Guest: Shane Farnsworth – Max-Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics.
Let’s explore the idea of a multi-dimensional universe! In some models, mathematical consistency hints at many more than the everyday 3 or 4 dimensions we can detect. How does the math arrive at the existence of 11 dimensions, or perhaps 26? Why don’t we see these extra dimensions, and what might they be, and how might we detect them? What’s the relation to dark matter and dark energy? How do gravity and the other forces fit into this story? Have we spanned all of our technology, all of our means of detection, to further explore the unseen realms of the Universe? Let’s see what the universal language of mathematics can reveal of the secrets of the Universe.
Here, we continue to search for the underlying patterns of the Universe, upon which all is built, including ourselves! This week we turn to theoretical physics, which utilizes new tools in the age-old quest to understand the nature of reality. Shane Farnsworth specializes in using mathematics, and in particular geometry, to search for patterns in our best descriptions of nature, from the smallest scales of particles and forces, to the largest, astronomical scales. He cites, among the many challenges of science, pet theories that can cloud one’s vision, testing theories in realms beyond the immediate, and wondering if we have all the needed bricks in the foundation of our premise, to build on. Patterns found again and again certainly hint at some of those foundational principles. Shane also hosts the fantastic `Escaped Sapiens’ science podcast that explores big ideas at the leading edge of science.