I was pretty terrible at physics at school (and chemistry and maths!), but did talk to a friend about this. I didn’t really understand the explanations, but he said that an American called Hugh Everett became known for similar ideas to Stephen’s. According to wikipedia (I’ll add a link) Everett believed in quantum immortality – I’m not really sure what that means, but it’s pretty out there.
I’m just going to post the transcripts/pages from Annie’s diary from now on and take a back seat while her story unfolds. See you on the other side.
My current working conditions far exceed what was available to Stephen and Conrad during the early days. I have access to the university facilities (although a continuous political battle storms as to whether or not I should) and can get most of the equipment required to carry on my work. As I look around my lab, I can’t help but wonder at how far science has come in the last two decades, but also dismay at how little progress has been made in mainstream scientific attitudes. In all honesty, when I first heard of Stephen’s theories (via Dr. S______), I found them hard to believe and initially dismissed them as pseudo-science. It did, however, pique my interest enough to attend a guest lecture given by Stephen – however, I think that story is for another day. In this entry, I shall attempt to do justice to some of Stephen’s theories – concepts that have become the backbone of my own research. Before you dismiss these ideas as ridiculous, I would argue that a growing amount of scientific weight supports them, and I suspect over time they will become mainstream. After all, not so long ago the concept of a globed-earth was found ludicrous – every thinking person knew our planet was flat.
I shall attempt to explain as succinctly as possible…
The universe that we know and are part of, is not the only universe. In actuality there are an infinite number of universes, existing in parallel. In each of these universes, history has unfolded in a different way. The laws of nature are the same throughout this ‘multi-verse’; however, the outcomes are very different. Some of these universes will be almost identical – save for a few (or single) detail; others will be radically different, and unrecognisable to us. It was Stephen’s (and is my) belief that every possible combination of events, every possible history and every possible future, exists amongst this infinite collection of universes.
In this universe, I am wearing a skirt with a rather beautiful flower print. In another universe, I will be wearing a skirt with a tartan print. In another, I will have the flower print skirt, but a single fibre (perhaps even just an atom) will be in a different place. In more radically distant universes, I might be sitting in a desert, flying an aeroplane or perhaps not even me. Every possibility exists somewhere.
“Everett, who believed in quantum immortality, died suddenly at home on his bed in the night of July 18/19, 1982, of heart failure at the age of 51. Everett’s obesity, frequent chain-smoking and alcohol drinking almost certainly contributed to this, although he seemed healthy at the time. A committed atheist, he had asked that his remains be disposed with the trash after his death. His wife kept his ashes in an urn for a few years, before complying with his wishes…
…Everett’s daughter, Elizabeth, suffered from manic depression and committed suicide in 1996 (saying in her suicide note that she wished her ashes to be thrown out with the garbage so that she might “end up in the correct parallel universe to meet up w[ith] Daddy”),…”