You’re immortal in the multiverse

Why don’t you remember your previous life then?

I’m often asked what I believe in. So here is a short snapshot of my complicated beliefs. I’m not really a big fan of creationism. However, having looked at how finely tuned the physical constants are, it’s tempting to start to believe, that it’s not a strange coincidence, but is a result of an action, performed by someone or some principle.

Not only scientists stop at attempting to explain the fine tuning of universal constants. They stumble at the interpretation of quantum mechanics as well. The famous principle of Landau is “Shut up and calculate” is written on the wall of our understanding, of our attempts to explain the fundamental uncertainty principle, that a particle exist in the superposition of an infinite number of states.

All attempts to interpret the fine-tuning and the quantum uncertainty are beyond the science according to the Popper criterion of science — the falsifiability. The criterion is basically distinguishes between matters of science and matters of belief. If you can build an experiment to test your hypothesis, which may prove or disprove it, then you’re in the area of science, if not, then you’re beyond the science, where you can only stick to one or another belief.

I believe that the matters of fine-tuning and quantum uncertainty are intertwined and both can be explained based on the assumption of many universes. And here I’m at the crossfire from both creationists and physicists.

Existence of many universes each with random laws of physics and physical constants makes it simple to explain the fine-tuning: there’s no such thing as fine-tuning at all; among the many universes with many laws of physics, only some allow the existence of life, while the rest are just empty or filled with fields and unstable particles. And only those universes, which laws of physics allow life end up with observers asking “how come it’s so finely tuned”. This concept is called anthropic principle or else biocentrism.

Quantum uncertainty principle started its path from the double slit experiment: light forms an interference picture on the sensitive film if both slits are open at the same time, but not if slits are open consecutively. This means that each particle goes through both slits at the same time, however attempts to register half of the particle at the slit never succeeded. One thing led to another and scientists came up with terms of uncertainty, superposition and decoherence. Uncertainty states that there’s no way to determine precise location and speed of the particle, because particle is in the superposition of infinite number of states each with some probability. When you observe or register a particle, all probabilities collapse except the one, which you registered, i.e. decoheres.

Now, if you ask how the probability function is implemented in the universe, how does the decoherence works, you’ll hear “Shut up and calculate [the wave function of quantum system from the Schroedinger equation]”. Such an attitude is enough to earn money doing theoretical physics, but not enough to satisfy your curiosity.

Existence of many universes makes it simple to explain the decoherence: there’s no such thing as decoherence at all; all the possible states of each quantum system (from one particle to the whole universe) exist and all of them are just as real as you reading these words. In fact there’s practically infinite number of yous reading these words, and you’re all of them. You may interpret these words as if there are alternate universes with copies of you. No. YOU’re a quantum system and you exist in superposition with other representations of YOU, but they are not your copies, they are part of YOU as a quantum system. Simplistically speaking, we live in 3 spatial dimensions + 1 time dimension + N variational dimensions, or as Dr. Brown would say 4+N dimensional space-time-variation continuum. Variational dimensions are the arena for all the possible variants of the universe, i.e. each classical universe is just a point in the N-dimensional space of variations.

All the possible universes with different laws of physics including those with virtually nothing inside, exist in the space of variations. All the universes with the same laws of physics as ours including the universes with or without you exist in the space of variations. What you think of yourself as 3-dimensional body with an embedded brain, is actually a 3+N dimensional quantum system in the multiverse. And each fundamental particle composing your body is actually a N-dimensional surface in the 3+N dimensional space-variant continuum.

Now, let’s assume that there’s a function of your brain, which is responsible for the continuity of the perception in time. This function is only responsible for the continuity of perception, not continuity of your memory, knowledge, talents and skills, feelings, traits and habits, just continuity of perception, i.e. your subliminal feeling that you exist. And this function is implemented by some X number of fundamental particles in your brain combined together in a 3D spatial structure (part of your brain, contained neurons, contained molecules, contained particles). This 3D structure is actually a 3+N dimensional quantum system in the multiverse, responsible for the continuity of your perception in time. Let’s call this an individual perception (IP) system.

As you live your life, the IP system changes, new particles come into the system, old particles leave the system, old neurons die, new neurotransmitters replace old ones et cetera. What stands is the IP system itself. In the practically infinite number of variations there’s practically infinite number of universes at any given time where the IP system with exactly same particles exist in the exactly same configuration.

Let’s consider the simplified example. An atomic bomb explodes with probability 1/2 near you destroying every your cell in a fraction of a second. One second before the 100% probability of your existence was spread across S number of universes. One second later you seized to exist in S/2 number of universes. The probability that you continue to perceive yourself existing in any of the S/2 universes where you seized to exist is 0%. The probability that you continue to perceive yourself existing in any of the S/2 universes where you continue to exist is 100%. You think that you avoided sudden death, but actually YOU as a quantum system experienced both death and survival, more than that, YOU as a quantum system have just become twice smaller.

The cool thing about YOU is that your IP system is not strongly a subset of YOU. And while YOU may seize to exist (for example because practically infinite number of universes is not so infinite, and at some point of time you can die in all of them), your IP system is shared among infinite number of other universes with completely different YOU. Your IP system continuously seize to exist in some universes and start to exist in others. Which means, that not only you won’t stop existing, you will continually perceive yourself as existing forever. You won’t experience your own death.

This also means that you’re way older than your 30 or so years. Your individual perception system could have existed for millions of years in many other universes and bodies. You don’t remember them, because your IP system should be lightweight. It should carry only minimum sufficient atoms to ensure the continuity of perception of existence, because the probability of combining the same structure of the same atoms falls dramatically with the number of atoms increasing. So, memories and feelings are not included.

Next time i’ll tell you about Laplace determinism and your free will.

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Published December 25, 2013


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