many worlds interpretation

From: Mitchell Porter <>
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 1998 17:19:47 +1000 (EST)

The many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics seems to
have been developed with extreme carelessness, as far as I can tell.

Suppose the universe is a one-dimensional harmonic oscillator
in an energy eigenstate. That's an extremely simple quantum
state for the universe to be in, it should be easy to 'interpret'.
So: if that's the global quantum state of the universe, where
are the many worlds? What are their states, their histories?

Frank Tipler (in _Physics of Immortality_) advances himself
as a many-worlds advocate. When he tries to describe what the
many worlds *are*, at one point he says they are *all* the
trajectories through the classical state space. At another
point he refers just to the Bohmian-mechanical trajectories
through that state space, those corresponding to a particular
choice of universal wavefunction.

You can see more of my complaints about the MWI at,
under "Challenge to many-worlds advocates".

According to John Bell, at one time physicists would say that
Niels Bohr solved all the problems of interpretation. I think
that Everett is starting to play that role - people who have
doubts or puzzles about what QM "means" are referred to Everett.

Received on Mon Jan 26 1998 - 23:20:14 PST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:06 PST