What Is Reality?

What Is Reality?

2011, Science  -   194 Comments
Ratings: 8.50/10 from 142 users.

What Is Reality?There is a strange and mysterious world that surrounds us, a world largely hidden from our senses.

The quest to explain the true nature of reality is one of the great scientific detective stories.

Clues have been pieced together from deep within the atom, from the event horizon of black holes, and from the far reaches of the cosmos.

It may be that that we are part of a cosmic hologram, projected from the edge of the universe. Or that we exist in an infinity of parallel worlds. Your reality may never look quite the same again.

More great documentaries

194 Comments / User Reviews

  1. can some one please re-share the download link of these documentary.thank you

  2. Much ado about nothing. Reality is what your deluded mind projects into it, if there is such a thing called reality at all, including mathematics. It's all an illusion. Time and money should be spent on feeding the poor and healing the sick, not on chasing something that is not there.

    1. What a ridiculous comment. To understand infinity is to further our understanding of mathematics. If upon investigation into this subject, someone may comprehend and develop new designs in mathematics, which could revolutionise how we approach mathematics and result in revelations that change our understanding of existence, technology and society. Yes we need to feed the hungry and poor, but they are not hungry and poor because we scattered a few loose coins into research on infinity. I'm sure the 'defence' budget of most countries could appease the needs of the hungry and homeless. Take the cash from there.

  3. I have a theory that when matter hits an event horizon, it travels through space and time into the centre, or as we would call it, a big bang. Perhaps the reason we havn't observed it is that our perception of time for us inside this place is too slow for us to understand anything outside of it. Nobody knows for sure what happens inside a black hole. In terms of outside the event horizon, or the thing that keeps out universe together, we could be moving as fast to it, as neutrino's do to us. The big bang might be perceived as being faster than a neutrino exploding from the outside. Here is the tricky part. Could our event horizon be a spherical lens that creates paths of probability for all of the known matter to travel along, sometimes intersecting like lasers crossing paths to form new things? Maybe that's what a big bang is? The probability of 2 of these pathways intersecting. Brainfarts. brainfarts everywhere. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I didn't finish highschool because I kept daydreaming.

  4. more I learn about the physics, more i believe in scepticism

  5. They use the word "fact" a lot in here. Almost everything they are talking about is theory that cannot be proven. Hollywood is making science look bad. They continue to misrepresent theory as something more concrete. If they keep this up, people will eventually distrust anything "science" they see.

  6. What could be more fun than dancing through the "universes" ?
    I "askew" (: (o') My whole life is spent on the event horizon for Pete Sake ! What's the big deal ? >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>+=
    I've got this whole thing all figured out! Don't you worry. I'll have us all walking through walls faster than you can say Rumpelstiltskin. We'll be entangled with so many universes, they have to call the Enterprise to untangle the knots. "Stand back!" and fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

  7. What does it say on 14:03?

    "I*IOT something something"

    If anyone ever knew or could work it out could you tell me? I'm trying to read it but it's so unclear to me thank you

    1. It's something about the variables being wrong and needing to do it again.

  8. I don't have the scientific or mathematical knowledge to back it up, so take it for what it is, but i don't believe that a fundamental principle of reality can be found through researching elementary particles. First of all, i believe that there is no such thing as an elementary particle. But the main point i'd like to make is that a particle is a perception, not a reality (and yes, wave patterns too)
    Or, in other words, a perceived particle is not distinct or intrinsically different from the space it surrounds. If i'm correct that is what entanglement refers to.
    So, basically, what i'm saying is that particles can only describe a relative perception based reality.

    1. If I'm correct in my own limited understanding then String theory would agree with what you're saying regarding there being no such thing as an elementary particle(everything being just a vibration/fluctuation). You're not alone in your assertion that a particle is just our perception of some unknown either.

    2. Yes, you're right, String theory probably does agree with that, but i'm still trying to wrap my head around it.
      Compactified dimensions, for example, as i understand it, means strings exist within strings. Or to use the vibration model, different wave patterns would exist within wave patterns. 11 dimensions they say so far. I have no clue as to how they come up with that number.
      But the strange thing is, so are wave patterns no more than perceptions. So, what is reality?

      But like i said, my knowledge about the matter is limited and i have to resort my reading to what some scientist might refer to as 'pop' literature. So for what it's worth...

  9. When we were still walking stooped over in the rift valley our ability to understand the universe was limited. Despite what we consider to be our supreme intelligence, our understanding is actually still limited. It's all relative. In time our brains will be even more capable of understanding concepts that are still remain beyond our intelligence. The theories we are putting forth now are limited by our present abilities. Just as we could not understand certain concepts when we were more primitive, we will one day understand these paradoxes and mysteries. Not with theories that purport to be inexplicable, but with theories we one day will understand (when we're smarter

  10. Cerebral Universe Theory
    linear C.U.T. reality.

    “For we are a bi-sect-ed universe - cut by the scissors of Fate.

    A linear slice that bleeds-out spinning galaxies,

    from black hole branches.

    Each sun a stick,

    a burning little branch,

    nourished by the trunk of the beginning.

    Becoming the roots of burning little branches - to come.

    For we are a bi-sect-ed universe - cut by the scissors of Fate.”

    ~The seven stanzas of recreation - The Annals of Priapus

    My hypothesis argues that we live not only in a linear, or flat universe (as proposed by Quantum mechanics), but also in a trans-dimensional universe that can be tracked by the stars and all forms of energy as a tracer through, or bisecting – time.

    Our present is the point that reality cuts through time.

    Our star is a 3rd dimensional eddy from the trans-dimensional
    sprig it passes through.

    Our galaxies super black-hole is a 3rd dimensional current,
    from the trans-dimensional branch, our sprig shoots from.

    The big-bang is the trunk of this metaphorical tree, and it's roots were the branches of big-bangs that came before.

    And as for our little flower of a planet, it will form the roots of
    metaphorical trunks to come.

    I will further extrapolate that we (as individuals) are
    quasi-conscious, metaphorical trichomes on the trans-dimensional
    flower (that is planet Earth) as it travels through space-time.

    That is to say that our souls, our 'third eye' if you will, is the tether
    to the trans-dimensional tree that creates us as individuals. We are
    individualized glances into our reality, lasting from birth-to-death,
    diving into and out of trans-dimensional space/time via this tether.

    If we could see all time (as we know it) at once... It would look like a
    radiant ball of all things that defuses into spinning streamers of
    galaxies, that in-turn spin off planets and ends with us in the
    present. We are a fleshy tip of cosmic shrapnel from the Big-Bang. We branch in-and-out-of space-time as individuals, so our lifetimes are just glancing into this reality from ... a different kind of time.

    1. It's a cool thought, but be careful to differentiate between science and philosophy.

  11. particles. lol. infinite variety? or misunderstanding. particles are BEHAVIOR not material.

  12. Entropy proves time is running backwards. All this is an illusion.

    1. Entropy does nothing of the sort. Entropy proves that everything breaks down and becomes homogenized some time in the future, also known as the "heat death" of the universe. And it also predicts the outcomes of various reactions and is important to physics and chemistry.

  13. Another excellent documentary that proves once again that creativity, and imagination are the keys to progressing our understanding of reality. (reality is what we choose to think it is)
    Math is the universal language, but beyond the basics, it is incomprehensible to the vast majority, and thus, is as dead as those who put all their eggs in its equational basket. In other words, it is holographic nonsense to spend trillions in a vain attempt for a complete understanding, that could never be understood by the general masses. (for the record, dark energy, dark matter are modern day equivalents of Einstein's cosmological constant to defend their life's work in the wrong direction - the universe is not expanding, it is collapsing under the force of gravity, it is accelerating, and the forementioned minutia is not needed)
    All life are neurotransmitters of frequency of the electromagnetic spectrum of the brain of the universe/multiverse, plain and simple, and no amount of money spent is going to give a better analogy of what everything is! Any questions?
    P.S: If what I have said offends the science minded, then perhaps it is time to think for yourself, and realize your own potential of thought, instead of fullfilling someone else's. Then, you can get on with the idea of living, and be thankful you are even here to experience it!

  14. This doc does a very good job of presenting the information in a clear and well thought out manner. Plenty of breathing space to think while you watch and the core concepts sit in your head for further probing long after you're finished. We need more of this.

    1. Ah...you've seen it I see... :-/ shame, no surprise after all. Uhm...I can't see my loop quantum gravity here? ... lol now where on earth did I put it?

