Works By Australian Authors
Science Wish List by Rodney Bartlett
(contribution # 1 - written March 27 1994)
          Perhaps one of  the most beneficial discoveries civilisation
          could make is one which:

          a) convinces the  average  person  that scientific theory is
          not  divorced  from  his  or  her  life  but  is  intimately
          connected with that life, and

          b) causes men  and women to believe science (knowledge based
          on  deductions  from   observations  and  measurements)  and
          mysticism  (knowledge  which   is  based  on  the  immediate
          intuition of truth) are complementary.

          Did you know  that whenever you watch a videotape - any tape
          you may be acting out the nature of the entire universe: all
          space and all time, too. How can this be?

          Mathematical  equations developed  by  the  great  scientist
          Albert Einstein say  a  maximum  of  3  'subuniverses' could
          exist in our cosmos:

          1 finite (space  as  we  know  it  ie  having  the 3 spatial
          dimensions of length, width and height) and

          2 infinite (the 4th and 5th dimensions).

          Since those equations  say  time  is  infinite  and  Stephen
          Hawking  (sometimes  called   the  world's  greatest  living
          physicist) and his  colleagues  inform  us  that time can be
          thought of as  another spatial dimension, travel through the
          4th dimension would  be  equivalent  to  time  travel (other
          dimensions would also,  via  the  theory of cosmic wormholes
          worked out by  Californian  physicist  Kip  Thorne  and  his
          colleagues, be shortcuts  through the curvature of space and
          may, though it  sounds  like  pure  science  fiction, enable
          flights to be completed in mere seconds when they would take
          billions of years  if we travelled the long and winding road
          of space's many  curves).  Thus,  travelling in space can be
          compared to watching  a videotape - just as you can view any
          frame on a  tape  by  fast forwarding and rewinding, you can
          arrive wherever you  wish  in  space  and time by journeying

          Many scientists think  the universe is the ultimate computer
          (as physicist Paul  Davies  of Adelaide University correctly
          points out, the  never  ending  decimal  places  of pi - the
          ratio  of  a   circle's   circumference   to  its  diameter,
          approximately equalling 3.14  - could not be calculated by a
          finite  computation).  Therefore,   if  the  universe  is  a
          computer, it must  be  an  infinite  one and include 4th/5th
          dimensional space. In this case, the distortions which occur
          with more than  3  space dimensions (distorted gravitational
          and electrical forces,  brain  waves  and  other  travelling
          waves)   could   be    overcome    by    reprogramming    or

          Einstein concluded space  and  time  cannot exist separately
          but form an  indissoluble union called space-time. So if the
          3 dimensions of  space are a videotape, the 4th dimension of
          time must correspond  to  the VCR and TV. As the VCR plays a
          tape and the TV displays/broadcasts the story, they give the
          perception of movement  to  the  tape's  individual  frames.
          Similarly, time imparts  change and motion to a cosmos which
          would otherwise be an unchanging 'snapshot'.

          Finally, VCRs and TVs must of course be connected to a power
          source. In 1921,  physicist Theodor Kaluza proposed that the
          force of electromagnetism  (electromagnetic waves consist of
          oscillating electric go  and  magnetic  fields  and  include
          radio waves, visible light, ultraviolet light and X-rays) is
          produced by disturbances  in  an  unseen  5th  dimension. To
          complete our video  analogy;  space-time must necessarily be
          connected to the  source  of  electromagnetic power (the 5th
          space dimension).

          Because they're related  to  the  above, I'd like to include
          here two letters  I  wrote  to  TIME AUSTRALIA magazine. The
          first refers to scientific thought and mystical thought both
          being necessary in order to reach an ultimate explanation of
          things and to  understand  cosmic  mysteries  -  the  second
          concludes that the universe (of which humans are a part) has
          infinite  energy  content  and  infinite  intelligence,  and
          equates this infinite  universe  with God. Therefore, humans
          are part of God and achieving knowledge of the Supreme Being
          through direct awareness  (in  other words, mysticism) seems
          perfectly plausible.

          Feb. 20, 1996

          TIME AUSTRALIA Letters

          GPO Box 3873

          Sydney, NSW 2001

          Dear Editor,

          Regarding 'Is Anybody Out There?' (Feb. 19) -

          As inspiring as  the  question  of  the  existence  of other
          intelligences in the universe is (I personally believe space
          and time must  abound  with  ETs), there seems to be an even
          bigger  question: Is  the  universe  truly  'under  a  death
          sentence from the second law of thermodynamics'?

