Schrodinger’s Island

I have come up with what I believe may be a possible way around the problems with time travel and the version of the Grandfather Paradox (GFP) that has been set up at the end of Season 5. It is based on the Quantum Suicide Quantum Immortallity (QSQI) thought experiment, which is a version of the Schrodinger’s Cat thought experiment from the perspective of the cat. Hang on because this will be a little lengthy.

At the end of Season 5 we see a situation that is apparently going to set up a version of the GFP. The Losties have set off a nuclear bomb in the hopes that the end result is the prevention of the building of the Swan. Here are the posibilities that I see:

1) The nuclear blast results in the death of the Losties and the destruction of the Island. This results in the Swan not being built because there is no one left to build it and no Island left to build it on. This in turn results in 815 not crashing and the Losties don’t go back in time to stop the swan from being built. End result: the GFP is set up with the endless time loop that comes along with it.

2)The nuclear blast interacts with the electromagnetic pocket (EMP) in a way that it is negated and the EMP is destroyed. Everybody lives and there is no need for DHARMA to build the Swan. 815 doesn’t crash in the future and we end up with the GFP again.

3)The nuclear blast interacts with the EMP, the Island isn’t destroyed, and the Losties are somehow thrown back to the present. Initially the EMP is contained but then starts to exhibit the build up of energy. So DHARMA builds the Swan (knowing now to be extremely careful) in a way that they can regulate it easily and go ahead with the planned experiments. There is another incedent at the Swan that results in the 108 protocol and the story unfolds as we know it. I am assumming a second incedent based on a notaion on the Blast Door Map that mentions the escape conduits being blocked after an incedent. To me this notation only makes sense if something happened after the Swan was built.

So which scenario plays out? This is where the QSQI is applied. What happens is that due to the special and strange properties of the Island all three scenarios happen at the same time but in different universes. What actually happens is that three copies of the Island are created and each scenario plays out. However, each universe is unaware of the existence of the other universe, each copy of the Losties only percieve the one they are in. Since the first two scenarios result in a timeloop due to the GFP, a version of the Losties are always traveling back to ensure that the nuclear bomb explodes. The third scenario is free to continue on. Now we already know that the Island is shrouded from the rest of the world due to the fact that it exists roughly 36 minutes behind the rest of the world. As long as nothing happens to bring the Island in sync with the world the timeloops will continue around and around thus ensuring that the tird scenario plays out. If the Losties trapped in the timeloops ever figure out that they are in a timeloop and somehow escape everything collapses.

The way that the QSQI was set up was with a man isolated in a room with a gun to his head. there was also a particle in the room and a detection device that the gun was hooked up to. the detection device was set up in a way that if it detected the particle was spining clockwise the gun would fire and kill the man. If the particle spun counterclockwise the man would hear a click from the gun but no bullit is fired. As long as no one from the outside looks in on the man both versions will happen in two different universes that are created when the particle is detected.

I know there are some problems with what I just presented and I know your comments will be very insightful in the matter. I consider this to be just one way the writers could go and it is something that I consider to be plausible although far fetched. I hope you enjoy it.

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Lungbarrow, Achalli Number516644 Sit down before fact like a little child, and be prepared to give up every preconcieved notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. - T.H. Huxley

15 thoughts on “Schrodinger’s Island

  1. I have been thinking about the time loop theory and alternate universes and I am starting to get more confused. There is already a time loop with the actions that Daniel Faraday did, such as warn the Scientist (I just forgot his name) to send his wife and son off the island,etc. and Jack, Kate and Sawyers involvement in Ben’s loss of innocence.

    Now if they blow up the island, I am thinking that the time loop will stop. At first I thought it would keep it going. But if you think about the island being uninhabitable from 1977 on then the Darma Initiative will never go there and never build a hatch in that particular universe.

    I keep ending up in my head with two paralell universes. One with everyone on the island dying in 1977 and the other with the losties and Darma people never going to the island and fighting their battle elsewhere.

    It seems hard to imagine no more island for a whole season though.

    What do you think? Is their a way to explain the loop continuing after a nuclear holcaust?

  2. I think it’s kind of scenario 3 with some differences. Everything the Losties did back in 1977 led up to them revealing inadvertently to the DI exactly what kind of dangers to expect when drilling at the Swan Site and how to deal with them. I’m not sure about another incident though… I think that might be just something that was mentioned way back when but then later was modified as the story changed slightly. But it’s totally possible.

    In my opinion a grandfather paradox will not occur at all. Can you go back in time and kill your grandfather? Yes, you can, but did you? The fact that you’re here means that you didn’t. So can the Losties go back in time and prevent themselves from coming to the island? Yes, they can, but the fact that they’re there means that they didn’t.

    I don’t think the grandfather paradox will factor into things at all.

