Thursday, March 02, 2006

parallel universes

You know how I suggested that there may be life on other planets we cannot see, or sense, or perceive at all? And Larry said that that is like Buddah thinking.

I received this e-mail from Michele, a friend, on parallel universes.


Physicist explores possibility of parallel universes
Researching gravity offers weight to theories of unknown dimensions
ROSE SIMONE

RECORD STAFF
Physicist Lisa Randall says parallel universes may really exist.

WATERLOO (Mar 2, 2006)
Parallel universes. Other-worldly dimensions.
That's weird stuff of Star Trek and other science fiction shows.
But while trying to answer puzzling questions about gravity, the force that keeps us on the ground, Lisa Randall, a Harvard theoretical physicist, has also journeyed into the possibilities of parallel universes.
And her theories could be tested.
Randall, who spoke in Waterloo during last night's public lecture put on by the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, does not believe we can travel to these other universes.
They would be radically different to our own. Any life there would be unlike anything we can perceive, she adds.
But she has good reasons to believe other dimensions and universes exist.
Better still, she thinks there may be solid scientific evidence coming when the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva is switched on in 2007.
"There really could be extra dimensions and that has big implications," she says. "Cosmologically, we could be living in a much bigger universe."
Randall is considered one of today's most promising theoretical physicists. Her work is frequently cited in scientific journals.
Ever since her popular book, Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions, was published, she has been on a hectic public lecture tour.
Everyone is familiar with the three "dimensions" of our space. We can move left or right, backward and forward, up and down.
But there could be other universes that have with fewer or more "degrees of freedom," Randall says.
It is nearly impossible to imagine this. But Randall says 19th-century author Edwin A. Abbott provided a good analogy in his book, Flatland.
Abbott imagined a creature that could only exist on a flat surface. He wondered what that creature would see if a big ball from our universe passed through his two-dimensional world. The creature wouldn't be able to see a ball. He would see a series of flat disks on his horizon, changing in size as the ball passed through.
Likewise, we could not see something from another dimension, but we might be able to see its effects in our world, Randall says.
The standard model of physics explains electrons, protons, neutrons and other particles, as well as forces of nature like electromagnetism. And physicist Albert Einstein demonstrated how big objects like the earth can warp the fabric of spacetime to produce the force that we know of as gravity.
Yet "big puzzles" remain, she says.
Scientists would like a "grand unified theory" to explain all particles and forces in our universe, including gravity, in one package.
But to make the mathematics work out, they need to insert a big "fudge factor" into their equations. This "fudge" is 16 digits in size, Randall says. "So the question is, 'What's going on?' "
In her work, Randall builds "models" of spacetime with other dimensions that provide intriguing answers. One of the questions she is trying to answer is why gravity is so weak compared with other forces. Although people think gravity is strong, a tiny magnet can pick up a paperclip, she says.
Randall says gravity might be weak in our universe, but strong elsewhere.
One concept Randall has explored is the idea of a "brane," which comes from the word "membrane." In this concept, our three-dimensional universe could be imagined as floating in a "higher-dimensional" space. And this larger "space" could contain other universes, other branes, as well.
Imagine an Oreo cookie -- two flat surfaces with cream in between. The two flat surfaces are branes. The cream is the "bulk" of higher dimensional space we can't see. These two branes may only be separated by a fraction of a centimetre, but we are stuck on our own surface, so we can't see the other brane, Randall says.
The particles of our world are restricted to our brane, she adds. "You can imagine it like a shower curtain that has water droplets stuck on it."
But gravity is a force affected by the entire geometry of the larger space.
In the giant particle-smashing machine that opens in Geneva next year, scientists hope to create particles that might have properties that could be predicted to exist if they were affected by gravity from another dimension.
"That would be strong evidence that these extra dimensions exist," she says. Her work doesn't have practical applications right now.
Einstein's theory of gravity didn't have practical applications at the time, but today, it is used to make the global positioning system (GPS) of satellites function, she says.
So as scientists learn about the bigger picture, "you never know what will happen."
rsimone@therecord.com

For me this confirms a lot of my own wild thinking. Thought I like to share it as a continuation of that discussion we had before

Wild Thing

16 comments:

wild thing said...

I thought to try out Larry's instructions on editing or deleting posts. I wanted to try with this one, cause it doesn't really invite conversation and maybe it just takes up room. But first I wanted to see if I could correct my misspellings of parallel. It slipped through and it bugs me. So, I found the place to edit. I did. But I don't know how to make it effective on the post. Unless maybe delete the whole post first and replace it with the edited one. I did not see a place to delete. I am not experimenting with it, aware of dt's warning that I could be nearly as powerful as Leslie and make the whole dovetale blog system crash.

X said...

WT, are you trying to remove a posting or a comment?

X said...

I don't have the screen in front of me, but my guess from memory is you could simply republish... there's probably a place that says that? Try correcting your spelling mistake and then republish...

Larry Keiler said...

Far as Larry can tell, you just need to click on Publish Post at the bottom of the page...orange button.

w.t. said...

As far as you were concerned you were right on, Larry. It worked that way. I feel better having been able to make that correction. It was so in my face. Now next step: what do I do to remove a post?

Larry Keiler said...

Have you tried the eraser on the end of the pencil?

Alternative: Sorry, once you put it in the mailbox, it's the property of Canada Post. You can't get it back. And it's best not to get caught with your hand in the mailbox. It could go badly for you.