    2. That's odd. I was just commenting elsewhere about a lack of explanation on the holographic principle and then you posted this. Were you about to link this to my other comment? If so then I should warn you there's no references in this doc to the sky fairy mentioned in that other comment so this just won't cut it. Unless it's mentioned in the Quran it's all bullsh*t. Not my words, I'm just going with the flow on this one.

  15. A fascinating, 2011 Horizon watch. Really enjoyed that! :)

    1. Let's imagine that science anounces to the world: we have at last discovered God, in the language of our time God is called Mathematics.

      I really enjoyed listening to the hypothesis of Max Tegmark at 48 minutes.

    2. Well said oQ! :-D

      ...Except...I saw something yesterday where mathematics proved that it would never be able to say something [one thing in particular] was false nor true. Which would be to say mathematics can not be the language of God...only the drunken ramblings. ;-)

    3. I am not sure if i understand what you are saying...
      "mathematics proved that it would never be able to say something [one thing in particular] was false nor true"
      What do you mean by "one thing"?
      Mathematics could never prove, it being GOD (itself)?
      edit: you mean Mathematics could never say any one thing as false or true?

  16. Reality is infinitely definable. This means there will always be something to discover.

  17. It is quite amusing to see albinoids ('whites') and brainwashed europhilics struggling to arrive at conclusions and trying their best to understand theories and concepts that superior cultures like Indians and Chinese had arrived at millennia ago.

    1. What/Which concepts and theories are you talking about?

    2. What exactly are you talking about? It's too brave to throw a slogan without an explanation.

    3. Why so racist? P.s White people are not albinoids (Which is not even a word).

    4. Amazing, I have never seen someone showcase there inner character having said so little.

    5. I wouldn't be so quick to use the word 'superior'. Those cultures you mentioned did not arrive at this information, it was passed down.

    6. People in India/ China, not the Indian/ Chinese cultures - had superior understanding. Reading about a concept doesn't make you superior, coming up with it does.

  18. If the Universe is mathematics and mathematics are by nature undefined as Kurt Gödel said, then the Universe does not exists. It is a work of art illusion.

    1. If in a dream I enjoy eating some cake, the experience exists independently of whether or not what caused it is real.

    2. the concept state of being is the primary state the manifest state of being is second dairy. Can we start from there. I am a visual Artist. My study for the most part is in communication. Visual Art is not "hand eye coordination", its hand spirit coordination. Color is the only thing that you and I realize that is non molecular. The universe can be translated into mathematics and through mathematics but mathematics is in and of itself a tool a crafty one yes but a simple little tool. The theoretical phys. searches for the magic by way of the hammer. The Artist is the Archt. the physt. is the engineer.

  19. So...When the black holes eventually evaporate there are going to be lots of event horizons floating around the universe with the information that wasn't lost?

    1. No, with the evaporation of the black hole, the event horizon disappears too. But sometimes black holes are ejected from galaxies so some of them are floating around in the universe.

  20. Video loses image after the adverts - why does this happen? Perhaps it is virtual!
    Due to the nature of the Universe and the fact that the observer may change it's nature, or, by describing it, it is no longer the same, truth is out of reach so the best way to describe reality is by metaphor and allusion (indirect glance perhaps). Or like viewing an image in disturbed water.

  21. I always knew every experience I ever had, ever do have and ever will have is subjective: I'm experiencing sensations, knowing, acknowledging, hot, cold etc, all the time, so there's no need to do physical activity any more, plus the nature of the Universe isn't the object, but the knowledge,origin, method, and origin of the universe, to understand the universe is by thoughts, sensations and subjects, and it's known truthfully subjectively, I already knew that, I didn't want to be a****tty solipsist so I relearned other things in methodological solipsism too, it's difficult to learn (the fact that it's difficult is a subjective experience) but it's worth it, any philosophy I learn isn't so simple, but it's simple to naturally, even subconsciously experience your world subjectively, which is just the sensations etc therefore objects don't exist, I know reality's subjective because of supposed knowledge of gods, which has convinced me that reality is subjective.

  22. @Ramus73
    Dude are you sure your a programmer, if so you must be pure software development sinc a^n + b^n = c^n is the bread and butter of graphics programming :)

  23. @Payne Hooper
    I think what is happening is something which doesnt fit with two particles being made. Consider this. If two particles are made, rather than one, then five outcomes are possible.
    1.No Photons go through
    2.One on the right goes through, the other doesn't
    3.One on the left goes through, the other doesn't
    4.Both go through a different slot
    5.Both go through the same slot
    I think the pattern that they get only makes sense if everytime a photon goes through a slot, another one goes through the other slot 100% of the time, and when a particle doesn't go through, no particles go through. So your left with only scenario 1 and 4, the other 3 dont happen. If two particles are made, all five scenarios should happen at varying degrees, but only 2 scenarios happen which means 2 photons cannot be created. Or rather thats my take on it, because when they say the particle pattern is the same as a wave pattern, light is constantly shone onto the slits, it means every time light passes through one slit, light passes through the other slit, which is the wave pattern.

    1. The Law says No NO no no no no no!!!!! i think you missed a massive part of the docu, you retreated inside your own mind trying to work the problem out.The massive part of you missed was(when observed the particles act as you would expect).I think you agree your post seems a little silly now, don't blush we all get carried away sometimes.

    2. I meant when the particles are unobserved :). Please read the comment that I replied to, to gain context.

  24. The whole cosmos is a supreme conciousness, and our conciousness is only one of the small part of that supreme conciousness, from this aspect we are interrelated in the whole universe. We can alter our conciousness depending on certain variables like sleep, drugs, meditation, deep breathing, foods etc. Whatever we ingest in our system can alter our conciousness in one way or another. However, i believe meditation and pranayama can alter our conciousness to a different state/level, that transpires longer duration. We can cultivate to alter our conciousness longer term through pranayama/meditatiion. When we continue meditate longer duration, we can learn about what's happening in our body by the motion on the outer linings/tip of our ears. We can only manifest this once are body is at harmonious level. Everyday eating, stresss and toxins creats disharmony in our body, therefore normal individual can't experience higher stage of conciousness. Once you've cleansed your body through fasting, or meditation then you start to experience higher level of conciousness. What we see and experience is through our conciousness and our conciousness can reveal what is real/unreal when we can transcend our mental state through meditation or pranayama (special breathing exercises!)

  25. It is only after the progress made in quantum physics/mechanics,we are trying to find the answers for these kind of topics,prior to that all of these were rubbished as Indian religion Philosophies

  26. Every time I think I get a grasp of what reality is, something happens that totally takes me off my game. Before I start I want to say I do not drink at all and do no drugs at all…recreational or prescription, except for the occasional aspirin.

    Sunday night I came down stairs to use the telephone and it wasn’t in its cradle, so I walked into the kitchen and looked on the counters and into the dining room and looked on the table…it wasn’t there. As I was walking back into the living room where my wife and the phone are I asked her where the phone was; she said she thought she put it back. She got up and looked at the empty phone cradle (the first time she looked at it and the second time I looked at it) and said that’s weird, so we both went to the kitchen and the dining room and outside on the back porch to see of she left it there…it wasn’t. When we came back into the house and looked at the phone cradle again; the phone was sitting in the cradle.

    1. I've had 2 similar experiences after my Dad's death, one witnessed by my Mum, the other - a totally mindblowing occurrence, witnessed by my partner at the time - an intelligent sceptic who had to admit the event was inexplicable (too long to write here).

  27. I have found that ingesting LSD, DMT and other psychedelic substances temporarily changes the brain chemistry enough to be able to experience other realities, or, at the very least indicate that something other than this reality exists.

    1. Are you sure about that? I have experienced LSD and DMT firsthand, and when on these drugs the only thing that one becomes aware of is that our reality is largely dependent on sensory input. No matter what drug you are on, a table is still a table and there no matter what you take you cannot avoid the table being there. In this sense, drugs don't really provide proof that any other reality exists outside of this one -- just that chemicals can alter the way you experience that reality.

    2. "No matter what drug you are on, a table is still a table" ... Then you didn't take DMT.

    3. I guarantee that if you fall and hit your head on it, it will let you know that it is still a table--though your immediate perception of it would disagree, your head won't after 10 minutes...

      P.S. AssHat: what you say still holds true, and I definitely LMAO

    4. A physical reality would prove that it's still only just a table, but that arises the question; must reality be solely physical?

