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July 18, 2007

Turok on Edge

Neil Turok writes about cosmology and The Cyclic Universe on John Brockman's Edge.Org.

In recent years, the search for the fundamental laws of nature has forced us to think about the Big Bang much more deeply. According to our best theories string theory and M theory all of the details of the laws of physics are actually determined by the structure of the universe; specifically, by the arrangement of tiny, curled-up extra dimensions of space. This is a very beautiful picture: particle physics itself is now just another aspect of cosmology. But if you want to understand why the extra dimensions are arranged as they are, you have to understand the Big Bang because that's where everything came from.
Turok rejects the Anthropic principle and questions the "landscape" of possible universes that String Theory predicts. He goes on to give Dark Energy a central role in triggering the next Big Bang, but I am confused about how. On one hand he says "it is the decay of dark energy which leads to the next Big Bang" but "the dark energy itself causes these two membranes to attract".

Previously: Word for the Day: Ekpyrotic. Posted by spot at July 18, 2007 11:38 AM

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