An Encapsulating World Interpretation of Wave Function Collapse?


-You don’t necessarily need to be an expert on wave function collapse to have some insight on encapsulating/​nesting worlds and many worlds types of reality, so please don’t let concerns about expertise in this area prevent anyone from commenting. (Technically, nesting worlds would be “many worlds,” but not the sort of many worlds structure used in this context.)

-If there’s a more appropriate forum than LW for discussions at the intersection of philosophy and physics (or any science, like neurology), please lmk in the comments.



Do people think a sort of bare-bones “encapsulating world interpretation” could help explain wave function collapse just as well as, or as a supplement to, the many worlds interpretation?

An encapsulating world interpretation would involve quantum behavior (and “tagging” of photons) coming from an encapsulating (“deeper”) world, w/​ classical physics behavior innate to this world. It seems like we’ve already studied subatomic particles to the point that there just isn’t anything in this world that could possibly be “tagging” a photon as to whether it has been observed. That only seems to leave an encapsulating world to be doing the tagging. Alternatively, even if we were to stick with MWI, wouldn’t we still need an encapsulating world around all of the many worlds (to dictate their split, and possibly eliminate all but one of them)?

I know that an encapsulating world interpretation can’t be proven, but it seems like the many worlds interpretation can’t be proven either, and that’s currently the leading interpretation among quantum physicists.


-Like practically every idea that seems unique to an individual in the first moment it occurs to them, it is typical to find that similar ideas have been proposed. In this case, I’ve realized that David Chalmers (and assuredly many, many others) have proposed similar ideas. A minor caveat is that I think Chalmers’ idea is a bit more elaborate in the idea of the encapsulating world being a programmer world, while the idea I’m mentioning here is more of a “bare-bones” encapsulating world (which we would know as much about as the “many worlds” of MWI). In any case though, I’m sure that many others have had the same idea and I’m not claiming it is unique to me. It just seems the idea could benefit from more public discussion and refinement.

-I posted something similar in a reply to a previous post, & as a small subset of a longer post, but I decided to give this its own post.