SDCC Exclusive #7 – Mattel Masters of the Universe MoLarr vs Skeletor Figure Set
Mattel Masters of the Universe MoLarr vs Skeletor Figure Set
SDCC Price: $40
MoLarr was featured in the now famous episode featured on the DVD release of Robot Chicken Season 2 where he chased down Skeletor and relieved him of an impacted wisdom tooth, sans numbing agent. Skeletor features a new head with missing tooth, Havok Staff, Power Sword, and Half Power Sword. MoLarr, Eternian Dentist, comes with five assorted dental tools, including @#%!$ drill and floss. Watch the hilarious YouTube video below.
Product Update for 01/07/2010
*Update for 01/07/10*
New Breakdowns & Restock!
Dragon WWII British Martin Hicks
Dragon DX09 WWII German Dieter Radler
Dragon DX09 WWII German Erich Schwarz
Dragon DX09 WWII German Hans Leiter
Dragon DX09 WWII German Klaus Koenig
Remembering Roy Disney
Roy Edward Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney, died Wednesday after a yearlong battle with stomach cancer at the age of 79.
Roy played a key role in the revitalization of the Walt Disney Co. and Disney’s animation legacy.
His father, Roy O. Disney, cofounded the Disney entertainment business with Walt Disney in 1923.
Roy E. Disney‘s 56year association with the company culminated in 2003 when he stepped down as vice chairman of Disney’s board and chairman of the Disney Studio’s Animation Department. He kept the title director emeritus and consulted with the company in his final years.
As head of Disney Animation, Disney helped to guide the studio to a new golden age of animation with an unprecedented string of artistic and box office successes that included ‘The Little Mermaid,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Lion King.’
I had the good fortune of meeting Roy when Jeff Kurtti and he were doing a book signing for Jeff’s new book, What the Sea Teaches Us: The Crew of the Morning Light. Roy had written the forward for the book. I was working fulltime for Disney then and the signing was at the Studio Store on the studio lot in Burbank. I got there an hour early and was first in line.
Roy and his wife Leslie arrived first and I was able to have a short conversation with him. I told him how I met Joe Hale, the writer and producer of The Black Cauldron a few months before at the Disneyana Sale and Show. I told him that Joe spoke fondly of him. Roy smiled and said he hadn’t see Joe in a while, but seemed pleased to hear about Joe. The lady behind me in line was one of the Disney guides who gives tours to visiting dignitaries at Disneyland and I asked her to take a picture of Roy and me. Roy asked his wife Leslie and Jeff to be in the picture with us. As soon as she started shooting pictures for me, everyone started taking pictures somehow assuming this was a publicity shot or something. Flash bulbs were popping everywhere! It was kind of funny. I was thinking afterwards that when people were reviewing the picture they took, they were saying “So here’s Jeff, Roy, and Leslie, but I don’t know who the hell this other guy is.”
To me, meeting Roy was my special way of also meeting Walt Disney. They look very much a like. He was very friendly and easygoing. I have always credited him with reviving Disney’s foray into animation.
I hear that he will be cremated and his ashes will be scattered at sea. He also was an avid competitive sailor. He held several elapsedtime records for offshore races in the Pacific Ocean, including multiple wins in the 2,225mile Transpac race between Hawaii and California. Seems like some nice symmetry to that.
Rest in peace Roy. We will truly miss you.
Today Starting at 10:00am! Toy Anxiety Toy Drive and Sidewalk Sale!
Grab the family and come on by! Today is our annual Toy Anxiety Toy Drive and Sidewalk Sale Event from 11:00am to 3:00pm. We will have people in costumes, raffles, and great prices at our sidewalk sale. You are automatically entered in the raffle (which occurs every 15 minutes) with every toy you donate. See you there!
Map to the store:
Flash Forward: ManyWorlds Interpretation (Hugh Everett)
Manyworlds is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that asserts the objective reality of the wavefunction, but denies the reality of wavefunction collapse. It is also known as MWI, the relative state formulation, theory of the universal wavefunction, parallel universes, manyuniverses interpretation or just many worlds.
The original relative state formulation is due to Hugh Everett who formulated it in 1957. Later, this formulation was popularized and renamed manyworlds by Bryce Seligman DeWitt in the 1960s and ’70s.
Proponents argue that manyworlds reconciles how we can perceive nondeterministic events, such as the random decay of a radioactive atom, with the deterministic equations of quantum physics. Prior to manyworlds, reality had been viewed as a single “worldline”. Manyworlds, rather, views reality as a manybranched tree where every possible quantum outcome is realised.
In manyworlds, the subjective appearance of wavefunction collapse is explained by the mechanism of quantum decoherence. By decoherence, manyworlds claims to resolve all of the correlation paradoxes of quantum theory, such as the EPR paradox and Schrödinger’s cat, since every possible outcome of every event defines or exists in its own “history” or “world”. In layman’s terms, there is a very large—perhaps infinite—number of universes, and everything that could possibly have happened in our past, but didn’t, has occurred in the past of some other universe or universes.
The decoherence approach to interpreting quantum theory has been further explored and developed becoming quite popular, taken as a class overall. MWI is one of many Multiverse hypotheses in physics and philosophy. It is currently considered a mainstream interpretation along with the other decoherence interpretations and the Copenhagen interpretation.
Outline
Although several versions of manyworlds have been proposed since Hugh Everett’s original work, they all contain one key idea: the equations of physics that model the time evolution of systems without embedded observers are sufficient for modelling systems which do contain observers; in particular there is no observationtriggered wavefunction collapse which the Copenhagen interpretation proposes. Provided the theory is linear with respect to the wavefunction, the exact form of the quantum dynamics modelled, be it the nonrelativistic Schrödinger equation, relativistic quantum field theory or some form of quantum gravity or string theory, does not alter the validity of MWI since MWI is a metatheory applicable to all linear quantum theories, and there is no experimental evidence for any nonlinearity of the wavefunction in physics. MWI’s main conclusion is that the universe (or multiverse in this context) is composed of a quantum superposition of very many, possibly even a nondenumerablely infinitely many, increasingly divergent, noncommunicating parallel universes or quantum worlds.
The idea of MWI originated in Everett’s Princeton Ph.D. thesis “The Theory of the Universal Wavefunction”, developed under his thesis advisor John Archibald Wheeler, a shorter summary of which was published in 1957 entitled “Relative State Formulation of Quantum Mechanics” (Wheeler contributed the title “relative state”; Everett originally called his approach the “Correlation Interpretation”, where “correlation” refers to quantum entanglement). The phrase “manyworlds” is due to Bryce DeWitt, who was responsible for the wider popularisation of Everett’s theory, which had been largely ignored for the first decade after publication. DeWitt’s phrase “manyworlds” has become so much more popular than Everett’s “Universal Wavefunction” or EverettWheeler’s “Relative State Formulation” that many forget that this is only a difference of terminology; the content of all three papers is the same.
