Quantum suicide and quantum immortality in fiction


Quantum suicide and quantum immortality in fiction

Authors of Science fiction have used themes involving both Quantum Suicide and quantum immortality. The basic idea is that a person who dies on one world may survive in another world or Parallel Universe.

Quantum Suicide

Quantum Suicide themes have been explored in the following works:

* Larry Niven's short story "All the Myriad Ways", collected in a collection of the same name (1971)
* Dan Simmons's novel "The Hollow Man" (1992). Simmons also describes a quantum execution mechanism in his Hyperion Cantos series.
* Greg Egan's novel "Quarantine" (1992)
* Greg Egan's novel "Permutation City" (1994), in which one character repeatedly had his mind uploaded and his copy eventually terminated, but found out that he always "ended up" in another world, where his survival was explained by increasingly improbable circumstances.
* Robert Charles Wilson's short story "Divided by Infinity" (1998)
*Denis Johnson's novel "Already Dead (A California Gothic)" (1998)
* Jason Shiga's book [http://www.shigabooks.com/indeces/interact.html Meanwhile] (2004)
*Greg Bear's short Story "Schrodinger's Plague" found in his book Tangents deals with a doomsday version of this experiment in which instead of a single scientist dying, a deadly virus is released into the populace.
* In the film version of Christopher Priest's "The Prestige" (2006), the magician Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) attains a series of successful quantum suicides using a machine invented by Nikola Tesla (David Bowie), fictionally invented in the film. Actually what happens is duplication (in the same universe) followed a suicide, which is similar to quantum suicide.

Quantum immortality

Quantum Immortality themes have been explored in:

* The Greg Egan novel "Quarantine" explores topics related to quantum immortality.
* Other science fiction stories exploring these and related ideas include "All the Myriad Ways" by Larry Niven, and "Divided by Infinity" by Robert Charles Wilson.
* Terry Pratchett's short story "Death and What Comes Next" has a philosopher arguing the principle with Death, who has come for him.
* The episode "Perfect Circles" in the third season of Six Feet Under contains references and allusions to quantum immortality as a major character observes several possible outcomes of his life.
* Steven Hall's novel "The Raw Shark Texts" contains references to Max Tegmark and The Quantum Machine Gun (an alternate name for Quantum suicide thought experiment) suggesting a possible Quantum immortality reading of the story.
* In David Lindsay-Abaire's play Rabbit Hole, a grieving mother takes solace in the possibility that her dead son may enjoy quantum immortality. She comes to prefer to believe that this world in which she lives may simply be a "sadder version" of other co-existing, parallel universes. Rabbit Hole won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
* In The One (film), Yu-Law (Jet Li) fights and kills other versions of himself in alternate universes.


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