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In the book 'Dark Matter' by Blake Crouch, the central plot theme is a 'box' that creates quantum superposition (see Schródinger's cat) such that, every time you make a decision, an alternative universe branches off from the one you are in. As we constantly make decisions, the alternative universes (multiverse) that are created are infinite.

In the book, many versions of 'Jason' are created by the 'original' Jason in his trips through the box. However, there is only one version of Jason2 who originally kidnapped Jason1 and started the whole ball in motion.

Shouldn't the 'final' universe they end up in be completely awash with an infinite amount of Jasons and Jason2s? After all, Jason2 made choices all the way through, yet we only ever meet one of him.

I realise that infinite numbers of protagonists in a story will be a) confusing & b) difficult to write but I was wondering if there was a scientific reason for this?

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Given the premise of the book, there are an infinite number of parallel universes, and every time a 'decision' is made in any of these universes, they branch of into separate universes, one for each possible outcome. However, since 'decisions' include the different states of quantum superposition, there would be an unimaginably large amount of worlds that are virtually the same, except for the flap of a butterfly on the other side of the planet. So the 'perfect' world that Jason wants to return to exists actually in an infinite amount of variations, since there are only a couple of macroscopic things that define this perfect world (his family existing in the way he knows them, for example).

The book also made the point that it was very unlikely that Jason Desson could create his quantum cube, so only a tiny portion of the worlds has a working quantum cube that allows Jason to change his reality. However, a tiny amount of infinity is still infinity. This also goes for the amount of 'perfect' worlds (as defined by Jason). If we assume that there is an infinite amount of Jasons that want to return to their world and the amount of perfect worlds is also infinite but smaller, we end up having multiple Jasons in every one of those variations of the perfect world. So there's an infinite amount of Jason2's, but also an infinite amount of worlds from where he can kidnap Jason1's from. So the story of the book would actually play out in an infinite number of universes with ever so slight variations.

But honestly, the whole story was pretty much hokum. The way the quantum superposition transcends to a macroscopic scale is just absurd. If you start to pick the story that in the end was basically romantic fantasy apart scientifically, it doesn't hold up at all.

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There should be a lot more Jason2s, and not just because there were more of them and more worlds where they could find perfect Jasons.

As they both pass through the box multiple times, that should have led to multiple versions of each. If getting back to the perfect world makes more Jasons, it should make more Jason2s.

When Jason2 kidnapped Jason and dragged him into the cube, so did an infinite number of other Jason2s in slightly different ways. They then all brought Jason to Jason2's world, which should have resulted in a swarm of Jasons showing up at Velocity Labs, as well as a gaggle of Jason2s getting back to the ideal Jason world. So the end should have been gangs upon gangs of Jasons and Jason2s.

Hokum.

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  • I'm not quite sure if I'm understanding this correctly, but does this answer explain why there's actually only one Jason2 in the book? Or is it just agreeing with the premise that there should be many? – Rand al'Thor Feb 14 '20 at 7:39
  • I think the final word 'HOKUM' pretty much gives an answer to the question ;) – Pat Dobson Feb 14 '20 at 11:42

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