The Latest on Quantum Mechanics and Gravity?

Frederik Pohl, the SF writer and editor who wrote Gateway and many other novels, once wrote a book called Chasing Science: Science as a Spectator Sport, which was about him not being a scientist, but interesting in following new scientific developments.

This is roughly where I am. I have a degree in math, took some science courses in college, but most of my understanding of science has come through reading books, beginning with Isaac Asimov’s collections of F&SF essays (beginning with Only a Trillion) and onward through books by Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins and Edward O. Wilson.

My understanding of physics, and cosmology, comes from reading books. The latest insight I’ve gained is from reading Michio Kaku’s THE GOD EQUATION (post here), which suggest a plausible rationale for string theory, based on dimensional rotations between gravity and quantum mechanics.

With that in mind, here is this, from NYT this past week.

New York Times, Dennis Overbye, 10/12 Oct 2022: Black Holes May Hide a Mind-Bending Secret About Our Universe, subtitled “Take gravity, add quantum mechanics, stir. What do you get? Just maybe, a holographic cosmos.”

But a blizzard of research in the last decade on the inner lives of black holes has revealed unexpected connections between the two views of the cosmos. The implications are mind-bending, including the possibility that our three-dimensional universe — and we ourselves — may be holograms, like the ghostly anti-counterfeiting images that appear on some credit cards and drivers licenses. In this version of the cosmos, there is no difference between here and there, cause and effect, inside and outside or perhaps even then and now; household cats can be conjured in empty space. We can all be Dr. Strange.

“It may be too strong to say that gravity and quantum mechanics are exactly the same thing,” Leonard Susskind of Stanford University wrote in a paper in 2017. “But those of us who are paying attention may already sense that the two are inseparable, and that neither makes sense without the other.”

That insight, Dr. Susskind and his colleagues hope, could lead to a theory that combines gravity and quantum mechanics — quantum gravity — and perhaps explains how the universe began.

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