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I don't imagine the split exactly like that (wave vs particle), but I don't discount the posibility of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, which seems to me (not a physicist, btw!) to be the most straightforward interpretation.

http://www.hedweb.com/manworld.htm

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qm-manyworlds/


"La vida te da sorpresas...
Sorpresas te da la vida...,
¡Ay, Dios!"

   Rubén Blades---Pedro Navaja   


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The Nuclear Resister
School of the Americas Watch


Cauca, Colombia


Not, I think, two parallel and separate universes occupying the same space, which is what they'd have to do if in this universe electrons were of two different natures because of different universes. I know that no one so far has found any support for that idea even in the study of multiple universes, Membrane Theory.

Instead, what seems to be the case is that electrons and other subatomic particles seem to inhabit a world in which other dimensions exist. It is a strange world to our way of thinking because we can only think and perceive in three dimensions. Protons, electrons, and quarks and strings (provided they exist) have more dimensions to live in, and that's most likely why they act as oddly as they do. If we were to try to show two-dimensional creatures how to jump up and down, all they'd see is us disappearing and reappearing. If we made a long jump, they'd see us disappear from here and reappear over there. That's a bit as electrons seem to us to behave. It is possible for an electron to behave really strangely, including acting with two different natures simultaneously, all because of extra dimensions that it lives in.

But it all takes place in this universe.
Thanks for your responses!

Well, I've come to the conclusion that if the statistical predictions of the microcosm quantum theory are true, why parallel universes should be inconceivable in larger realities?

Human consciousness and the physical world at any level cannot be regarded as distinct, separate entities.. What we call reality, our external world is shaped - to some extent - like the subatomic universe. We cannot separate our own existence from that of the other universes. We are intimately associated not only with the Earth we inhabit, but with the farthest reaches of the macrocosm and the microcosm, outside and inside!

Thus, from a mental/spiritual point, our consciousness could be given the analogy of accessing parallel dimensional worlds..In Freud's view our UNCONSCIOUSNESS is a sort of parallel psychological universe where our CONSCIOUSNESS activities have access. Freud assert that consciousness contains illicit desires, memories and thoughts from our unconsciousness without being aware of it! These desire, memories, thoughts slip back and forth openly in our aware consciousness. This behavior of alternance of our consciousness to unconsciousness is akin to all the mechanism of all the subatomic participles that travel like waves but arrive as particle...

The double-slit experiment suggests that light can be both a wave and a particle at the same time, like our conscious simultaneously varies form fully alert to insubstantial consciousness. Perhaps, hypnosis, trance, dream or psychedelic drugs allow our psyche to travel to parallel fields or universes...?

AfroMan.
Afroman,

Why do you want to believe in parallel universes? I'm not sure that you show a reason for believing in them, yet you begin with them and end with them in your post. Why?

First, a thought that is not a quibble even if it may seem like one: if a universe is "parallel," then it does not intersect with this one, and therefore there's no way to access it. We can know nothing about it.

Second, human consciousness is part of this universe, that is true, but human consciousness has been shown to have the ability to imagine that which is not real. We call it "fiction." So while consciousness is part of this world, that doesn't mean that everything that the consciousness does is right. Consciousness has a will of its own, which a tree or star or proton does not.

"What we call reality" (what do you mean by that?) "is shaped to some extent like the subatomic universe."

You don't explain that statement and I'm not sure what you mean, since "to some extent" leaves a lot of room for interpretation. The macro universe is quite different from the subatomic one because there is a statistical difference between the two levels of this universe. What we see generally is the working out of averages on the micro level to make the macro world be as it is.

This doesn't mean that there aren't "laws" governing the micro world. We know what subatomic particles in the aggregate will do under certain circumstances. The proton-proton chain keeps main sequence suns hot no matter which of the hydrogen ions combines with whichever one it contacts at the right moment. We don't know which protons it will be that do combine with each other, but we do know that two of them will and at about what rate. We know how electrons will behave in radio and computer circuits, and we depend on them to do the same thing all the time, which they do, and even if we do not know quite why electrons behave like waves and particles simultaneously, we know that they do, and we can make them do so whenever we want.