  28. @Benjamin

    Poof! Now you're not.

  29. I am Reality.

  30. Perhaps the double slit issue is just something as simple as duality, some things seem to only exist in pairs, maybe there is no such thing as a single photon....maybe they just think they are firing one photon but is a pair that split to go through and then interfere as they go back togather....When they put the measuring devices in place it just keeps the photons from spliting....I would bet that the measuring device produces some energetic field, magnetic or otherwise....It has to do something within the energy spectrum in order to take a measurement.

  31. its a really interesting video non the less so dont think im one of those ***holes

  32. as much as i'd like to hear reality defined in entirety, i feel it's unimportant as we have far more life threatening problems like.... prescription drugs, chemicals in food, pesticides in our fruit, and a world of addictive personalities whether your hooked on....... sugar, caffeine, sex, internet, nicotine, alcohol, weed(psychologically...), food in general, salt, sleep, etc. you are not in control.

  33. Amazing video really .

    What we call reality is just an intellectual construction indeed.

    I wonder whether there are other ways to approach the ultimate reality , the latter that can never be reached via our senses-impressions, i am afraid , i do not know

  34. So, a quantum computer is capable of amazing things, as long as we don't ask what its doing? Sounds like a teenager .If Asimo ever gets his hands on one of these, we won't need manga anymore ;0

  35. take some drugs and youll learn reality can fit any description you can mould it to your needs

  36. well, i was smoking my j, and if you don't smoke, i guess it feels like it opens your mind. ANYWAY, i was thinking about reality and trying to find a truth. so i documented my feelins. heres a copy paste.

    Neutral point of view. if both sides are intensified perception and not reality. (positive and negative feelings)

    Neutral point = Reality?

    When no part is intensified. positive or negative side.

    artificial happiness is a correct coined term. however, everyone feels this.

    does this mean that happiness and depression are illusions? If the middle of positive and negative is reality. no particular fore hand thought of the object when looking at it. (neutral)

    if you fail to see something in a different way. does that mean your perception of it doesn't change or the reality of it didn't. this means you would actual;y be able to change reality.

    But how do we know when we reached this point? (neutral point)

    ANYWAY, thats what i was thinking about. might sound crazy. or maybe not. idk, but i guess i'll have to smoke some more soon!

    1. Hi Devon,

      I have heard it said in physics that where there are two oppositional magnetic forces (the pos & neg you refer to), natural law says there must be something in the middle, being balanced between those two forces.

      I like your train of thought here.
      How do we know when we have reached that neutral point? In the oldest cultures of the world, they call it enlightenment. So, to be neutral in the way you describe, really mirrors the ancient belief of balance being the key to all things.

      What a beautiful thought.

  37. to find the reality we must find the opposite of reality, and that is true. true is stable and reality not.

  38. two places at the same time? I'm sure it can be, in matter e fact more them two, i know someone who made it round 35, 36 places at the same night into different cites. this man passed away now, he was a great man ever. God bless his soul.

  39. max cannot be in two places at once because he is conscious therefore ALWAYS observing himself, and like the quantum computer, it cant be a 0 and a 1 at the same time while being observed!

    1. Well yes, max can be in almost unlimited places at once, according to "Hugh Everett's" "many worlds theory" Multidimensional Max's each a little different in multidimensional universes bordering to the sublime.

      And would be conscious in all, not knowing about other existences.

  40. Very interesting! Hope Higgs bosons are found soon. Nature never stops surprising us. Wish to get more knowledge by reading the grand design by stephen hawkings. Need more videos which give insight on recent findings.

  41. @Dan
    Nicely stated! As I read your comment I was saying to myself that you too must have read 'The Toa of Physics'.

    It almost seems like Eastern man and Western man are two inherently different beings on this planet. Eastern philosophy accepts and reveres the wonders, the marvels and the mysteries of everything that surrounds them as an extension of themselves. Western science questions the validity of every discovery and dissects its authenticity, looking for the legitimacy of its being, as if man and his environment are adversaries.

    1. the scientific method is not adversarial to reality. The scientific method is adversarial to unreality, to the make-it-y-uppyness that all men, eastern and western, have been content for so long to put in place of knowledge.

  42. eastern thought and western thought are two different ways of looking at the same reality and not surprisingly are also the two ways in which our mind thinks. the rational(western) mind and the intuitive(eastern) mind. left brain, right brain. yin yang. i believe many problems in the world are due to an over left brained way of thinking. a rational male perspective that also not surprisingly has dominated the planet in its wanting of control, right now its asserting its control on nature. people in the west unlike people in the east have a much harder time grasping the idea of reality and what we're doing here, and get caught up on things like what we are made of and see things as complicated. anyone not up to date with science should know that the idea of a fundamental building block is an old and expired idea. when we try finding a fundamental particle or "building block" we cant do it because these chunks of "matter" only exist due to they're relationship with everything else. a network of relationships that are intermingled in to one ever changing but never changing process. the more things change, the more they stay the same. after all its not complicated to move your hand or make a fist, it seems things only get complicated when we think about them. and that's the difference. eastern thought is more about experiencing it, and meditation is a tool like science is ours. western thought contemplates things more and makes things complicated. science does not need god(spirituality) and spirituality does not need science but people need both. we should realize the oneness of everything. you shouldn't contrast the conscious from the unconscious, the inanimate from the animate, because it is the unconscious(as we call it) that is doing consciousness. for simplicity, atoms, that make everything else, come together to produce consciousness unless of course the universe is inherently conscious, maybe we should consider that the universe is smarter then we are.
    i think our logic is to crude for the job. there is no way someone will ever gain a full and real understanding of the universe by staring at an equation or even a sentence. and its because our symbolism and terminology is limited.
    some wisdom
    -decay is inherent in all compounded things, strive on with diligence
    - force or laws(strong force, weak force, electromagnetic force and gravity) are not forces external to things but represent the harmony of movement immanent in them.
    and one of my favorites-when the world knows the power of love and not the love of power, the world will know peace.

    movies you should watch-
    mind meets matter and energy, by bruce lipton
    the taboo of psi, by dean radin

    books you should read-
    the Tao of physics
    confessions of an economic hitman.

    peace and love.

    1. One book for you: E. Said's "Orientalism". There is no such thing as a "western" or "eastern" mind. If you'd study Asian philosophy you'd be surprised to see how it sometimes can be much more materialist and rational than European philosophy. There is nothing intuitive about Samkhya or Nyaya philosophical school to give but two examples.

  43. @Ramus

    'a^n + b^n = c^n to me as a programmer seems illogical.'

    Your instincts are good! This is Fermat's Last Theorem (FLT) and it was proved by Andrew Wiles that:

    For ALL values of n greater that 2 the expression has no solutions.

    Replace n with 2 and you get the famous Pythagorean theorem.

    Replace n with 1 and you get a + b = c which has an infinite number of solutions!

    Replace n with 0 and you get 1 + 1 = 1. An illogical statement.

    @K.Elvin used FLT in a very creative way!

  44. @Epi
    a^n + b^n = c^n to me as a programmer seems illogical. Surely it should be written a+b^n = c? Not being a mathematician I may be missing the point :)

  45. @Marc

    A mathematical/philosophical proof of God's existence was given by St Ansell In his ontological argument. Two documentaries here on TDF describe the argument, they are:

    Colin McGinn in Jonathan Miller's 'A brief history of disbelief' and

    'The Great Philosophers: An Introduction to Western Philosophy' : section 3 - Anthony Kenny on medieval Philosophy

    It is a completely impenetrable argument unless one has an understanding of the mathematical method of 'proof by contradiction'.

    If you or anyone else is interested then ask me on the blog for The Great philosophers and I will happily lay it out for you.

    Warning: most theologians dispute the validity of the proof although no-one has yet found a convincing counter argument to it.

  46. @ K.Elvin,

    Thanks for your response. I have been stewing on it for a while and still can't find too many constructive additions or criticisms to make. However I will say this:

    I really liked the way that your argument used Fermat's Last Theorem (FLT) to restrict the values of the exponent n to 0, 1 or 2. In my mind this clarifies the way in which FLT can and should be used and for this reason alone was worthwhile and illuminating. A classic example of lateral thinking and the strength of abstract, non-intuitive theorems in forming an method of attack on unusual and difficult problems. Well done.

    I am still having a few difficulties in understanding/believing the way that you combined the a^n, b^n and c^n into the statement of FLT. Justification arguments in physics always leave me a little bit unsatisfied, so you may just be banging away on a brick wall with that one...