          The 2nd law  states 'heat will not pass spontaneously from a
          cold body to a hotter one' therefore scientists believe that
          the  energy  the   universe   contains  will  eventually  be
          dissipated evenly and  irrecoverably throughout the coldness
          of space. ('Reader's Digest Book of Facts' - 1985, p. 233)

          Albert Einstein's 1917 equations state that the cosmos could
          have 3 parts  or  subuniverses  (finite  space  with  its  3
          dimensions, infinite time  which is called the 4th dimension
          and  an  infinite  hyperspace  [space  of  more  than  three
          dimensions] which may be called the 5th dimension). (see the
          1973 book ALBERT  EINSTEIN:  CREATOR  AND  REBEL  by  Banesh
          Hoffman and Helen Dukas)

          TIME suggests the  two instincts of the brain (scientist and
          mystic) need to  fit  together in order to understand cosmic
          mysteries - THE  MIND  OF  GOD  (a 1992 book by Paul Davies,
          published by Simon  & Schuster) states that rational thought
          cannot lead to  an  ultimate  explanation  of things without
          mysticism (p. 230).  Thus,  in this case we need to consider
          the 1958 out-of-body  experiences  of  American  businessman
          Robert Monroe. He claims to have visited dimensions he calls
          Locales I and III ('I' is the 3-D world we know, 'III' would
          be 5-D hyperspace).  According  to  Monroe,  Locale  III  is
          'bonded together .  .  .  by  a  force  beyond  our  present
          comprehension.' ('Psychic Voyages' by Time-Life Books: 1987,
          pp. 27-32)

          Could this force  be related to a hyperspatial energy source
          which renews and  refreshes space-time, thereby rescuing the
          universe from death  caused  by  thermodynamics' 2nd law? By
          itself, this energy  could not renew space-time (because it,
          too,   would   'eventually    be   dissipated   evenly   and
          irrecoverably throughout space') but would be there when, at
          some  unknown  point   in  the  future,  intelligent  beings
          mathematically and technologically  manipulate hyperspace to
          produce a renewed  cosmos  (it  seems  that  an unidentified
          adaptation of this  manipulation  could produce the original
          cosmos). This eventuality would, as THE MIND OF GOD puts it,
          'explain the origin  of the universe within the framework of
          physics' (p. 40).

          Feb 27, 1996

          TIME AUSTRALIA Letters

          GPO Box 3873

          Sydney, NSW 2001

          Dear Editor.

          'What's Hiding In  the  Quarks?' (Feb. 26) gave me plenty of
          mental exercise -  TIME is a great magazine if your brain is
          in the mood for aerobics! Pardon my lack of knowledge, but I
          was under the  impression  that  there probably is structure
          within quarks (I  was obviously wrong, since scientists find
          this possibility startling).

          What about Einstein's famous equation E = mc2 (energy equals
          mass times the velocity of light squared)? This 'unifies the
          concepts of energy  and  matter  and  relates  both  to  the
          velocity  of  light'   and   means   'mass  and  energy  are
          interchangeable'  ('Coming of  Age  in  the  Milky  Way'  by
          Timothy Ferris - published by The Bodley Head, London: 1989,
          p. 194). Doesn't  this  naturally  suggest that particles of
          matter may possibly be composed of 'bits' of energy?

          What about the  facts that masses of subatomic particles are
          measured in electronvolts  (eg  p.  298 of 'Coming of Age in
          the Milky Way'  says the proton's mass is 938.3 MeV [Million
          electron volts equalsan infinitesimal fraction (1.60219 x 10
          -19) of the  unit  of  work  and energy called a joule? (The
          Hutchinson Encyclopedia, Guild Publishing London, 8th [1988]
          edition, p. 653)

          But to return to quarks: the top quark's mass 'is almost 200
          times that of the proton' ('Strange Quark Matter' by Carl B.
          Dover, 'Science Spectra'  magazine  - issue 3, 1995, p. 50).
          Quarks are 'confined in individual three-quark clusters such
          as neutrons, protons,  lambdas  and  other  strange objects'
          ('Strange Quark Matter',  p.  52). But the immensely massive
          top quark could  not,  if it obeys common sense, be confined
          to a less  massive  hyperon  (the  lambda  and other nuclear
          particles containing the  strange  quark  -  like the xi and
          sigma -are hyperons, and are less massive than a deuteron or
          deuterium nucleus which  is  made  up of one proton plus one
          neutron [neutron mass  =  939.6  MeV,  slightly  more than a

