Sunday, March 19, 2017

A New Combined Many Worlds/Multiverse–Quantum Entanglement–Wormhole Model

Once again, I am posting an article that is unrelated to palaeontology, zoology, or biology, but, instead, covers topics in physics and cosmology that, likewise, fascinate me.

In this article, I present my own hypothesis regarding several aspects of quantum physics and cosmology. Here, I propose my own hypothetical model which attempts to combine the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics, the numerous Hubble volumes multiverse model, quantum entanglement, ER=EPR/wormholes, and retrocausality/time travel to the past into one unified, elegant model. You might have heard of the concept of a multiverse. If not, I will now proceed to explicate it. A multiverse is a hypothesized plurality of universes that exist. In other words, just as there are planets besides Earth, solar systems besides the one that contains Earth, and galaxies besides the Milky Way, there could, likewise, be other universes besides the one we are inhabiting. Quantum entanglement refers to a process wherein two or more particles are described using the same wave function. This means that anything that happens to one particle will instantly be responded to by the other, regardless of how far apart the particles happen to be. Quantum entanglement was criticized by Albert Einstein, who referred to it as “spooky action at a distance”, as he thought that it was impossible to occur, as it implied the sending of information faster than the speed of light in a vacuum, in contradiction to the postulate of relativity that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum.

First, it is necessary to clarify some basics of quantum mechanics. In quantum mechanics, entities such as light and electrons are in possession of both a particle nature, as well as a wave nature. In other words, they can sometimes behave like particles, and sometimes like waves, depending upon how they are being experimented upon. For example, electrons sent through a sheet containing a pair of slits show interference, like waves, while light is made up of tiny particles, or corpuscles, known as photons, as well as showing wave phenomena such as interference. This means that, just as a mathematical equation can be used to describe the state of a wave at a particular time, as all particles have a wave nature, a wave equation can be used to describe them, as well. In quantum mechanics, the wave equation that is utilized for subatomic particles is referred to as the Schrödinger equation, named after physicist Erwin Schrödinger, who formulated it. A solution to this equation is referred to as a wave function.

Strangely, however, the wave function does not describe exactly where the particle’s location is, but, rather, the probabilities that its location will be in various places. It was once thought by many physicists, including Einstein, that this uncertainness entailed that scientists were unaware of certain information, and that, once this information was to be filled in, the wave function would be able to tell us the particle’s exact location with certainty. In other words, physicists thought that this probability at such tiny scales was no different from the probability we encounter in everyday life, for example, if someone trapped inside a building who has no idea what the weather is outside were to say “There is a 60% probability that it is rainy right now, and a 40% probability that it is sunny right now”. In reality, it would be either rainy or sunny outside right now, but the individual stuck in the building does not currently possess enough information to make the determination as to which one happens to be the case.

More experimental evidence showed that this was, alas, not the case. Rather than merely reflecting scientists’ lack of knowledge, it was shown that the probability at the quantum scale is inherent, meaning that, prior to measurement, a particle really does lack a precise location, and that it subsequently restricts itself to a particular location once it is measured. This baffled physicists profoundly. Many found themselves incredulous, and started searching for explanations. Some of the explanations have included the one that the consciousness of the observer, when observing and measuring the particle, forces it to become restricted to one particular location. Some others have included the process known as quantum decoherence, in which interaction with the environment causes a superposition of states to break down, in a sense, into what appears to be a single state, as the smaller quantum system under observation coagulates into a larger quantum system composed of itself and parts of its environment.

The interpretation of the probabilities of quantum mechanics that this article focuses its attention on, however, is the Many Worlds Interpretation, originally formulated by physicist Hugh Everett III in the year 1957 of the decimal Gregorian calendar. This interpretation states that the probabilities described by the wave function represent a superposition of all of the copies of the object being measured that exist in parallel universes, and that, when the measurement is performed, the observer can only observe the particle that exists in the universe that they are in.

Meanwhile, leaving the realm of quantum mechanics altogether and entering the realm of cosmology, the study of the origins, evolution, and large-scale structure of the universe, and reality, as a whole, it is thought that the amount of space in the universe beyond that which we can detect, due to the light from there not having had sufficient time to reach us yet, might be infinite, or finite, but very large. If so, then, as there are a finite number of ways that particles can be arranged to form objects, this would entail that any possible scenario would be able to occur in some region of space. This has led to the formulation of another multiverse theory, known as the cosmological or spatial multiverse model. This model postulates that, in the regions of space beyond that from which light has had sufficient time to reach us, known as our Hubble volume, if you were to travel far enough, by the pure laws of chance and probability, you would eventually come across numerous other Milky Way Galaxies, numerous other Solar Systems like ours within them, and numerous other Earths within them, but each one would be slightly different from ours, in some ways.

