[FoRK] Many Worlds invalidated?

Contempt for Meatheads jbone at place.org
Mon Apr 26 11:22:10 PDT 2004

Hot off the press, via Boingsters:


  Many Worlds theory invalidated

Kathryn Cramer breaks the story on a to-be-presented Harvard talk on an 
experiment that appears to invalidate both the "Many Worlds" and 
"Copenhagen" theories of quantum mechanics. Kathryn is the daughter of 
John Cramer, a physicist whose "Transactional Interpretetation" 
hypothesis is the only one left intact by the experiment's findings.

It has been widely accepted that the rival interpretations of quantum 
mechanics, e.g., the Copenhagen Interpretation, the Many-Worlds 
Interpretation, and my father John Cramer's Transactional 
Interpretation, cannot be distinguished or falsified by experiment, 
because the experimental predictions come from the formalism that all 
such interpretations describe. However, the Afshar Experiment 
demonstrates in an interaction-free way that there is a loophole in 
this logic: if the interpretation is inconsistent with the formalism, 
then it can be falsified. In particular, the Afshar Experiment 
falsifies the Copenhagen Interpretation, which requires the absence of 
interference in a particle-type measurement. It also falsifies the 
Many-Worlds Interpretation which tells us to expect no interference 
between "worlds" that are physically distinguishable, e.g., that 
correspond to the photon's passage through one pinhole or the other. 
Link (Thanks, Kathryn!)


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