Don’t knock his approach, please! When acting as a coach for local writers, I (O’Leary for News), spend quite a lot of time urging aspiring writers to do exactly what Sean Carroll is doing and I will probably use him as an example. A publisher simply can’t buy all the publicity a writer can generate by getting out there and promoting his own book. Here is Carroll, once again, defending the multiverse, and doing a much better job of explaining what it would really be like than many other believers in the idea do:
The Many-Worlds formulation of quantum mechanics removes once and for all any mystery about the measurement process and collapse of the wave function. We don’t need special rules about making an observation: all that happens is that the wave function keeps chugging along in accordance with the Schrödinger equation. And there’s nothing special about what constitutes ‘a measurement’ or ‘an observer’ – a measurement is any interaction that causes a quantum system to become entangled with the environment, creating a branching into separate worlds, and an observer is any system that brings about such an interaction. Consciousness, in particular, has nothing to do with it. The ‘observer’ could be an earthworm, a microscope or a rock. There’s not even anything special about macroscopic systems, other than the fact that they can’t help but interact and become entangled with the environment. The price we pay for such a powerful and simple unification of quantum dynamics is a large number of separate worlds.Sean Carroll, “Splitting the Universe: Hugh Everett blew up quantum mechanics with his Many-Worlds theory in the 1950s. Physics is only just catching up” at Aeon
Right. And the price you pay for suicide is that nothing you do in this world afterward matters.
But at least he got rid of the importance of consciousness, right?
In my own research, I’ve gone even farther, arguing that the quest for quantum gravity is being held back by physicists’ traditional strategy of taking a classical theory (such as Albert Einstein’s general relativity) and ‘quantising’ it. Presumably nature doesn’t work like that; it’s just quantum from the start. What we should do, instead, is start from a purely quantum wave function, and ask whether we can pinpoint individual ‘worlds’ within it that look like the curved spacetime of general relativity. Preliminary results are promising, with emergent geometry being defined by the amount of quantum entanglement between different parts of the wave function. Don’t quantise gravity; find gravity within quantum mechanics.
That approach fits very naturally into the Many-Worlds perspective, while not making much sense in other approaches to quantum foundations. Niels Bohr might have won the public-relations race in the 20th century, but Hugh Everett appears ready to pull ahead in the 21st.Sean Carroll, “Splitting the Universe: Hugh Everett blew up quantum mechanics with his Many-Worlds theory in the 1950s. Physics is only just catching up” at Aeon
A bit early to write the history of the 21st century when we are not even 20% into it. But, hey, Sean, keep writing. It’s nonsense but it is interesting nonsense.
See also: Sean Carroll: Physicists don’t even want to understand quantum mechanics. Carroll wants a multiverse out of any new findings, one suspects. One question many might have is, apart from the lack of a multiverse, how bad is the current situation in physics? What, besides that, is going wrong?
At Nature: The “bizarre logic” of the multiverse is explored in a review. Crease writes as if he would very much like to buy into Carroll’s ideas but still thinks that sanity has something to offer. Possibly, many establishment science figures teeter on that brink. In a review of cosmologist Sean Carroll’s new book, Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime
The multiverse is science’s assisted suicide
Follow UD News at Twitter!
Post-modern science: The illusion of consciousness sees through itself