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Brian Greene: The Hidden Reality

Next week, Brian Greene will release his third popular book.

The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos
will join The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos, two bestsellers that have explained string theory, the nature of space and time, and modern physics in general to millions of readers.

The third book will be dedicated to cosmology - especially to the multiverse and eternal inflation. While many ideas attached to this topic are demonstrably wrong while others are arbitrary i.e. probably wrong and the anthropic people are spreading lots of defeatist emotions, I am confident that the new book will be very good and will present a convincing picture.

The Hidden Reality has already received 9 reviews at amazon.com - where you may also see a preview of the book. 8 of them are 5-star reviews and 1 of them is a 3-star review.

While the book will probably present the "most outrageous" stuff that the "critics" of string theory usually attack - and I feel uncomfortable with some of the stuff myself - don't expect the critics to launch a strike against the book.

After all, the main "critic" who is the informal king of this whole aggressive crackpot movement is employed as a useless shameless parasite and a computer administrator by Brian Greene himself. So with his lack of basic morality, he is just licking Brian's buttocks all the time, despite the fact that he is pouring vitriol on many others for much less serious "sins". There also exists an explanation why Edward Witten - the very king of string theory - gets a similar special, favorable treatment by our "critic" but this blog entry is not primarily about these matters. However, throwing away the taxpayer money is often a dirty business.

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reader David said...

Is "The Hidden Reality" now obsolete because there is a physical interpretation of orthodox M-theory that quantitatively explains the Pioneer anomaly? If the failure of the equivalence principle is cuckoo physics, then does D-brane noise explain dark energy?
Do position matrices for D-branes yield anomalies in Bekenstein-Hawking radiation just as the Heisenberg uncertainty principle yields anomalies in classical radiation models? Physicists know that electromagnetic noise exists, but is there such a thing as D-brane noise?
Are D-branes relevant to physical observations? Do D-branes drain heat from the universe as they help to maintain the curling-up of extra superstring dimensions? Can orthodox M-theory explain dark matter, dark energy, space roar, the Pioneer anomaly, Milgrom’s Law, the CMB anisotropy, and the Koide formula? Can virtual Feynman diagrams and D-brane noise provide a satisfactory physical interpretation of orthodox M-theory?

Physical Interpretation of M-theoretical D-Brane Physics: Dark matter is empirical evidence for neutralinos or other sterile dark matter particles predicted by orthodox M-theory. Dark energy is empirical evidence that D-brane noise exists. For some M-theoretical mathematical reason, D-branes drain heat from the universe and cause the empirical display of D-brane noise. Space roar might be empirical evidence that non-neutralino particles can decay into neutralinos. Space roar might be empirical evidence that neutralinos or similar particles undergo cycles of transition from electromagnetic noise to D-brane noise. The GZK paradox might be empirical evidence that D-brane noise is associated with events near black holes. The -1/2 in Einstein’s field equations is 100% correct but neutralinos or other dark matter matter particles are distributed so that an empirically heuristic distortion appears to occur for the field equations. The heuristic model consists of replacing the -1/2 in the field equations by -1/2 + dark-matter-compensation-constant/2. The cosmological constant in Einstein’s field equations should be equal to zero, but D-brane noise causes the cosmological constant to appear to have a small value representing energy that is gravitationally repulsive. In other words, D-branes cause empty neutralino shells to mysteriously appear in spacetime.

At nks forum applied nks, I have posted quantitative explanations of space roar, the Rañada effect for the Pioneer anomaly, Milgrom’s Law, and the CMB anisotropy. The explanations were framed in terms of heretical M-theory but the explanations are mathematically isomorphic to explanations from orthodox M-theoretical D-brane physics.

reader Luke Lea said...

Lubos: Slightly off topic, but on the subject of large numbers and improbable events I was struck by a claim in this DNA animation (below) which states that a very complex sequence of events involved in the transription of DNA code into protein molecule of hemoglobin occurs one hundred trillion times a second in the human body. This seems like a mindbogglingly large number to times for a mindbloggingly complex event to occur in a single second. Is it possibly true? What other trans-astronomically large numbers are there in nature? In general I guess the number of solutions to a puzzle greatly exceeds the number of pieces in the puzzle (e.g., number of elementary particles in the visible universe). This would make a nice topic, especially if you included the complexity of the brain and of the quantum world. What is the biggest number in nature we can estimate? Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PKjF7OumYo&feature=player_embedded

reader techbiz said...

I recently heard Brian Green’s interview with Terry Gross on NPR regarding his “The Hidden Reality” book, and was struck by his final comment that one of the two things he wants to accomplish in his career is to determine the nature of time. Although I am not a physicist, I work in the quantum world writing software code, and the question of the “nature of time” strikes me as being odd. In my view, that is like asking “what is the nature of an inch,” or a hectare, or an ounce. Time is a measuring tool we humans have created (like inches, hectares and ounces), for the purpose of comparing things, and it is the nature of all tools that humans create and use them to accomplish certain tasks. I know in everyday living, we tend to behave as if this “time” measuring tool we have created somehow has “control” of our lives, but in my view, that is just an excuse for evading self-responsibility. Hopefully, that human weakness isn’t skewing theories of the universe.

reader Luboš Motl said...

Dear techbiz, there are many things one can imagine when we say "time". You imagine responsibility, armchair physicists will offer nonsensical theories, but it's a fact that the meaning of time has transformed in relativity - and even in quantum physics - and is transforming in quantum gravity where it kind of disappears as a fundamental concept but this disappearance is even more subtle than it is for space.

So while I would probably avoid such propositions, being aware that people may imagine all kinds of different things, believe me that what Brian means it tightly connected to empirical science.

Cheers, LM