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Micro-anthropic principle for quantum theory - Carter, Brandon In *Carr, Bernard ( ed.): Universe or multiverse?* quant-ph/

**Table of contents**

- Possible Objections
- Donate to arXiv
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- Universe or Multiverse? | NHBS Academic & Professional Books

A centre of excellence among Italian and international universities, the school has around 65 teachers, post docs and PhD students, and is located in Trieste, in a campus of more than 10 hectares with wonderful views over the Gulf of Trieste. SISSA hosts a very high-ranking, large and multidisciplinary scientific research output. The scientific papers produced by its researchers are published in high impact factor, well-known international journals, and in many cases in the world's most prestigious scientific journals such as Nature and Science.

Over students have so far started their careers in the field of mathematics, physics and neuroscience research at SISSA. Visit www. Don N. Get permission to re-use this article. Create citation alert. Buy this article in print. If the particle is released, the Geigercounter will detect it and send a signal to a mechanism controlling the hammer, which will strike the vial and release the gas, killing the cat. If the particle is not released, the cat will live. If there were no such thing as quantum mechanics, the answer would be simple: The cat is either alive or dead, depending on whether a particle hit the Geiger counter.

But in the quantum world, things are not so straightforward. The particle and the cat now form a quantum system consisting of all possible outcomes of the experiment.

One outcome includes a dead cat; another, a live one. Neither becomes real until someone opens the box and looks inside. With that observation, an entire consistent sequence of events— the particle jettisoned from the uranium, the release of the poison gas, the cat's death— at once becomes real, giving the appearance of something that has taken weeks to transpire.

### Possible Objections

Stanford University physicist Andrei Linde believes this quantum paradox gets to the heart of Wheeler's idea about the nature of the universe: The principles of quantum mechanics dictate severe limits on the certainty of our knowledge. And my answer would be that the universe looks as if it existed before I started looking at it.

When you open the cat's box after a week, you're going to find either a live cat or a smelly piece of meat. You can say that the cat looks as if it were dead or as if it were alive during the whole week.

## Donate to arXiv

Likewise, when we look at the universe, the best we can say is that it looks as if it were there 10 billion years ago. But he differs with Wheeler on one crucial point. Linde believes that conscious observers are an essential component of the universe and cannot be replaced by inanimate objects. We are together, the universe and us.

The moment you say that the universe exists without any observers, I cannot make any sense out of that. I cannot imagine a consistent theory of everything that ignores consciousness. A recording device cannot play the role of an observer, because who will read what is written on this recording device? In order for us to see that something happens, and say to one another that something happens, you need to have a universe, you need to have a recording device, and you need to have us. It's not enough for the information to be stored somewhere, completely inaccessible to anybody.

It's necessary for somebody to look at it. You need an observer who looks at the universe. In the absence of observers, our universe is dead. Wootters is skeptical. And in the sweep of evolution, I doubt that we're the last word in intelligence. There might be higher levels later. So why should we think we're at the point where we can understand everything?

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At the same time I think it's great to ask the question and see how far you can go before you bump into awall. Linde is more optimistic. If you say that we're not smart enough, that is a very humiliating thought. I come from Russia, where there is a fairy tale about two frogs in a can of sour cream. The frogs were drowning in the cream. There was nothing solid there; they could not jump from the can.

One of the frogs understood there was no hope, and he stopped beating the sour cream with his legs. He just died. He drowned in sour cream. The other one did not want to give up. There was absolutely no way it could change anything, but it just kept kicking and kicking and kicking.

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And then all of a sudden, the sour cream was churned into butter. Then the frog stood on the butter and jumped out of the can. So you look at the sour cream and you think, 'There is no way I can do anything with that. We all learned from people like John Wheeler, who asks strange questions and gives strange answers. You may agree or disagree with his answers. But the very fact that he asks these questions, and suggests some plausible — and implausible — answers, it has shaken these boundaries of what is possible and what is impossible to ask. Will we ever understand why the universe came into being?

Does Wheeler think that physicists might one day have a similarly clear understanding of the origin of the universe?

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By Tim Folger Saturday, June 01, You might also like. How Galaxies Live, Breathe and Die. Could We Travel Through a Wormhole? These come from the intersections of the level surfaces of three functions. These classes are partially characterized by the topologies of the flow lines of the vector fields. We may note that these flow lines may knot and link, thus a part of the problem of specifying the configuration space involves classifying the knotting and linking among the flow lines.

Thus, the configuration space of general relativity cannot be completely described unless the possible ways that flow lines may knot and link in three dimensions are finitely specifiable. It may be noted that there is a decision procedure, due to Hacken, for knots, although it is very cumbersome [15]. However, it is not obvious that this is sufficient to give a decision procedure for configurations in general relativity, because there we are concerned with smooth data.

In the smooth category the flow lines may knot and link an infinite number of times in any bounded region. The resulting knots may not be classifiable. All that is known is that knots with a finite number of crossings are classifiable. If these is no decision procedure to classify the knotting and linking of smooth flow lines then the points of the configuration space of general relativity may not be distinguished by any decision procedure. This means that the configuration space is not constructible by any finite procedure.

When we turn from the classical to the quantum theory the same issue arises. First of all, if the configuration space is not constructible through any finite procedure, then there is no finite procedure to define normalizable wave functions on that space. One might still wonder whether there is some constructible basis for the theory. Given the progress of the last few years in quantum gravity we can investigate this question directly, as we know more about the space of quantum states of general relativity than we do about the configuration space of the theory.

## Universe or Multiverse? | NHBS Academic & Professional Books

This is because it has been shown that the space of spatially diffeomorphism invariant states of the quantum gravitational field has a basis which is in one to one correspondence with the diffeomorphism classes of a certain set of embedded, labeled graphs W , in a given three manifold. These are arbitrary graphs, whose edges are labeled by spins and whose vertices are labeled by the distinct ways to combine the spins in the edges that meet there quantum mechanically.

These results have also more recently been formulated as theorems in a rigorous formulation of diffeomorphism invariant quantum field theories [19,18]. Thus, we cannot label all the basis elements of quantum general relativity unless the diffeomorphism classes of the embeddings of spin networks in a three manifold may be classified.

But it is not known whether this is the case.