Surfing and Physics

There's a great article on a guy who has done some neat work in physics. He so happens, also to be, like me, a surfer.

His name is Garrett Lisi and his idea is stunningly simple. The universe, as we see it , is made up of particles that are built from rotations and projections of a multiple dimension structure or entity called E8. So named because it has eight dimensions. The three you're aware of I'm sure. Fourth is time. Four more.

A few simple things fall out from his theory. First, you can find new particles. All you have to do is take the shape, rotate it, and then .. you can think of it like shining a light on something and looking at the pattern on the wall... when you're collapsing a dimension... take the projection and that projection will give you the characteristics of the particles you're looking for.

What this means is that the theory predicts a set of particles that can be found without having to use the universe as a supercollider, like the superstring guys want to do. And this also fits in with superstringers because they're arguing for more dimensions as well.

The fun idea about all of this is that there are more dimensions that we can actually see. Someone once wrote that everything is science and technology. Thats not really all correct. The first thing that science teaches us, is that nothing is absolute. Thats the prime hypothesis.

So the idea of a multidimensional being or structure that exists in 28 other dimensions, and in whom the entire universe - its laws, particles, interactions, can unfold - could be the ultimate test of that hypothesis. The math is fun, too. I think I am going to teach my daughter about this. (yeah, you thought your daughter was smart.didn't you. my daughter is so smart she's already shoplifting... wait a minute.. I didn't say that.)

Suppose we used human words to describe an 8 dimensional entity. What would you use. How could you realistically share the experience - with others? What ideas would you need to be able to understand it at all? Ever seen the movie "Contact" with jodie foster..? :-)

I understand alot of what Garrett is writing, first because I'm basically a smart person. But second, because he's writing about something that is clear from a theoretical basis. The standard model (the particle theory that I learned in Quantum Mechanics, going through grad school) is almost a taxonomy. Its alot of different special cases. Its fun to learn because alot of its predictions are surprisingly accurate. I mean, it always used to blow my mind - honestly - that you can start off with pencil and paper and end up being able to predict exactly what sort of energy transformation is taking place. I've been hooked on physics ever since high school.

And the fact that I left my girlfriend in Florida, when I moved my senior year to a new school.. had nothing to do with it. Nothing at all.

No, really. Honest. Oh yeah and I'm at level 65 now in WoW. Woo hoo! I'd better stop playing that game and finish up my papers. Well. First I'm going to get a job as a professor I think. Submitted my app today.