A Scientist Talks About Alternate Worlds

I’ve spent the last 30 years deeply engaged in the study of Eastern and Western esoteric world views, so the topic of my last two posts, the legendary realm of Shambhala, does not seem impossible to me.  No more so than astral worlds or Faerie, or any number of things our senses do not perceive.  It’s not so often, however, that you hear a respected scientist support the existence of unseen realms, but I did this morning. Brian Green, a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia, was nominated for a Nobel Prize for his first book, The Elegant Universe, 1999, a discussion of string theory for laypeople.

Brian Green

I heard him on NPR discussing alternate universes, in a January interview that was rebroadcast on the occasion of the paperback release of his latest book, The Hidden Reality:  Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos, 2011.  (Link to the NPR Interview: http://www.npr.org/2011/11/04/141931728/exploring-the-hidden-reality-of-parallel-worlds ) According to Green, string theory is an attempt to bridge mathematical conflicts between Einstein’s theory of relativity, which accurately describes the behavior of large objects, and quantum mechanics, which details what is very small.  String theory, however, posits ten physical dimensions – that’s seven that we cannot perceive.

Green says:  “You almost can’t avoid having some version of the multiverse in your studies if you push deeply enough in the mathematical descriptions of the physical universe.  There are many of us thinking of one version of parallel universe theory or another. If it’s all a lot of nonsense, then it’s a lot of wasted effort going into this far-out idea. But if this idea is correct, it is a fantastic upheaval in our understanding.”

In addition to the half-hour NPR interview referenced above, you can check out more of what Green has to say about string theory on The Elegant Universe, a three hour presentation he hosted on Nova:  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/

As Mulder and Scully insisted, “The truth is out there.”

2 thoughts on “A Scientist Talks About Alternate Worlds

    • I downloaded the book, but so far have just read the intro. I saw David Green on Nova on Wednesday, however, narrating the quantum mechanics and the string theory episodes. Very well produced, with graphics that helped explain the concepts and interviews with people holding opposing points of view.

      Tonight I heard Green on NPR, explaining the experiment in Switzerland which appeared to find neutrinos going faster than the speed of light. It’s nice to have a solid scientist who can communicate his excitement like that.


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