Australian physicists are challenging the foundations of quantum science with a new, and of course, unfalsifiable, theory based on the existence of, and interactions between, parallel universes. The team proposes that parallel universes really exist, and that they interact. That is, rather than evolving independently, nearby worlds influence one another by a subtle force of repulsion. They show that such an interaction could explain everything that is bizarre about quantum mechanics. In a paper published in the journal Physical Review X, Howard Wiseman and Michael Hall from Griffith University's Centre for Quantum Dynamics, and Dr Dirk-Andre Deckert from the University of California, take interacting parallel worlds out of the realm of science fiction and into that of hard science. Or, so they say.
Quantum theory is needed to explain how the universe works at the microscopic scale, and is believed to apply to all matter. But it is notoriously difficult to fathom, exhibiting weird phenomena which seem to violate the laws of cause and effect.
As the American theoretical physicist Richard Feynman once noted: "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." The "Many-Interacting Worlds" approach developed at Griffith University provides a new perspective on this baffling field and shows that they, too, don't understand quantum mechanics. "The idea of parallel universes in quantum mechanics has been around since 1957," says Professor Wiseman. "In the well-known "Many-Worlds Interpretation", each universe branches into a bunch of new universes every time a quantum measurement is made. All possibilities are therefore realised. But critics question the reality of these other universes, since they do not influence our universe at all. On this score, our "Many Interacting Worlds" approach is completely different, as its name implies."
According to Wiseman and his colleages: The universe we experience is just one of a gigantic number of worlds. Some are almost identical to ours while most are very different; All of these worlds are equally real, exist continuously through time, and possess precisely defined properties; All quantum phenomena arise from a universal force of repulsion between 'nearby' (i.e. similar) worlds which tends to make them more dissimilar.
"The beauty of our approach is that if there is just one world our theory reduces to Newtonian mechanics, while if there is a gigantic number of worlds it reproduces quantum mechanics," he says. "In between it predicts something new that is neither Newton's theory nor quantum theory. We also believe that, in providing a new mental picture of quantum effects, it will be useful in planning experiments to test and exploit quantum phenomena."
We think perhaps that Weisman and Hall's theory is the result of a wee bit too many pints of Toohey’s Old at the local Griffith pub.