Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Quantum Theory and the Multiverse

One of the things that has made my eleven minute animation so popular is that it gives the general public a way to imagine the extraordinary implications of quantum physics, and the multiverse, something that many would have thought impossible. Having worked their way through these ideas gives some people a new sense of wonder about the incredible universe in which we live. On the other hand, others have reacted with knee-jerk outrage, dismissing the entire project as "new age What the Bleep hippie crap".

From the outset, I have made it very clear that this is a work of creative exploration and intuition from a non-scientist. Hoping to get over the label of "crackpot" so that we can discuss these unique ideas in their proper context, I have embraced the term: in the scientific community, a crackpot is one who advances ideas even though they have no formal training in the area they are speaking about, and that is a fair description. What I have created is not a theory, it is a framework for discussion, and the almost two million unique visitors who have flocked to the tenth dimension site show that these ideas have strong resonances for a great many people from around the world.

Does acknowledging that I am a composer, not a physicist, make this an easy target for naysayers assuming that this is some sort of a scam, or that my ideas must automatically be wrong? Would I have been smarter to conceal my background and let people assume that this new way of imagining the dimensions is already accepted by mainstream science? My feeling was that these ideas showed too much promise to be discarded, and I have made every effort to be forthright from the outset of this project about my qualifications.

In the current issue of "What Is Enlightenment?" magazine, senior associate editor Tom Huston had some very kind words to say about this project. From a 2 1/2 page article entitled "Your 3-D Universe is So Passé", here are some of his comments:

"...the highlight of the site is a delightfully lucid Flash animation... explaining how each successive dimension builds and expands on the dimensions below it.... and by the time we arrive at the tenth dimension, which comes across as a kind of Teilhardian Omega Point encompassing absolutely every possible timeline of every possible universe, 'there's no place left to go'."
"...the simplicity of Bryanton's ten-dimensional model is striking, and he points out at the beginning of his book that what he's proposing has little to do with the incredibly intricate mathematical formulas comprising the theories espoused by Greene, Randall, and other professional physicists. His multiple dimensions are purely speculative and built on logical consistency, requiring nothing more than a basic grasp of high school geometry to understand."
"His argument hangs together surprisingly well, testifying to the more than two decades of thought he put into his model before revealing it to the world. In chapters with such diverse titles as "The Quantum Observer", "The Paradoxes of Time Travel", and "Memes, Music and Memory", Bryanton's multidimensional matrix manages to make sense out of more mysteries than any one theory should justly be able to handle."
"Some forum participants have remarked on the similarity between Bryanton's model and the ten sefirot of Kabbalah, which represent the hierarchical gradations of divine creation, while others have suggested that the whole thing is just a novel elucidation of the paradoxical wisdom of Zen"
"Bryanton's Imagining the Tenth Dimension is conveying the concept of alternate dimensions to an audience that might never pick up a book on cosmology, string theory, or quantum geometry. And judging from some of the comments it has been garnering in the blogosphere, it's expanding worldviews, blowing minds, and provoking plenty of philosophical and spiritual inquiry as well".

This project is about the interesting ways that physics and philosophy seem to be traveling towards agreement as to the nature of reality. I have compared it to an amazing science fiction book I read as a child, Madeline L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time". That book awakened my eight-year-old brain to the possibilities of there being much more to our reality than what we see before us, in the same way that Imagining the Tenth Dimension is doing so for a new generation of thinkers and dreamers. Teachers who have shown my animation to their students have used it as a jumping off point for discussions of multidimensional topology, political theory, philosophy, and cosmology.

As a way to awaken curiosity and challenge narrow thinking, this project has proven to be very effective. As one fan wrote to me, "this isn't string theory, but it's right" (my blog entry about Intuition is, in a way, a response to those kind words). Anyone who has wrestled with the challenging implications of quantum physics, entanglement, the multiverse, and the role of the observer should come away with a sense that we are only beginning to understand how rich and strange our reality and our place within that reality really is. Please check out the book " Quantum Enigma" by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner, two physics professors from the University of Santa Cruz, for a level-headed discussion of consciousness and its relation to quantum mechanics.

Enjoy the journey,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "official" Common Market definition of an EXPERT - in the early 1990s - was "X" the unknown factor "spirt" a drip under pressure. Regardless of what others might say - your own visual interpretaion of "Imagining the Tenth Dimension" - is ABSOLUTELY SPOT-ON from the 1st person singular present tense perspective and does NOT depend on a third person "telling-us" how to interpret the experience.


Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist