:09:53 PM PDT by CJ Wolf (Paul/Keyes '08)
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To: swatbuznik
So, in a parallel universe Al Gore won the election, John Kerry won the election....

Possibly, there's an infinite number of them so that makes it more likely. It's even possible in one parallel universe John F. Kerry signed is DD 180! How shocking is that!

In others, Pauly Shore has talent! But never gets any movies made in spite of it.

20 posted on 09/22/2007 9:10:20 PM PDT by Duke Nukum (He burns at the center of time and he sees the turn of the Universe.)
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To: SteveMcKing
"it makes a sound AND it doesn't . . . until something observes it..."

Did the ant that the tree fell on "observe it", hear the sound? Did the amoeba to the left of the falling tree "observe it"? Did the leaf on the falling tree "observe it"? Did the silica molecule the tree fell on "observe it"?

yitbos

21 posted on 09/22/2007 9:12:10 PM PDT by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds." -- Ayn Rand)
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To: mnehrling
"Someone should give John Titor a buzz"

Was just thinking about that. Didn't his tales talk about divergence of time streams or some such as one goes back? Whoever the writer was, he/she was pretty good with science fiction. Now all we have to do is see if CERN comes up with something--although, there needs to be some sort of cataclysmic war first.

22 posted on 09/22/2007 9:16:40 PM PDT by Tench_Coxe
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To: Lancey Howard

To get to the Square Bizarre World one must use this

23 posted on 09/22/2007 9:19:18 PM PDT by uptoolate
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To: bruinbirdman

So when I have a really bad day, it is because I woke up in the wrong universe?


24 posted on 09/22/2007 9:19:55 PM PDT by Rocky
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To: bruinbirdman
I woke up this morning and it was last week. Now I wonder if it’s yesterday yet. Back in the days of youth and lost weekends I might have understood this stuff. I never did drugs so I’m pretty sure it is still almost today for another 40 minutes.
25 posted on 09/22/2007 9:20:34 PM PDT by CHEE (You don't have to practice to be miserable.)
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To: bruinbirdman
"the universe splitting into parallel versions of itself can explain the probabilistic nature of quantum outcomes."

Even if you follow this stuff on a lay level you had to see this coming.

I'm glad that in a parallel universe I will live forever and get to see all this keen science play out.


26 posted on 09/22/2007 9:24:45 PM PDT by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: bruinbirdman
The article I read was posted to Slashdot, sorry I don't have the link. However that question was answered by one of the many anonymous "experts" who post: any physical interaction is considered an observation. Even a particle.

I'd imagine the "outcome" must be a sum/average of the trillions of interactions taking place? I'm out of my league and only guessing, but that's what I took from it.

27 posted on 09/22/2007 9:24:47 PM PDT by SteveMcKing
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To: bruinbirdman

In a parallel universe I have Bill Gate’s money and Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends.


28 posted on 09/22/2007 9:24:47 PM PDT by Perdogg (Join the NCAA basketball thread - Freemail me)
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To: bruinbirdman

Wow - a nightmare Universe where Bill Clinton is in charge and made himself emperor.


29 posted on 09/22/2007 9:26:24 PM PDT by Tzimisce (How Would Mohammed Vote? Hillary for President! www.dndorks.com)
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To: bruinbirdman

So once again, it’s Bush’s fault!


30 posted on 09/22/2007 9:27:14 PM PDT by chaosagent (Remember, no matter how you slice it, forbidden fruit still tastes the sweetest!)
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To: I saw my hands

"I'm glad that in a parallel universe I will live forever and get to see all this keen science play out"

Whoa! Dude! It's this one!


31 posted on 09/22/2007 9:30:06 PM PDT by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: swatbuznik
So, in a parallel universe Al Gore won the election, John Kerry won the election....

Yes. It's call the EVIL parallel universe.

32 posted on 09/22/2007 9:31:10 PM PDT by LdSentinal
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To: bruinbirdman

Parallel Universes are simply a way for non-critical thinking physicists to say “Something we can’t define, and could be anything at all, explains everything.”

Theory de jour


33 posted on 09/22/2007 9:32:11 PM PDT by MindBender26 (Having my own CAR-15 in Vietnam meant never having to say I was sorry......)
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To: CHEE

>>>>I woke up this morning and it was last week.

You gotta stop buying your drugs by price alone!

:~)


34 posted on 09/22/2007 9:33:24 PM PDT by MindBender26 (Having my own CAR-15 in Vietnam meant never having to say I was sorry......)
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To: Perdogg

“In a parallel universe I have Bill Gate’s money and Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends.”

Yes, but in a perpendicular universe you are Helen Thomas’s boy toy..


