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Science in the News > Multiple universes?

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message 1: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten | 161 comments

I was reading on Twitter (a great source, I know, don't judge) that they are finding proof of other universes. What do you guys think? Possible or just a cool idea?

message 2: by Alex (new)

Alex Well, "proof" is overstating it considerably. There's no proof. A lot of Hawking's new book is all about this; it's tied up in M theory.

That guy Albrecht is kindof a dick, huh? Ha.

message 3: by David (new)

David Rubenstein | 918 comments Mod
Kirsten wrote: "

I was reading on Twitter (a great source, I know, don't judge) that they are finding proof of other univer..."

Kirsten, it's possible, it's also a cool idea, but that's about far as it goes. As mentioned in the excellent article that you quoted, there is no evidence that multiple universes exist, and there might never be a way to prove or to disprove the idea. As the article mentions, the idea is a counter-argument against the so-called "anthropic principle", that the universe has been fine-tuned so that life on Earth could thrive. If there are multiple universes, each with a different set of fundamental physical constants, then we just happen to have grown in one of the (minority of) universes that is favorable toward life.

message 4: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten | 161 comments Hmmm, very interesting. I've always thought that anthropic principles were egotistical, I run into them a lot in my field.

By proof I meant possible evidence. So basically it's a cool idea, but unlikely? Or if it is possible, then probably the other universes are much different from ours?

Physics is turning out to be better than I thought.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 368 comments The way I read it is as "possible, but hard to think of an experiment that would prove it one way or the other." Interesting concept, though.

message 6: by Alex (new)

Alex This stuff...I realize this might be what every age says, but I don't get it. I feel like the last thing that was understandable was Einstein. I more or less get the theory of relativity. Quantum theories...I don't understand it. I can tell people what it's about, but I don't get it. And Feynman agrees with me, of course - his famous quote, which I'm paraphrasing, "I think it's safe to say that no one understands quantum theories."

And that's the step before string or M theory! It's M theory that leads to parallel dimensions. It's not proven; it's just our best guess so far. It seems convoluted to me, but then, there were loads of people who thought this whole "earth revolving around the sun" thing wasn't exactly intuitive. After all, I'm sitting on my couch right now.

message 7: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten | 161 comments So I guess Brian Greene read my mind and wrote a book about this. I picked up a copy at Barnes and Noble yesterday. The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos

message 8: by Alex (new)

Alex Oh good; I'm planning on checking that out, but it'll be nice to hear your opinion first.

message 9: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten | 161 comments I'll be sure and let you know. The cover looks cool at any rate, and if you're a B&N member, it's almost half off.

message 10: by Alex (new)

Alex I've heard about that cover. Have yet to actually see it live.

message 11: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten | 161 comments You should definitely check it out. And depending on how quickly I read the book, you can probably have my copy.

message 12: by Alex (new)

Alex Well, that would be lovely!

message 13: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten | 161 comments Sure! I'll get reading.

message 14: by Alex (new)

Alex I have my reading planned out for at least a month right now, so don't feel like you have to rush things. And besides, maybe it'll be good enough that you'll want to keep it around.

message 15: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten | 161 comments Perhaps, but I'm not really attached to books outside of my field. I let them follow their own karma and usually lend/give them to others to enjoy. Books in my field get written all over. I have a couple of books to read too...I'll let you know.

message 16: by Adam (new)

Adam | 55 comments I want to get the new Brian Greene book.

To be honest, you need to take things involving String Theory, Super Symmetry and M-Theory with a bit of a grain of salt. These are all mathematical models predicting that things could go one way or another. None of it has really been observed yet. There are actually a number of models out there. But mathematical "proof" or prediction cannot replace experimental physics.... and this is coming from someone who strictly wants to be a Theorist haha.

message 17: by Alex (new)

Alex What's your field again, Kirsten?

message 18: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten | 161 comments I have a degree in Environmental Science, but have a particularly strong background in water and other natural resources, geology, and ecology and a strong interest in public policy.

Adam-I take almost everything with a grain of salt.

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 368 comments Yeah, salt is good for you (in reading science, anyway!).

message 20: by Matt (new)

Matt | 26 comments Before you are blown away by Greene, read Peter Woit's book, "Not Even Wrong".

message 21: by David (new)

David Rubenstein | 918 comments Mod
I've heard some good things about Matt's suggestion, Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory And the Search for Unity in Physical Law, though I haven't read it myself.

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