X-Message-Number: 19182
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 09:47:00 -0400
From: Thomas Donaldson <>
Subject: CryoNet #19171 - #19179

Since so many seem to be replying to the claim that progress in
physics has/will soon stopped, I thought I would put out a short
post on the cosmology articles in the 24 May 2002 issue of SCIENCE.
Yes, cosmology. It turns out that we must think on that scale if
we are to have any hope of finding a theory which includes both
general relativity and quantum mechanics. 

The articles all explain their points with surprisingly little
math. They're clearly written for intelligent laymen. For those
thinking about progress in physics, I'll also say that these
authors are all looking carefully for ways to examine the universe
and find evidence for or against the various theories that have
now been suggested. Those particularly interested in that issue
should read the M Tegmark article "Measuring spacetime from the
Big Bang to Black Holes". The article by L Randall discusses
the current theories; it's name is "Extra Dimensions and Warped
Geometries". A short review article for the intelligent 
noncosmologist reader together with an even shorter preface,
"Spacetime, Warped Dimensions, and Hidden Dimensions" starts off
the set of articles. 

Tegmark is particularly notable in that he gives a systematic
discussion of the astronomical observations which will soon become
possible and which will produce data to compare with the various
theories, no doubt conflicting with some and confirming others.

Could such work someday bear on our personal lives? A lot depends
on the theories which finally prove themselves. Remember that 
we're dealing with quite fundamental physics, and devices based on
that may someday prove very useful. After all, think of quantum
physics, which looks like it may affect our computing and our

		Best wishes and long long life for all,

			Thomas Donaldson

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