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Convergent superficial alternate realities


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A typical interpretation of the Schrodinger's cat thought experiment is that in one reality, the cat will die, and in another it will continue to live a long and prosperous life. If every probabilistic event has each outcome realized in a different reality, the butterfly effect implies that any 2 similar realities would quickly become very different. These could be called divergent alternate realities.


Special relativity can describe a much milder interpretation. If we assume that any cat must at some time die, then relativity of simultaneity tells us that that moment isn't the same for all possible observers. It's possible that for one observer the cat is dead, and for another it is still alive. This is the reality for each observer, however these might be called superficial alternate realities. The details such as timing of events are different in the different reality, but the cat's eventual death and the cause of its death are common. Further, if you bring any 2 observers to the same location and velocity, the description of their separate realities should merge. This might be called convergent alternate realities.


With these definitions and an acceptance of special relativity, convergent superficial alternate realities are a fact of nature. But are divergent alternate realities also real?




We are then interested in determining the furthest extent to which alternate realities can diverge. We might do this by separating the properties of the universe into two categories: those that change depending on how they are observed (subjective), and those that don't (objective, absolute, or invariant).


Subjective aspects of reality:




Invariant aspects of reality:





Causality is a significant property in the Schrodinger's cat experiment. If indeed it is invariant, then it is possible for the experiment to be viewed with multiple superficial outcomes by multiple observers, but the state of the cat (dead or alive) as determined by the causal connection between events, would be convergent among different realities. It would either remain alive, or eventually die by the same causes in all realities.


Schrodinger's experiment relies on quantum phenomena translating to real-world events. Using the above interpretation, however, we can find a disconnect between the two: At the particle scale, we might describe reality according to subjective properties, but then as we back out to a human scale we may inadvertently switch to including an invariant property.


Much of the nature of particles is subjective. If distance is completely observer-dependent, then particle location, velocity, and even size can be subjective. Particles will be observed differently by different observers. It is possible that 2 observers do not even have the same particles in their respective realities. Yet, if causality is invariant, then particle interactions that cause other observable events must be invariant across multiple realities. Ie. causal relations must be realized in all realities regardless of how they may be differently observed.


Both quantum mechanics and special relativity can be interpreted as requiring alternate observational realities. They do not require the more extreme interpretations of parallel universes in which we each live out an infinite number of wildly different lives. Since causality is shown to be invariant in special relativity, it is likely that such wild interpretations where causality is subjective, are false. Occam's razor would suggest that parallel universes are unlikely. However, there may be other evidence for parallel universes that I'm not covering.


In summary, it is possible that the physical details and makeup of different alternate realities are very different, and yet that all realities converge on a single consistent description of the universe.

Edited by md65536
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