##### Ultracold Molecules for Quantum Simulation

Phycisist John Doyle on travelling salesman problem, electric dipole moment, and laser cooling

Log in
Sign up

*What are the implications of everything being ultimately mathematical? What is the opposite of the empirical approach? These and other questions are answered by Professor of Physics at MIT, Max Tegmark.*

I think the most striking thing that we humans have learned so far from studying our universe is that we need to think big, because again and again we underestimated not only the size of our cosmos, but also our ability to understand it.

We have taken so much for granted that we often forget to ask why it works so well. I think it’s quite striking that the real reason we have figured out so much about our universe is because our universe seems to contain all these mathematical clues, patterns, and regularities that we can tap into with mathematical equations and get better at predicting things and ultimately figure out how to build things.

If you accept this notion that both space itself and all the stuff in space have no properties except mathematical properties, then it starts to sound a little less insane that maybe everything really is mathematical. What does this actually mean if it’s true? To me it means very good news for physics, because if it turns out that nature has some properties that are fundamentally non-mathematical, that means that physics will be ultimately doomed. One day we’ll hit a roadblock beyond which we just cannot proceed further in understanding the cosmos. We’ll still have big things we can’t understand, but we’ll have run out of these mathematical patterns to discover because there are no more, and we’ll be forever stuck.

By donating to Serious Science, you enable us to continue producing and sharing free, high-quality educational content and expand our collaborations with top experts and institutions.

Donate through Patreon
physics
August 11, 2014

Phycisist John Doyle on travelling salesman problem, electric dipole moment, and laser cooling

Watch

physics
August 1, 2014

Physicist Nergis Mavalvala on quantum radiation pressure noise, amplitude-phase correlation, and refrigerated ...

Watch

deepTech
October 27, 2020

Chemical physicist Alexey Kornyshev on metamaterials, plasmonics and Raman scattering

Watch