The manyworlds interpretation shares many similarities with later, other “postEverett” interpretations of quantum mechanics which also use decoherence to explain the process of measurement or wavefunction collapse. MWI treats the other histories or worlds as real since it regards the universal wavefunction as the “basic physical entity” or “the fundamental entity, obeying at all times a deterministic wave equation”. The other decoherent interpretations, such as many histories, consistent histories, the Existential Interpretation etc, either regard the extra quantum worlds as metaphorical in some sense, or are agnostic about their reality; it is sometimes hard to distinguish between the different varieties. MWI is distinguished by two qualities: it assumes realism, which it assigns to the wavefunction, and it has the minimal formal structure possible, rejecting any hidden variables, quantum potential, any form of a collapse postulate (i.e. Copenhagenism) or mental postulates (such as the manyminds interpretation makes).
Decoherent interpretations of manyworlds use einselection to explain how a small number of classical pointer states can emerge from the enormous Hilbert space of superpositions have been proposed by Wojciech H. Zurek. “Under scrutiny of the environment, only pointer states remain unchanged. Other states decohere into mixtures of stable pointer states that can persist, and, in this sense, exist: They are einselected.” These ideas complement MWI and bring the interpretation in line with our perception of reality.
Manyworlds is often referred to as a theory, rather than just an interpretation, by those who propose that manyworlds can make testable predictions (such as David Deutsch) or is falsifiable (such as Everett) or that all the other, nonMWI, are inconsistent, illogical or unscientific in their handling of measurements; Hugh Everett argued that his formulation was a metatheory, since it made statements about other interpretations of quantum theory; that it was the “only completely coherent approach to explaining both the contents of quantum mechanics and the appearance of the world.”
Interpreting wavefunction collapse
As with the other interpretations of quantum mechanics, the manyworlds interpretation is motivated by behavior that can be illustrated by the doubleslit experiment. When particles of light (or anything else) are passed through the double slit, a calculation assuming wavelike behavior of light can be used to identify where the particles are likely to be observed. Yet when the particles are observed in this experiment, they appear as particles (i.e. at definite places) and not as nonlocalized waves.
Some versions of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics proposed a process of “collapse” in which an indeterminate quantum system would probabilistically collapse down onto, or select, just one determinate outcome to “explain” this phenomenon of observation. Wavefunction collapse was widely regarded as artificial and adhoc, so an alternative interpretation in which the behavior of measurement could be understood from more fundamental physical principles was considered desirable.
Everett’s Ph.D. work provided such an alternative interpretation. Everett noted that for a composite system – for example a subject (the “observer” or measuring apparatus) observing an object (the “observed” system, such as a particle) – the statement that either the observer or the observed has a welldefined state is meaningless; in modern parlance the observer and the observed have become entangled; we can only specify the state of one relative to the the other, i.e. the state of the observer and the observed are correlated after the observation is made. This led Everett to derive from the unitary, deterministic dynamics alone (i.e. without assuming wavefunction collapse) the notion of a relativity of states.
Everett noticed that the unitary, deterministic dynamics alone decreed that after an observation is made each element of the quantum superposition of the combined subjectobject wavefunction contains two “relative states”: a “collapsed” object state and an associated observer who has observed the same collapsed outcome; what the observer sees and the state of the object have become correlated by the act of measurement or observation. The subsequent evolution of each pair of relative subjectobject states proceeds with complete indifference as to the presence or absence of the other elements, as if wavefunction collapse has occurred, which has the consequence that later observations are always consistent with the earlier observations. Thus the appearance of the object’s wavefunction’s collapse has emerged from the unitary, deterministic theory itself. (This answered Einstein’s early criticism of quantum theory, that the theory should define what is observed, not for the observables to define the theory). Since the wavefunction appears to have collapsed then, Everett reasoned, there was no need to actually assume that it had collapsed. And so, invoking Occam’s razor, he removed the postulate of wavefunction collapse from the theory.
Probability
A consequence of removing wavefunction collapse from the quantum formalism is that the Born rule requires derivation, since manyworlds claims to derive its interpretation from the formalism. Attempts have been made, by manyworld advocates and others, over the years to derive the Born rule, rather than just conventionally assume it, so as to reproduce all the required statistical behaviour associated with quantum mechanics. There is no consensus on whether this has been successful.
Everett, Gleason and Hartle
Everett (1957) briefly derived the Born rule by showing that the Born rule was the only possible rule, and that its derivation was as justified as the procedure for defining probability in classical mechanics. Everett stopped doing research in theoretical physics shortly after obtaining his Ph.D., but his work on probability has been extended by a number of people. Andrew Gleason (1957) and James Hartle (1965) independently reproduced Everett’s work, known as Gleason’s theorem which was later extended.
De Witt and Graham
Bryce De Witt and his doctoral student R. Neill Graham later provided alternative (and longer) derivations to Everett’s derivation of the Born rule. They demonstrated that the norm of the worlds where the usual statistical rules of quantum theory broke down vanished, in the limit where the number of measurements went to infinity.
Deutsch et al
An informationtheoretic derivation of the Born rule from Everettarian assumptions, was produced by David Deutsch (1999) and refined by Wallace (20022009) and Saunders (2004). Deutsch’s derivation is a twostage proof: first he shows that the number of orthonormal Everettworlds after a branching is proportional to the conventional probability density. Then he uses game theory to shows that these are all equally likely to be observed. The last step in particular has been criticised for circularity. Other reviews have been positive, although the status of these arguments remains highly controversial. It is fair to say that some theoretical physicists have taken them as supporting the case for parallel universes. In the New Scientist article, reviewing their presentation at a September 2007 conference, Andy Albrecht, a physicist at the University of California at Davis, is quoted as saying “This work will go down as one of the most important developments in the history of science.”
Wojciech H. Zurek (2005) has produced a derivation of the Born rule, where decoherence has replaced Deutsch’s informatic assumptions. Lutz Polley (2000) has produced Born rule derivations where the informatic assumptions are replaced by symmetry arguments.
Advantages