          (information  in  previous   sentence   compiled  from:  the
          'Strange Quark Matter'  article  mentioned above, the 'Teach
          Yourself GREEK Book'  by F. Kinchin smith and T.W. Melluish,
          The English Universities  Press  Ltd.  [1966],  the  article
          'Atom' in 'The  WORLD BOOK Enclyopedia' by Field Enterprises
          Educational Corporation, Chicago [1967] Chambers Science and
          Technology Dictionary, edited  by  Prof.  Peter M. B. Walker
          [1992], pp. 447  &  241, and the 'Coming of Age in the Milky
          Way' book mentioned above, p. 404)

          We are thus  led  to  the strange world of quantum mechanics
          where  common sense  seems  to  be  most  uncommon.  Quantum
          mechanics says 'for  some purposes it is helpful to think of
          particles as waves'  ('A  Brief  History of Time' by Stephen
          Hawking - Bantam  Press,  1988,  p. 56). As particles can be
          thought of as  waves, we owe it to ourselves to consider the
          possibility that they consist of individual units (if energy
          and matter are  unified  by  E  = mc2, maybe these units are
          Planck-scale [10 -33  cm.,  or  a  centimetre divided by one
          with thirty three  zeros  after  it]  energy  pulses) which,
          reminiscent   of  superstring   theory   as   well   as   of
          wave-particle  duality,  travel   in   waves   or   currents
          ('Workings of the Universe' by Time-Life Books, 1991, pp. 53
          & 84).

          Referring back to the 2nd paragraph's belief that Einstein's
          work suggests 'particles  of matter may possibly be composed
          of "bits" of  energy':  it  becomes  hard to see how, if the
          structures within subatomic  particles  turn  out to be real
          and if those structures really do travel in waves, particles
          of matter could  not  be  composed of Binary digits. Just as
          pulses of electrical energy correspond to 'ones' and 'zeros'
          (binary   digits)   in    earthly   computers,   pulses   of
          electromagnetic energy within  the  cosmos  could  be termed
          'space-time  bits'. When  their  travel  brings  them  to  a
          specified space-time coordinate,  they  might be regarded as
          corresponding to one  binary  digit  before  they reach, and
          after they pass,  that coordinate; they'd be regarded as the
          second binary digit. Above sentences have concluded the 'top
          quark could not  .  . . be confined' and 'we are thus led to
          the strange world of quantum mechanics'.

          Now we are led to the strange world of superstring theory as
          portrayed on p.89  of  'Workings  of  the Universe'. For the
          'specified space-time coordinate'  mentioned above could lie
          inside  a  certain  subatomic  particle  -  while  there,  a
          space-time bit 1s  one  binary  digit;  assuming the laws of
          nature apply equally  to top quarks and space-time bits, the
          bit 'could not  be confined' and may correspond to the other
          binary digit when it is outside the subatomic particle. This
          chaotic  trade of  space-time  bits  between  particles  and
          space-time itself reminds  us  of  p. 89 of 'Workings of the
          Universe' where it  says  'The  interplay  causes fingers to
          materialize and disappear, an activity that describes, among
          other things, the  ceaseless appearance and disappearance of
          gravitons, the quantum particles of gravity.'

          So if space-time  has  its  equivalent  of computers' binary
          digits, we'd find  ourselves living in a 'cosmic computer' -
          since  the universe  as  a  whole  is  obviously  much  more
          advanced than the  parts  of it which we call our computers,
          the  'cosmic  computer'   must   possess   a   universal  AI
          (artificial intelligence). And  if Einstein's 1917 equations
          are correct (the ones that suggest the universe incorporates
          infinity, as well  as  finiteness - for a fuller explanation
          of this point,  see  the  letter I wrote to TIME on Feb. 20,
          1996), we'd find  ourselves living in a cosmic computer with
          infinite energy content  and  infinite intelligence. I don't
          know if Paul  Davies  and  Stephen  Hawking would agree, but
          knowing an infinitely  intelligent  and  energetic  universe
          sounds suspiciously like knowing the mind of God.

          'VIDEO' ENDS