Physicists have been struggling for some time to figure out why our universe is so comfy. Why, for example, are the fundamental constants – like the mass of the electron or the strength of the forces – just right for the emergence of life? Tweak them too much and life, stars, galaxies, the universe as we know it wouldn’t exist.
The universe is big, but it’s peanuts compared to the eternally inflating multiverse. But just how many universes are there? What are they like? And most importantly, what can they tell us about … aliens?
One of the most startling possibilities is that our 3+1 dimensional universe may better described as resulting from a spacetime one dimension lower – like a hologram projected from a surface infinitely far away.
We’ve established by now that black holes are weird. The result of absolute gravitational collapse of a massive body: a point of hypothetical infinite density surrounded by an event horizon. At that horizon time is frozen and the fabric of space itself cascades inwards at the speed of light. Nothing can travel faster than light, and so nothing can escape from below the event horizon- not matter, not light, not even information.
If you have perfect knowledge of every single particle in the universe, can you use the laws of physics to rewind all the way back to the Big Bang? Is the entire history of the universe perfectly knowable? Or has information somehow lost along the way?
Black holes are very well known but… What is a White Hole?
Wormholes, hypercubes, Flatland, and more – Join Neil deGrasse Tyson as he explores time and higher dimensions with comic co-host Harrison Greenbaum and mathematician John Allen Paulos. To start off, Neil explains the concept of a fourth spatial coordinate. Then, our trio compares our knowledge of a possible 4th dimension to the Flatlander’s knowledge of the 3rd dimension in Edwin Abbott’s book Flatland. Ponder the idea that we’re prisoners of our three-dimensions, echoing the shortcomings of Abbott’s two-dimensional beings. You’ll also investigate the film Interstellar and its use of wormholes and the 5th dimension. Physicist James Kakalios, returning guest and Read More