Author Topic: quantum suicide machine to scientifically prove we are immortal.... or not..  (Read 13084 times)

Offline skinwalker

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brilliant, fascinating, and raises more questions than answers

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Quantum Suicide is a thought experiment that probably should never be realized. It would seek to test whether or not there was validity to the Many Worlds Interpretation.

To conduct the experiment, one would need a suicide machine, built to exacting specifications. It'd need to be a machine that had a high probability of killing you, and preferably no chance of injury less than death. The trigger mechanism that determined whether or not you died would need to involve measuring the spin of subatomic particles, so as to capture quantum mechanics at it's most basic and pure form. And it's important that no one else can observe what you're doing, so make sure the machine has no windows. If this sounds a little like Schrödinger's cat, it's on purpose - you're filling the role of the cat.

The idea is that every time that 50/50 chance to die is invoked, two universes would be created. In one you'd be dead, quickly and painlessly and unaware. In the other, you'd be alive, and free to start the experiment again. Assuming your nerve holds up, you'd keep resetting the machine and trying again. After a few hundred tests, if you were still alive, it could be taken as likely proof that Quantum Immortality exists, and people don't actually die. Of course, to be certain, you'd want to run a full diagnostic on the machine, and get an engineering buddy to look it over and verify that you just "flipped heads" 100 times in a row without a single "tails". That still doesn't quite prove it, but it's a strong argument that no one ever dies - just other people think they did.

Meanwhile, you've created a universe where you died on the first try, a universe where you lived through the first test but died in the second, a universe where the third attempt killed you, etc. Conveniently, you never experienced those various alternate realities. You can infer that no one ever experiences their own death.

A more direct version of the experiment would be to detonate a powerful nuclear bomb at your feet. You should only be able to experience the realities where the bomb fails to detonate or some sort of miracle saves you. Just hope you don't end up in a reality where somehow you survived with crippling (but non-lethal) radiation poisoning.

Now comes the tricky part - convincing the world that you're right. You'll need to record the results, and allow for reputable scientists and engineers to check your work and your machine. Whatever you do, though, don't let them try to duplicate your experiment. They can still die in your reality - and once someone's done so with your machine, you'll probably be held responsible. Immortality doesn't sound that great when you're in prison. So, maybe you'd best keep the results of this test to yourself. And of course, there's the possibility that the Many Worlds Interpretation is wrong, Quantum Immortality doesn't exist, and using such a suicide machine is just suicidal. Forget I ever mentioned it.

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Offline Kryptid

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Sorry for the necro, but no one else has replied to this so I don't see why a little input would be bad.

I'm not even sure you'd have to design a particular kind of quantum suicide machine to test this, since all phenomena should ultimately be tied to the effects of quantum probability. If the theory of Quantum Immortality is true, then no event should lead to death from the point of view of the person who has "died". If you hang yourself, you'd die in a lot of parallel universes, but from your own point of view you'd somehow survive (perhaps in your universe the rope breaks, your spinal chord doesn't snap or someone rescues you in time).

I certainly hope that the Quantum Immortality theory isn't true, since it would lead to terribly awful consequences. That would mean that people from thousands of years ago are all still alive in their own little parallel universes, probably in horrific health and hanging on by a thread that cannot break.

Offline skinwalker

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i love this article, really makes you think doesnt it?