This is the follow up to Brians earlier book The Fabric of the Cosmos that I reviewed here previously. This book continues with an overview as to where the world of physics thinks the nature of reality lies. The subtitle “Parallel Universes and the deep laws of the Cosmos” give us a clue as to what that direction is.
As before, the book is written in a style that some may find challenging however, at around 300 odd pages, I got through this one substantially quicker than the previous book.
The theories are developed as they appeared chronologically over the last three decades, however, it is shown frequently that ideas that underpinned their creation were usually developed in earlier times and because there wasn’t the technology or means by which to quantify these proposals, they were usually largely ignored by the scientific communities of their days.
On a personal level, I took much heart from that disclosure, the fact that these people chose to create these frameworks against the mainstream accepted norm and were either villified or discounted must have taken a personal toll on some. However science prefers to quantify and qualify it’s data, it’s consistently shown that it took an instinctive leap of faith from some quarters to move science on, demonstrating that external movement is usually generated from an unsubstantiated internal generating mechanism.
The book shows how the string theory built on in the earlier book has provided new models of viewing the reality of the universe and cosmos. And the surprising growing consensus is that for the maths and the models to work, the idea of parallel or multiverse theories are central to the theories workings.
By the end of the book, the author summerises the nine different multiverse theories built up throughout, a couple of which are entirely theoretical, a couple are based on mathmatics as the central premise and the rest, showing some form of concurring experimental data.
It is explained that most of these theories exibit some form of agreement with previous scientific principles, general relativity, quantum mechanics and even Newtonian principles, but you come away with the impression that none of the theories are yet robust enough to be entirely quantified yet by science and some, by their very nature, can probably never be with the restrictions of our own senses and technology at this time. To the authors credit however, he does show how that very fact should not discredit them because of our limited perceptions at this time, demonstrating to me, a very pragmatic approach informed by these earlier disclosures of how earlier theories held some basis in fact.
On a personal level, it was the disclosure and correlating data suggesting that our own existence may very well be multilayered in a multilayered universe, that has strengthened at this time, my own private convictions that our perceived isolation is entirely at odds with the actual reality of our cosmos.
Brain Greene : The Hidden Reality. Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos. ISBN 978-0-141-02981-8