35 posted on 09/22/2007 9:35:17 PM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: bruinbirdman
"Parallel universes really do exist, according to a mathematical discovery by Oxford scientists that sweeps away one of the key objections to the mind boggling and controversial idea."

Cool! I've been interested in this topic for a long time. But this can't be the final word. There will be other scientists working like mad to prove them wrong. I just don't think this closes off debate for good though it presents a challenge to the naysayers to overcome.

36 posted on 09/22/2007 9:39:57 PM PDT by Hound of the Baskervilles ("Nonsense in the intellect draws evil after it." C.S. Lewis)
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To: bruinbirdman
Every since it was given serious lab cred in 1949 by the great logician Kurt Godel...

Well, I was going to dismiss this as junk, but any article that contains the term "lab cred" and a shot from Doctor Who must be legit.

37 posted on 09/22/2007 9:41:20 PM PDT by NMR Guy
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To: bruinbirdman

Parallel Universe

What FR once was, and what JR and the Mods have corrupted it to now be.


38 posted on 09/22/2007 9:43:34 PM PDT by Enduring Freedom (Q: Personal Hygiene A: Name something that offends both Terrorists and Leftists)
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To: CJ Wolf

hopefully there’s a parallell universe (dark mirror image or not) where Hillary Clinton is the dog catcher for Westchester County.


39 posted on 09/22/2007 9:43:36 PM PDT by Schwaeky (The Republic--Shall be reorganized into the first American EMPIRE, for a safe and secure Society!)
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To: Nervous Tick

Good one! LOLROTH!! My car keys spent 15 minutes there this afternoon. I have 25 socks in my drawer. BUT when I dropped the bit chuck key for my drill and two minutes later I went
to pick it up and it was gone and I searched on my hands and knees and then got a metal detector NOTHING.
That was scary!


40 posted on 09/22/2007 9:43:51 PM PDT by TaMoDee
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To: Shion

Good shot!


41 posted on 09/22/2007 9:46:41 PM PDT by SAJ
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To: bruinbirdman

Where does the energy come from for all these multiverses?

Was there ever at one time a single ‘verse and from that point on multiverse have been increasing at an infinite rate? Each event that is not quantized in output has infinite possible results. So infinity is increasing constantly at an infinite rate?

The real question is is this testable? Can any one experiment prove it wrong? If not to the first, it is religion. If yes to the latter, it just ain’t true.

An where does the energy for these infinitely increasing at an infinite rate multiverses come from?? Is Conservation of Energy not valid for this theory? Or is it true only in a single ‘verse?

Sounds like a good way to get more government funding to justify a endowed chair or full professor position in my eyes.

Doug


42 posted on 09/22/2007 9:52:15 PM PDT by morkfork (Candygram for Mongo)
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To: bruinbirdman

Ping for later read.


43 posted on 09/22/2007 10:18:03 PM PDT by colinhester
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To: bruinbirdman

So that’s where lieberals come from! There have been rips between the fabric of universes, and the psychotic idea’s just flow in! Darn that parallel universe!


44 posted on 09/22/2007 10:19:36 PM PDT by vpintheak (Like a muddied spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked. Prov. 25:26)
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To: bruinbirdman

“Gay bounce, Cag Bounce, Gay bounce!”


45 posted on 09/22/2007 10:25:46 PM PDT by higgmeister (In the Shadow of The Big Chicken)
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To: Nervous Tick

Wrong. Your dryer eats socks, but only 1/2 a pair.


46 posted on 09/22/2007 10:50:04 PM PDT by pankot
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To: CHEE
I woke up this morning and it was last week.

The next time that happens, remember some lotto numbers.

Oh yeah, and remember that I told ya (and give me a cut of the winnin's).

47 posted on 09/22/2007 10:52:29 PM PDT by uglybiker (relaxing in a luxuriant cloud of quality, aromatic, pre-owned tobacco essence)
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To: Perdogg

In a parallel universe I am President and Monica Lewinsky is my wife. (I could’ve told you parallel universes suck!)


48 posted on 09/22/2007 10:53:40 PM PDT by pankot
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To: uptoolate
You forget that Rose Tyler and Jackie were trapped in a parallel world that the Doctor could not visit.

The episode just this week had The Doctor telling Captain Jack Harkness that Rose didn't die but is safely alive in a parallel universe. Jack lets it slip to Martha that Rose was a blonde.

49 posted on 09/22/2007 10:55:40 PM PDT by higgmeister (In the Shadow of The Big Chicken)
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To: bruinbirdman

So in some Parallel universe Move On is the right and Free Republic is the wacky left?...scary


50 posted on 09/22/2007 10:58:27 PM PDT by tophat9000 (You need to have standards to fail and be a hypocrite, Dem's therefor are never hypocrites)
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