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Dr. Brian Greene



Within the past few weeks I took advantage of the extraordinary opportunity of meeting Brian Greene. This man is highly known in the physics world, he has written multiple books, his best sellers are The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of Cosmos, and The Hidden Reality. Brian is known for his idea of string theory which is explains how “point like particles are replaced by One- Dimension object called strings. String theory then describes how these strings propagate through space and interact with each other.”

When I met Brian Greene he was a very humble man who took great appreciation in not just science but the scientist before him and the scientists he works with. He did not talk so much about his idea of string theory but more on black holes and creativity. He began his presentation by explaining a recent where he had gone to an elementary school where he asked the students how many times 2 goes into 6. One student raised her hand and when called on she drew a big 6 on the board and then put the 2 literally inside it. Dr. Greene explained as we get older we need to harness this creative and open minded thinking children have. He explained in all his studies he loves having a few interns to keep fresh minds in the mix for that exact reason. He considers this to be a very good attribute to have, and warned us not to allow society to be crush this innocence but instead to flourish.

When we usually talk about Gravitation in physics class we are bound to think like Newton, The idea where we assume objects exert force upon each other. We think of imaginary arrows of force in space acting upon each other. However this picture of forces acting upon each other and the apple dropping on Newton head may be good for high school but that is just the icing on the cupcake: It is the beginning of Einstein’s theory of Relativity. When we think of black holes and how earth was developed there are many many many theories, from use all being star dust, or we are a creation of god, or the big bang theory. We may never know how we came about but we are here now.

Dr. Greene planted three seeds into his listener’s brain, each being a different philosophy about black holes. His first theory began by explaining that black holes may just be a one dimensional that absorbs information. To our knowledge this is no way to retrieve this information at this time but there has to be. Yes our initial belief of a black hole was a huge suction where information was lost forever but how can this be true? Information is never lost, or destroyed it is only transferred. If this were true all the physics we have come to learn would be wrong, and that would be hard to grasp because then all the answers we thought we knew would be wrong.

He then went on and explained how black holes could potentially be created when particles or objects are crushed so small they can no longer support themselves. This means if the sun were to be crushed till it was a few meters by a few meters it could be likely turn into a black hole where all the light has escaped. This may sound unrealistic, but if you think this could be really common. When stars use up its nuclear fuel it can no longer support itself. Once that occurs the star implodes on itself and the explosion ripples out that soon blows off the outer layers only leaving the star with a small hard core. This core can’t support its weight so in then drops and becomes a black hole.

His next theory made us image how our universe was arranged. Yes we all Know “Mercury is the closest planet to the sun/Venus comes next it's the hottest one/Earth comes third the only life that we know/Mars has the largest canyon and volcano/Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune” but he had us think more along the lines of how the planets stayed in orbit instead of the order. Think of space-time fabric as an actual cloth of fabric. When you place an object on the fabric, the cloth curves. This is exactly what happens in the solar system as well. The sun with such a huge mass bends the space-time fabric. And the earth and all the planets are kept in orbit by following this curvature that has been made by the sun. However a priest with a Doctorate in physics applied Einstein’s idea of relativity not just to space but the whole universe. From his surprise he found out that the world is not static. The universe was expanding! Many believed this to be wrong including Einstein, the most radical thinker of the time. Einstein resisted this idea as with many, even though he himself is the most innovated radical thinker of the time. However Freedman who pushes this idea further but Einstein still denies it because he claimed that Freedman’s results were irrelevant to the universe. Greene compares this philosophy to a bottle of water where we all know that molecules are continuously bouncing off each other but on a macroscopic level the water acts unchanged. However many scientist now believe in the Cosmic evolution aka big bang. Where the universe started small and compressed then slowly explodes.

Which do you believe in? Do have another theory?

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