At the upper levels of complexity, physics – even to physicists – seems to break down into what essentially comprises a lot of arm waving and confused looks. But that’s no reason to give up. As Richard Feynman once said, “it is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don’t understand it. You see my physics students don’t understand it. That is because I don’t understand it. Nobody does”.
Researchers from Australia’s Griffith University and the University of California, Davis have published a radical new theory of Quantum physics based on the idea that parallel universes not only exist, but interact with one another.
Professor Howard Wiseman and Dr. Michael Hall from Griffith’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics and Dr. Dirk-Andre Deckert from the UC-Davis Department of Mathematics propose a theory that these worlds influence one another through a subtle force of repulsion, and that this interaction could explain the odd qualities of quantum theory such as the “quantum leap” of subatomic particles.
Quantum theory works to explain how the universe interacts on a microscopic scale, but it often demonstrates inexplicable phenomena that defy the laws of cause and effect.
But this newly-developed “Many-Interacting Worlds” approach could provide a new perspective on this field.
“The idea of parallel universes in quantum mechanics has been around since 1957,” said Professor Howard 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.”
However, in the ‘Many Worlds Interpretation’ that was first proposed by American physicist Hugh Everett over half a century ago, “critics question the reality of these other universes, since they do not influence our universe at all,” he said.
“On this score, our ‘Many Interacting Worlds’ approach is completely different, as its name implies.”
According to the three boffins, their “Many-Interacting Worlds” approach proposes that the universe that we experience is just one of a gigantic number of worlds – some of which are nearly identical to ours, while others are vastly different. Each of these worlds are equally real and exist continuously through time, they added.
Furthermore, the scientists assert that these worlds each possess precisely defined properties, and that all quantum phenomena arise from a universal force of repulsion between similar or “nearby” worlds, which tends to make them more dissimilar. They even believe that their theory could eventually allow scientists to test for other worlds.
Co-author Michael Hall said: “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.
“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.”
Study Published in the journal Physical Review X: http://goo.gl/YRz50P.