MWI removes the observerdependent role in the quantum measurement process by replacing wavefunction collapse with quantum decoherence. Since the role of the observer lies at the heart of most if not all “quantum paradoxes,” this automatically resolves a number of problems; see for example Schrödinger’s cat thoughtexperiment, the EPR paradox, von Neumann‘s “boundary problem” and even waveparticle duality. Quantum cosmology also becomes intelligible, since there is no need anymore for an observer outside of the universe.

MWI is realist, deterministic, local theory, akin to classical physics (including the theory of relativity), at the expense of losing counterfactual definiteness. MWI achieves this by removing wavefunction collapse, which is indeterministic and nonlocal, from the deterministic and local equations of quantum theory.

MWI (or other, broader multiverse considerations) provides a context for the anthropic principle which may provide an explanation for the finetuned universe.

MWI, being a decoherent formulation, is axiomatically more streamlined than the Copenhagen and other collapse interpretations; and thus favoured under certain interpretations of Ockham’s razor. Of course there are other decoherent interpretations that also possess this advantage with respect to the collapse interpretations.
Common objections and misconceptions

MWI states that there is no special role nor need for precise definition of measurement in MWI, yet uses the word “measurement” repeatedly through out its exposition.


MWI response: “measurements” are treated a subclass of interactions, which induce subjectobject correlations in the combined wavefunction. There is nothing special about measurements (they don’t trigger any wave function collapse, for example); they are just another unitary time development process. This is why no precise definition of measurement is required in Everett’s formulation.


