Quantum Suicide

November 1, 2011
By , Roslyn, NY
Who wants to be immortal? That question could be asked at some point in the future in a parallel world. To get to this parallel world where you live on, however, you may have to kill yourslef. The Quantum Suicide theory explains how every time a decision is made, the world splits into two parallel worlds, one for each possible answer to the decision. The Quantum Suicide theory is a worthwhile venue for researchers to study, as understanding the theorem could lead to advancements in immortality studies.

One theory that was the basis for the Quantum Suicide theory was Schrödinger's Cat. This theory is quickly summed up by this quote from howstuffworks.com: “Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics was theoretically proven by what has become a famous thought experiment involving a cat and a box. It's called Schrödinger's cat, and it was first introduced by the Viennese physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. (page 5)” Developed in 1935 by Edwin Schrödinger, this theory stated that Erwin Schrödinger places his cat in a box with radioactive material and a Geiger counter for one hour. If the Geiger counter detects that the radioactive material is decaying, then it will trigger a pair of scissors to cut a string, releasing a hammer, smashing a jar of poison that would kill the cat. If the Geiger counter doesn’t detect the decaying material, however, nothing will happen, and the cat will still be alive after the hour when you open up the box. It used the Copenhagen Interpretation to show that the cat was in a state of superposition, effectively being both alive and dead at the same time. Also, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, this further supported this conclusion, as this theory shows that observing an experiment can affect its outcome; therefore if we tried to observe the cat in superposition, the decision would then be made, causing it to be either alive or dead, but not both. While this theory uses the concept of superposition, Everett’s Many World theory is a competing theory that challenges it, and is used to explain the Quantum Suicide Theory.

Everett’s Many World Theory is the theory that every time a decision is made, the universe splits into two to accommodate each choice. The theory is defined in context with the Quantum Suicide Theory, “When the man pulls the trigger, there are two possible outcomes: the gun either fires or it doesn't. In this case, the man either lives or he dies. Each time the trigger is pulled, the universe splits to accommodate each possible outcome. When the man dies, the universe is no longer able to split based on the pulling of the trigger. The possible outcome for death is reduced to one: continued death. But with life there are still two chances that remain: The man continues living or the man dies.” Using Everett’s Many World Theory, we can show how there will always be at least one path where the man survives, therefore he will never die.

The Quantum Suicide theory could lead to many new advances, especially in the quest for immortality. Scientists could try to see if they could reach these alternate universes, therefore allowing people to always live in the world where they survive the best. If the Quantum Suicide theory is ever proven, then we will also be able to see alternate universes to make the best decisions for ourselves and the rest of the world. The Quantum Suicide should be taken into more consideration, as many more mysteries could be unraveled using it.

Works Cited
Clark, Josh. "HowStuffWorks "How Quantum Suicide Works"" HowStuffWorks "Science" Web.
01 Nov. 2011. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/science
questions/quantum-suicide.htm>.





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