Pale Wire (Popscene)

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Candy Left Over From Halloween / A Unified Theory Of Everything

The most recent Atlantic Monthly has an interview with author and physicist Brian Greene. Click here to read it for free on their website.

There was a physicist who died about fifteen years ago, Richard Feynman, and he was asked, "What do you experience when you look at a rose? Is it the same experience that the rest of us have?" And he said, "Well, I can certainly still take in the rich red color. I can still smell the wondrous aroma of the rose. But I can go further, because I can see the molecular interaction that gives rise to the color, and the interaction between the atoms that gives rise to the aroma." So the experience of the rose is richer—it's deeper, because one can actually see what it is that's making the rose appear as it does. And I think that's what physics does more generally for the world around us.

If you're unfamiliar with Greene, he's a very down-to-earth physicist who is at the forefront of the movement to prove the string theory, or unified theory, of all matter. Please buy me his new book.