Dancing Universe


Marcelo Gleiser, professor of physics, describes physics as follows in the introduction of his book Dancing Universe:

Physics is a game played with nature.

Then he states the following quote from Richard Feynman:

Imagine that the world is something like a great chess game being played by the gods, and we are observers of the game. We do not know what the rules of the game are; all we are allowed to do is to watch the playing. Of course, if we watch long enough, we may eventually catch on to a few rules. The rules of the game are what we call fundamental physics.

We can interpret this in two ways. First: physics is fun; second: it’s more, it is the language of the  gods…”

“When we think about the source of the universe we start reflecting about the origin of the Universe, we realize that we must confront some very fundamental problems. How can we comprehend the origin of everything? If we assume that “something” has created “everything”, we fall into an infinite regression; who then created “something” that created “everything”? If we say that “nothing” existed before anything, we are implicitly assuming the existence of “everything” that is its opposite. The absurd limit of this is seen in the dialogue between Alice and the Red King, in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, when the Red King asks Alice: “What do you see?,” to which Alice answers “Nothing”. The King, impressed, comments, “What good eyes you have!” ”

The book starts with the creation of the myths and continues with the success of astronomy and reason. In the end, one fascinatingly finds the “little and fast things”, and the dancing universe as discovered by physics today.

Gleiser, M.  2005. The Dancing Universe: From Creation Myths to the Big Bang. New Hampshire: Dartmouth College Press.

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