Since time immemorial, man has sought answers to the most fundamental questions like “Where do we come from?”, “What are we made up of?”, “How did everything start off?” and so on. Be it Greek philosophers or Indian priests, European thinkers or Buddhist monks, the single pursuit that unifies them all is to seek answers to such questions. Human intellect has been plagued by the fact that such questions of our existence and the world around us cannot be answered. Today, in the 21st century aided by cutting edge technology man is still trying to satisfy his intellectual curiosity. The only difference is that today we are closer to the answers than our ancestors were. They did not advocate experimentation but believed in common sense derived from daily life.
Today we have thousands of brilliant intellects working fervently towards this goal. Be it the Large Hadron Collider at CERN or the NASA satellites looking for dark matter, we are investing heavily in terms of resources and efforts towards finding the ultimate theory. There is enough scientific evidence that we are very near to unravel the greatest mystery.
We have come a long way from Copernicus’ heliocentric model of the universe. Scientific developments like Newton’s Laws of Motion and Universal Law of Gravity followed by works of genius like Einstein, Heisenberg and Hawking have paved the path for us to the theory of everything.
Einstein and his theory of relativity were pure genius. After Einstein’s sheer brilliance a theory of the infinitesimally small, quantum mechanics was developed. Scientists had relativity for the huge and quantum mechanics for the miniscule, all they had to do was to fit the small and the big into a cosmic jigsaw and man’s ultimate pursuit would come to an end.
Soon, physicists realised that the two theories were the like poles of a magnet; they would not coalesce to form the theory of everything. After years of struggling with equations and constants, scientists developed a theory called String theory but soon five versions emerged. Finally, Ed Witten unified them and came up with M-Theory. Its predictions were what some may call outright ridiculous. The theory predicts eleven dimensions rather than the usual three special and one time dimension. The theory passed all the tests it was subjected to; even the Big Bang. Most importantly it came up with the idea of other parallel universes.
Our universe was no longer unique but merely one of the infinite other universes floating in what scientists refer to as the eleven dimensional “Hyperspace”. According to the theory, each universe has its own set of laws and the events that take place have different results in different parallel universes. Essentially, anything that can happen does happen in one of the parallel universes. Imagine living in the universe where no asteroid has struck the Earth to wipe out the dinosaurs or maybe Columbus hasn’t still discovered America. There may be some universes where cures for cancer and AIDS have already been discovered. In some universes giant insects may rule with no humans to stall the evolution of their species. There may be universes with a completely different set of physical laws governing them. Gravity may be repulsive and positive may attract positive in some universes. It is intriguing to think how life would develop in such universes, if at all it does. If we can invent a way to travel between these parallel universes we could learn a lot from other species and find answers to all the biggest mysteries and problems in our modern world like cures of deadly diseases and ways to make our world a better place to live in. It’s so fascinating yet it is not a mere figment of scientists’ imagination but based on mathematics and physics, logic and rationale.
Travelling in the higher dimensions holds remarkable possibilities. The advantage of travelling in higher dimensions is truly like riding a Ferrari in the Neolithic era. Possibilities like faster than light travel will allow us to delve into the deepest areas of the universe. Humans will be able to colonize other planets and discover completely new worlds.
But the most fascinating consequence of this theory is that if enough energy can be made available under the right conditions, artificial universes can be created right in our laboratories! Perhaps at a certain level when we have accumulated sufficient acumen we can live in universes in which our loved ones who have passed away are still alive. In the future, if ever need be, we can travel to other universes to ensure rectification of any mistakes and perpetuation of the human race in our Multiverse.
We will have an explanation for everything in the universe, from the smallest grain of sand to the biggest nebulae. The answer to how everything started off and how will everything end, will be within our grasp. It will be the ultimate human achievement beyond which any more challenges seem impertinent. This invention has the potential to solve any problem humans can ever encounter. It seems incredible that the theory that says it all is based on tiny humble STRINGS.