The manyworlds interpretation is very vague about the ways to determine when splitting happens, and nowadays usually the criterion is that the two branches have decohered. However, present day understanding of decoherence does not allow a completely precise, self contained way to say when the two branches have decohered/”do not interact”, and hence manyworlds interpretation remains arbitrary. This is the main objection opponents of this interpretation raise, saying that it is not clear what is precisely meant by branching, and point to the lack of self contained criteria specifying branching.


MWI response: the decoherence or “splitting” or “branching” is complete when the measurement is complete. In Dirac notation a measurement is complete when:


where O[i] represents the observer having detected the object system in the ith state. Before the measurement has started the observer states are identical; after the measurement is complete the observer states are orthonormal. Thus a measurement defines the branching process: the branching is as well or ill defined as the measurement is. Thus branching is complete when the measurement is complete. Since the role of the observer and measurement per se plays no special role in MWI (measurements are handled as all other interactions are) there is no need for a precise definition of what an observer or a measurement is – just as in Newtonian physics no precise definition of either an observer or a measurement was required or expected. In all circumstances the universal wavefunction is still available to give a complete description of reality.

Also, it is a common misconception to think that branches are completely separate. In Everett’s formulation, they may in principle quantum interfere (i.e. “merge” instead of “splitting”) with each other in the future, although this requires all “memory” of the earlier branching event to be lost, so no observer ever sees two branches of reality.


There is circularity in Everett’s measurement theory. Under the assumptions made by Everett, there are no ‘good observations’ as defined by him, and since his analysis of the observational process depends on the latter, it is void of any meaning. The concept of a ‘good observation’ is the projection postulate in disguise and Everett’s analysis simply derives this postulate by having assumed it, without any discussion.


MWI response: Everett’s treatment of observations / measurements covers both idealised good measurements and the more general bad or approximate cases. Thus it is legitimate to analyse probability in terms of measurement; no circularity is present.


Talk of probability in Everett presumes the existence of a preferred basis to identify measurement outcomes for the probabilities to range over. But the existence of a preferred basis can only be established by the process of decoherence, which is itself probabilistic or arbitrary.


MWI response: Everett analysed branching using what we now call the “measurement basis“. It is fundamental theorem of quantum theory that nothing measurable or empirical is changed by adopting a different basis. Everett was therefore free to choose whatever basis he liked. The measurement basis was simply the simplest basis in which to analyse the measurement process.


We cannot be sure that the universe is a quantum multiverse until we have a theory of everything and, in particular, a successful theory of quantum gravity. If the final theory of everything is nonlinear with respect to wavefunctions then manyworlds would be invalid.


MWI response: all accepted quantum theories of fundamental physics are linear with respect to the wavefunction. Whilst quantum gravity or string theory may be nonlinear in this respect there is no evidence to indicate this at the moment.


Conservation of energy is grossly violated if at every instant nearinfinite amounts of new matter are generated to create the new universes.


MWI response: Conservation of energy is not violated since the energy of each branch has to be weighted by its probability, according to the standard formula for the conservation of energy in quantum theory. This results in the total energy of the multiverse being conserved.


Occam’s Razor rules against a plethora of unobservable universes – Occam would prefer just one universe; i.e. any nonMWI interpretation.


MWI response: Occam’s razor actually is a constraint on the complexity of physical theory, not on the number of universes. MWI is a simpler theory since it has fewer postulates. See the “advantages” section.


Unphysical universes: If a state is a superposition of two states ΨA and ΨB, i.e. Ψ = (aΨA + bΨB), i.e. weighted by coefficients a and b, then if b << a, what principle allows a universe with vanishingly small probability b to be instantiated on an equal footing with the much more probable one with probability a? This seems to throw away the information in the probability amplitudes. Such a theory makes little sense.


MWI response: The magnitude of the coefficients provides the weighting that makes the branches or universes “unequal”, as Everett and others have shown, leading the emergence of the conventional probabilistic rules.


Violation of the principle of locality, which contradicts special relativity: MWI splitting is instant and total: this may conflict with relativity, since an alien in the Andromeda galaxy can’t know I collapse an electron over here before she collapses hers there: the relativity of simultaneity says we can’t say which electron collapsed first – so which one splits off another universe first? This leads to a hopeless muddle with everyone splitting differently. Note: EPR is not a getout here, as the alien’s and my electrons need never have been part of the same quantum, i.e. entangled.


MWI response: the splitting can be regarded as causal, local and relativistic, spreading at, or below, the speed of light (e.g. we are not split by Schrödinger’s cat until we look in the box). For spacelike separated splitting you can’t say which occured first — but this is true of all spacelike separated events, simultaneity is not defined for them. Splitting is no exception; manyworlds is a local theory.
