Weird things happen in quantum mechanics.

The main weird thing is that the outcome of quantum measurements is truly 100% totally random. Why is this weird? Because nobody has ever been able to explain why one thing happens vs another.

What the hell are you talking about?

OK, lemme slow down. In every scientific theory except quantum mechanics there is a notion of cause and effect. Thing A leads to Thing B. But physicists have gone to great trouble to prove that there is no way to predict certain events.


So this was kind of a bummer because for a long time physicists just accepted that there was no good reason for one thing to happen vs another. Most physicists just kind of said, OK, whatever

The Many-Worlds Interpretation

Over time though, another interpretation emerged called the many-worlds interpretation, which suggested that it isn't one thing or another randomly happening. Instead, all the things that can happen do happen—it's just that all those things happen in different parallel realities, and our current mind only happens to exist in one.

Sci-Fi vs Reality

The idea of parallel universes has been picked up in a lot of sci-fi (as well as brilliant sitcom episodes), especially where something "random" happens, which creates a good universe and a bad universe. But these stories are missing one important detail. The trick is that most of the "random" things that happen in our life are not quantum mechanical events. Most quantum events happen on the tiny microscpic scale and when you average a lot of those events together, you end up with a world that behaves really normally (unpredictable, but not really random). See difference between chaotic and random.

Why I built this app

In order to make multiple parrallel universes where there are cool differences, I realized I had to inject actual quantum mechanical randomness. By using this app, a person gets to choose one thing to do, but meanwhile, in a parallel universe they get to have another copy of themselves do another different thing.

How does it work?

There is this really cool lab at the Australian National University that live streams quantum measurements on the web. When anybody uses this app to make a decision, it queries one of their measurements and uses that measurement to randomly pick Thing A or Thing B. But since it's a quantum measurement, if you believe in the many-worlds hypothesis, then there is another universe where the opposite thing will happen.

Should I learn more about this?

You can read more about all of this nonsense here. If you're trying to decide whether to read more, why don't you use the app to find out!