    Another potential problem I have is with n standing for a reality. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to describe n as the number of experiments? Couldn't the multiple experiments all take place in our observable version of reality?

    Digression: Does each individual have there own version of reality? or if there is a collective reality? Collective reality seems intuitively true (if 1000 people run head first at a brick wall there will almost certainly be 1000 sore heads) but in science one often finds that intuition leads us astray. My instincts tell me that this is a linguistic problem based on the definition of the word reality...

    Re: Adding apples and bananas. It is actually the 'number' of cats and the 'number' of boxes that are being added (although I am still questioning the validity of the addition) so at some point the reduction formula should apply. The reason being that the formula a=b comes into play. i.e. the number of cats is the same as the number of radioactive boxes.

    In any case I cordially thank you for providing an original and interesting problem to chew on.

    Best regards

  47. @Marc
    You are assuming a created entity of intelligent beings has a variable within the known universe.

  48. oooh boy =S

  49. @Marc
    "The rest of the universe can be explained -by mathematics" Really? I didn't know a unified theory had been developed, please tell. God? This is a discussion about reality not fairy stories.

  50. It may seem like a strange question but, can the presence of a God be proven mathematically. It seems that the rest of the universe can be explained that way.

  51. @ Jo McKay - I'll play along for the mind buzz.
    One possible template is that the Universe IS a hologram; that would explain most if not all of the anomalies that are encountered when trying to decipher its mysteries. But that produces another whole set of problems like: Where did the original information come from? And where is its point of origin (the projector)?
    We may be a Simms Universe program on some super-duper mega-computer operated by a nerd in another Universe just screwing with us, giving us a clue here and a clue there, and as soon as we start to make sense of it, he/she changes a parameter to get us scratching our heads again, just to see how long it will take us to figure it out.

  52. @ Epicurean_Logic

    Thank you for your comment.
    I fully agree with your point of view to prove physics:
    "There are no proofs in Physics so the only test of validity is to compare the results with observable data."

    Unfortunately theoretical physics uses mathematical models and abstractions of physics to throw light upon questions.

    For your particular case (the "2a^n = c^n" reduction) I can’t absolutely accept this form, because, if adding apples and bananas the outcome should be: apples and bananas (cats and boxes in this case), not melons or something else. At most, shifting up the category, you can't add apples and bananas, but you can add their shapes.
    Note: In it's basic form, where n=2, the equation has real-life applications like: calculation of projectile physics, simple harmonic motion, astronomy: motions of the solar system, coordinate geometry, cryptography, trigonometry, etc.

    Note: The outcome possibilities for this experiment are known: cat dies or remains alive, this isn't our quest, the problem focus is multiple realities in which the result [c] exists. FTL (=Faster than Light Travel) is a whole other topic (i'm sure there are a few good docs on this site).

    Note: The issue of knowing beforehand if the cat dies or not comes not in question, since this would lead to precognition, and that will render the experiment invalid,
    "Specifically, precognition would violate the principle that an effect cannot occur before its cause."Hyman, Ray (2007). "Evaluating Parapsychological Claims"

    For your questions:"How do we test your result? What is the result?": Related to the equation combination for the experiment, the problem is that this theorem isn't yet fully understood currently in math science, is very hard to come and explain in a few minutes what the [c]-part represents. It's further senseless to interpret the result, for example if one lives in an unidimensional space all quantifiable things can be represented as segments, if you add an extra dimension in this system , in principle you need to power up the item in order to quantify the result (e.g. think in a unidimensional sistem a segment, in bidimensional: square, tridimensional: cube). But the a high dimensional representation is useless for the initial dimensional world.

    Let's assume the results are observable and interpretable covering all realities, now stretching the reasoning further, for example if you consider a particular case (for simplicity sake, take only whole positive numbers) 3^2+4^2=5^2 I can only interpret the [c] part in here shifting the category, or, if you will, the view point, counting 5 class of "items" (Note: across all "realities"!):
    - life process (the "meow": cat lives in the box)
    - death process (the "silence": cat dead in the box)
    - radioactive process (the "spark": cat irradiated in the box)
    - decay process (the "reorganization": cat in the decaying box)
    - box-cyanide-Geiger-attached-counter process ("executioner" : cyanide inside cat, inside box)

    Difficile indeed is to answer the "What do you mean by the unreality?", since I am aware and living in one reality. I can hardly answer that this one resides in the imaginary part of the experiment, and only speculate to be in ream of information volatility or has something to do with the system entropy.


  53. @ Robyn - Just for the exercise and the fun of it, here goes...:) I was interested in what kind of template you would propose, logic, isn't logical, as you said what do you compare it to? Perhaps we had a big meeting prior to the big bang and laid out the plan? :) "how is it that everyone gets the same illusion" - I like that; looks like we actually don't, that's why witness testimony is such a problem for justice - not so bad if you've only got one witness, but two or three or more, and the case is in trouble (hair colour, height, weight, gender, and everything else, including the crime can be wildly different) - Entanglement, may also provide a solution to that; if our protons, at least are entangled, then considering the big bang, our star 'stuff' was all one, then we would all share, at least some of the same experience? ... and how do fantasies make it out of the mind to end up walking down the street? I don't know either, that's part of the fascination - tho' slightly disconcerting, such things happen - for myself, I blame my too open mind, and a whacked sense of humour helps get over the weirdness... Hawking suggests that we can not have mastered time travel, or between universes travel in the future, because "where are all the tourists", good question, but there's an option for the fantasy to begin with, and it's apparition entering the public domain, :) - I am just throwing out thoughts, of course, kind of like intuitive guessing, like adding a couple paragraphs to a novel - this really interests me that we still can say so little about the nature of reality; as for carrying my bank statement to pick up groceries, well, i do that all the time with my ATM card; we use representations of reality all the time, images, art,literary characters, TV, (which realities are often debatable) etc... :)

  54. @ R.B.
    I read The Holographic Universe, a really good book. I like this sort of thing it stimulates the mind.

    @Jo McKay
    Logic is the process that our mind uses to make distinctions and correlations between and among the stimuli it gets from our senses. Logic is a comparison, if there is nothing initially, what do you compare it to…how do you process nothing and get the same consistent something? If it turns out that our reality is an illusion, a fantasy, how is it that everyone that looks gets the same illusion…fantasies are supposed to exist in the mind only, how do they get out into the public domain of observation? How do I imagine it? I havent got a clue and like everyone else I have many many more questions than answers. I just like the mind buzz I get from processing this stuff. I take theoretical physics with a grain of salt. Pure mathematics is a representation of reality, it isn’t true reality or the substitute of it; just like your bank statement is a representation of the money you have. Try taking just your bank statement to the store for groceries and see how far you get.

    I see the Schrodinger’s cat thought experiment as potential realities where the brain is processing the information to evaluate one outcome over another. It exists outside of our sensory ability to perceive it, so, to me it isn’t a reality; it is a mental process used to evaluate the probability from the examined possibilities of a reality. Until you had sensory input to determine one outcome from another, this process is in an indeterminate state.

    I understand that with every choice made we ‘may’ be sending out a potential self, living out the non-chosen options. These unmade choices are possibilities, which are ethereal in nature; while the selected choice is in the realm of probability and more in line with reality.

  55. It seems that all the doomsday scenarios is always about money!

  56. @Arnold Vinette,

    I was initially going to ignore your comments, but then you had to be from Canada. A quick google search found that you're pimping your alleged premonitions to sell books. Why not try to pimp them out here?

    You could have added part of a synopsis for one of your books, like this:

    "The Russian Government is now considering sending a spacecraft into deep space in order to attempt an orbital change of an incoming asteroid due to impact the earth in 2029. News article released on December 31, 2009. American President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper have received copies of this document and notified of the urgency to build survival facilities in Russia. UNESCO has also been notified as well as Canada's Disaster and Prepardeness Agency. Find out what they know and be prepared for your future!"

  57. @ K.Elvin

    Well, it's a 10/10 for creativity on post #88. That’s what good physics is all about I guess. It just seems to good to be true that FLT can be used in the way that you describe.

    Being really critical I can't totally accept how you combined a^n, b^n and c^n to get the statement of FLT, although it seems that each individual statement makes sense. I guess that you (consciously or unconsciously) knew what you were heading for and combined the separate equations accordingly.

