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Foundations of Physics

, Volume 48, Issue 12, pp 1698–1730 | Cite as

An Ontology of Nature with Local Causality, Parallel Lives, and Many Relative Worlds

  • Mordecai WaegellEmail author
Article

Abstract

Parallel lives (PL) is an ontological model of nature in which quantum mechanics and special relativity are unified in a single universe with a single space-time. Point-like objects called lives are the only fundamental objects in this space-time, and they propagate at or below c, and interact with one another only locally at point-like events in space-time, very much like classical point particles. Lives are not alive in any sense, nor do they possess consciousness or any agency to make decisions—they are simply point objects which encode memory at events in space-time. The only causes and effects in the universe occur when lives meet locally, and thus the causal structure of interaction events in space-time is Lorentz invariant. Each life traces a continuous world-line through space-time, and experiences its own relative world, fully defined by the outcomes of past events along its world-line (never superpositions), which are encoded in its external memory. A quantum field comprises a continuum of lives throughout space-time, and familiar physical systems like particles each comprise a sub-continuum of the lives of the field. Each life carries a hidden internal memory containing a local relative wavefunction, which is a local piece of a pure universal wavefunction, but it is the relative wavefunctions in the local memories throughout space-time which are physically real in PL, and not the universal wavefunction in configuration space. Furthermore, while the universal wavefunction tracks the average behavior of the lives of a system, it fails to track their individual dynamics and trajectories. There is always a preferred separable basis, and for an irreducible physical system, each orthogonal term in this basis is a different relative world—each containing some fraction of the lives of the system. The relative wavefunctions in the lives’ internal memories govern which lives of different systems can meet during future local interactions, and thereby enforce entanglement correlations—including Bell inequality violations. These, and many other details, are explored here, but several aspects of this framework are not yet fleshed out, and work is ongoing.

Keywords

Interpretations of quantum mechanics Local causality Special relativity Space-time Bell’s theorem Many worlds 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank all of the following researchers for humoring me through many discussions as these ideas solidified. In no particular order, they are: Walter Lawrence, David Cyganski, Justin Dressel, Matt Leifer, Kevin Vanslette, Luis Pedro García-Pintos, Kelvin McQueen, Roman Buniy, Paul Raymond-Robichaud, Yakir Aharonov, Jeff Tollaksen, Taylor Lee Patti, Travis Norsen, and Gregg Jaeger. This research was supported (in part) by the Fetzer Franklin Fund of the John E. Fetzer Memorial Trust.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Quantum StudiesChapman UniversityOrangeUSA
  2. 2.Keck Center for Science and TechnologyOrangeUSA

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