Parallel Universes

Fred Alan Wolf, Author Simon & Schuster $19.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-671-66091-8
Wolf's readers should get ready for a wild intellectual ride through the convoluted realms of quantum mechanics, relativity, black holes and imaginary time. The physicist ( Starwave ) is a strong proponent of the ``many-worlds'' interpretation of quantum mechanics, and he launches a ferocious assault on conservative scientists who espouse the ``Copenhagen'' interpretation. Essentially, the debate hinges on the role of consciousness in measuring quantum events: Copenhagenists argue that a quantum measurement causes the ``collapse'' of a particle's probability wave, while Wolf claims the act of measuring actually causes the universe to split in two. The equations of relativity and quantum physics support both interpretations. Wolf describes what it would be like to travel through a black hole to a parallel universe; claims that the future must communicate with the present; answers the question of whether the universe had a radius before we started to measure it; and argues that schizophrenics may be in touch with parallel universes. Physics is becoming metaphysics. An enthralling, if somewhat wacky, read. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Paperback - 351 pages - 978-0-671-69601-6
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