On Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 02:22:23AM +0200, Saibal Mitra wrote:
> 
> > First off, how is it that the MWI does not imply
> >quantum immortality?
> 
> MWI is just quantum mechanics without the wavefunction collapse postulate.
> This then implies that after a measurement your wavefuntion will be in a
> superposition of the states corresponding to definite outcomes. But we
> cannot just consider suicide experiments and then say that just because
> branches of the wavefuntion exist in which I survive, I'll find myself there
> with 100% probability. The fact that probabilities are conserved follows
> from unitary time evolution. If a state evolves into a linear combination of
> states in which I'm dead and alive then the probabilities of all these
> states add up to 1. The probability of finding myself to be alive at all
> after the experiment is then less than the probability of me finding myself
> about to perform the suicide experiment.
> 
> The probability of me finding myself to be alive after n suicide experiments
> decays exponentially with n. Therefore I should not expect to find myself
> having survived many suicide experiments. Note that contrary to what you
> often read in the popular accounts of the multiverse, the multiverse does
> not split when we make observations. The most natural state for the entire
> multiverse is just an eigenstate of the Hamiltonian. The energy can be taken
> to be zero, therefore the wavefunction of the multiverse satisfies the
> equation:
> 

One should also note that this is the ASSA position. The ASSA was
introduced by Jacques Mallah in his argument against quantum
immortality, and a number of participants in this list adhere to the
ASSA position. Its counterpart if the RSSA, which does imply quantum
immortality (provided that the no cul-de-sac conjecture holds), and
other list participants adhere to the RSSA. To date, no argument has
convincingly demonstrated which of the ASSA or RSSA should be
preferred, so it has become somewhat a matter of taste. There is some
discussion of this in my book "Theory of Nothing".

Cheers

-- 

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