More Poetry

I’m off to Toronto today to see the unveiling of the graffiti mural, so opinions are going to have to wait another week or so. But I won’t leave you with nothing. In stead, I have another poem about quantum mechanics. The Many Worlds interpretation isn’t really something I hold with, but it’s often important to understand how to defend a view you don’t believe. It helps exercise the imagination, and I think it makes one a better critical thinker in the long run. So today I present the first half of my poetic defense of Many Worlds.

1/2 |Horton Hears a Who> + 1/2 |Horton Hears Nothing>

In the small world of quantum experimentation
exists a problem with a few interpretations.
An issue of measurement requiring explanation,
the source of many a physicists’ quiet consternation.
But Everett thinks that he has a solution,
the many worlds theory his great contribution,
intended as a gigantic quantum revolution,
allowing dynamics with no collapse pollution.

Here we will see what the theory contains,
and examine objections which others maintain.
First shall it be that the theory’s defined,
and the measurement problem, which we’ll keep in mind.
The confirmation objection will then be brought out,
but be found to be open to too many doubts.
Many worlds does not slip from the critical noose,
for there’s another objection which can be produced.
For while this theory rids us of some instability,
it also threatens our ideas of probability.
But I promise that all of these things I’ll resolve,
and all of it done with the rhyme thus involved.

First to examine this interpretation,
we must understand its essential foundation.
The problem with colour and hardness, you see,
is linear dynamics disagrees with what we see.
Streams of electrons contradict intuition,
neither here nor there but in superposition.
Our math tells us that they are all roaming free,
but they all seem quite fixed when we stop one to see.
Our math goes against what we see every day,
the challenge is shooing the dilemma away,
embracing classical movements of particles in perpetuity,
rather than just accepting this logical incongruity.
Some theorists like to call the moment collapse,
but Everret stands up and says that “Perhaps
it isn’t our world that’s collapsing at all,
there’s implications to that which we’d rather forestall.
No, I think the result is just duplication,
each possibility showing a new world’s creation!”

Now some say old Everett was mad as a hatter,
but pause for a moment and use your grey matter.
Go back to a universe silent and still,
just at its inception when motion’s instilled.
In each single second there’d be many collapses,
but inside each he says that creation elapses.
An infinity of universes, noninterfering,
and with every quantum bump more, just appearing!
This is because each outcome is true,
for one to have bleen, one must have grue.
And indeed an array of all things in between,
each by the other entirely unseen.
The alternative is a constant superposition,
its facets confounding our greatest logicians.
One can consider collapse, but when does it occur?
Not to mention wondering just where the particles were.
No, in the world of inference to best explanation,
many worlds holds all of the best information.
It allows us to practice our linear dynamics,
taking collapse out of quantum mechanics.

The second half will go up next Saturday, and Wednesday will likely be about Invisible People. Have a good weekend!

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