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Zenith Grant Awardee

Howard Wiseman

Griffith University


Dirk-Andre Deckert, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

Project Title

How do measurement events emerge from Many Interacting Worlds?

Project Summary

Quantum mechanics is a strange theory. One the one hand, the mathematics of the theory has underpins huge amounts of modern science and technology – flash drives, computer chips, lasers, just to name a few. On the other hand, physicists do not agree on what the mathematics means. We do know that we can only make sense of the world, at small scales, if we fundamentally change our picture of reality in some way. Indeed, some physicists have seriously suggested giving up on objective reality altogether. But we prefer to follow Einstein (for example) in seeking a realistic theory. To this end, we recently suggested a radical new view of the reality behind quantum events: there is a huge but finite number of worlds; each has its own configuration of particles in space; they evolve deterministically; all quantum phenomena emerge from a subtle interaction between similar worlds; and probabilities arise from ignorance as to which specific world we actually occupy. This project will significantly develop this viewpoint, to explicitly model and explain: how measurement events are created; why their statistics obey Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle in any given world; and the seemingly “faster-than-light” effects connecting distant quantum events.

Technical Abstract

We recently proposed a new realistic interpretation of quantum phenomena, based on interactions between many classical worlds, and used a one-dimensional toy model to show how effects such as double-slit interference and quantum tunnelling can be explained as the direct consequence of a universal repelling force acting between worlds. There is no wave function, the worlds evolve deterministically, and probabilities arise solely as a consequence of ignorance as to which world a given observer actually occupies. The project will significantly develop this new approach, to provide a realistic account of the emergence of measurement events and their statistics, and of how the interworld interaction generates the nonlocal correlations underlying quantum entanglement. The program of research includes improving and extending the toy model to multiple spatial and spin degrees of freedom; explicitly modelling the creation of position, momentum and spin measurement events; deriving quantum statistics and uncertainty relations within a deterministic framework; and extracting those features of the interworld interaction responsible for Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen and Bell-nonlocal correlations. Success will make a compelling case for a new conception of physics, in which all quantum events arise from a universal interaction operating between our own world and many others.

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