The idea is that under 'normal' conditions we do not get uncertainty principle since inanimate things do not make choices or 'observe' and work purely under deterministic principles, but the moment conscious entity gets involved that can introduce multiple possibilities e.g is able to make choices we get multiple possibilities and worlds start splitting from superposition world into multiple distinct worlds in which versions of different choice-makers live on.

Who was first to come up with this idea? What is this theory called? Are there any academic reads around this?

  • as an aside, the uncertainty principle does not need an observer (it's often misrepresented this way): physics.stackexchange.com/questions/51711/… so the theory you ask about seems to be based on a fale premise (which does not invalidate the question who came up ith it)
    – mart
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 11:14
  • alsio this, less mathy: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/24068/…
    – mart
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 11:16
  • "The Many-minds interpretation of quantum mechanics extends the many-worlds interpretation by proposing that the distinction between worlds should be made at the level of the mind of an individual observer. The concept was first introduced in 1970 by H. Dieter Zeh as a variant of the Hugh Everett interpretation... Rather than the worlds that branch, it is the observer’s mind." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Many-minds_interpretation
    – Conifold
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


Your interpretation is a bit wide of the mark. Inanimate things do not appear to work under purely deterministic principles, at least at the quantum level.

The accepted version of Everett's (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Everett_III) view in "Many Worlds" as a model is that every particle constitutes an observer. But the more particles are involved, the more the mass will behave like a macroscopic measurer.

If one particle bounces off of another, the effect is determined by the interaction of the two particles as waves, so it is just as uncertain as our human observation via an instrument would be.

But we do not observe one particle as it bounces off one other, we see objects with significant mass collide.

We don't see uncertainty because two more uncertain things together are more certain than each uncertain thing separately. Simultaneous probabilities do not add, they multiply.

The uncertainties for each particle involved in a macroscopic physical event all multiply, and since all of them are probability distributions with values less than one, the result quickly gets very close to zero uncertainty in the resulting outcome.

In other words, as far as "Many Worlds" goes we are not special because we think, we are just special because we're big and we stick together.

The worlds that accommodate our macroscopic experiences are more likely as "pasts" for future events. All the highly unlikely worlds in between also exist, but they readily merge into more likely timelines as irrelevant deviations.

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