Friday, December 6, 2013

Your Life as a Movie

What does the title mean?  In movies what you are physically watching are still photographs (frames) being projected at 24 frames per sec (fps).  So what you are viewing are 24 pictures each second that makes up the movie and gives the appearance of motion in the movie you are watching.  Well your life is lived in a similar manner of frames per second.  However instead of 24 fps your life is in 1 X 10^43 fps, that a 1 followed by 43 zeros.  Yeah thats a pretty big (I know I shouldn't use that word since its not well defined) or as I like to say a gazillion.  Your life is not continuous but broken up into individual frames as far as present physics can tell us.  This is the limiting factor imposed by quantum mechanics relating to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle about how well we can measure the physical universe.  The 1X10^43 fps is related to the smallest time interval which we can measure and that is the Planch time of 5X10^-44 seconds.  A decimal point followed by forty-three 0's then a 5.  This is what quantum mechanics tells us and I might add that quantum mechanics is by far as I know the most successful theory presented by Physicists.  What quantum mechanics really means is another story...... But your life is lived as a movie.  How each frame advances is the goal of physics,and physics has a good grip on that.  Unfortunately what it has to say is based on probabilities and as far I can tell there are various ways of examining probabilities.

So you can say that your life is a movie only that there are no cuts in the filming and no mulligans as the movie progresses along.  There may be no Mulligans or do it over again since physics says if you traveled back in time you cannot change what happens.  What we do have however is the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics that says there is a universe where you are wearing that other shirt you thought about wearing today.  A universe where instead of of being in the profession you are in now,  you are in a different profession you thought about.  Basically there is a universe that exists for every different decision you have made. Woulda, shoulda, coulda universes. They are there.  You won't be able to communicate with them but they are there.  Parallel universes.  If you think this is science fiction, its not.  In the community of professional folks (physicists, philosophers, mathematicians etc.) that think about the foundations and understanding of quantum mechanics the Many Worlds Interpretation is thought to be the correct way to understand quantum mechanics by around a third of these folks.  Its basis comes from the PhD dissertation of Hugh Everitt III at Princeton around 1956.  This interpretation is studied worldwide in conferences, books, papers, BBC documentaries, all sorts of stuff.

Interesting stuff to think about as head hits pillow, pillow hits head.

1 comment:

  1. David Deutsch has some recent articles on the topic of multiverses. A few years ago, the news people came to ask me about multiverses. I had no idea what to tell them.