Monday, December 19, 2011

Detecting Parallel Universes Impossible?

Parallel Universes.....They certainly are an attractive proposition are they not? The very idea of them has pulled Dr. Hawkings fat out of the fire as well it would seem. The very idea that every action creates a different universe sends some screaming into the night and other into constant spirals of what if and if I do this or in this universe there is no.... (as in Hawkings' information dilemma, he proposes that there are universes that do NOT have black holes and therefore no information can or is lost and that cancels out our universe which has black holes and WOULD seem to lose information....OMG got a head ache yet?)

Myself, I find the prospect fascinating and often speculate on what form my actions would infer in a mirror universe. (the ultimate in nepotism would it not?)

As of late though I have began to doubt the veracity of the arguments championing the multi-verse. Really....what need of a universe to balance out you taking a step either here or there or for that matter just breathing? Then, by their very nature would be an argument for you NOT to exist at all, for there would be far more universes in existence that you were not doing something and not even there. So if you follow and agree with this supposition then the very fact that you exist is an argument that parallel universes do not. (oh the pain...the pain)

So the multi-verse seems about to unravel according to an article in University of Calgary Utoday via The Daily Galaxy that suggests that parallel universes man not be detectable.   Why?  Well some of the reason is physics.  Quantum Physics to be more precise.   Quantum physics works really good at describing and ummm quantifying  (sorry) particles in the sub-atomic world but completely breaks down at the macro level.  Not because the math is questionable, but more our technology and science is not up to measuring large amounts of quantum states at once.  (that little ache behind your right eye should be bordering on white hot agony by this point.  Not to worry, a few more lines and your head explodes you do have something to look forward to...)

Let me explain how I work that little nib out.  You remember the double slot results right?  Now some people just love to say that our reality can effect quantum states but the reality is that a quantum state is a Super-position which is inherently unstable.  Any time you try to interact with a particle in a quantum state, its' super-position collapses.  As the Calgary article puts it:
  • Superposition is a fundamental principle of quantum physics that says that systems can exist in all their possible states simultaneously. But when measured, only the result of one of the states is given.

So how does this apply to the detection of parallel universes?  Again it comes down to detecting the quantum particles.  From the article:
  • Seeing quantum effects requires extremely precise measurements
Christopher Simon,  one of the Calgary researchers who co-authored the article:
  • in order to see the quantum nature of this state, one has to be able to count the number of photons in it perfectly,” says Simon. “This becomes more and more difficult as the total number of photons is increased. Distinguishing one photon from two photons is within reach of current technology, but distinguishing a million photons from a million plus one is not. 
So if we can just barely differentiate a state containing at best several quantum particles, the chances of us being able to accurately detect a state with anything approaching a macro size is well beyond our ability to detect it.   Detecting a whole universe may never be within the realm of possibility. 

The article really is fascinating and I have no doubt that I have managed to  mangle the science so read the original here

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