QR 1.1.1 Strange Physics

Strange theories abound in modern physics, e.g. in many-worlds theory, each quantum choice divides reality, so everything that can happen does happen in an inconceivable multiverse of parallel worlds (Everett, 1957). In the inflationary model, our universe is just one of many bubble universes (Guth, 1998), and according to string theory, it has six extra curled-up dimensions hidden from view. In M-theory, our universe floats on a fifth dimension “brane” we can’t see (Gribbin, 2000) p177-180 and in ekpyrotic theory, we are one of two universes that collide and retreat in an eternal cycle (J. Khoury, 2001). The days when physics just described the physical world we see are long gone.

These theories exist because the findings of physics are equally strange, like Einstein’s discovery that the sun bends light by curving the space around it, or that the earth’s gravity slows down time so clocks tick faster on tall buildings than on the ground. Movement also dilates time, so an atomic clock on a plane ticks slower than a synchronized one on the ground (Hafele & Keating, 1972). Yet while space, time, and mass vary with speed, the speed of light is strangely constant.

If relativity is strange then quantum theory is more so, as experiments show that one electron can go through two slits at once to interfere with itself, entangled photons can ignore speed of light limits on causality, the vacuum of space exerts pressure, and gamma radiation has no physical cause. Einstein, who was as open to new ideas as anyone, thought quantum theory made no sense because it doesn’t. Physics has studied our reality and the results are in:

… the weirdness of the quantum world is real, whether we like it or not.

(Tegmark & Wheeler, 2001) p4.

Thus, the theories of physics are strange because our world is strange.