Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Polls Archive 31-What's Before and After?

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"Physicist Sean Carroll says our universe is a temporary deviation from symmetry. This means that "before" the beginning and "after" the end of our universe, then, is really the exact same state: enfolded symmetry." Poll ended January 13 2009. 70% agreed, while the rest disagreed.

I've talked many times about Gevin Giorbran's amazing book, Everything Forever - Learning to See Timelessness. The fact that Gevin is no longer with us but asked me to take over the promotion of his book since his death has nothing to do with my mentioning it here: as I've been saying since I first came across Gevin's work a couple of years ago, his is a groundbreaking text about the nature of the multiverse, and he provides us with remarkable insights into understanding the underlying enfolded symmetry state that our universe both comes from and is headed towards.

Gevin's work dovetailed very nicely with the logical way of visualizing the ten spatial dimensions I've shown to the world with my project, and Gevin was even so kind as to devote a few pages of his book towards describing how well he thought our two approaches fit together. In the almost three years since my book was published, I have been using this blog and the tenth dimension forum to catalog the many advances that have happened in the work of theoretical physicists that appear to be moving us towards the same understanding that Gevin and I had been talking about when we wrote our books. In fact, I've been doing this not just with science, but with a great many other subjects, including ancient spirituality, mysticism, and philosophy, and it's been remarkable to see how many of these threads can be pulled together.

On the science front there are many theories out there as to the mysteries of dark matter, dark energy, gravity, the multiverse, extra dimensions, and so on. When I see a viewpoint that has resonances with what Gevin and I pointed towards, I promote it. Does that mean that I'm picking and choosing, and when I come across a new theory that might oppose the direction Gevin and I were heading in, I generally don't report it? Of course! In the same way, a scientist who is adamantly convinced that there are no extra dimensions is more likely to pursue theories which exist only within the four dimensions of spacetime.

Which brings us to physicist Sean Carroll, whose work I paid tribute to in a blog entry called "Time in Either Direction":

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I also talked about Sean's ideas in my entry "Scrambled Eggs"...

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...and in my blog entry "The Big Bang and the Big Pie".

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Our poll question we're looking at here is about a theory which Scientific American attributed to Sean Carroll, but his theories are easily connected to an idea that has been promoted by myself, and by Gevin Giorbran. I would sum the idea up like this: there is a way of thinking about the fabric of reality which is outside of spacetime, in a place where the wave function of all outcomes for our universe happens simultaneously (as we mentioned last blog entry, physicist Tim Palmer has just published a paper where he calls this idea "the invariant set"). Once you have that image in your mind, it becomes possible to visualize how our universe is a temporary deviation from an underlying symmetry state, which exists both "before" and "after" our universe, in a state that is "outside" of space-time.

Here's a link to a powerpoint presentation from Dr. Carroll in which he talks about the nature of time and space and how a universe as unlikely as our own could spring from the multiverse: Sean Carroll is also a regular contributor to the science blog Cosmic Variance, a good place for lively discussions, check it out.

Notice how Sean calls his site ""? Let's finish with a song of mine about our highly unlikely universe: "The Anthropic Viewpoint":

A direct link to the above video is at
Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Next: Polls Archive 32 - Is Time a Direction?

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