Chad Orzel explains Everett’s Many Worlds Interpretation to his dog.

Chad Orzel is one of the Science Blogs crew and his dog has a bad habit of reading his Quantum Mechanics books in a vain attempt to get more treats:

“Therefore, it’s possible that you dropped steak on the floor. And according to Everett’s Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics, that means that you did drop steak on the floor. Which means I just need to find it.”

“Well, technically, what the Many Worlds interpreation says is that there’s some branch of the unitarily evolving wavefunction of the universe in which I dropped steak on the floor.”

“Right, so I just need to find the unitary whatsis.”

“The thing is, though, we can only perceive one branch of the wavefunction.”

“Maybe you can only perceive one branch. I have a very good nose. I can sniff into extra dimensions.”

It doesn’t take much reading of Quantum Mechanics to make my head hurt so reading explanations taken down to the level of a dog’s understanding helps to get the head wrapped around the concepts involved. In short, while Everett’s Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is pretty cool it’s also of little use to those of us who’d like to change which reality we’re dealing with.

7 thoughts on “Chad Orzel explains Everett’s Many Worlds Interpretation to his dog.

  1. I think quantum mechanics isn’t always properly explained, and lecturers themselves aren’t prepared to admit what they don’t know. Also because you’re dealing with the most primary rules of all, the question ‘why?’ sometimes has no answer (as you’re at the top of our percieved pyrimid of reason), all we know is what and how. Much like the rules behind Langton’s ant – we predict the consequence but cant explain why the rules are there.

    It almost feels like the foundations that underpin everything have no reason to exist themselves – and no reason to stay as they are or even exist for the next moment

  2. Cute idea, but even with such an elementary approach I still find quantum mechanics too daunting to explore in any real detail.

  3. even with such an elementary approach I still find quantum mechanics too daunting to explore in any real detail.

    Compared to a trinitarian god, quantum mechanics is a piece of cake.

  4. Sadie- Don’t let it daunt – it need not be, it’s merely made to be so by people who claim to know a little about it trying to gain an knowledge monopoly on it so as to boost their own self esteem. Daunting can discourage people from learning what they are quite capable of understanding, just like other mindframes. Given time and the right conditions I believe that nothing is beyond the reach of anybody’s comprehension (though maybe their memory, but you can forget whilst still understanding)

  5. The main trouble with Quantum is as you move through the dimensions you lose track of where you are.

    Does Les have hair in this universe, and who is the picture of the bloke with a beard of?

  6. I do not mean to be indifferent, and I am certainly not offering an apology. But Quantum Physics ( Experimental Dynamics ) that relates to almost all fields is the beginning of understanding. Even if it results in failure. Atleast we know to take a different path.

  7. Paul – may be the beginning of understanding in much the same way as a house of cards has cards at the bottom to hold it all up – there’s just no obvious table to support some of it, ‘it just is’ is used to explain the existence of the original component (from which all else was made) in any theory. Exactly the same problem goes for theism, my problem is understanding why anything should exist because before anything exists there are no rules to make it happen, and the arguement that something always existed in some form doesn’t explain why or how

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