Tag Archives: homework

Homework Takeaway #5: We’re Pretty Sure There Was A Big Bang

After several months – was it really back in January that I posted my most recent update in this series? – I picked up “The Elegant Universe” again and kept reading. On page 349 (in my edition), Green talks about how there was a moment where the universe from being opaque to being transparent.

He then goes on to describe the moment of the birth of the universe in terms that make me think about how he talks about black holes in the previous chapter (p 342-344?). I’m not a hundred percent sure why, but this part of the book reminded me a little of those four-axis graphs, with space on one axis and time on the other, and black holes sucking in all information. It brought to mind the image of a God’s Eye, or one of those cool graphic design things everybody used to doodle in high school (the nearest I can find via Google Images is the first graph used on this total stranger’s blog entry, but imagine four quadrants of that facing one another).

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Homework Takeaway #3: Calabi-Yau Dimensions: You Are Where You Are Cuz You’re There

I’m entering the second half of Brian Greene’s The Elegant Universe, and last night read a beautiful, resonant section about Calabi-Yau dimensions. (That page is in French, though Google translate seems to be handling it OK; the image above is taken from that page’s reproduction of the image in the book.)

“If you sweep your hand in a large arc,” Green writes, “you are moving not only through the three extended dimensions, but also through these curled-up dimensions. Of course, because the curled-up dimensions are so small, as you move your hand you circumnavigate them an enormous number of times, repeatedly returning to your starting point.”

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