Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Warped Passages

Lisa Randall, Professor of Theoretical Physics at Harvard University where she does research on particle physics and cosmology, has written a landmark book: Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions. Her research concerns the fundamental nature of particles and forces and how basic elements of matter operate and look. She applies particle physics to super-symmetry, grand unified theories, aspects of string theory -- in addition to other lofty topics in physics -- to explain extra dimensions of space.

Dr. Randall uses some very creative analogies — such as droplets of water on a shower curtain -- to explain complex concepts of additional, unseen spatial dimensions. What is really cool about this book is that physicists simply do not yet understand all there is to know about particle physics but they have made such great progress in the last 10 years. These advances are setting the stage for even greater advances in the next decade. Her work is similar to Einsteins' because it will enable physicists to explain so much more in the coming years, but this book is so accessible (within limits, it really does twist up your thinking) that you feel like you are part of the conversation.

Thinking about the business implications of 4D or 10 dimensions is mind-blowing. The first problem is how do you monetize something you can't see...

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