    'The Example (including the strange ones)' doesn’t fully explain the combining of the individual statements (a^n, b^n and c^n) into the form of the FLT equation. As I read it, it says that the sum of all the cats and all the boxes in the n realities is the same as the number of experimental outcomes in n realities. This puzzles me, especially when in your case a=b ( number of cats = number of boxes; each cat is in one box). So the equation reduces to 2a^n = c^n. Then also isn't c=2? The cat either lives or dies. Some food for thought for you. It now looks solvable for many more values of n!

    Note: lets assume your results that a maximum of two realities are possible is true. It is then also true that exactly one reality true is also a viable option.

    There are no proofs in Physics so the only test of validity is to compare the results with observable data. Therein lies a problem. How do we test your result? What is the result? That there are at most two realities? What do you mean by the unreality? To answer the question, what is reality? would be a major achievement!!

    Just some initial thoughts after reading your intriguing piece of work.


  58. Cant help but think of the Jimi Hendrix song "if 6 was 9"

  59. anyone who is interested Brian Greene (theoretical physicist)
    appeared on "the colbert report" january 27 and discusses this topic. short interview but interesting. can't post link because they are different depending on country

  60. M4RK,

    While I agree the theories in this doc are reaching, I'd disagree that it's a waste of time. New theories are always welcome as long as it prompts interesting discourse.

    And the big bang may not be "proven" in the absolute sense, but there's more than enough evidence to feel reasonably certain it occurred. I'm sure there are some other docs on this site about it.

  61. This worries me - these scientists are wasting so much time by basing everything on theories on top of theories - what if we're going down the wrong track? Is there any proof that there was even a big bang?

  62. Loved this. If anyone would like to read up further on the holographic theory, The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot is an interesting read.

  63. @Ramus & Robyn
    Let's save the Schroedingers cats placed it in sealed boxes!

    Take a small amount of cats [a](so approximate):
    a = 2 billion "kamikaze" cats
    (if this works with one cat, it can be duplicated endlessly)

    Take a small (cyanide-Geiger-attached-counter) amount of a radioactive element [b] with chance of decaying:
    b = 2 billion atoms of reactive material

    Now try to imagine multiplicate realities [n] having more than one layer or fold, as some shells or leaves, being created every 10^43 seconds (Planck time) or whatever.
    n = realities, in which the experiment [c], cat and boxes, exists.

    Example (including the strange ones):
    - cat dies from cyanide.
    - cat lives to see another day.
    - cat dies surprisingly, smashed by a giant asteroid.
    - cat dies suffocated form lack of air.
    - even cat manage to develop an evolutionary ability to clone herself and never dies.
    - cat dies bored after 2 seconds.
    - and so on.

    So we have:
    [a] cats in [n] realities + [b] radioactive boxes in [n] realities results [c] experiment outcomes in [n] realities:

    a^n + b^n = c^n

    Looks like a very old problem named Fermat's Last Theorem.
    The unsolved problem prior to its 1995 proof, involving extremely complicated mathematics, like modular elliptic curves, was in the Guinness Book of World Records for "most difficult math problem".
    The theorem states that no three positive integers a, b, and c can satisfy the equation a^n + b^n = c^n for any integer value of n greater than two.

    Because of this, there can't be a number [n] greater than 2 "realities" for the experiment: our evident reality and the unreality.

    Therefore, there can be only one genuine reality here + the unreality: the state of being insubstantial or imaginary; not existing objectively or in fact.


  64. @Robyn
    Have you heard of Schrodingers cat? Briefly : Take a cat, place it in a sealed box. Attach a small amount of a radioactive element to a geiger counter and attach the geiger counter to cyanide. The radioactive element has 50/50 chance of decaying in 1 hour, releasing the cyanide and killing the cat, or no decay and the cat lives. After 1 hour the cat can be thought of as being both dead and alive to the observer and so the observed reality has bifurcated into (using Barbour) 2 separate nows.
    The potential answers to the observation problem are mind boggling and, as I have said, not comprehensible to our level of understanding. Try to imagine another reality being created every 10^43 seconds (planck time) multiplied by the 13.7 billions years suggested for the age of the universe. Enough realities to have almost anything happen. Hell there might even be a reality where I'm really interesting :)

  65. @ Ramus, that's exactly what I'm getting at: how much More is Reality? I am not too sure about pre or past cognition - I don't think I have those skills - I relate more to the worlds within worlds,no 'real' time ideas... and it's not Answers I'm looking for - leave that job to the theoretical physicists, yet I think we can further the field by 'exploring' our experiences and thoughts. @ Robyn "There has to be a template..." That is interesting,say more re: how do you imagine it? ... @ Achems Razor... cool huh; I am curious about the 'number' of experiences and what does it say about reality and it's potential? Ever stepped into a 'portal' ( I love that science fiction has provided these names...)

  66. Call it what you will, precognition or deja vu, one of a number of experiences I had years back, when I was going up a hill to where I lived in the interior of BC Canada, a picture flashed in my mind of my parents getting out of there car, coming to pay a visit from the west of Canada. Soon as I went over the crest of the hill, there it was, my parents getting out of there car coming to pay a visit.

  67. Another really great documentary; thanks Vlatko!
    Max Tegmark’s statements that simple equations explain different aspects of our reality beautifully… and the deeper we look into our reality, the only way to explain it is through mathematical equations, is intense. If it turns out that our Universe is a hologram…a 3-dimensional image produced from 2- dimensional information, our reality may be that the Universe is a computer program. As this video pointed out the closer you examine a hologram the more you see there isn’t anything there; it is the illusion of existence…excited photons with nothing behind them: And we in our 3-dimensionsal experience expect there should be depth. Is it possible that there is no Higgs boson or dark matter to account for the missing 95%? After all the things we see are filtered through the atmosphere (or the expanses of space), converted into electrical impulses, analyzed by our brain and reorganized in a mental image that makes sense to us. Perhaps we have a built in filter that disallows an accurate perception of our surroundings.

    I find it hard to fathom the idea that our Universe may only exist when we are looking at it. There has to be a template upon which or from which all reality, virtual and material, is organized. I can see how it may not exist for the individual because of the lack of stimuli when not observed; but I think it has to exist in order to be perceived with consistency when we open and close our eyes over and over again.

  68. Well, technically as he saw what would be in the future it would be preja vu. Or probably more precise would be precognition. The sense of deja vu can happen when you do repeating tasks but true deja vu happens when you have never been in that situation but you remember it. I had deja vu when I went to Liverpool for the first time and I told my cousin there is a newsagent round the corner and, sure enough, there was. It wasn't just guessing I KNEW there was a newsagent there.
    Deja vu could be explained by (maybe) stored non neurological memories but precognition cannot be explained with our current understanding. Having never had a "vision" I find it hard to believe, unless the universe exists in a reality that we can't even imagine.
    Personally I don't think we humans can comprehend the real structure of the uni/multiverse and so trying to come up with answers is futile.

  69. @ Achems - that's a broader definition of deja vu then I previously thought - yet - it works - SO ... do tell... :)

  70. @Jo:

    Good story, yes I believe that, is called "deja vu". You pulled out some static snapshots from from all that could, and did, and already happened. As in many worlds theory.

    I also had some deja vu experiences as I'm sure most everybody has.

  71. K. Elvin,

    Remember, a lot of this is theoretical. It's not meant to be taken any other way.

    Also, don't expect to understand it. The brightest minds in the field don't fully understand it (yet).

  72. Stephen,

    "do you feel that your field is going to be revolutionized by technical advances in the similar areas of Cognitive Neuroscience, Molecular Biology, Ect… ?"

    Revolutionized? I'm not sure that's the proper term. I'll put it this way (which will tie in Intbel's point on the subject):

    There is a divergence among many of the sciences taking place. Many of them (particularly Psychology) have for too long ignored the other related sciences. There was a kind of rivalry between them, and it only hindered our knowledge. It's my opinion that if we ignore the limitations of our field, we will fail at our attempts to explain what motivates us.

    There are still many Psychologists who don't like looking outside their field. This is mostly coming from the older generations who've seen their theories in practice, and unfortunately the ones who make up the majority of the professors.

    Thankfully, the newer generation seems to have more appreciation for the common good which science in general can bring us.

    Basically, Psychology is only one field trying to explain a very complex system, and to look within one field for any explanation is narrow-minded. If I had the time and resources, I'd also be studying Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Biology, Sociology, Genetics, Religion, History, and more. Until then, I'm forced to do what many others do: respect and consider the results and findings of other fields, and if they conflict with my findings, it's back to the drawing board for me.

