A brief intro to quantum theories of multiverse, alternate reality and quantum immortality
By Muhammad Safwan Ali, 2013-EE-329
Praises to Allah Almighty who created such a vast, mysterious and marvelous universe and left us with his symbols and hints to discover its magnificent secrets and wonder about the greatness of His creation, knowledge and beautiful complexity of universe and henceforth strengthen our faith in his glorious and powerful existence.
The universe is so vast and full of such wonderful secrets and facts that we often ponder: what are we in this magnificent universe? What do we know about it? These questions have always urged men to quest for their answers. As we continue to find our answers and increase our knowledge about this immense universe, we are left with astonishment about the beautifully managed and highly competitive complexity of universe. It also leaves us with even more fascinating questions and a feeling that even after the creation of universe millions of years ago, we still know very little about the universe. This further fuels our efforts to find answers to unanswered questions and to reveal the fascinating mysteries and their answers.
However, the pursuit of such knowledge has led to the deviation from the path of God for those who had a misconception about the God. On the other hand, the same knowledge has led to the strengthening of faith of many scientists; it only depends upon your pre-research concept of religion and God. That is why Islam’s emphasis on pursuit of scientific knowledge has led to more faithful Muslim scientists and the restrictions imposed by other religions specifically papacy in Christianity resulted in atheist scientists who were also intrigued to atheism by the weird concepts of God in those religions inspired by the ancient Greek and Roman mythologies which could never explain such wonderful universe created by those human-like gods. It is therefore our duty to not only quest for scientific knowledge but also to have deep insight into our religion so that we may use religion and science to strengthen our faith, belief and scientific concepts — the same method used by the Muslim scientists of the Middle Ages, who were not only very brilliant scientific researchers but also great scholars of faith at the same time.
One of the greatest mysteries of universe which lie unanswered till now is the smallest and most fundamental particle or wave of matter: The Quantum. It is an irony though, that man, who claims to reveal every aspect of gigantic universe still does not know about the most smallest “wave\particle” of the universe. Today, scientists admit that they know about quantum as much as ancient Egyptians knew about sun: to them, it was a god. Although some theories about quantum have evolved but these are at very basic level; these may be true and if these are true, maybe we may delve deeper into knowledge of many spiritual phenomena on scientific basis. The concept of quantum was first developed by Plank, extended by De Brogli and explained by Einstein when he extended the theory of dual nature of light on mathematical basis for photoelectric effect. According to him, quantum was the smallest particle with zero mass and had wave and particle properties at the same time. Although it proved dual nature on mathematical basis, it left us with a fundamental question that: “which form of quantum appears in real experiment or situation?”
Heisenberg tried to explain the possible outcome of an experiment involving quantum with his famous uncertainty principle. According to him, due to small size and dual nature of quantum, it was impossible to tell with absolute accuracy that which form will actually manifest itself in an experiment. If we want a material property and try to find it in the experiment, material form will appear but render the quantum wave nature uncertain. In an experiment, only one form will appear — not both — depending upon what experiment is being performed. For example: in a photoelectric and Compton effects, quantum appears as particle but in double slit experiment or x-ray crystallography, it behaves as wave.
Copenhagen interpretation, extended Heisenberg principle and tried to prove it with famous “thought experiment: Schrodinger’s cat experiment” and explained it in simplified common language. According to his experiment, a cat is placed in a box along with a lethal amount of radioactive material. The box is closed and observer waits for some time. Now the radioactive material decays continually, emitting lethal radiations, as long as box is closed and nobody is observing, there is a 50-50 chance that cat is dead or alive. Considering the nature of quantum, cat is both dead and alive at the same time. Since quantum is both matter and wave at the same time as long as nobody observes it. But as soon as someone observes it, quantum enforces a single form upon itself: wave or particle. The same happens to the cat, when someone opens the box and observes the cat, the cat forces (its quanti actually) a force upon itself (dead or alive). This interpretation explained the Heisenberg’s principle in a practical situation. This interpretation was presented in 1930s and was believed till 1950s.
Although Copenhagen interpretation explained quantum mechanics in a real life situation, it did leave us with even more fundamental questions. The most important was the violation of scientific rules and methodology, that is, the observer observes the readings in a classical environment, whereas everything in the experiment is non-classical: quantum mechanics itself is the part of modern physics, not classical physics. Moreover co-existence of two entirely opposite states, superimposed in the same universe could not be explained.