For example, on some of these other Earths, situations and characters that are part of fiction in our own Hubble volume would actually be real. There could be a Jurassic Park Universe in which Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna exist, and a company called InGen actually cloned dinosaurs and placed them on the islands, a Full House and Family Matters Universe in which these shows and the characters within them are real (these shows must take place in the same universe, as Steve Urkel from Family Matters once made a cameo appearance on Full House), even a Land Before Time Universe in which dinosaurs' neurological and throats anatomy evolved in such a way that allowed them to evolve the ability to speak, and the characters and situations from that series are real.

The suggestion has been made, and I make it again here, that both of these types of multiverse models -- the one derived from the weird probability superpositions of quantum mechanics, and the one derived from the inferred vastness of space -- might, in fact, be one and the same. In this way, the quantum mechanical superposition of probabilities would constitute a description of all of the copies or versions of an object under measurement, as they exist in separate Hubble volumes, separated by vast expanses of space. The probabilistic nature of the measurement, then, would come about as a result of the mathematical Schrödinger equation and the wave function contained within it not being able to tell you which Hubble volume the observer performing the measurement happens to be situated within.

I find this merging of these two varieties of multiverses to be quite an elegant theory, indeed, and it has the additional benefit of being more parsimonious than proposing two different types of multiverse that contain pretty much largely the same content.

The fact that the same wave function would describe these various particles, in different Hubble volumes of space, would entail that they would be entangled. Entanglement entails some kind of method for the various copies in different Hubble volumes to be able to communicate information with each other nearly instantaneously, regardless of the vastness of the intervening distance. I here propose a solution that has already been proposed by others: namely, that tiny wormholes could connect entangled particles. This conjecture has been termed the ER=EPR model. Here, I put it into the context of the quantum/cosmological-combined multiverse model. In this model, these tiny wormholes would connect different versions of an object in different universes, allowing quantum entanglement to exist between them.

I take it a step further, and propose another, more controversial idea; combining retrocausality and backwards time travel with the ER=EPR model. Other experiments have hypothesized that quantum entanglement could be explained by signals traveling backwards in time to a time when the two entangled particles were closer together, and could thus transmit information easily. I find this an elegant solution, as, even with the addition of the tiny wormholes, the action could not be instantaneous--as nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, all travel through a wormhole would do is considerably shorten the journey needed to be taken by a signal from one particle to reach the other, but that would still only shorten the journey, not make it instantaneous, as is observed in quantum entanglement. Allowing backward causation would explain this seemingly instantaneous action at a distance, as, then, the connection would have already been made in the past, prior to the measurements being performed on the entangled particles.

I propose that, in a standard quantum mechanical experiment described by the Schrödinger equation and its wavefunction, the probabilistic superposition of states represents all of the versions of a particle existing in different Hubble volumes, separated by vast expanses of space. They are, therefore, entangled. These entangled particles would be able to transmit information between each other, and, thus, have the ability to be instantly affected by measurements performed upon their counterparts. A possible explanation for their entanglement is that they are connected by miniature wormholes, which connect back in time to a time period in the past, perhaps very early on in the universe's history, shortly after the Big Bang, when these particles, or the matter that would later go on to become them, were situated close enough to each other that normal signal transmission between them could occur easily. This would mean that the connection between them could be maintained, as, no matter how far apart the particles would have drifted, the signal could always go back to a time when they were close enough through a miniscule wormhole. After a signal from one particle is sent through the wormhole back in time to the other particle in the past, perhaps the other particle could subsequently retain the information from the signal as it travels into the future, meaning that, by the time it is separated by the vast expanses of space between Hubble volumes that not even light has yet been able to traverse, it would retain information about its -- now quite far-away -- counterpart.

My new model combines the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics, the multiverse model containing numerous Hubble volumes, the ER=EPR model of tiny wormholes linking quantum-entangled particles, and retrocausality & backwards time travel into one model that I feel comprehensively explicates both many of the mysteries of quantum mechanics, including probabilities, superpositions, and entanglement, as well as the mysteries of the multiverses.

This hypothesis of mine is by no means confirmed, and is still tentative, but I can only hope that further discoveries and experimentally-obtained evidence in the future might, perhaps, be able to corroborate it. Any constructive criticism or suggestions for improving this model, which I term the Quantum Hubble Volumes Temporal Wormhole Model, would be highly appreciated.

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