  3. It’s all going to depend on which way the writers go. I think one of the problems that we’re having with all of this time travel business is that we haven’t been shown what originally happened. We can take a guess because of what was said in the original orientation film we saw (implying that something happened after the Swan was built). So the question comes down to whether or not something was changed and what exactly did change.

  4. Highbrow I’ve been meaning to ask you if you consider alternate timelines, parallel universes, and multiple universes to be the same thing?

    Ishkabible I don’t think scenario #1 in mu theory will play out on it’s own. If it does it will be in a parallel universe running concurrently with the other two universe. However each universe will not be aware of the other two.

    I suggest checking out the Quantum Suicide entery on wikipedia because that is what I based this theory on.

  5. Achalli, thanks for steering me over to this theory! I haven’t been on the site much lately, so I wouldn’t want to miss any good theories!

    Please post these good reads in theories! They merit attention!

    In terms of Lost, it would appear that Scenario #3, is the most likely from what we have seen thus far. However, I tend to subscribe to the notion that we are also looking at a ‘looping’ situation, in addition.

    I have a theory I am working on, but likely won’t be able to post for a bit. I believe it will support some of your thoughts!

    The writers have stated, that they have written Lost in a fashion that will avoid any paradoxes. So, take that with a grain of salt.

    I do believe that ‘the incident’ written on the Blast Door Map, of 1985, is different than what we have just witnessed in 1977.

    The only way this could be different, would be if someone had found a way to go back to the past time line, and alter the course of events, in order to prevent the latter from occuring.

    I believe you suggested this, also.

    Great thoughts Achalli.

  6. Yeah I ment to put this in the theories section but I neglected to make sure that I had checked the theory box, my bad. I believe that scenario three will be what we see play out. As I was looking into paradoxes I had these scenarios worked out as the possible results of the nuclear blast. Then I stumbled upon the Quantum Suicide Quantum Immortality entry on Wikipedia. What really gelled was when the entry mentioned a variant using a nuclear bomb. That’s when I started to apply it to what we saw in the finale and a possible way around the Grandfather Paradox (assuming that they prevented the building of the Swan). I’ve also noticed that by having all three scenarios happen at the same time (like I discussed (with the first two scenarios in an endless loop that allows scenario 3 to happen and play out) that this theory dovetails well with using Chaos Theory that you have mentioned before (the time loops essentially set up a feedback loop). As to the blast door map there are a couple of other things that stand out to me that will likely end up as a post (and maybe I’ll remember to check the right box next time). One more question for you, have you ever seen the movie ‘Primer’? It’s very interesting and deals with the problem of time travel and unintended consequences. I highly recomend it.

  7. Achalli, actually my good pal losts-columbo recommended ‘Primer’ to me some time ago. He posted about it as well. I saw it, and I loved it! He also recommended PI, but as I started to watch it, realized that I needed to have all my wits about me to fully absorb it. It’s still on the schedule, though!

    As for the nuclear blast, you are correct IMO. My limited understanding of ‘wormholes’ and ‘time loops’, and ‘strings’ tell me, that they are generally created by such blasts, or meteors, asteroids, etc.

    All quite feasible!

    Again, nice theory! Can’t wait for the next one!

  8. Achalli, thanks for referring me to the QSQI theory on wikipedia. Now my head is spinning. I only took physics for liberal arts majors which was useless. Also it is so removed from reality to not consider death from natural causes. I think your explanation was actually clearer once I read it a second time. The three universes at once will also lead to a better storyline since we can go back to the island.

    I have actually started to wonder if Eloise Hawking and possibly some of the others might actually have jumped universes to guide the losties to a certain outcome that sets up the continuation of the paradox
    for the benefit of thier original universe.

  9. Yeah Dabs, ‘Primer’ is great. It definately takes several viewings to get a grasp of it. I thought that those two were going through way to much effort to make time travel worthwhile.

  10. thanks Achalli, i know most assumptions are that it did explode and i’ve always thought that it probably didn’t. when i was reading your 3 scenarios, i was wondering what you’d think would have happened if the bomb hadn’t exploded?

    another thought going on in my mind related to the 3 scenarios playing out at the same time in different universes. in the finale of ST: TNG, Picard is existing in 3 separate time periods and is trying to save humanity by working together with his 3 selves. (if you haven’t guessed already im a big Star trek fan!!). your theory of what may happen sounds similar to this episode.

    it does seems like the writers have been using other shows for inspiration.

  11. I_Am-Jacob, the bomb not exploding would just be another scenario that happens at the sametime as the other 3 scenarios in the context of my theory. For purposes of simplicity I just presented 3 but there really wouldn’t be a limit to the possibillities, they just all happen at once. I hope that helps.

    I wasn’t thinking of the TNG finale when I wrote this but that would be a good analogy. Thanks for pointing that out.

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