A Universe of Universes? Reflections on Life and the Cosmos
This will be a Zoom lecture on the physical reasons we expect there to be a multiverse — a “universe of universes.” After speaking and showing slides for about half an hour, I’ll conduct a Q&A/discussion with participants via Zoom. I’m an astrophysicist at UC Berkeley who was heavily involved in the 1998 discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe, driven by repulsive “dark energy.” The existence of dark energy provides indirect support for the “inflation” theory of the early universe, which in turn suggests the existence of a multiverse. There are also “anthropic” reasons (i.e., we exist) for concluding there is indeed a multiverse. From a different perspective, string theory leads to the same conclusion. I’ll discuss all of these possibilities. Thus, the “Multiverse” theme of this year’s Burning Man is directly addressed from the perspective of modern physics and astrophysics!