Many Worlds invalidated?

From: Jeff Bone <>
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 13:26:38 -0500

Hot off the press, via Boingsters:

  Many Worlds theory invalidated

Kathryn Cramer breaks the story on a to-be-presented Harvard talk on an
experiment that appears to invalidate both the "Many Worlds" and
"Copenhagen" theories of quantum mechanics. Kathryn is the daughter of
John Cramer, a physicist whose "Transactional Interpretetation"
hypothesis is the only one left intact by the experiment's findings.

It has been widely accepted that the rival interpretations of quantum
mechanics, e.g., the Copenhagen Interpretation, the Many-Worlds
Interpretation, and my father John Cramer's Transactional
Interpretation, cannot be distinguished or falsified by experiment,
because the experimental predictions come from the formalism that all
such interpretations describe. However, the Afshar Experiment
demonstrates in an interaction-free way that there is a loophole in
this logic: if the interpretation is inconsistent with the formalism,
then it can be falsified. In particular, the Afshar Experiment
falsifies the Copenhagen Interpretation, which requires the absence of
interference in a particle-type measurement. It also falsifies the
Many-Worlds Interpretation which tells us to expect no interference
between "worlds" that are physically distinguishable, e.g., that
correspond to the photon's passage through one pinhole or the other.
Link (Thanks, Kathryn!)
Received on Mon Apr 26 2004 - 14:35:12 PDT

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