Parallel Dimensions?

Discussion in 'Science & History' started by Mirage, Mar 24, 2008.

  1. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    I've seen movies that touch on parallel dimension theories and I generally find them pretty interesting.

    We talk about distant solar systems and the possibility of aliens but do you think that parallel dimensions are even possible?

    For those who have no clue what a parallel dimension is, here's a quick catch up:

    Parallel universe (fiction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

    That's from the Wikipedia page on the Parallel universe concept. I know Wikipedia isn't the best source at times but since as far as we know Parallel universes are completely theoretical, it's going to be hard to find some "facts" anyway.

    So what are your thoughts? Do parallel dimensions/universes exist in full or in part? If you have any theories feel free to toss them out here for others to discuss.

  2. Malificus

    Malificus Likes snow

    If string theorists are right, then yes, there are infinite other universes.
  3. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    You can always check for yourself if the multiple worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is correct. You just need to rig up something that, at the quantum level, has a random chance of killing you, and see if you manage to live. In theory, if the thought experiment is not flawed, you should survive through as many of these trials as you subject yourself to, as a copy of you will be killed and cease to exist every time, leaving a surviving branch of yourself who will think him/herself immortal after a good number of trials.

    That's called the "quantum suicide experiment", btw. Fun name, eh? The thing about the multiple worlds interpretation of QM is that it checks out mathematically, but that means only that it is logically possible, and the land of logical possibility is an insanely inclusive one. I wouldn't be willing to tie my fate to whether or not a particular atom decays, under the assumption that multiple worlds theory is correct, and thus I should survive the ordeal, in some sense.

    Which is the kicker, really, the whole "in some sense" thing. If I'm immortal only in the sense that some copy of me will survive any ordeal, but that copy of me need not be the branch of me that is me (as I am certainly not conscious of being every branch of me in every world), then I am hardly immortal at all, really. So even if there are multiple worlds, the metaphysics surrounding the quantum suicide experiment seem to suggest against actually trying it out. Unless, of course, you happen to be a suicidal but nevertheless curious physicist.

    Which brings to mind the irony of a physicist who sets out to kill himself, but ends up proving multiple worlds interpretation correct (for some world, at least...).
  4. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    Well the problem with that theory EI is that you wouldn't technically be able to prove any other world existed since you don't have the ability to see them all at once.
  5. Nevyrmoore

    Nevyrmoore AKA Ass-Bandit

    If the theory that there can only be 10 dimentions is correct, then yes.

    I'm sketchy on the details, but as far as I remember, when you reach the 6th dimention, you move into parallel timelines. If I recall correctly, it was explained this way. Lets say there's an alternate timeline in which, as a child, you made an invention that made you very wealthy. However, in your timeline, this childhood event never occured, so you're unable to visit this path in the timeline. A way to make this event occur is to go back in time and trigger the event that makes you wealthy. An easier way, however, is to make a fold between your timeline and the wealthy timeline and visit that.

    That's all theoretical mind you, there's no current way to prove it.
  6. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    No, but if you managed to survive, say, a couple thousand suicide attempts, it would seem to lend a whole lot of credit to the interpretation in question. If we assume that ones consciousness immediately ceases upon death, and that it would thus not branch off into a dead copy of us, of course.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2008
  7. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    But what do you mean by "survive" and "attempt"?

    For example, laying down in front of a steam roller and yeah.... Does that count as an attempt? Seems to me that survival is impossible in said situation so how could you possibly survive?

    If something will kill you in one "dimension" then wouldn't it kill you in any dimension? I'm confused about your argument I guess.
  8. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    I'm not really making an argument. I'm dealing in what ifs, which is all we can go on when dealing with this sort of thing. Basically, there are quantum phenomena which are indeterminate: which is to say that they cannot be predicted to end up in any given state based upon a full knowledge of relevant circumstances (i.e. they are acausal). We can know everything there is to know about the state of a quantum system, and still not be able to predict exactly when a particular atom will decay within it, or so it seems from what we currently know of such things.

    Given that we cannot predict one way or the other how these indeterminate phenomena will end up, we assume for mathematical purposes that they are in a state of superposition, or in two different states at once until observed. The many worlds interpretation of QM has it that all possible states of a quantum system, do in fact exist, but branch off into different worlds. This has been suggested as an alternative to the absurdity of things actually being in multiple states at once until observed. There are, of course, other ways to interpret such things, but MWI is a pretty popular one.

    The steamroller could break down or swerve or something. That doesn't seem to hinge excessively on how the underlying quantum system leaves a state of superposition, but who knows, really. The macroscopic world supervenes on the microscopic world, so it does seem that quantum indeterminacy could filter upwards, and it certainly would in, say, a situation where someones survival was directly tied to whether or not a particular atom decayed.
  9. pro2A

    pro2A Hell, It's about time!

    My belief is for every decision you make there are other universes that are created based on that decision. Its your choice what decision to make. For example if I wanted to eat a ham sandwhich, but changed my mind at the last second and had a turkey sandwhich instead, the universe where I made that ham sandwhich would still take place running parallel to the universe you are in. In essence you create millions if not billions of universes a day.
  10. AngelsPeak

    AngelsPeak Wanna play?

    Blinking can't be considered a decison though, people don't consciously breathe or blink their eyes, it's part of the autonomic nervous sytem.

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