2nd Alternative: On the Edit Posts page, each previous post has its own line, dated etc. On the far right of the line is the word Delete. That's the button you click to delete a post.

To Delete a Comment is a whole other thing. If you are signed in to the blog, which you must be to post (but not necessarily to comment) you will see a little trash can at the end of comments. Click on that to be led thru the process of deletion.

w.t. said...

Thank you Larry. I'm in awe of your teaching skills. I always get it when you explain. That's a compliment from a slowpokey, fuzzy head like me.

I was thinking of removing this post but changed my mind. Your explanation may help others that are wondering how to do things.

Marianne said...

Hey there WT!

So we're all using the same lingo, this is a comment. A post is the original posting that sparked it all...

WT, I'm assuming u were contemplating removing the comment. The posting, for the most part, stays where it is until it becomes archived, or unless something really REALLY offensive was said (and then I'd take the liberty to remove it as the administrator), or if the original writer made a mistake and wanted to fix/change it (as with your spelling mistake)...

Sometimes, a comment shows up that is really a spam sales pitch from an outsider. I remove those too - although that hasn't happened in a long time.

w.t. said...

I had contemplated removing the post. I did say so. But more I wanted to fix spelling mistakes. And foremost I also wanted to know how to do these things. I understand what you are saying, Marianne. Posts stay.I WAS aware of the difference between posts and comments. No doubt in my mind. Still, I'm learning, I'm learning... about facts. Facts under the heading of parallel universes. Being practical while dreaming about the unknown.

Birthday girl said...

Here is the stupidest saying in the world. "Curiousity killed the cat, satisfaction brought him back." Curiosity is good!

wild thing said...

Never heard the second part. Maybe that's why they need nine lives. To enhance their curiosity? In their ninth life they die of satisfaction, for good?

I'm uncertain about Aries. Why is she pulling out her hair? Just a skin thing? Is she sick? Would she sit in the middle of the room, purring her heart out if she were sick? It ain't easy to understand cats.

I tried to phone birthday girl. At 4:00 pm. Only answering machine. But you must be back from Toronto if you blogged just before noon. Maybe not. You've got a coming-along-with-you-computer. Just thought of that now. I'll try once more. Happy Birthday anyway. No time but 'present' time.

birthday girl said said...

I'm sorry I missed you, Wild Thing! We did indeed make it home from StageWest earlier in the day, although I could have surfed the blog at the hotel last night... they had internet TV. However, an unexpected "emergency" at the studio meant I had to go in and meet with the landlord around 2, and I didn't get home until now... all's fine at the studio, but since I didn't really get to relax today as I had intended, I'm going to celebrate tomorrow. Plan to go to the Y in the morning, just hang out in the hot tub after some gentle exercise.... If you want to go to Timmy's for a "Roll Up the Rim to Lose" coffee or hot chocolate in the early afternoon, or even Wednesday, let me know.

Pisces said...

I hope Aries is feeling fine - surely she will be by next month, when Aries reigns astrologically..

wilder than ever thing said...

Wild Thing's zipper busted on boots. One boot. Not much good that way in bad weather. Hopped in Payless, just to see. Found these Wild Thing, wild boots, bright red, with a bit of white trim, and sparkly gold through the laces. Very warm. Very waterproof. The pricetag on them $59,99. The price I payed, $12,- The brand is Airwalk. My neighbour told me that''s one of the best. I didn't know. I almost feel like I shopped at the Grasshopper. Funky!

Birthday girl, I am sorry, but tomorrow I leave at 10 a.m and am not sure what time in the afternoon I will be back. Wednesday, after the dog walk, I get some people over for an early lunch. That won't get late. Maybe if the weather lasts and Simon had the walks he needed, I can hop on my bike, Wednesday afternoon. But it won't be really early. As far as I know I am free all Thursday. Well, one of my friends once stated, "A birthday ain't over until the last card is in."

Picses, I sure hope that Zodiac Aries brings luck for Aries. But she slowly starts to look like a skunk. I may have to pick the brain of the vet and the contents of my wallet.

Just realised I am a Bull.(Taurus)
Watch out for Wild thing seeing RED boots.

Birthday girl said...

Dear Bull,
Wednesday late afternoon doesn't work for the two-fishes-swimming-in-opposite-directions, but there's always Mar 6, 2007! LOLOLOLOL!

Sometime, m'friend, we'll get together. In the meantime, I send you my love. Take care of yourself, and Aries.

I leave you with two songs - "These Boots are Made for Walking" (Nancy Sinatra)and the punk-rock classic, "The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes" (Elvis Costello).

the scarlet bull said...

When I was very, very young, I read a book called, (free translated from the Dutch), "The Firy Red Little shoes." There was a whole adventure with those shoes and the girl who had them. I think they danced. But I sadly forgot the plot. Just remember that I liked it a lot.

One of my favouritest films ever had nothing to do with shoes or boots, but with the colour that makes furies out of bulls. It was called the Red Balloon. I believe, originally a French film. I've read the book, I've seen the film, several times. An enchanting story.

Love Nancy Sinatra's Boots Song. My boots are not of the "walking over you" quality. More like mukluks, soft. Maybe angels would like them. I don't think I know that song. Guess I wasn't very alert to punk rock.

Whatsyedoingthursdaythen?

My assumed name for this comment could be an inn or a tea emporium, or a wine garden. Can you see the sign over the door or at the gate?