The Quantum Theory is something that technical, scientific and any-big-term-phobic ‘me’ would generally stay miles away from. Heck, I don’t even know if it is more concerned with science or technology or both. But I’ll tell you what my modest ‘big-on-advice-n-little-on-information’ brain has understood of it through a lesson I teach in Class 11th, through the mind-blastingly awesome flick ‘Source Code’ and through my discussions about it with a dear friend.
It is an amazing theory that implies parallel universes could exist simultaneously along with our own, having their own history, events and often a completely poles apart turn of reality as compared to the one that has materialised in the otherwise normal world, as we know it. The ever eternal debate between reality and what we deem as real!
What is reality? Something that we are experiencing as of now or is this, the big, fat dream that would burst someday like a bubble and we would wake up to a different scenario?
I’ll first share with you the gist of this chapter I teach to Class 11th students and that evokes the maximum number of yawns and protests from most of the slackers. So if you yawn in between don’t you dare open your mouth for anything besides a mesmerized gape, we’ll know where you stand!
It is the story of a History professor/writer/lecturer who one day wakes up to find himself in a train that is heading from Pune to Bombay. There are some Anglo-Indians on board and the train bears the symbol of the East India Company. Flabbergasted, he first presupposes that he has somehow travelled back in time, but it is not so. He is in the same time zone and era but in a world that is unfamiliar to him. Upon a little investigative stunt, he finds out that this is a different India, in contrast to the one as we know. Here we have not been ruled by the Britishers for a hundred years and are instead self reliant and extremely progressive. Whatever pocketful of English influence is there on the Bombay soil, it is in way of trading and entrepreneurship.
He goes to the central library to search for the turning point of the events and from where had history become different in this world to our own. Upon digging his self written history books, he finally converges it all to The Battle of Plassey where Vishwas Rao, the Maratha ruler missed the English bullet by a fraction of a hair, leading to the subsequent morale boost of his army and victory against the English in the 1800’s. The British influence thereafter was reduced and Indian Marathas ruled the nation for half a century before it became democratic.
While OUR History reveals that Vishwas Rao was killed by the British army that eventually led to an irreversible expansion of the English empire, whereby they ruled us for the next century! The professor absent-mindedly keeps the note of the information in his pocket, moves out and gets embroiled in an argument with an angry crowd, beaten up to the point of becoming subconscious and wakes up again to find himself on his bed in the world that he calls his own.
He is then explained to that since the last two days he was in coma, after a collision with a truck and the near death experience-which he realizes may have somehow made it possible for him to make that transition. However, the professor has evidence of that note in his pocket to prove to the detractors that they are wrong and what he was relating was not his insane imagination or wishful thinking.
The movie ‘Source Code’ also revolves around a similar web whereby one person travels through time and space to find himself in a body unknown to him, to save the world from a potential bomb threat and thereby able to create different realities by going back and forth in time for eight minutes on each round. Sounds complicated? Read the story here.
Is that not an amazing leeway?
The assumption that varied realities exist in the universe where different histories I never thought I could use this term in plurals are being made based on a turn of events or diverse decisions that might have been taken. If I put my own life at this parameter it makes me dizzy to just imagine the possibilities.
Forgetting the global potential, it makes me wonder if there is another world, where I may be living a different life based on some road less travelled that I decided to sojourn on. There could be a world where I may not be married but running my own media channel, as was craved by me some fifteen years ago when I stepped out of the threshold of school. Selfish na, you think....But that was the first crossroad that I had stood on, debating and churning within till I finally gave in to family pressures. And many a times I am confounded by the 'what if?' that could have transpired there.
How amazing if we could peer into these different worlds as though into crystal balls and then pick and choose which alternative best suits our disposition and perhaps live there happily ever after. It is even more awesome than the supposition of visiting our future through some time machine because that cannot be altered while here we get options. And I have yet to find a human being who dislikes the idea of options for anything and everything!
“There is no one reality. Each of us lives in a separate universe. That's not speaking metaphorically. This is the hypothesis of the stark nature of reality suggested by recent developments in quantum physics. Reality in a dynamic universe is non-objective. Consciousness is the only reality.”-says M.R. Frank, from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
I find myself wondering at the concept of multiple realities. How do parallel universes connect? What are the exact processes by which mind interacts with matter at the quantum level? Would we ever be able to travel through time, space and realities like this? And would a technically-duh me ever be able to comprehend fully, leave alone use this scientific break-through, if ever achieved in our history? The universe that we live in has such a fascinating nature and there is after all something more complex than the brain...or is it really the brain’s complexity again, after all?