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Many-worlds interpretation

Interpretation of quantum mechanics that denies the collapse of the wavefunction / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The many-worlds interpretation (MWI) is a philosophical position about how the mathematics used in quantum mechanics relates to physical reality. It asserts that the universal wavefunction is objectively real, and that there is no wave function collapse.[1] This implies that all possible outcomes of quantum measurements are physically realized in some "world" or universe.[2] In contrast to some other interpretations, the evolution of reality as a whole in MWI is rigidly deterministic[1]:9 and local.[3] Many-worlds is also called the relative state formulation or the Everett interpretation, after physicist Hugh Everett, who first proposed it in 1957.[4][5] Bryce DeWitt popularized the formulation and named it many-worlds in the 1970s.[6][1][7][8]

The quantum-mechanical "Schrödinger's cat" paradox according to the many-worlds interpretation. In this interpretation, every quantum event is a branch point; the cat is both alive and dead, even before the box is opened, but the "alive" and "dead" cats are in different branches of the multiverse, both of which are equally real, but which do not interact with each other.

In modern versions of many-worlds, the subjective appearance of wave function collapse is explained by the mechanism of quantum decoherence.[2] Decoherence approaches to interpreting quantum theory have been widely explored and developed since the 1970s.[9][10][11] MWI is considered a mainstream interpretation of quantum mechanics, along with the other decoherence interpretations, the Copenhagen interpretation, and hidden variable theories such as Bohmian mechanics.[12][2]

The many-worlds interpretation implies that there are most likely infinitely many universes.[13] It is one of a number of multiverse hypotheses in physics and philosophy. MWI views time as a many-branched tree, wherein every possible quantum outcome is realized. This is intended to resolve the measurement problem and thus some paradoxes of quantum theory, such as Wigner's friend,[4]:4–6 the EPR paradox[5]:462[1]:118 and Schrödinger's cat,[6] since every possible outcome of a quantum event exists in its own universe.

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