Monday, 26 November 2007

Tape shows how physicist predicted parallel worlds

The only known recordings of a brilliant physicist who predicted the existence of parallel universes have been found in the basement of his rock star son's flat.

The tapes document how Hugh Everett, a quantum physicist, developed his idea at the age of 24, while a graduate student at Princeton University in 1957. Everett's theory gave rise to the concept of a multitude of universes, or a "multiverse", where all life's possibilities play out. It means that somewhere Elvis is still rocking, the Nazis won the second world war and England qualified for Euro 2008.

The recordings are believed to have been made in 1977, after a physics conference at which Everett's parallel worlds theory was resurrected after being shunned for two decades. The tapes were thought lost after his death at the age of 51 in 1982.

They were found during the making of a TV documentary in which Mark Everett, the physicist's son and lead singer of the US band Eels, attempts to understand the work that consumed his father. The programme, Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives, airs on BBC4 this evening.

Click here for full guardian article

1 comment:

Marc said...

I saw this on BBC4 last night.
What a character and a shame about the tragic luck his family endured.
I enjoyed it immensely. I'm not convinced about parallel universes though, just as I'm not sold on the idea of quantum particles being effected by observation.
But I'm sure they were important postulations for their time.
I quite like the idea that everything existing all at once and we are just observing one aspect of it, just like our ancestors observed the same thing from another perspective.