Do You Exist In Infinite Universes?

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Experiments like the double slit experiment have spawned multiple interpretations of quantum physics, including the Copenhagen interpretation and Pilot Wave Theory. But the Many Worlds Hypothesis might be the most mind-blowing of all.

The most popular interpretation of quantum mechanics over the past hundred years was developed by Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen, around 1925. This was fittingly named the Copenhagen Interpretation.

Louis de Broglie [de Broy] came up with the Pilot Wave Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics at about the same time, which I’ve also covered.

Both of these interpretations share the belief that the measured path of a particle is the only real path. The other paths are mere possibilities.

About 30 years later, a slightly drunk Princeton student disagreed. While sipping sherry, or so the story goes, Hugh Everett III started asking, what if all the paths do exist, but are just taken in different realities?

Everett’s ideas were… not well received to say the least. At the time, Niels Bohr was then alive and active in scientific circles. He had a reputation for shutting down any physicist who dared challenge the Copenhagen Interpretation.

And that was where the idea stayed, relegated to the dustbin of history, for the next 2 decades, before it got rediscovered by Bryce DeWitt.

He was the acting editor at Reviews of Modern Physics in 1973 when he ran across the paper and was stunned that nothing ever came of this idea.

Since the 1970s, the Many Worlds Interpretation has gone from being fringe science to an idea mainstream physicists can get behind.

Stephen Hawking was a fan, as was Richard Feynman…though to hear physicists tell it, Feynman was a fan of literally EVERYTHING.

One prominent proponent of Many Worlds working today is David Deutsch, who is a quantum computer pioneer whose cool factor went through the roof when he was mentioned in Avengers: Endgame.

What Is Time?

Time is something we experience every day, and it seems like something we’d be familiar with. But when you dig into it, it gets weird. So what exactly is it? And how does it work?

Saint Augustine, the Christian monk was once asked what is time, and his answer was, “If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know.”

The ancient Egyptians measured time with obelisks that served as sundials, water clocks that flowed at a steady rate, and of course hourglasses.

It was the Babylonians that first divided the day into hours made up of 60 minutes each with 60 seconds per minute, this was all the way back in 1800 BCE.

It was the great Dutch astronomer and physicist Christiaan Huygens who invented the first pendulum clock in 1656, which used a weight that swung at specific intervals to keep time. This would be the most precise way to keep time for nearly 300 years.

1927 saw the invention of the quartz crystal clock, which uses the piezoelectric properties of quartz which vibrates at a rate of 32,768 Hz, giving it an accuracy of 6 parts per million.

But the most accurate measure of time we’ve been able to conceive so far is the atomic clock, which uses the natural resonance of a cesium atom.

Ss the scientific revolution began to take hold, the main argument around time was had by the Absolutists and Relationalists.

Absolutists believed in absolute time. The idea that time was an independent, absolute constant of the universe, that it wasn’t affected by our perception of it or by the interaction of matter.

Sir Isaac Newton was one of these Absolutists.

The Relationalists saw time as a measure of change. Basically arguing that the only reason time exists is because of the changing state of matter.

Newton’s second law of thermodynamics states that in a closed system, entropy will always increase over time. Entropy being a movement toward a state of equilibrium.

By the way, another really interesting way to look at entropy is through a statistical mechanics model, which was championed by Ludwig Boltzmann.

There’s a more philosophical debate on the nature of time that has to do with how it actually progresses, between what they call tensed and tenseless theories of time.

The tensed theory of time states that the future doesn’t exist yet, that it’s a tree with branches that spread as the now passes through the tree.

The tenseless theory of time suggest that the past, present, and future are all equally real and what we experience as time is just the now passing down the timeline.

Einstein stated in his 1905 paper on special relativity that the laws of physics and the speed of light must be the same for all uniformly moving observers. And for this to be true, space and time can no longer be independent. This was the only way for the speed of light to be constant for all observers.

But it was Minkowski three years later who came up with the idea that space and time could be seen as a single four-dimensional spacetime fabric. He closed out his paper on the subject by saying, “Henceforth space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality”.

Are Repressed Memories Real?

Repressed memories are a subject of intense debate in the academic, therapeutic, and legal fields as people have been charged for crimes based on a mental phenomenon that some believe does not exist.

A repressed memory is a memory of a traumatic event that your mind purposefully forgets in order to protect itself, but in theory the memory never really goes away, it instead enters your subconscious, where it creates anxiety, depression, and self-sabotaging behavior.

Some therapists believe that reviving these memories can help people deal with their issues, but sometimes these memories involve childhood abuse at the hands of people they know, people who often get prosecuted on the basis of these repressed memories.

And this is where things get hazy because many researchers don’t think that repressed memories are really a thing. They also point to the fact that it’s a fairly modern phenomenon, and it’s possible people are actually remembering events of sleep paralysis, where waking people experience vivid, often terrifying hallucinations.

Did The US Navy Teleport A Ship?

The Philadelphia Experiment is the story of a military exercise gone horribly wrong. In October of 1943, the USS Eldridge supposedly was teleported from the shipyards of Philadelphia to Norfolk, Virginia, with some disastrous results.

Much of the mythology of the story comes from a man who went by the name of Carlos Allende, but was he a credible witness? Did the US Navy have a secret program in place in WWII? And is teleportation possible?

How Tall Can We Build?

The Burj Khalifa is the tallest structure humans have ever built. But that record may fall in the coming years as a new generation of supertall buildings go under construction.

The first tallest structure in the world was the Great Pyramid of Giza, which held its record for nearly 4000 years. It was beat by the Lincoln Cathedral in the UK in 1311, which was topped by the Washington Monument, then the Eiffel Tower, and then the Chrysler Building in 1929.

North America saw the next wave of world-record skyscrapers, with the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center, and the Sears Tower.

Then Asia had their turn with the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, then the Taipei 101 Building.

The next and current tallest building is the Burj Khalifa, but it may soon be topped by the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, or the Burj Mubarak al-Kabir in Kuwait, or the Dubai Creek Tower, solidifying the Middle East as the current epicenter of supertall buildings in the world.

Designs for vertical cities of the future include Ultima Tower, the Tokyo Sky Mile Tower, and the Shimizu Mega City Pyramid. But the tallest building ever designed is the X-Seed 4000 building which would stretch 4 kilometers into the sky and house up to a million people.

The Truth About HH Holmes, America’s First Serial Killer

HH Holmes became known as the Devil in the White City because of the legend that he built a murder castle in Chicago in 1893 with the intent of murdering hundreds of people as they visited the Chicago World Columbian Exposition (which became known as the White City).

He built a hotel with secret walls and rooms so that he could kill people and dispose of their bodies in the basement.

At least, this is the story we’ve all been told. The real story is quite different.