In order to make up for the deficiencies in Copenhagen interpretation, a scientist name Hugh Everett presented his own interpretation called Hugh interpretation. Hugh agrees with Copenhagen that till the box is open but disagrees afterwards. According to him when someone observes the cat, the quantum tries to withhold both states and in doing so the whole universe splits into two, the parallel universes. In one universe, quantum is wave and in the other its particle. In the same way, the result of observation is cat is alive in one universe and is dead in other. This explanation successfully gives answers to previously mentioned deficiencies since now the two states do not occur or are superimposed in the same universe, rather they are present in two separate and distinct universes, thereby explaining the co-existence of two opposing forms. Just like the creation and existence of anti-particles at the beginning of time are supposed to be in some anti-universe (particle and antiparticle cannot coexist in the same spatial universe, theoretically).
Hugh Interpretation has not only described a correct version of quantum mechanics but also opened up new fields for philosophy and made the possibility that all the situations, which were previously rejected by scientific community may actually be true and possibility be true. For the very first time in history, a link was established between science, religion and spiritually. How? Well, for the first time, the religious concept of “life after death” was explained on scientific bases by virtue of quantum mechanics. According to Hugh interpretation, every event which has more than one possible outcomes, has all the outcomes in the reality in parallel universes. That explains the death of a person. When a person is on bed of death, there is a possibility that the person may either live or die. According to quantum mechanics, the person will die in one universe and will live in other universe, the same concept presented by religion as “soul”. According to religion, soul is immortal; when a person dies, his soul is transferred to other another “world” that is, the conscious of man never dies. According to the interpretation, we may say that the death of the man in Alam e Arwah results in his birth in this world; death in this world results in the birth in Alam e Barzakh and death there results in birth in Hasher. Again, that is a theory; it may be wrong but it is not impossible. This concept of life after death in science or quantum mechanics is termed as quantum immortality.
Coming to alternate reality, as mentioned before, according to Hugh interpretation, every event that had more than one outcomes, has its all possible outcomes in real form in some other parallel universes. That means that every historical event that we know of today has its other results in other parallel universes. For example: in one universe, the Allies lost WW2, Soviet Union never broke; America lost revolutionary war, Huns never defeated the Roman Empire; it thrived and consequently holy Roman Empire never existed and hence Dark Ages never occurred. This all may be wrong but not impossible, plus the convincing theory and observations of dual nature propose in favor of these theories.
All the scientifically “not possible” events are now being speculated as “maybe true and quite possible”, thanks to quantum mechanics theories. For example the existence of ghosts and supernatural phenomena are now being considered as possible since it is quite possible the death of a person resulted in a rebirth in another universe and due to non-rigid nature of universe the two parallel universes came into contact with each other (string theory: that there are actually 10 dimensions and all parallel universes exist in these dimensions and all are intertwined as strings and may have a possible contact at distinct points at distinct time) and we see their reflections often.
The purpose of writing this article was to enlighten you about the extreme complexity and marvelous aspects of universe and the numerous possible ways a universe may express itself or split into parallel universes. The theories about the quantum mechanics provide an insight into how much wonderful creation and manifestation, this universe is, of God’s power, wisdom and existence, and how much less power and wisdom we do possess in front of God. The pursuit of scientific knowledge strengthens your faith in God. As in this case, before any interpretation was presented, we did believe in life after death (as Muslims) but there was no logical or scientific explanation or proof and it is natural that human mind raises questions about things it cannot comprehend, thus leading to deviation from the right path for those who do not have strong faith. Quantum mechanics has now provided us with logical and scientifically acceptable way to describe life after death. These theories are source for believers to strengthen their beliefs and are logical answers for the atheists. The second lesson we learn from this is that we can never say that something is impossible. In this immense and powerful creation of universe, each and everything is possible no matter how much fancy or absurd it may sound. Claiming any event to be impossible, you actually claim to have absolute wisdom, knowledge and power which none ever had except Allah Almighty. The reason why God created such a large and complex universe and then urged us to discover and ponder upon its secrets was that He wanted us to comprehend and admire his intelligence of creation. Claiming something as impossible means you are limiting his creation and more criminally, analyzing his masterpiece critically with your limited and inferior insight and wisdom which is nothing in front of His. Allah has given you intelligence to continuously search and analyze his masterpiece: this universe and whatever that resides inside it, no matter how bizarre it may sound, never say impossible and just continue your quest for revealing its secrets and praise him for His power and blessings upon you….