by Howard Wiseman
Source: Griffith University
October 30, 2014
Academics are challenging the
foundations of quantum science
with a radical new theory on
Scientists now propose
that parallel universes really
and that they interact.
They show that such an
could explain everything that
about quantum mechanics.
Professor Howard Wiseman,
Director of Griffith University's
Centre for Quantum Dynamics.
Credit: Griffith University
Griffith University academics are challenging the
foundations of quantum science with a radical new theory based on
the existence of, and interactions between, parallel universes.
In a paper published in the journal Physical Review X (Quantum
Phenomena Modeled by Interactions between Many Classical Worlds),
Professor Howard Wiseman and Dr Michael Hall from
Griffith's Centre for Quantum Dynamics, and Dr Dirk-Andre Deckert
from the University of California, take interacting parallel worlds
out of the realm of science fiction and into that of hard science.
The team proposes that parallel universes really exist, and that
That is, rather than evolving independently, nearby
worlds influence one another by a subtle force of repulsion. They
show that such an interaction could explain everything that is
Quantum theory is needed to explain how the universe works at the
microscopic scale, and is believed to apply to all matter. But it is
notoriously difficult to fathom, exhibiting weird phenomena which
seem to violate the laws of cause and effect.
As the eminent American theoretical physicist Richard Feynman
"I think I can safely say that nobody understands
However, the "Many-Interacting
Worlds" approach developed at Griffith University
provides a new and daring perspective on this baffling field.
"The idea of parallel universes in quantum
mechanics has been around since 1957," says Professor Wiseman.
"In the well-known "Many-Worlds Interpretation," each universe
branches into a bunch of new universes every time a quantum
measurement is made. All possibilities are therefore realized -
in some universes the dinosaur-killing asteroid missed Earth. In
others, Australia was colonized by the Portuguese.
"But critics question the reality of these other universes,
since they do not influence our universe at all. On this score,
our "Many Interacting Worlds" approach is completely different,
as its name implies."
Professor Wiseman and his colleagues propose that:
The universe we experience is just one of a
gigantic number of worlds. Some are almost identical to ours
while most are very different
All of these worlds are equally real, exist
continuously through time, and possess precisely defined
All quantum phenomena arise from a universal
force of repulsion between 'nearby' (i.e. similar) worlds
which tends to make them more dissimilar
Dr Hall says the "Many-Interacting Worlds" theory may
even create the extraordinary possibility of testing for the
existence of other worlds.
"The beauty of our approach is that if there is
just one world our theory reduces to Newtonian mechanics, while
if there is a gigantic number of worlds it reproduces quantum
mechanics," he says.
"In between it predicts something new that is neither Newton's
theory nor quantum theory.
"We also believe that, in providing a new mental picture of
quantum effects, it will be useful in planning experiments to
test and exploit quantum phenomena."
The ability to approximate quantum evolution using a
finite number of worlds could have significant ramifications in
molecular dynamics, which is important for understanding chemical
reactions and the action of drugs.
Professor Bill Poirier, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
at Texas Tech University, has observed:
"These are great ideas, not only conceptually,
but also with regard to the new numerical breakthroughs they are
almost certain to engender."
The above story is based on materials provided by
Michael J. W. Hall, Dirk-André Deckert, Howard M.
Quantum Phenomena Modeled by Interactions
between Many Classical Worlds. Physical Review X,
2014; 4 (4) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.4.041013