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Quantum Suicide and Immortality

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 2

Quantum Immortal

Have You Ever Wanted to Live Forever?

Here is your chance.

Quantum physics deals with the smallest elements of matter known as quarks. Human beings, in most scenarios, are only able to examine the world on a macro level. It was not until relatively recent time that we were even able to examine the world around us on a micro level, through the usage of magnifying glasses and similar tools of seeing the small world. Quantum physics is then really a study of how the world really works at a fundamental and small level. We often take for granted the complexity of this universe as it unfolds in its chaotic and harmonic ways. Of particular interest to quantum physicists is exploring existential concerns of human beings. Again, in the observable world we come to conclusions that lack a significant amount of evidence; but rather require a sense of faith and pure, unadaultered belief to account for the potential afterlife (whatever it may be). On the quantum level we ask, "Is it possible to live forever?" and even more "extreme" questions such as, "If so, what would it be like to live forever?"

Out of interest in allowing you to see into some answers to these inherently important philosophical and scientific questions, let me begin describing the process of the thought experiment of quantum suicide and by extension quantum immortality. Too add, I will be describing this thought experiment in the manner described while maintaining the many-worlds theory of quantum mechanics. There are alternative views, however this one particularly intrigues me and has come to the publics attention in recent television shows like "Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman" and the sitcom "The Big Bang Theory."

Quantum Suicide to Quantum Life:

Quantum suicide outwardly is a theoretical process which appears to occur on an outward and observable level, however the reality of this occurance is that quantum particles are being measured and potentially altered in every action we do. In many respects, quantum suicide follows a basic physics law: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." The concept of quantum suicide then accounts for the potentiality of every oppositional reaction.

The quantum suicide thought experiment goes like this:

A man is holding a gun to his head, and essentially playing Russian roulette with himself. What lies on the table instead of money or some alternative gamble is his very existence. Let us imagine that this man is using a gun that contains 4 individual bullet chambers, yet only one is loaded with a bullet. As is the nature of Russian roulette, it is a game of probabilities; and for this suicidal man there is a possibility that he may live, and a possibility that he may die.

If we again consider the gun, we can see that the man has a 25% chance of killing himself; and a 75% chance of living. When he pulls the trigger on the gun, he either lives or dies. If he lives, he only hears a click. But what happens if he dies?

What is important to keep in mind is that for every click of the trigger, the world seemingly separates into multiple universes; one in which the man lives, and the other where he dies. For every click of the trigger (signifying life), there is an opposite reaction in an alternative universe where the man dies. In this universe, if the first pull of the trigger results in catastrophic death of the man; he will continue to live in an alternative universe.

As is evident through this thought-experiment, immortality is attained by the universe diverging at every pivotal moment in a life.



Aug 8, 2011 2:35pm
Quantum physics is never ending fascination. I especially like quantum reality quests. Good article!
Aug 8, 2011 3:18pm
Thanks for the comment! I just recently got into quantum mechanics and really into science in general in the past year. I saw this thought experiment and was blow away by the concept, and have been digging deeper ever since!
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