The Higgs Boson was predicted with the same tool as the planet Neptune and the radio wave: with mathematics. Why does our universe seem so mathematical, and what does it mean? In my new book, Our Mathematical Universe, which comes out today, I argue that it means that our universe isn’t just described by math, but that it is math in the sense that we’re all parts of a giant mathematical object, which in turn is part of a multiverse so huge that it makes the other multiverses debated in recent years seem puny in comparison.
Max Tegmark’s post at HuffPost promoting his new book, which discusses his theory that the universe is mathematics, not described by mathematics, but is mathematics. Of course, the observational difference between being fully described by mathematics and actually being mathematics might be semantic at some level.
I think Tegmark’s idea is interesting, but as one of the commenters on his post said, this isn’t science, it’s philosophy. What observation could ever falsify it? If we observe something that we can’t come up with a mathematical description of, someone can always assert that it’s just a temporary gap in our knowledge.
That said, reading his reasoning will probably be instructive about just how abstract our knowledge of particle physics is. My blog’s name is a reflection of the fact that we and the universe may ultimately be nothing but patterns, structure, all the way down. A possibility that would completely fit with Tegmark’s thesis.
- Max Tegmark, Cosmologist And Professor Of Physics at MIT: “We Are Merely “Self-Aware Parts Of A Giant Mathematical Object.”” (keepongeekin.wordpress.com)
- Max Tegmark, Cosmologist And Professor Of Physics at MIT: “We Are Merely “Self-Aware Parts Of A Giant Mathematical Object.”” (highonscienceandtechnology.wordpress.com)
- The Mathematical Reality of Reality: An Interview with Cosmologist Max Tegmark (motherboard.vice.com)
- TOE movies: Wilczek, Tegmark, Strominger, Guth, … (motls.blogspot.com)
- Do mathematics model real world patterns? (selfawarepatterns.com)
- Parallel Worlds exist and will soon be testable, expert says (richarddawkins.net)