Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Virtual World

Why don’t I accept the multiverse theory, I have to ask myself. One reason is that I interpret quantum envelopes to be what they appear to be: namely, as objects very closely analogous to the guassian envelopes of random walk. Guassian random walk envelopes are not naturally interpreted as a product of an ensemble of bifurcating and multiplying particles (although this is, admittedly, a possible interpretation) but rather a measure of information about a single particle. ‘Collapses’ of the guassian envelope are brought about by changes in information on the whereabouts of the particle. I see parallels between this notion of ‘collapse’ and quantum wave collapse. However, I don’t accept the Copenhagen view that sudden jumps in the “state vector” are conditioned by the presence of a conscious observer. My guess is that the presence of matter, whether in the form of a human observer or other material configurations (such as a measuring device) are capable of bringing about these discontinuous jumps. (Note to self: The probability of a switch from state w) to state v) is given by (wv) and this expression looks suspiciously like an ‘intersection’ probability.)

The foregoing also explains why I’m loath to accept the decoherence theory of measurement: this is another theory which dispenses with literal collapses because it suggests that they are only an apparent phenomenon in as much as they are an artifact of the complex wave interactions of macroscopic matter. Once again this seems to me to ignore the big hint provided by the parallels with random walk. The latter lead me to view wave function ‘collapse’ as something closely analogous to the changes of information which take place when one locates an object; the envelopes of random walk can change discontinuously in a way that is not subject to the physical strictures on the speed of light and likewise for quantum envelopes. My guess is that the ontology of the universe is not one of literal particles, but is rather an informational facade about virtual particles; those virtual particles can’t exceed the speed of light, but changes in the informational envelopes in which the virtual particles are embedded are not subject to limitations on the speed of light.

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