by Joe Shea
AR Book Review Editor
February 12, 2011
QUESTIONS NEVER ASKED
In his new book about so-called parallel universes, A Hidden Reality, internationally known physicist Brian Greene of New York asks many questions but beggars one: Could quantum physics be a total mistake?
He says in the first chapter that quantum physics cannot answer one thing that classical physics and common sense can provide quite easily: the result of any simple experiment. One plus one is rwo in classical physics, and in quantum physics, possibly dozens of other sums.
Quantum physics cannot tell us - and it has tried for a century, he says - why one outcome among a quantum host of other possibilities always occurs.
He starts his exegesis with an interesting example. In an infinite cosmos, he says, there is another Milky Way precisely like our own, and in it, another writer exactly like me is reading at his desk and just finishing this sentence. In another, the reader is still a sentence behind - and in another is ahead of the other two, perhaps at the very next word. In other words, decillions of atoms are organized in exactly the same way a decillion times a decillion or so. It seems unlikely.
This is so because of the nature of infinity, he says, where probability is the be-all and end-all of everything. In that other Milky Way identical to ours, he says - the same one where a monkey write Shakespeare's plays - light has not yet arrived from the Big Bang because the spatial distance between these two identical places is so great that it would not yet have traveled that far.
So, without light, how can the reader read? That may seem like a trivial question, but it exposes the fundamental flaw of quantum physics.
In order to read, the probable me would obviously have to be in a parallel universe where there is light (presuming light moves faster in the other universe). Thus, that universe would have to have had a Big Bang as well. Yet quantum physicists like Greene believe the "multiverse" of their physics was created by one Big Bang. Thus, there cannot be another me reading, and thus, only one universe exists, and thus it is not infinite, even if it is only defined by the distance light has traveled, which would mean that light is the universe. They have already conceded that.
Ironically, this is the simple evidence of our own eyes, which through the Hubble Space Telescope have peered back to within a few light years of the Big Bang. I believe quantum physics - and its vision of all those monkeys writing all that Shakespearean eloquence - is fundamentally wrong.
Greene never contemplates that possibility.
In each and every example he provides of the ways in which parallel universes might haunt our existence, and there are seven or eight well-established theories, the universe as we know it is infinitely strange. All those simple problems we solve are insoluble. Nothing is just what it seems; everything has an infinite number of hidden dimensions.
Greene attributes his first ideas about parallel universe theory to the experience of swinging open the closet door in his childhood bedroom. When the door opened, a mirror on the back of the door was then turned opposite another mirror elsewhere in the room, and he could see himself reflected in both. An infinite Brian was reflected in an infinity of mirrors and doors, dwindling down to nothingness.
He knew that light had a finite speed, he said, so sometimes as he sat in class he imagined it reaching further and further back in the illusion. In reality, of course, the image cannot cohere after an infinite number of smaller iterations because it would merely be a collection of single atoms, conveying nothing.
Quantum physics is capable of constructing an infinite number of improbable universes with the same imagination. But it is, ultimately, just imagination; as with Virginia Woolf's Oakland, there is no there there.
Today, science is ruled by the quantum physicists, whose theories have led the United States alone to spend an estimated $40 billion on methods of achieving fusion. Yet, as improbable as that sounds after such a huge expense, all the work, theory and expense has not yet lit a single light bulb.
Neither has quantum theory solved that single problem that is so easily answered by classical physics: why does one thing happen in one circumstance when, if quantum physics is correct, a million things in a million universes can, do or could have happened simultaneously? Moreover, why does that one simple result in a simple experiment happen every time? Why is one plus one always two?
Today, an amazing man and phenomenal scientist has used classical physics - very dense physics, I might add - to solve this problem and published his answer in a Grand Unified Theory of quantum and classical physics. It's available free online.
Regrettably, Brian Greene, he of the infinite universes, has probably not read that one book, and probably cannot explain why the work of Dr. Randell Mills has produced results showing activity below the known ground state of hydrogen, the smallest atom and a fundamental building block of the unioverse we actually inhabit.
Quantum physicists say there cannot exist any emissions of light below the ground state of hydrogen, even though a highly advanced team of spectroscopists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics say that after eliminating all other possibilities they have repeatedly seen and measured them. That's the problem in a nutshell: the spectroscopists can seem them, and the quantum physicists cannot.
