Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives

The quantum-mechanical "Schrödinger's cat" paradox according to the many-worlds interpretation. In this interpretation, every 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 universe, both of which are equally real, but which do not interact with each other.

Today on Far Future Horizons we present the story of the “Many Worlds” interpretation of Quantum Mechanics and the physicist who developed it - Hugh Everett III as told by his rock star son Mark Everett and by Hugh’s close associates and colleagues.

Hugh Everett III

“Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives” tells the poignant story of a rock star in search of his father. Mark Oliver Everett, better known as E, is the lead singer of the cult US band the Eels. What most of his fans don’t know is that Mark’s father, Hugh Everett III, was one of America’s top quantum physicists.

In 1957, Hugh Everett came up with a revolutionary theory that predicts the existence of parallel universes. The idea quickly seeped into popular culture but only recently has it been accepted by mainstream physicists.
However, Mark was estranged from his father. Hugh died when Mark was just 19 and knows little about his father’s early life and virtually nothing about his controversial theory.

Quantum Suicide

With a soundtrack by the Eels, the film follows the cynical and charismatic Mark as he travels across America to learn about the father he never knew. It is only by entering the paradoxical world of quantum mechanics that Mark can hope to understand why he was such a stranger to his own father.

“My father never, ever said anything to me about his theories. I was in the same house with him for at least 18 years but he was a total stranger to me. He was in his own parallel universe. He was a physical presence, like the furniture, sitting there jotting down crazy notations at the dining room table night after night. I think he was deeply disappointed that he knew he was a genius but the rest of the world didn’t know it.”
~ Mark Everett.

Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives
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