“Paradoxes don’t exist in the universe, they exist within us” says author and physicist Scott M. Tyson. This book examines the very weird world of quantum mechanics, general relativity, and cosmology. While quantum mechanics and general relativity are good at specific parts of the universe, they are, in the end, incompatible.
Tyson proposes a new way of looking at the universe and constructs a new model that, he says, reconciles the paradoxes such as the dual nature of light, which appears to be a wave or a particle depending on how it is observed.
Tyson’s universe consists of two halves or “hemiverses.” We occupy the half containing all the stuff and all the kinetic energy. The other half, or void, contains all potential energy. It cannot be directly observed. But energy flows back and forth across the boundary between the two hemiverses.
The implications of Tyson’s universe lead him to say that mass is property of space rather than matter. Einstein’s curved space is a manifestation of the energy flow between hemiverses. Tyson says that the universe is not infinite, infinity exists only on our minds.
Tyson also rejects the Big Bang Theory. Rather, at some point, the energy flow between hemiverses reaches a critical point which causes a reversal, the void becomes the hemiverse with the stuff, and the other becomes the void. Time also reverses. This explains the apparent age of the universe and the perception that all matter is speeding away from us in an apparently expanding universe.
This book is quite a journey as Tyson develops his universe. At times it is heavy going and Tyson recognizes that and so provides the reader with recaps and alternative explanations. There is a summary at the end.
This book is, fascinating, thought-provoking, mind-blowing, and controversial, but it does offer a coherent explanation for observed phenomena and provides a path to the holy grail of physics, The Theory of Everything which seeks to reconcile quantum mechanics with relativity.
The book is available on Amazon here.