Thursday, October 20, 2022

Discovering the Multiverse: Quantum Mechanics and Hugh Everett III, with Peter Byrne — Manifold #22


Peter Byrne is an investigative reporter and science writer based in Northern California. His popular biography, The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III - Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear Family (Oxford University Press, 2010) was followed by publication of The Everett Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, Collected Works 1957-1980, (Princeton University Press, 2012), co-edited with philosopher of science Jeffrey A. Barrett of UC Irvine. 

Everett's formulation of quantum mechanics, which implies the existence of a quantum multiverse, is favored by a significant (and growing) fraction of working physicists. 

Steve and Peter discuss: 

0:00 How Peter Byrne came to write a biography of Hugh Everett 
18:09 Everett’s personal life and groundbreaking thesis as a catalyst for the book 
24:00 Everett and Decoherence 
31:25 Reaction of other physicists to Everett’s many worlds theory 
40:46 Steve’s take on Everett’s many worlds theory 
43:41 Peter on the bifurcation of science and philosophy 
49:21 Everett’s post-academic life 
52:58 How Hugh Everett is remembered now 


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