So the subatomic world, while different from the macro one, is not alien to the macro world. It's only different. And it's not so different that we have to posit parallel universes to understand it. I don't see the connection between your first thought in your first paragraph and your second, that

1. If we can work with statistical predictions in the quantum world, then
2. Why can't we think that parallel universes exist?

Because we know much and are learning more about the subatomic world, and parallel universes are not part of it as far as we can tell. As a result, quantum physicists do not work with parallel universes.

So why do you?

You do make a logical leap in your second paragraph, one that is not supported by your argument. You say that

1. Human consciousness and the physical world are not separate.
2. The physical world, the world external to our consciousness, is shaped like the subatomic universe.
3. We cannot separate our existence from the other universes.

But in your first paragraph, parallel universes are a question, not a fact. A question can be neither true nor false. It's merely a question. So you are jumping ahead to dealing with parallel universes as part of your argument when you haven't shown that they can be.

How can we be "intimately associated" "with the farthest reaches of the macrocosm"? Objects 15 billion light-years away don't exactly qualify as next-door neighbors.

So I'm not sure that you have made your point (I realize that the problem could be my obtuseness, too, and it sometimes is, but I don't think so this time). To "give an analogy" is not to prove, especially lwhen I do not think that you have proof of parallel universes even existing.

Freud never used the term or the concept of parallel universes in his work. Freud was quite limited in his outlook--necessarily, since he was a pioneer--and he is not always agreed with even in his own field.

But to show that using Freud is helpful in this line of thinking and htis subject, you would have to show how the human consciousness affects the subatomic world and is affected by it, and how all the vagaries of the humand mind have some bearing on, oh, quarks and the shell theory of electron bonding in chemistry.

Besides, we don't know that subatomic particles "travel like waves but arrive like particles." Photons don't. Electrons don't. What we see in a Wilson cloud chamber isn't that. So why do you say that they do that?

And our consciousness is not "hypnosis, trance, dream, or hallucination" and "fully alert" at the same instant. We are one or the other, but not both, and certainly not all, at the same time.

I find it really hard to make a comparison between the subatomic world and human consciousness.

How and why do you do it? Just curious, because it's an important enough subject that I'd like to understand.
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:

How can we be "intimately associated" "with the farthest reaches of the macrocosm"? Objects 15 billion light-years away don't exactly qualify as next-door neighbors.




Don't gamma rays produced in distant supernovas cause crossover mutations around conception?

If so, wouldn't that be a causual link between stars "long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away", and our own human history?


"La vida te da sorpresas...
Sorpresas te da la vida...,
¡Ay, Dios!"

   Rubén Blades---Pedro Navaja   


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The Nuclear Resister
School of the Americas Watch


Cauca, Colombia


Ricardomath,

Hi.

I agree that all things in the universe either do or have the possibility of affecting each other. You're right about the gamma rays--the only difference between a gamma ray produced in the sun and one produced in any of the over 300 known sources of gamma rays elsewhere is distance. Yes, they would and no doubt do affect us.

The question really had to do with the word "initmately."

While I applaud Afroman's desire to think about and to investigate this issue, I'm not sure that I agree with his characterizations of the structure of our universe. It's a pretty far stretch, I think, to link quantum physics with the human consciousness and to use that to posit parallel universes. I really don't believe that we can do that, and so I'm interested in the reasons he has for thinking about it as he does.

One of the characterizations that he used was this "intimate" connection between us and everything else. While we can be affected by everything else, I'm not convinced that that qualifies as an "intimate" connection. I would think that an intimate connection would necessitate interaction, and I don't quite know how we might affect that supernova you mentioned. I don't know just how close or distant an intimate connection can be and still be intimate.

If his theory is based partly on the existence of this intimate connection, I would think that we'd have to decide just what such a connection is. I don't see that we have done that yet.
I agree the the causual interaction between us and the supernova is a decidedly one way street.

And I would also agree that consciousness is unlikely to be a quantum phenomena, except in so far as the underlying electrochemical mechanisms themselves in our brains, like anything else, are ultimately based upon QM principals.

