Home > World of the Strange – Weird Science > Roll over Einstein: meet Weinstein.

Roll over Einstein: meet Weinstein.

Posted by  May 23rd 2013.           Find Full Article Here:-

What are we to make of a man who left academia more than two decades ago but claims to have solved some of the most intractable problems in physics?

Dark matter

In Eric Weinstein‘s mathematical universe there is no missing dark matter. Photograph: AP

There are a lot of open questions in modern physics.

Most of the universe is missing, for example. The atoms we know about account for less than 5% of the mass of the observable universe – the rest is dark matter (around 25% of the mass of the universe) and dark energy (a whopping 70%). No one knows what either of these things actually is.

At the subatomic scale, we know there are three families of fundamental particles – called “generations” – and each one contains two quarks, a neutrino and a negatively charged particle (the lightest being the electron). But why are there three generations in the first place?

And the big one: why do the two pillars of 20th century physics, quantum mechanics and Albert Einstein‘s general theory of relativity, not agree with each other?

Solving these problems, the last one in particular, has been the goal of many generations of scientists. A final theory of nature would have to explain all of the outstanding questions and, though many (including Albert Einstein himself) have tried, no one has come close to an answer.

At 4pm on Thursday at the University of Oxford, the latest attempt to fill the biggest holes in physics will be presented in a lecture at the prestigious Clarendon Laboratory. The man behind the ideas, Eric Weinstein, is not someone you might normally expect to be probing the very edge of theoretical physics. After a PhD in mathematical physics at Harvard University, he left academia more than two decades ago (via stints at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and is now an economist and consultant at the Natron Group, a New York hedge fund.

In Weinstein’s theory, called Geometric Unity, he proposes a 14-dimensional “observerse” that has our familiar four-dimensional space-time continuum embedded within it. The interaction between the two is something like the relationship between the people in the stands and those on the pitch at a football stadium – the spectators (limited to their four-dimensional space) can see and are affected by the action on the pitch (representing all 14 dimensions) but are somewhat removed from it and cannot detect every detail.

In the mathematics of the observerse there is no missing dark matter. Weinstein explains that the mass only seems to be missing because of the “handedness” of our current understanding of the universe, the Standard Model of particle physics. This is the most complete mathematical description physicists have of the universe at the quantum level and describes 12 particles of matter (called fermions) and 12 force-carrying particles (called bosons), in addition to their antimatter partners.

“The Standard Model relies on a fundamental asymmetry between left-handedness and right-handedness in order to keep the observed particles very light in the mass scale of the universe,” says Weinstein.

He says his theory does not have the asymmetry associated with the Standard Model. The reason we cannot easily detect the dark matter is that, in the observerse, when space is relatively flat, the left-handed and right-handed spaces would become disconnected and the two sides would not be aware of each other.

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