Cosmic Quote #61

“To you, I’m an atheist.  To god, I’m the loyal opposition.”–Woody Allen

“Atheism is a non-prophet organization.”–George Carlin

priestsI must admit, golf was once my religion.  Now I’m a non-theistic existentialist, though I still occasionally play around–er, I mean a round.


Cosmic Quote #60

“Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Brownest!”–Linus Van Pelt

peanuts 65Good ol’ Charlie Brown turns 65 today.   And good grief, so do I!  Yep, October 2, 1950 brought the world the first daily Peanuts comic strip.  And–love me or leave me–it brought me, too.   I may talk about sharing a birthday with Gandhi and Groucho, but Charlie is my true kindred spirit.   I wonder if he has a Medicare card…


Cosmic Quote #59

“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat!”–Lily Tomlin

Per Albert Camus’s The Myth of Sisyphus, it would appear that the best strategy for combating the stated dilemma is to simply keep running the race or navigating the maze, lest one stops and realizes how absurd it all is.   I’ll keep at it, if only because I need the cheese.



Cosmic Quote #58

“Physics is not religion. If it were, we’d have a much easier time raising money.”–Leon Lederman

Non Sequitur by Miley Used by permission

Non Sequitur by Miley
Used by permission

I’d bet that if physicists could raise money the way televangelists do, they wouldn’t use it to build themselves mansions and buy themselves private jets.  Well, OK, maybe if the mansion was on Mars and the private jet could fly them there with a lab full of experiments.   Moral:  be careful what you believe in, you might have to pay for it.


Quantum Weirdness 108: Many Interacting Worlds

“Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes.”–Walt Whitman

“I believe we exist in a multiverse of universes.”–Michio Kaku

Note: at this point I am assuming anyone reading this has some handle on what Quantum Weirdness is, as well as the Copenhagen and Many Worlds interpretations thereof.  If you do not, go back and read the previous installments in this thread.

Much of this  Quantum Weirdness Primer thread , and it’s bigger sibling The Millennium Conjectures, has dealt with the two most popular interpretations of so-called quantum weirdness:  The Copenhagen interpretation and The Many Worlds interpretation.**   It should be noted that there are several other interpretations, but these two have garnered probably the most support among theoretical physicists.   I have joked that I personally am in an appropriate super-position on this question, simultaneously believing in both.  But like the wave function of a sub-atomic particle, my uncertainty has now collapsed into favoring a single interpretation that is not exactly either one.

This interpretation is called Many Interacting Worlds.   It professes a multiverse of interacting universes–which differs from the Everett’s Many Worlds interpretation in a very vital way.    Everett postulated that at each quantum “dice roll” the universe would split into alternate universes for each outcome.  These universes are forever separated and cannot communicate with or influence each other. Many Interacting Worlds states that there are a multitude of pre-existing nearby universes that interfere with each other on the quantum level, giving rise to the apparent weirdness.

From the standpoint of Schroedinger’s cat, we can look at it this way.   The Copenhagen Interpretation, views the cat as in a superposition of states, simultaneously alive and dead until an intelligent observer looks in the box.  The Many Worlds interpretation views the universe as splitting into two otherwise equal copies, one in which the cat is dead and one in which the cat is alive.  Each observer finds out which one he is in when he looks in the box.  The Many Interacting Worlds  interpretation effectively says that there are a multitude of nearly-identical universes that interfere with each other creating the quantum weirdness effects, ultimately determining whether the cat is alive or dead from your observation point.  Identical observers in parallel universes may see a different outcome.   The key difference is that the parallel universe in Many Interacting Worlds are not created at each quantum junction point–they already exist and interfere with each other giving rise to the phenomena of quantum weirdness.

Confused?  Well, as Feynman said, “nobody understands quantum mechanics.”   But here is an article describing the Many Interacting Worlds interpretation and its proponents claim that it may be testable.


**In his recent book, Our Mathematical Universe, Max Tegmark says “parallel universes are not a theory, but a prediction of certain theories.”  Specifically, there are two:  Eternal Inflation, which suggests what Tegmark defines as Level 1 and Level 2 multiverses,  and Quantum Mechanics, which gives rise to his Level 3 and Level 4 multiverses.  A detailed description of these multiverses is available on Tegmark’s web site.


Cosmic Quote #57

Who do you look up to?

My list of most admired individuals is made up mostly of scientists.  OK, Groucho and Gandhi are on that list,  but so are Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michio Kaku, Max Tegmark, David  Deutsch, Albert Einstein, etc., etc., etc.   Which scientists do you most admire?


Cosmic Quote#56

“Not only is there no god, but try getting a plumber on weekends.” — Woody Allen

Osteen memeI have a hunch this guy has no trouble getting a plumber.


Cosmic Quote #55

“I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.”–Nicola Tesla 

I can name at least three.  Golf, poker and selective hearing.  OK, I can’t prove the first two, but I shouldn’t need to prove the last one. :-P


Cosmic Quote #54

What most people don’t understand is that UFOs are on a cosmic tourist route. That’s why they’re always seen in Arizona, Scotland, and New Mexico. Another thing to consider is that all three of those destinations are good places to play golf. So there’s possibly some connection between aliens and golf.”–Alice Cooper

Does Alice Cooper have inside information? Maybe he is an alien?

Anyway, if you watched any of this past weekend’s U.S. Open golf championship,  it’s worth considering that Chambers Bay was designed for aliens.  Or maybe by aliens.



Cosmic Quote #53

“I believe we exist in a multiverse of universes.”–Michio Kaku

“I’m astounded by people who want to ‘know’ the universe when it’s hard enough to find your way around Chinatown.”–Woody Allen

That's where they go!

That’s where they go!

Per my usual modus operandi, I revere both those that try to understand the universe, and those that poke fun at them.   JBS Haldane famously said that the universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it’s stranger than we can imagine.  I’ll try to make some more sense of the whole “multiverse” idea in Millennium Conjecture #6,  though I can’t say how soon that will appear in this particular universe.  I’m still trying to find my way out of Chinatown.


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