    Anyway, I hope that clears things up a bit.

  73. @All. Two True stories. One I was alone (so no corroboration), the 2nd was experienced by another... 1. Walking down a city street (completely sober & not sleep deprived), noticed ahead and beside the sidewalk there was something 'weird' about the air, kinda wobbly and as I got closer, shiny. Like Indiana Jones, :) I decided to investigate. Stuck my head in (then back out quickly); then stepped in the (doorway?) but didn't move beyond it; looked around, then backed out. What did I see? What I 'thought' I saw was the distant past - the city disappeared! (Looked like the same landscape sort of, but no people/housing,etc) 2. Different city, driving down River street, noticed an exhibit building had also disappeared from the River bank park; I pulled over, looked up and down the street to gauge the time frame, but, it looked like the present, yet there was no foundation or sign that the building had ever been there. Spoke with my sister later (we have shared a few such sights before); she said yeah, she had noticed the same thing, but when she mentioned it at work, a co-worker scoffed & said she had just gone by the same place and the building was definitely still there. So, we both drove by again the next day or so, and sure enough the building had re-appeared. Then, a few weeks later, her co-worker walks into her office with a very strange look on her face, refuses to talk about it, but throws the newspaper on her desk. Article reads that the city has sold the exhibit to Victoria, B.C. and they are lifting the entire structure to move it our West. Sure enough a couple months or so later, they have removed the foundation, laid new lawn, and it looks exactly as we both saw it ... (Bending of Time, Bending of Space??)

  74. @ Ramus @ All I guess the bottom line is... nobody knows, for sure. Quantum theory is suggesting that 'reality' is much much stranger then anyone imagined (maybe :) whether all we see is just quarks and electrons and lots of space (or lots of invisible stuff in that space is ?) I don't think we are all tuned into the same channel, and for sure, the delicate balance of chemicals (in body and brain) has to impact, but outside of that, yes, what happens when we can 'see' or sense other channels? I'll add a couple stories to see if it jiggles anyone... following this post.

  75. @jo
    But do experiences like brighter colours, sharper air, answer the question of what is reality or is it a manifestation of the way our brains work. But then is our brain interpreting its perception as reality, if you suddenly see brighter colours the universe has not suddenly brightened but your brain interprets differently. If we could see without eyes would we suddenly see another reality?
    I think of reality as a frequency. We are all tuned to the same channel. If we could dial out our reality would change. For instance we could change the channel and we would appear to be waves of energy floating on other waves of energy. Or fuzzy balls of light floating in a sea of static.
    Or maybe I have gone without sleep too long and reality is exactly how we see it :)

  76. @ Ramus, hey, hello. I can relate to the moments of 'clarity', but I think that means different things to people. To me what your alluding to is an experience of 'connection and clearing'- can be triggered in all sorts of ways - I think beauty (nature for example) works, or just being quiet for a while (settling within yourself - a kind of gentle meditation; feels like 'everything clears,feels clean, fresh, light,and then the realization/knowing that you are a part of everything, everything is part of you... That's my experience with that. I personally don't need a tool or medicinal plant or anything (some folks do). But clarity like a flash of brilliance or understanding or enlightenment? is fabulous, as long as my acting on the brilliance is not harmful... know what I mean? That wasn't specifically what I was getting at before;for example, I've asked a lot of people in workshops I've done if they remember an experience when it seemed like all of a sudden colors were brighter, sometimes really technicolor, and the air seems to get sharper, maybe even shimmery - most say yes, at least when they were children. And I think that's kind of the beginning of it. (What happens next is most of us shake it off, rather than looking in more closely)...

  77. @ Stephen:

    My daughter completed her masters in Psychology two years ago. Dunno if students are still being taught the same stuff; if they are, they shouldn't be.

    When assumptions are made from correlations and those assumptions are taught as facts, even though the same correlations can and do equally point to other posibilities, then what is taught can not be trusted.

    Mind you, if accepting what is taught without question means one gets a degree which enables one to get a job as a "qualified" psychologist then go for it.

    Not for me, though, personal integrity will not allow this.

  78. @jo
    Have you ever had what is often termed a moment of clarity? When everything seems to come into focus. Its hard to explain and last only seconds but I have had moments like that. Maybe the reality we see, taste and feel is only a small fraction of what is actual reality, thos moments of clarity are perhaps when we manage to transcend our normal reality.
    Do substances like ayahuasca give a glimpse of true reality? Or is it just chemical distortion of brain functions? Is it a catch-22? To get to true reality you must first know where it is but to know where it is you have to get there first.

  79. :) okay now I understand 'now' :)... you know before I got addicted to Top Docs, I thought I was brilliant (well, at least 'pretty' smart :)...my how the mighty have fallen, lol. Weelll. Looks like no one wants to take up my earlier CHALLENGE: The doc asks What is Reality? I was wishing for some to share their thought about that,ie. personal experience - it is my hypothesis that everyone has these 'out of reality' moments, and just, sort of lets it go, if IT doesn't make sense. I will also let that go if there are no takers...just wander off back to my own little thoughts... :)

  80. @Jo m:

    Ha,Ha, don't worry about it, you are doing fine. You have learned something, also when they say the BB happened at 10-43 seconds that means 10 followed by 43 zeros from a second, that is a planck second. Small not big.

  81. @ Achems Razor ... yikes...knew I'd be sorry I asked. AS noted in the doc, it's a mathematical universe; I need a 'chip' embedded. Thanks anyway for trying :)

  82. @Jo m:

    First you have the measurements wrong, not 15 times the size of a proton. 10-20 means 10 followed by 20 zeros smaller than a proton.

  83. @ Achems Razor ... LOL ... now I know (knowledge is good yes?), but maybe I am sorry I asked. Truth? Still makes no sense; If, to use the statistical average Planck length is 15x's the size of a proton (which is infinitesimally small), then how could it take as many as 10 seconds for 'another or same' proton, at the 'speed of light'to travel 15x's it's own length!!?(Or is it quantum length you described?) In which case Planck Time is (give or take of course, it's scientific :) 10-43 seconds? So "Now" is 10-43 seconds? ... hahahah ... Add the past and the future into the mix, and well, the whole concept of living in the 'now' means what - don't even Think about it - you don't have time to think :)... So - had any quantum experiences you'd share ? "stuff" appearing or disappearing, wobbly air leading to 'somewhere'?

  84. @Jo Mackay:

    You asked if I can explain Planck time.

    A simple explanation really, first you need the "Planck length," and that is where the classical idea of spacetime and gravity break down, the quantum effect are foremost. The quantum length is the smallest measerment with any meaning.

    It is roughly equal to 1.6x10-35 m or approx. 10-20 times the size of a proton. the "Planck time" is the time it would take a photon travelling at the speed of light to cross a distance equal to the "Planck length". The smallest measurement of time, that is equal to 10-43 seconds. The universe itself came into being when it had an age of 10-43 seconds. "The Big Bang"

  85. Well, that was something wasn't it? Much more than I expected. And, I thought, yes, this could be a bit of fun... I like quantum reality as it's enough like playing...:) I think the theoretical physicists are having the MOST FUN! @ Achems Razor #37 agreed, was anticipating some really creative comments/ deep deep... so what's going on... is everybody 'afraid' of reality? (or is it the living on the edge of a black hole that is worrying?). I did watch the observer effect video you suggested, thanks, it was great. @Prix #42 Yeah...:) @Achems #47 ...(time loop, all time at the same time, okay, but... hmmm where to start, can you explain plank time? @ All. Then, where to go from here? what if the whole of reality is a hologram; what if we (the information of we/I) is a projection from the info left on the event horizon of a black hole? And what about the observer effect? IF we 'look' very closely, does everything start to get fuzzy? as in ripples in space time; have you ever experienced this? I have... And, what if reality is 'in reality' a lucid dream ? Does that mean anything goes and nothing 'matters' or does that mean everything goes, and, everything matters? ... so I'm willing, anyone want to share 'their' experience?

  86. Hi Eire and Achems,

    Much love and Guiness coming out to you. Even in silence, I have been here observing you all from a distance. Just very, very quietly...

    Saw this documentary on the BBC i-player a while back and was expecting a Philosophical/Psycologcal/Neuro-science interpretation of reality but alas, it was Physics again.

    I know that many TDF'ers love the physics documentaries and that this one will be no different. Just wasn't my cup of tea.

