A physicist makes the case that the solution to one of the biggest impasses in modern science lies within two hidden dimensions of the universe.
For centuries, physicists have tried unsuccessfully to summarize the nature of the universe in a single overarching law. They’ve made strides in quantum mechanics, relativity, and gravity separately but failed to connect them in a “Theory of Everything.” In his debut book, Winthrop claims not only to offer such a theory, but to explain the nature of human consciousness as well. People are accustomed to the idea of living in three-dimensional space with a fourth dimension of time, and physicists have long speculated that there may be many other dimensions individuals can’t see. Through 20 chapters, Winthrop derives equations that support the existence of two new dimensions. A human’s physical brain, he asserts, lives in the four familiar dimensions, while the individual’s consciousness lives in a fifth. Time, too, is mirrored in a sixth dimension that affects how humans experience the other five. Part I of the book examines current challenges in physics and neuroscience and draws relationships between them with space-time geometry. Part II places subatomic particles into this framework, and Part III expands to include the origin and structure of the universe. Parts IV and V delve into particularly thorny problems, including the nature of mass and energy. Part VI lays out modern notions of space-time before Part VII asserts that two new dimensions would not only connect all other physical laws, but also explain why humans perceive consciousness the way they do. In this meticulous book, Winthrop’s examples are largely visual. He is a physicist with a Ph.D. who is best known for advancing optics in the 1970s, and his diagrams of information passing through different dimensions look a lot like light gliding through lenses. He explains that he published this volume because his efforts to reach scientists the traditional way through academic journals were met with rejection. Perhaps that’s because the broad outlines of his work sound more like philosophy than hard science. Yet the heart of Winthrop’s provocative argument is that physicists must open themselves up to philosophical reasoning to advance their discipline.
An academically rigorous book that challenges physicists to think outside their comfort zones.