“There’s a small but calculable probability that our quantum wave will tunnel its way by room-time and wind up [on Mars].”
Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku states he normally offers his students a individual believed experiment: to compute the probability that they wake up on Mars tomorrow, due to the vagaries of the idea of multiple universes.
Nevertheless the problem appears decidedly wacky, Kaku writes in a New York Instances column about the wondrous intrigue of quantum physics, which pits the achievable compared to the most likely.
“Quantum theory,” Kaku writes, “is dependent on what is regarded as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, making it possible for for a tiny chance that we can exist even on distant sites like Mars.”
Supplied this principle, “there’s a very small but calculable likelihood that our quantum wave will tunnel its way via space-time and wind up there.”
The actuality, as the physicist writes, is that “when you do the calculation, you come across that for [you to wake up on Mars], you’d have to wait for a longer period than the life span of the universe.”
But there is certainly still a likelihood. Making use of a series of fantastically basic metaphors, Kaku reinforces his perception that fact is, paraphrasing the British geneticist J.B.S. Haldane, “not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”
It really is incredibly improbable, in other phrases, that you are likely to wake up on Mars tomorrow. And if you did, the excessive cold and absence of a breathable atmosphere would pose grim new troubles.
But as Kaku notes, not likely doesn’t imply not possible — which is why quantum physics, and its quest to clarify the origins of the universe down to the amount quantum uncertainty, helps make all the variance in the worlds that exist, have existed, or could exist in the future.
Browse Additional: In a Parallel Universe, A different You [The New York Times]
Additional quantum: Experiment Implies That Consciousness May Be Rooted in Quantum Physics