Peter Emer

The Lil Project

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How can one thing be in 2 places at once?

From my understanding, the Quantum theory supports the idea of parallel universes. It suggests that when i make the decision to sit here and type this and ask it to the TED community, there is another "me" in different dimension that is not doing fact, he is probably not a fan of TED community to begin with and is probably kicking a soccer ball in his bedroom or something. I want to hear the TED community's reaction to this notion.

  • Aug 4 2012: There is a difference between “string theory” or “brane theory” and the dimensions that they suppose exist and “parallel universes”. String theory believes there are different dimensions that we cannot perceive but that isn’t to say that they are other three dimensional spaces like we live in they are just in addition to our three(or four) that we understand.
    “Parallel universes” typically suppose an infinite universe where there is an infinite number of stare. An infinite number of stars is going to have an infinite number of stars like the sun. An infinite number of “sun” stars are going to have an infinite number of “earths”. Every possible event that could occur, would occur on that infinite number of “earths”. So when ever any possible action A occurs there are infinite other “earths” where B occurs. If you look back through time at all the possible A or B occurrences there are infinite number of ways that things that could have happened and with infinite “earths” on some A happened and some B happened.
    But those other people on other earths that are identical to you in every way, are no more “you” than a set of twins are the same person. If you could travel the distance to another earth you could meet “you”.
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      Aug 5 2012: Hmmm....thanks for that :) I have never thought of or been introduced to "brane theory", i will have to look into it. Any books you would recommend?
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        Aug 5 2012: Warped Passages by Lisa Randall. She is, I believe, the originator of the theory of branes and writes about them, as well as about string theory and multiple dimensions in that recent book for the layperson, which probably came out in 2007. She is in the physics department at Harvard.
        • Aug 5 2012: I also like Dr Michio Kaku’s "Strings, Conformal Fields, and M-Theory". M-theory is short for membrane theory, which is the same as brane theory(what it was called the first time I read about it). Essentially it is string theory but with added dimensions… Oops, was I supposed to say “spoiler alert” first?
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    Aug 6 2012: When you zoom-in to the scale where evidence of the presence of things like electrons can be detected it is not possible to say exactly where an electron is at some exact point in time. This uncertainty has resulted in an Uncertainty Principle (look it up). If you were an electron I would not be able to observe you sufficiently to determine if you are kicking a soccer ball, or posting on TED. I could only say you are somewhere within some boundary. The basis of quantum theory is uncertainty.
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    Aug 5 2012: Here's a link that is confusing as well as more confusing but theoretical physics,read the comments,i understood more of the article by them rather than the article itself.
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    Aug 4 2012: I have a problem with every instant creates a new set of parallel instants that is based on decision within that first instant,it would be exponential for every instant when we can only really make definite future instant decisions up to about probably ten future instant decisions.

    i.e sitting in front of your screen present instant, decide to get up,another instant decision,walk over to the door and open it,again decision on action,walk down the hall,decision,make coffee,decision,walk back,decision,sit back down,decision,look at screen,decision,begin again.We don't see it in that manner and my description is if anything confusing but we see it as a long continuous single act of decision but in reality it's a mass of instant decisions of action.

    So those past instant decisions? are they still unravelling of their own in parallel universes when they are past instantances? remember they are the past and only exist in your memory.I'm not knocking QT,i'm at odds with reality,confused?,i confuse myself on a regular basis all the time.

    Here's a thought,does parallel universes begin for you when you are born or when you were concieved? or when your parents decided to have you?What if you were a pleasant surprise to your parents or were unplanned in some cases?Here's a link you might find interesting,it won't answer your Q but it might give you insight.

    Personally i think human existence is governed by laws built into decision and that the effect we have on our surroundings is only visible by the physical interactions we leave behind us when we interact with matter.Full of holes i know but it's the best i can come up with on the fly.
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      Aug 5 2012: Hi Ken,
      Thanks for the link, i will definitely have a look at it. Just that idea is something that fascinates me and i find it hard to comprehend that the human mind can think beyond itself...and can think of itself in two...if you get what i mean. :) I still wonder what we are in terms of the Universe, like our physical being, what is it? i know we are made of the same composition as stars but why do we communicate, why do we have passions and desires and why do we decide? Basically, what are we in terms of why we do the things we do and how does it impact the universe?
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    Aug 15 2012: quantum theory does not have this prediction. it is just a hypothesis to explain the quantum collapse. but there are dozens of other explanations.
  • Aug 15 2012: To the best of my knowledge, there is no data to support the idea of parallel universes. This is speculation based on math based on assumptions. It has the same validity as a science fiction novel.

    According to the Theory of General Relativity the concept of simultaneity is a matter of your point of view.

    In the context of subatomic particles, we cannot see these particles. The 'observation' that a particle is in two places at once is an interpretation of data. Personally, I am not convinced that this interpretation is correct. But if it is, I can accept it. There is no reason to expect subatomic particles to behave like soccer balls.
  • Aug 7 2012: The places merge or overlap.
  • Aug 6 2012: If we are in fact unique, no other person duplicated in us, then my answer is no.

    I like the idea we are unique. Parallel universe? The idea of many universes within all the Universe seems OK. Whether any of the others are parallel is unknown. Hmmmmmmm--maybe each of them is unique too!

    Who are what determines each of us is unique?

    Food for thought!
  • Aug 5 2012: I don't know!
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    Aug 5 2012: There is no doubt a physical world; there is also a world of words, digits and codes.
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    Aug 4 2012: Good question... no one really knows... LOL