  87. @Chyrch

    With no intended disrespect, I'm curious. As someone studying Psychology, do you feel that your field is going to be revolutionized by technical advances in the similar areas of Cognitive Neuroscience, Molecular Biology, Ect... ?

    As we approach what I believe will be a Transhuman future, I feel like Psychology will have alot to offer. The first true theory of mind will most likely be, in my opinion, a working computer-model/simulation of a conscious being. Once that is achieved, I think Psychology will have come of age and we will find ourselves in a brave new world. I do feel that psychology will have much to offer, the years and years of correlation studies will undoubtedly serve as a good starting point as the "More Mathmatical/Harder" sciences begin to build their models.

    Again, no disrespect intended, I am just curious to hear your opinion about the direction and future of Psychology. It is my opinion that all of the related sciences will have to meld into fewer areas of study in order for a real "Theory of Everything" to be constructed. Imagine what could be achieved when the insights of Psychology are added to the findings of projects such as the "Blue Brain Project." I am not informed enough to know if this synergy is beginning to happen yet or not, but I certainly cant wait for the day that it does.


  88. Just read an earlier post that said "this is what my Book tells me". I should have read the posts before I posted my comment. I now take back my earlier post.

  89. WOW!!! I should have just stayed in church, did my confession of faith and let God look after this stuff. Being an atheist is getting way too complicated.

  90. Why did the chicken cross the moebius stripe? to get to the same side!! BAZZINGA!!

  91. Stephen,

    Just to clarify something real quick as someone who is studying Psychology:

    You're right that it's a softer science than many others. But the theories brought forth aren't taken lightly. They're harshly reviewed and criticized. If you want to bring forth anything new, you better damn well hope you can explain every little thing, because otherwise, you're getting laughed at.

    "it troubles me that almost everyone I know can be grouped into some type of “Mental Illness” category based on what appear to be perfectly normal personality traits"

    You use the term "Mental Illness", which I think is exaggerating. Delusions are a part of the Human experience. It's the price we pay for conscious thought with an imperfect brain in an ever-changing social world. Delusions ARE normal, but that doesn't mean we can't still try to recognize and correct them.

    Anyway, I just wanted to clear that up. Now back to the documentary for me!

  92. Im tyring to find a doc i remember seeing radiation coming from rock through foggy air. wish i could remember the name any help would be nice

  93. @achems
    non, une bibliotheque de pins faible (ok I looked up pins)
    I too am pretty much self taught (was non existent too). Have dozens of popular science books which taught me more than boring classes ever did (at least I have a use for the bibliotheque lol).
    Which is why I like Vlatko's site, it quenches my thirst for knowledge. Maybe I will have another crack at Barbours book sometime.
    But if anyone is interested in the hard science of reality and can stomach it then The End of Time is definitely one to read.

  94. @Ramus:

    Have you built "une bibliotheque en chene massif" if so, good for you.

    Granted there are some geometry, some maths in Barbours book, in that regard I suppose might not be the easiest thing to comprehend for everyone.

    Myself am self taught, hardly went to school, like you said, teach french and build bookcases, but nothing wrong with that either. They are honorable professions.

  95. @Achems
    I hate to break it to you but The End of Time is not straight forward, the ideas yes but the book itself is heavy going and, for me, it's lucky it had diagrams or I would never be able to conceptualise what he's talking about. I don't have the book anymore (I may have buried it and slaughtered a sheep over it).
    The Now part I understood but the rest of the book is not for the faint hearted.
    Maybe I just don't have the education to understand it, I live in England and we only get taught at school to speak French and make a wooden bookshelf. Je me fait une bibliotheque!

  96. erie

    Haven't looked into Hawking's book yet "The Grand Design" want to see if it is in my library first.

  97. @eire666

    Have followed most of Michio Kaku's stuff, have some of his books,
    the "parallel universes" doc, on TDF is great. Kaku is in it. who is dr davies?

    Hey, @Epic_logic where have you been.

  98. Hey!! Epi log whats up , long time no chat.
    Wheres my guinness ?
    Watched it and also reckomend dr kaku as a source or dr davies for those who wonder who ive been following.

    Did you ever hear any word on how much hawkings newest book is?

  99. Makes you think.
    What sort of scenarios can come out of this?
    Does one dare to think?

  100. Max Tegmark is HAWT. (What'd he say again?)

    Seriously, nice presentation of a very deep subject.

  101. @Atrophy

    Using the principles of linguistic philosophy the problem is surely a verbal dispute based on the meaning of the word 'sound'.

    Q: If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound ?

    A: How do you define sound?
    1) As alternating contractions and rarefactions of air particles? If so then they occur whether there is anyone there to hear them or not.

    2) As a sound sensation occurring in the ear and being processed by the brain? If this is the case then it doesn't.

    Many problems can be answered by asking for a clear definition of a word.

    Hope that makes sense.

  102. @Ramus:

    Ha,Ha, the book is pretty straight forward, just to give a brief synopsis to those who have not read Barbour's "the end of time".

    Time is nothing but measure of the changing positions of objects. A pendulum swings, the hands of a clock advance, et al:

    but! every possible configuration of the universe, past, present and future exists separately and eternally. We don't live in a single universe that passes through time. Instead, we--or many slightly different versions of ourselves--simultaneously inhabit a multitude of static, everlasting tableaux that include everything in the universe at any given moment. Barbour calls each of these possible still life configurations a "Now"

    Every "Now" is a complete, self contained, timeless unchanging universe.
    And our linear time gives us a feeling of the "Now's" flowing forwards seemingly unbroken as in flow of time, but in reality each "Now" is say a planck length one after another.

  103. @achems
    I bought Julian Barbours book The End of Time and couldn't get past chapter 2 without my head exploding.

  104. Wrapping my head around reality and the double slit experiment out loud. Our reality is nothing but waves of potential until we observe it, the fact that we are here makes it real.

    Q: If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound ?
    A: YES, and NO... it created the potential to be observed.

    In that aspect, everything exists and doesn't exist at the same time and by observation it becomes something we interpret as reality. Much deeper than "Machiavelli's cat" where it exists in multiple 'theoretical' states at the same time while unobserved. The question then arises, what creates the order in the 'things' we recognize, what says this is a tree here, and will be a tree the next time I look ?

  105. @Stephen

    Oh sorry dude, now I understand what you mean. Yea, psychology says everyone has problems. There is no one that is stable or so called perfect. Yes, everyone does have illness but I find it stupid when psychology tries to tell what is "normal". Nothing is normal or abnormal. These standards should be thrown away. Yet, there are valid arguments to why we should keep these standardizations of mental states.

  106. @Scott

    "It would be irrational to think the inner workings of the mind were as accessible as our physical universe."


    My harshest language was actually directed at the 2012-Apocalypse crowd. The hysteria I see present on the web, when attempting to find solid information (such as the info presented in this documentary) is what spurs my anger.

    To a much lesser extent, it troubles me that almost everyone I know can be grouped into some type of "Mental Illness" category based on what appear to be perfectly normal personality traits. This is my issue with psychology, before you tell someone they are ill, you should have a more solid scientific foundation on which to base that opinion.

    Regarding climate science.. I've never seen a Truly Scientific issue that spits itself so neatly on ideological lines. In order to study the climate, any aspiring scientist seemingly must adhere to the paradigm of the day before being allowed to persue his or her research at all. In this field, I feel like contrary opinions squashed by an almost religous-like dogma. This is one area where I feel, at least currently, science has failed to adhere to its own principles.

    I would not assert that either of these areas are not worth persuing. It is simply my opinion that we could do a much better job in persuing them.

    ... and just to keep this on-topic, I'll end with one last opinion. Reality Rules :-p

  107. @Achems Razor

    I've seen "a conscious-universe the observer effect" before and I don't know how to describe the feeling. I want to know how that is possible, my mind is so active and filled with questions. At the same time i'm annoyed and astonished, mixed feelings and emotions. I'm going to read up on this. Thanks again for the links. I'm still not completely convinced that reality isn't there when we aren't looking at it.

    I would've loved face to face talk with you. These types of discussions take hours and are more exciting than anything in the world!

  108. Oh god yes, another docu about reality that i havent seen. I am a documentary nut, and especially docus about aliens, conspiracies, technology and space, but these docu are just the best. i better save this for tommorow, for a helluva good documentary day

  109. Noooo! I can't edit! I forgot to write one more line.

    As I see it, psychology is every bit science like theory of evolution. Pavlovs dogs and other experiments are conducted to study humans and other animals.