The quantum folks won't even contemplate the possibility, because it is born strictly of classical physics, and they may not really understand that set of theorems any longer. They have talked themselves into monkeys writing Shakespeare, but they can't imagine a very bright physicist, chemist and inventor seeing things another way. The problem is that his way already lights an LED and leaves a track on film, and one day may power rockets into outer space - an idea NASA is paying to explore.
This brings me to some very personal observation on parallel universes. Using a technique I refined from Erhard Seminars Training that let you set a time to wake up and actually wake up then. You would say, as you fell off to sleep, "I want to awaken alive, alert and totally refreshed at 7:15 a.m. After a few days, you would awaken in that condition on a daily basis. No doubt the unconscious was receiving millions of unconsidered clues as to the time - from the light through the windows to the number of times your clock ticked, perhaps - but it worked.
After thinking about it for a long time, I decided to test it on another topic. In 1985, I asked my unconsscious to calculate the day, the volume and the point movement of the Dow Jones Industrial Average at the time of the next crash, and to let me know the answer whenever it had done so. To give my unconscious some material to work with, I just visually scanned with all the intensity I could the Los Angeles Times' annual New Year's edition of the stock tables that year, just running my eyes down each row showing the range, the prices and the highs and lows.
I was working on an some assumptions that are largely well-grounded. The main one was that the unconscious can indeed observe and store far more than the conscious mind can, and as indicated by the wake-up trick, it could somehow calculate. It will pick up all kinds of clues from the world around us, and given a direction, will integrate them accordingly.
In August 1987, when I was sleeping on a cot in my living room becauzse I'd rented my bedroom out to pay the rent, as I woke and stood up, the answer suddenly came to me in several ways. In my mind's eye, I saw the date Oct.19, which then changed swiftly to Oct. 18. A still voice in my mind said, "500." And in my gut, with no ideation but a sense of complete certainty, as most people feel sometimes, I concluded the share volume would be 600 million. I was astonished.
I called my brother Pat, who worked on Wall Street, my father - a big investor - and a phone number one up from the one I found for the CIA in the Los Angeles phone book (thinking I'd reach one of their lines). I also called the Government Accounting Office's fraud hotline. Finally, I went down to the bank a day or two later, and spoke to a Russian teller there I'd been friendly with. At the top of my lungs, in my strong stentorian voice, I told her so everyone in the bank would hear that "The stock market is going to fall 500 points on October 19th."
The Dow Jones fell 506 points on 605 million shares of volume on Oct. 19, 1987. A few years later, Dr. Sheldon Ackerman got recombinant DNA to solve the most difficult problem in math, the famous traveling salesman puzzle, after growing DNA to represent certain numbers and then letting it sit for a few weeks. That was the beginning of biocomputation, a science still evolving today.
But what about those who I told? My brother swore to me I had never told him. My father never mentioned it. There was no call from the CIA, of course, and I also never heard from the GAO. But the Russian teller at the bank, and probably some of the people who heard me roaring there, remembered. But why would such critical information go in one ear and out the other?
I have a funny answer to that. I actually believe that some people cannot hear certain things that are outside the pattern of what they usually hear and the familiarity of voices that usually tell them. When I was a teenager, my father, for instance, would listen to me as he read the paper when I told him any outlandish thing - "I'm going to borrow your car and get drunk," let's say, or "I'm going to Hawaii with your credit card" - and he would respond just one way, all the time: "Right," he would say, and go on reading.
I make of all this, as I always do, one truth: Life is the infinite variable - the life force itself. It accounts for all the rest, the mystery and the reality. It is a parallel universe right inside us. It does have an infinite variety - especially in other people, but yet is only one thing. The life force in me is the same as the life force in you - or in an ant, a tree and anything living even though we are infinitely different in every other atom of our being.
There is only one of us, one of me, but as I once wrote in the first line of a sonnet, "I have a multitude of minds in mine" (I was mindful of Walt Whitman's line, "I am a multitude," of course). That's a simple explanation for why we perceive the possibility of other universes, and for all of quantum physics. That is what Paul observes when he speaks in Corinthians 1 of seeing "through a glass, darkly." Life - the thing itself, the light that drives us, informs us, frees us - is missing from the equation.
This is a wonderful book and very accessible.
Joe Shea started the first Internet daily news site, the first blog, and the first Internet wire service. He failed algebra.