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His area of research is superstring theory, a theory that purports to give us a quantum theory of gravity as well as a unified theory of all forces and all matter. As such, superstring theory has the potential to realize Einstein's long sought dream of a single, all encompassing, theory of the universe. One of the strangest features of superstring theory is that it requires the universe to have more than three spatial dimensions. Much of his research has focused on the physical implications and mathematical properties of these extra dimensions --- studies that collectively go under the heading "quantum geometry".
Quantum geometry differs in substantial ways from the classical geometry underlying general relativity. For instance, topology change (the "tearing" of space) is a sensible feature of quantum geometry even though, from a classical perspective, it involves singularities. As another example, two different classical spacetime geometries can give rise to identical physical implications, again at odds with conclusions based on classical general relativity.
Superstring theory is most relevant under extreme physical conditions such as those that existed at the time of the big bang. Recently, Columbia have formed a new institute called ISCAP (Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics) dedicated to understanding the interface of superstring theory and cosmology. One primary focus of ISCAP is the search for subtle signatures of string theory that may be imprinted in the precision cosmological data that will be collected through a variety of experiments over the next decade.
What I mean by that is current knowledge and observation of our universe through the newly discovered ever increasingly faster expansion of the universe would dictate in theory that what we know today could one day be this so called "event horizon" you discuss, where "the boundary in space time beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer" is in reality something we in fact observed and affected us at an earlier point in history.
Originally posted by Orwells Ghost
I have indeed watched the video's and much like dark matter/energy, black holes and other mathematical constructs so prevalent in modern cosmology, have seen nothing to change my mind as to this being anything other than numbers on a screen. While I don't doubt the importance of theoretical physics or the usefulness of exploring these ideas, they forever lay beyond the realm of experimentation and therefore are firmly in the domain of thought rather than empiricism.
"Today's scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality." - Nikola Tesla
“I do not hesitate to state here for future reference and as a test of the accuracy of my scientific forecast that flying machines and ships propelled by electricity transmitted without wire will have ceased to be a wonder in ten years from now. I would say five were it not that there is such a thing as “inertia of human opinion” resisting revolutionary ideas.”
“If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search... I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.”
I have indeed watched the video's and much like dark matter/energy, black holes and other mathematical constructs so prevalent in modern cosmology, have seen nothing to change my mind as to this being anything other than numbers on a screen
Originally posted by Ericthenewbie
reply to post by longjohnbritches
Interesting yet somewhat frustrating story.
What I mean by that is I need to understand your friend's definition of "faith"... do you mean "faith" as a firm belief in something for which there is no proof (complete trust) or do you mean "faith" as a belief and trust in and loyalty to God (belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion)?
There's a big difference in my mind.
That aside.. I always find it interesting that society has an inability not to categorize/label things. If one doesn't know, why can't one just say they don't know and leave it at that. Not knowing now doesn't mean it can't be known later.
Interestingly enough Brian Greene does address the "bang" component of the "big bang" in his presentation by talking about "inflationary cosmology"...in a nut shell there's the idea that multiple "big bangs" occured each creating a different universe leading to as he says a "multiverse" reality.
Originally posted by roadgravel
"Why does our universe appear so exquisitely tuned to create the conditions necessary for life"
Maybe it is the other way around.
Life is tuned to exist within the conditions of the universe.
Originally posted by Ericthenewbie
I'm aware that Brian Greene has been discussed previously on ATS (see thread at bottom) and for those familiar with his work, consider this an update,