Schrödinger’s Cat & Parallel Worlds

Somewhere along the line, I remember reading the famous paradox of Schrödinger’s Cat and, at the time, not really giving it any serious thought, after all, I am not an expert in the field of quantum mechanics. It seemed self-evident to me that a cat cannot be living and dead simultaneously and I was content with what Neil’s Bohr had said about the subject i.e. that ‘anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.’

After reading Phil Gosling’s book Success Engineering which uses quantum mechanics to explain the law of attraction, I have been recently forced to reconsider the subject. Again, I am no expert, but as I understand Schrodinger’s thought experiment, he also did not believe that the cat could be both alive and dead at the same time. What he was trying to show with his thought experiment was the ludicrousness of a particular interpretation of quantum theory known as the Copenhagen Interpretation.

After watching the video, you might be tempted to think that we could simply put the cat into a transparent box and we would be able to see the whole thing, but – and it is a big but – part of the Copenhagen interpretation postulates that it is the very act of observing that causes the experiment to resolve the situation i.e. the moment you look, then cat is definitely either dead or alive – one or the other state. It is only before your look (or monitor or measure) that the cat is both alive and dead at the same time – this state is known as a ‘superposition’ in the language of quantum theory.

Now, what has all of this got to do with the law of attraction and goal-setting you might well ask? Well it turns out that there is another interpretation of the same experiment that involves parallel worlds. Essentially, the idea is that the cat is both dead and alive, but in different versions of reality. When we observe the cat and find it to be dead, for example, simultaneously another version of ourself makes exactly the same observation only to discover the cat is alive.

But is this parallel world stuff just a metaphor or is it really being put forward as a serious scientific theory? All of the above is indeed science. It is not speculation, mumbo-jumbo or magic, hence Neil’s Bohr’s comment, above. Everything we learn about physics at the sub-atomic level is completely counterintuitive and dissimilar to conventional physics and yet, of course, the universe and everything in it is made up of this sub-atomic stuff.

Personally, I have no difficulty with a theory that allows us to express a world of possibility by using mathematical expressions that have a limited zone of applicability. ‘All theories are false’ as some wise person once said, ‘but some are useful.’ That has always been the essence of my own view. Thus, I am content to remain agnostic on the matter. However, just because we don’t know how or why something works, does not invalidate it. There have been many people, over the years, who have advanced the proposition that you can change your reality by changing your thinking and I fully accept that is the case.

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