It does seem likely to me though, as an outsider to the subject of physics, that if one takes QM seriously, that the idea of the state vector "splitting" or "decohering" into into mutually orthognal branches as quantum effects bubble up into the macro-world makes sense. If in reality these multiple worlds do not exist, what is the physical mechanism behind cutting them off? The Copenhagen Interpretation is something that I've never been able to make much sense of. This "collaps of the state vector" upon making an "observation" strikes me as vauge metaphysical nonsense, even if the image is useful from a working standpoint.


"La vida te da sorpresas...
Sorpresas te da la vida...,
¡Ay, Dios!"

   Rubén Blades---Pedro Navaja   


Plowshares Actions
The Nuclear Resister
School of the Americas Watch


Cauca, Colombia


Like you, I've always been skeptical of the Copenhagen Interpretation. The collapse of the wave function seems to me to be merely an observational phenomenon and not a description of reality.

It wouldn't be the first time that that sort of thing has happened. In the controversy over the Copernican model of the solar system, just about everybody (including the Roman Catholic Church, which has received an unjustified bad press over this issue) knew that since we couldn't get "above" the solar system to actually look at it, nobody really knew if the Ptolmaic or the Copernican model was the right one. They knew and admitted that they used the Ptolmaic model simply because it worked.

We still do in celestial navigation.

The Copenhagen Interpretation strikes me as the same thing happening again, only this time on a very small scale. Sure, the "collapse of the wave function" is a possible description of the observations that we have made, but that's all it is. It works, but I don't think it's real.

About the oddities of the subatomic not being evident in our perceptions' scale, if superstring theory is right--and I rather hope it is, it would make things understandable--then we have extra dimensions in our universe that we haven't perceived yet because they are on such small scales. If that is the reason--and we don't know yet, but that's the way the research is tending--then it would make sense that electrons and light can be two states simultaneously to our perception without having to bother with the concept of parallel universes, a concept that is not supported by the research so far.

Besides, the parallel universes would themselves have to exist only on the subatomic level, and that would limit their effects on us. I'm fairly confident that we will find that what we sometimes theorize as parallel universes is really the workings of those extra dimensions physcists are talking about today, or something pretty much like them.

Quantum phenomena are all around us. We just don't always know that because once we get a lot of electrons in one place they have a statistical norm, as any large group woul dbe expected to have. Every time you turn on your radio you are using quantum effects--in your antenna, in your detector, in your amplifier, everywhere in your radio--but they are not mysterious because we use so many electrons in such a short period of time that they have that statistical action. We don't expect parallel universes to change what our radio or TV does, and they don't. If anything, the averages of so many electrons keeps on being averages and acting as aveages always do.

So with the radio, so with the brain. There are just too many electrons in use there for there to be any noticeable quantum effects on a large scale.

Assuming that my brain has a large scale.

An aside completely off the subject and prompted by a different thread (but since we're both here): Do you two celebrate your wife's birthday, and if you do, when have you decided to celebrate it? Just curious. Never having met someone who did not know her birthdate, I would find it interesting to know how you handle that in a birthday-assuming world.
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:

An aside completely off the subject and prompted by a different thread (but since we're both here): Do you two celebrate your wife's birthday, and if you do, when have you decided to celebrate it? Just curious. Never having met someone who did not know her birthdate, I would find it interesting to know how you handle that in a birthday-assuming world.


We celebrate her birthday every year on November 4 and again on November 16. Most of her friends here in Ames celebrate it on the 4th. Her family in Colombia celebrates it on the 16th. In all probability, neither date is correct.

She grew up in the mountains of Cauca, in a mostly all Black region of Colombia. At some point the church burned down, and all records were lost. By the time that the records were reconstructed (by either the Catholic church or the government), she and her older sister, who died several years ago, ended up with the same age and birthday. She tells me that her grandmother did keep track, but that information aparently died with her grandmother.


"La vida te da sorpresas...
Sorpresas te da la vida...,
¡Ay, Dios!"

   Rubén Blades---Pedro Navaja   


Plowshares Actions
The Nuclear Resister
School of the Americas Watch


Cauca, Colombia


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