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Trek Tech Pass me the quantum flux regulator, will you?

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Old December 15 2008, 09:59 PM   #1
Cap'n Crunch
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Alternate Universe/Reality Question

In the TNG episode Parallels, Data describes how there are an infinite number of parallel realities, one for each possible outcome of every possible event that occurs. We know that matter cannot be created or destroyed, only converted into another type of matter. So, if something were to cross over into an alternate reality then that universe would have some extra matter, and our universe would be missing some matter. I was wondering what the ramifications of that would be? Would both realities be destroyed? I believe this was touched on in Diane Duane's Dark Mirror, where she described that if they destroyed the ''mirror'' Enterprise in our universe something bad would happen (I don't remember exactly what).
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Old December 15 2008, 10:19 PM   #2
Ronald Held
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

Perhaps this will help:
http://trekmovie.com/2008/12/11/bob-...-real-science/
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Old December 15 2008, 11:01 PM   #3
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

Let's assume that the many worlds hypothesis is correct. That means every possible outcome of any event results in a number of new timelines equal to the number of possible outcomes. This is more profound than a simple choice of whether to take the high road or the low road. Even alterations in the orbit of an electron have such consequences.

The double slit experiment which demonstrates the dual nature of light as both a wave and a particle does something interesting when you reduce it to one photon firing at a time: interference patterns continue to form. For some, this suggests interference from parallel realities. I also suspect entanglement, where two related particles continue to interact over any distance once they're separated, might also occur across realities. Entanglement is a weird concept. "Spooky action at a distance" is what Einstein called it in an attempt to dismiss the implications of quantum mechanics, and that makes me wonder: are entangled particles really seperate? Might two entangled photons actually be the same photon?

So maybe -- and boy am I really flying by the seat of my pants here! -- matter at its elementary level in parallel realities are the same particles regardless of reality. In the super-universe or multiverse that contains all universes, the introduction of matter and energy from one reality doesn't do anything more than move that matter and energy dimensionally.
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Old December 15 2008, 11:08 PM   #4
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

Cap'n Crunch wrote: View Post
In the TNG episode Parallels, Data describes how there are an infinite number of parallel realities, one for each possible outcome of every possible event that occurs. We know that matter cannot be created or destroyed, only converted into another type of matter. So, if something were to cross over into an alternate reality then that universe would have some extra matter, and our universe would be missing some matter. I was wondering what the ramifications of that would be? Would both realities be destroyed? I believe this was touched on in Diane Duane's Dark Mirror, where she described that if they destroyed the ''mirror'' Enterprise in our universe something bad would happen (I don't remember exactly what).
Matter can be converted into energy and vice-versa according to the equation E = mc2. Thus, a little matter produces a lot of energy (nuclear power/weapons). Energy, in the form of gravitons, probably does cross into other universes.

The mass of an object traveling the speed of light is different than that object's mass at rest.
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Old December 16 2008, 01:43 AM   #5
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

Psion wrote: View Post
So maybe -- and boy am I really flying by the seat of my pants here! -- matter at its elementary level in parallel realities are the same particles regardless of reality. In the super-universe or multiverse that contains all universes, the introduction of matter and energy from one reality doesn't do anything more than move that matter and energy dimensionally.
That's basically right. Different timelines aren't separate physical universes, but different quantum states of the same universe. According to the Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, when a particle exists in multiple overlapping states, the larger system that it interacts with also exists in overlapping states, one for each state of the particle. Essentially, the self that you perceive is just a facet of your total physical self; you exist in multiple quantum states at once. But the different quantum states can't interact with one another, since physics would break down then; every equation needs a definite solution, every interaction a single result, so when multiple results happen, they're "causally isolated" from one another. So an observer can only perceive one set of outcomes -- one quantum timeline -- at a time. That creates the illusion that different timelines are totally separate realities. But in quantum terms, they're just different states of the same ensemble of particles. The number of different states -- different timelines -- can increase indefinitely, but the amount of mass remains constant.

