La Place's Demon vs Schrodinger's Cat (Defendant) in a Time Machine Patent Infringement Suit

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During the days of old a demon got very bold an elaborate time machine he invented towards the pursuit of his career to live contented.

He registered his address at the very edge of the Universe, a demon of a class he was contrived by the brilliant mind of Pierre Simon de La Place.

Not only was the demon very perverse but he also aspired to shift the Universe in reverse.

Here says Dr. Devil in court: “I did not mention yet that I do not do hokus pokus nor bitter concoction, I use physics and realism and with this machine I am going to prove determinism.”

“Hence, let’s get to business without delay, I do not like to do instant replay”. (as his proto-type Machine begins cranking and cranking, and spitting equations and cranking….the demon stairs towards the crowd and continues saying):

“Now you will see how I will be able to retro-dict in a manner that you will clearly depict the fact that the Universe will recede to the descent of the gates of fire and I will be happy to see if indeed it will blast its ire so that I can fulfill my lawful desire guaranteed by the constitution of the laws of Newton and hence I may bring the Universe with indelible persistence all the way back to the seed of emptiness of existence”

(The crowd begins shivering with fear awaiting anxiously in the halls of Justice of the Department of Commerce for the Judge to expunge the patent. The Judge calls for the defendant):

Here enter the cat wearing his unitary transformation hat walking towards the courts of the Patent Office defending his patent applications for a time machine of the next and past generations. The tumultuous crowd overcome by expectation and temerity was waiting within the halls of justice for the truth to emerge that no fear need to nix the life of all particles within the living and inanimate mix.

Says the Judge: “All sit down please (a blasting gavel noise is heard, continue saying the Judge) “Dr. Feline, may I hear your counter claim to Dr. Devil’s invention a patent that he submitted under oath by the bible of laws of US of thermodynamics which you want to nullify with your gritty wave function machine”. “Yes, your honor” replied the cat: “I am committed to my creator, Professor Erwin Schrodinger, to prove without hesitation that any particle in, or, out our midst live in a universe of indeterminacy. Nevertheless, I may be able to extract symmetry in the domain of time in a manner very much so sublime”.

Answered the judge: “Oh, you mean your machine exists in the US of Superposition?”. “Yes your Honor” replied Dr. Feline. “Well”, says the judge: “then at any moment in space whereby you want to ascertain a location you will be overcome by frustration. Hence your wave function machine disallows at the risk of infinite uncertainty of momentum Dr. Devil’s claim of prediction. I have problems with this contradiction, what is the sense of your diction Dr. Feline?”

(The Crowd becomes tumultuous and uproarious) “QUIET!, QUIET!” Says the Judge (three loud gavel slams are heard). “Bring in the witnesses” says the Judge.

Here enter the three musketeers of Quantum Mechanics prepared to attest for time reversibility. These are real brained people, no animal contraptions, or demonic figures, but dedicated experimentalists with results in gear and their truth we shall not fear. Please welcome to the court:

Professors Yakir Ahronoff, Peter Bergman, and Joel Lebowitz. (The famous brainchildren of the ABL thesis)

‘What have you to testify distinguished Professors?”, asks the Judge.

“Your Honor: Time asymmetry of wave function collapse is really the fault of the Copenhagen interpretation, because of the way they set up the question. That is because when you ask a time asymmetric question, you will get a time asymmetric answer. If you were to ask a time symmetric question you’ll get a time symmetric answer, even in Quantum Mechanics.”

Asks the Judge: “Have you any prove of that?”

“Yes your honor, we have in exhibit-1 a portfolio of experiments verifying the ABL theory by the following sequence: (1) we set up the experiment in state (A) called the selection state. (2) we then crank the wave function machine and observe it in state (B), and (3) set it up again and crank the wave function machine to state (C) and call that state the post-selection state. We have included only these states coinciding with the final states of the system that we chose ahead of time (just like the initial state) and disregarded the other final states”

(Here is the niche: Quantum Mechanics treats conditions set up before the experiment and conditions set up after the experiment in exactly the same way).

“Hence, we decided to insist in asking time symmetric questions. Because there are no intrinsic time directions in Quantum Mechanics, we asked the questions that presume a direction from the start. We only kept experimental results that agreed with the final boundary condition”.

Oh!, in a flash of understanding exclaimed the Judge: “I see, Quantum Mechanics does not impose time-asymmetry on the Universe. The Universe imposes time-asymmetry on Quantum Mechanics”.

(a LOUD gavel noise follows from the Judge’s desk): “Patent Approved”. With expected ecstasy Dr. Feline dashes out from the court room with the three musketeers of Quantum Mechanics. They danced all the way to the pub down the street appropriately named “All Symmetry in Eternity” doors wide open and pumping booze for the winners and losers alike or anyone else involved or not involved in the great time machine conundrum.

Dr. Devil was still in business awaiting his many selves to be moved to the edges of the many Universes soon to be contrived by Professor Hugh Everett in the hope of saving determinism as well as his time machine. (Future patent pending).

About the Author: 
Retired Nuclear Engineer and Medical Physicist having a strong interest in Quantum Mechanics with the express intent of being involved in research and development in multiple areas of Quantum Computing.