houseofleaves wrote:This theory absolutely fascinates me. I remember watching something about Schrödinger's cat and being completely blown away.
Yes, it blows away what is called the Copenhagen interpretation. Stephen Hawking believes in many worlds and once said, "Whenever I hear Schrödinger's Cat I reach for my revolver!" Copenhagen suggest that the cat is both dead and alive until you open the box and then this mysterious thing happens called "collapse of the wavefront" which I think roughly translated means: WTF? Many Worlds says that the cat is dead in one universe, but alive in the other. The observer is in one of the two universes, but has no effect on the outcome. I think that's closer to the truth, but still does not take into account the role of the conscious observer which they must leave out.
My favorite "thought experiment" is the one called quantum immortality or quantum suicide depending on which universe you're in. For those who don't know: A person sits down in front of a gun which measures the spin of a particle which has exactly the same probability of being in one of two states. If the spin is "up" the gun fires and the person is dead. If it's "down" then the gun goes "click" but doesn't fire. Many Worlds says that the universe divides in 2 for each event, one where the gun fires and one where it clicks. But the person who is sitting in front of the gun can only be aware in the world where they are still alive so they hear "click, click, click, click..." for ever. If this is true, physicists have proven that life is eternal.