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Texas Tech University chemical physicist has developed a new theory of quantum mechanics that presumes not only that parallel worlds exist, but also that their mutual interaction is what gives rise to all quantum effects observed in nature.

The theory, first published by Professor Bill Poirier four years ago, has recently attracted attention from the foundational physics community, leading to an invited Commentary in the physics journal, Physical Review X.

According to Poirier's theory, quantum reality is not wave-like at all, but is composed of multiple, classical-like worlds. In each of these worlds, every object has very definite physical attributes, such as position and momentum. Within a given world, objects interact with each other classically. All quantum effects, on the other hand, manifest as interactions between "nearby" parallel worlds.

The idea of many worlds is not new. In 1957, Hugh Everett III published what is now called the "Many Worlds" interpretation of quantum mechanics. "But in Everett's theory, the worlds are not well defined," according to Poirier, "because the underlying mathematics is that of the standard wave-based quantum theory."

In contrast, in Poirier's "Many Interacting Worlds" theory, the worlds are built into the mathematics right from the start.

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