Tag Archives: dimensions

The Problem of Time

What is time? This is the central mystery of physics. One might think that physics would give a clear answer. Not so. Although most physics is about change, it has lost touch with time. Indeed physics now cloaks time in myths. Let’s see what we can find behind them. British physicist Edward Anderson says: ‘The […]

The Supersymmetry Calamity

Sounds like a The Big Bang Theory episode. Maybe someday it will be. But even in the fields of physics, supersymmetry is esoteric. What is it? What is its calamity? Why should you care? What it is is an idea: Particular superheroes! Here’s their story. The Standard Model is the crown jewel of physics. It […]

At the Same Time . . .

Sir Isaac Newton was a serious two timer long before that term took on its modern meaning. In 1687 he spoke of two kinds of time: Absolute, true, and mathematical time, of itself, and from its own nature flows equably without relation to anything external, and by another name is called duration; [and] relative, apparent […]

Losing Time

Time matters to us all. We are defined by time. Mostly we don’t think about it. But it’s easier to think about than you might expect. Time became important in the 15th century. It came to be synonymous with clocks. Accurate chronometers would help sailors figure where they were at sea. Many made bold voyages—or […]

Before the Big Bang

These days―thanks to the mash-up of Leonard Hofstadter, Sheldon Cooper, David Saltzberg, Ed Robertson and the Barenaked Ladies―most everyone has heard of the Big Bang theory. And most everyone knows it ‘all started with the Big Bang!’ Most everyone is wrong. Wikipedia has it precisely right. It says: The Big Bang theory is the prevailing […]

Three Roads to Multiverses

Last week we took a wide-lens look at the multiverse phenomenon that’s sweeping through the global physics village. Let’s look closer. South African cosmologist George Ellis says (about the simplest multiverses): The proponents are telling us we can state in broad terms what happens 1,000 times as far as our cosmic horizon, 10100 times, 101,000,000 […]

Multiverses versus Universe

In the physics stratosphere a great debate is going on. Physicists say it is about the future of physics and the nature of everything.This may be true, but the issues are also personal. The story starts (or so it seems) with multiverses. Not long poems (though those still get more Google hits), I mean multiple-universe […]

Buddha, Physics and the End of Zen

A history by writer Thomas Hoover tells us that the words and actions of Zen masters through the ages all strive to an end: That end is an intuitive realization of a single great insight―that we and the world are one. … Our rational intellect merely obscures this truth, and consequently we must shut it […]

String Things

One of the neat things about the way the universe began is that it brings out principles that help to follow physics and philosophy that, without them, appear beyond reason. They simplify what lies behind some deep ideas, such as strings. String theories abound in many versions. They are based on fancy math. Their math […]