Of course, the whole idea behind Many-Worlds in real physics is that the different states absolutely have to stay isolated -- no information can pass between them. So there's no real-physics basis for the idea of travelling between parallel timelines or meeting your double. That's where it becomes pure fiction.
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Old December 16 2008, 01:55 AM   #6
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

Christopher wrote: View Post
Of course, the whole idea behind Many-Worlds in real physics is that the different states absolutely have to stay isolated -- no information can pass between them. So there's no real-physics basis for the idea of travelling between parallel timelines or meeting your double. That's where it becomes pure fiction.
So ... you're saying I should quit trying to tune in episodes from another universe's fifth season of Enterprise? Damn. I was prepared to put up with Scott Baio as Captain Archer, too.
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Old January 11 2009, 11:29 AM   #7
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

What we need is Uatu the Watcher to come in and break it down for us...
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Old January 11 2009, 06:02 PM   #8
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

davidant32,

From what I remember gravity is a form of negative potential energy.


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Old January 11 2009, 08:22 PM   #9
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

Psion wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Of course, the whole idea behind Many-Worlds in real physics is that the different states absolutely have to stay isolated -- no information can pass between them. So there's no real-physics basis for the idea of travelling between parallel timelines or meeting your double. That's where it becomes pure fiction.
So ... you're saying I should quit trying to tune in episodes from another universe's fifth season of Enterprise? Damn. I was prepared to put up with Scott Baio as Captain Archer, too.
nothing to add, just
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Old January 11 2009, 11:59 PM   #10
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

For those wanting to make sense of it without lots of math and physics, just assume that when our hypothetical traveller visits a given parallel, quanumt entanglement means his counterpart is dropp-kicked into yet another parallel - so sometimes you visit parallels because of something you did, and sometimes you accidentally do it because of something a different you did. Clear? Or more headaches?
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Old January 12 2009, 10:02 PM   #11
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

that makes even less sense
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Old January 12 2009, 10:31 PM   #12
Ronald Held
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

Must agree.
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Old January 14 2009, 02:12 AM   #13
Darkwing
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

Not my fault you have trouble with it.
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Old January 14 2009, 04:06 PM   #14
SicOne
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

Darkwing, I tried to pass on your explanation to a Nebraska State Trooper the other day when he pulled me over for speeding...he didn't go for it.
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Old January 14 2009, 04:26 PM   #15
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Re: Alternate Universe/Reality Question

Christopher, two things...

First, I am remembering a Voyager episode, "Deadlock", in which another Voyager is created (by a method I don't recall how) and occupying the same space as the first one, yet actions of the duplicate Voyager to prevent an anti-matter leak severely damage the original ship. Ultimately, the original Harry Kim and Naomi Wildman die on the original ship, but the duplicate Kim and Naomi cross over to the original ship, where they thrive and live continued lives. Mention was made in the episode that they could not transfer the entire crew over between quantum realities, but (and I'm sure this is for story purposes) one or two could without disrupting the "balance". As far as I can remember this morning before the caffeine kicks in, this is the first (only) time in canon Trek that we have "alternate universe" people REMAIN in our Trek reality. Wouldn't that result in Kim and Naomi having a different quantum signature, a la the method in TNG's "Parallels" that allowed the mainstream Enterprise-D to find the "right" Worf?

And I guess that brings to mind another question...would that quantum irregularity eventually "edit" Kim and Naomi out of our universe and back into theirs? Or cause other unintended consequences?

Secondly, there has been discussion (thank you for your contributions) in Trek Tech about transphasic torpedoes...could we intrepret the phasing ability of the torpedo to mean it is phasing through quantum realities (such as right before it would interdict the Borg cube's shields, it shifts quantum realities into another one in which there is no Borg cube shield at that particular point in space/time, then shifts back to the original reality at a point where it is now inside the cube's shield perimeter then impacts the cube)?

If so, while it is unlikely given the mind-numbing vastness of space that another ship in a separate quantum reality is passing through that region of space at the exact same instant that the t-torp phases into it to bypass the cube's shields, there is no such reassurance if one were to use transphasic torpedoes against, say, a fixed object regardless of quantum realities, such as a planet.

It would be interesting to read about a Myriad Universe story in which a transphasic torpedo fired at, say, a Borg-assimilated Starfleet Command HQ in San Francisco quantum-shifted into a universe in which the Borg were never encountered by the Enterprise-D in the first place...

Or am I (as usual) reading wayyyy too much into this?
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