    Why everyone gets so upset about you writing something like that is because, it would be same as saying Evolution shouldn't be considered as legit scientific theory. It doesn't make any sense.

  110. @Stephen

    I can't remember precisely but i think it was Achems Razor that wrote something along the lines of "There is no other way to observe things at atomic level because there is no light. Therefore to observe how many photons are passing through you need to shine light so they can be measured. This interrupts the normal behavior of photons."

    I wasn't trying to clarify anything, I'm still trying to get an answer if I'm correct or wrong. The interference pattern is when the photons behave like waves...right?

    So whenever we are observing we are actually disturbing the photons normal behavior.

    @Achems Razor
    Thanks! I would've loved to read your expose, not really sure i've read everything you've written. I always read the comments you write whenever I see you've written...well I try to as much as I can.

  111. @ Stephen

    If psycologists are using hypotheses to work towards a theory then how is it any less scientific? You have to start somewhere.
    It would be irrational to think the inner workings of the mind were as accessible as our physical universe.
    I don't really take issue with your opinion, more your sweeping dismissive language without any added substance.

  112. Interesting comments everyone.

    I thought of writing a big expose, but am sure you have all heard it from me before.

    Instead will leave yous guys's with this...google ..."youtube-a conscious-universe the observer effect"

    Some top quantum and theoretical physicists talk about what most of you were discussing.

    And google..."Julian Barbour" a theoretical physicist, on his end of time theory, that time and space is only an illusion.

  113. sorry about that sarcasm rant not sure where that came from.

    from my very limited knowledge on the subject it`s when your NOT looking that the interference pattern appears.

    hope that helps.

  114. @Prix

    I am so happy you cleared that up for us.

    the silly fools are disrupting the particle with light and there was me assuming they would`ve thunk of that.

  115. @Prix

    I think it is considered significant precisely because of the way we "Observe" the particles in order to see if they passed through slit A vs slit B. If they were using light to detect which slit the Photon or Electron was passing through, I would agree with you... But I do not think this is the case.

    When we detect an expoplanet around a distant star, this is usually done through a passive observation that has no direct impact on the object being observed. We infer the presence of an exoplanet by detecting a slight wobble in its parent star.

    In a similar way, when the double-slit experiment is being performed it is a passive observation that is designed to tell us which slit the photons and electrons are passing through. We are not trying to "See" which slit they passed through, but merely to use the known laws of physics in order to be "Aware" of the particles presense as it passes through.

    I think the experiment is far more interesting when performed with Electrons as opposed to Light Photons. Electrons are supposed to have mass and, as such, shouldn't be able to produce an interference pattern at all in the double-slit. The fact that Mass-Bearing particles of Matter produce an interference pattern is strong evidence towards the notion that the true nature of matter is very strange indeed.

    -- Regarding Scotts comment, he was referring to my suggestion that soft-sciences such as psychology should be held to the same standards of proof as physics. In Math, Chemistry, Physics and Even Biology... you do not have a theory unless you can demonstrate through repeated experiments that your predictions hold true in all cases. Essentially I feel that psychology is essentially a psuedoscience because it doesn't even attempt to follow this methodolgy. I am fairly used to people reacting with anger to that suggestion, I just shrug it off.


    This documentary seems to favor the "Many Worlds" interpretation of Quantum Mechanics over the "Copenhagen Interpretation." I too favor MW, as the idea of a "Collapsing Wave Function" put forth in the Copenhagen Interpretation seems to be an add-on to force QM into a more mechanistic view. I've always kinda leaned this way myself but, unless I'm mistaken, isn't the consensus view still in the Copenhagen camp? Just curious.

  116. How do you know ?

  117. muhammed: "The only reality is what we see and feel" haha, how naive of you

  118. Subatomic particles are not solid but more like strings , even the nucleus of the atom is poppng in and out constantly and when a particle is here, its also elsewhere and when you do something to one the other is instantly affected in the same way nomatter how far apart they are. So basicly the answer to your question is that our brain sees things in 4d which limits us from seeing things as they are but only because our brains evolved to fit our needs. It doesnt see alot more than wr think considering we solids as solids when there is nothing solid as we see it but mostly empty space. Even the rocks in your garden..

    It would do us no good to see things as such .
    Every creature has a brain to fit the model of its needs.
    An atom in a rock on our scale would be like me standing in one stadium and you being in the next stadium over representing the next closest atom. Things are about 80%+ empty space. But our brains are limited to our model. So we see what we need to and what is allowed. In QT however, our view is only one of many possible views.

    theoreiclty there are an infinite number of universes with infiniye realities and laws of physics that are playing out aroumd our own.

    We dont even really touch anything, our atomic poles act like magnets with everything , pushing against and away from everything but only enough to where you never notice your not touching that keyboard, rather pushing the keys with the contridictive atomic poles of your fingers.

    Newtons law are great for us on earth as in observation but on the quantum level they break down and are of no use. Heck, gravity is actually so weak of a force to us. It is easily defied by a small refrigerator magnet yet it seems so gteat.

    They theorize gravity is leaking into our universe only giving us the tail end.

    Weve recreated the bb and the space it created formed and seperated itself from our universe completly and will likely expand as ours.

    Gotta love reality if you see that it along with consciousness is unique to each person as
    Much so as our dna.

  119. @muhammad

    Your book holds no credability in reality seeing as after thousands of years your book like the others in the fairytalr section, have still brought forth any evidence to suppory their delusional and obsurd claims of an afterlife. However you are right, your reality is yours alone , even though in everyone elses reality you are just using the made up reality from that book as your own like a good little sheep and not looking to find your own version.

    How easy just to adopt and accept as opposed to questioning beliefs of others , looking for evidence , and making a decision based on your own insight and not just lazily backing a belief system that tells you all you need to know except that its claims are false and its effect on your ability to think for yourself. But whatever , just take your god elsewhere , we are talking science , and god is not a factor in this discussion.

    I swear religees cant let us have any debate without bringing some desert dogma into it. What a disease these dogmas are to free thought. Like all desert dogmas and sky piolet deciples, yours has no backing or proof at all. Until you do , keep your god to yourself as facts are perfered rather then your gullable nonsupported ideas on reality. You wouldnt know reality if it sat on your lap amd introduced itself. If you did , your book would be a one of science and not an ancient propagandic super hero pamplet, made to close the mind and turn off the bs detector.

  120. They are missing the obvious, as usual.

  121. @Stephen

    Thanks for the link, i've seen it before. I understand that photons can behave like both particles and waves. Yet, why do we bring the observation and say "if we look at photons they behave differently. The act of looking changes their behavior". That doesn't make any sense, it feels like an introduction to The Secret movie...It's a fault in the way we measure the photons that changes their behavior. If we could just see the particles without shinning light that changes their behavior at quantum level then we wouldn't say that reality is there because we look at it.

    What? Climate change? I'm confused with your comment.

  122. On the subject of dreams I used to suffer from night terrors. One example : I was staying at a friends. Asleep but vividly aware that there was a presence at the end of my bed, then my duvet began to be pulled from me, I was paralysed and could do nothing but grip hold of the duvet and try to wake myself up. Then the mattress lifted and tipped me onto the floor, I looked to the doorway to see my mates dog and I instantly woke to find the dog inches from me, as soon as he saw I was awake he started licking my face. It felt very real to me but in the end it was just a dream.

  123. Also reality is subjective and unique to the observer. What goes on when you are not looking and not observing or paying any mind, may be nothing at all, since when not observed ,thngs of matter are only shere potentials of probabites until you observe them as needed. Remember this can be infinite all throughout the universe and universes.

    Just by observing and accepting can make it so. I recall Sagan using the example of a tribal island people whos shaman ran to heed the calls that the warriors could see ripples in water but not the ships that were there because theyre mind could not digest these as reality and only when the shaman assured that the ships were real , the others confidence in the truth of the shaman allowed their mind to accept and interpet the ships as a reality, thus you have to accept a reality as possibity before it can be recieved as realality.

    Fun thought, we are but a thought and a construct of anothers reality?

  124. So interesting!
    Are there more from this series?

  125. Right,again Achems,and on a more "on topic" note, reality is relative to the perveption amd knowledge of the observer. I.e one can only percieve that which they have accepted possible already.

    Given your second statement , i say that it is possible within m-theory' s entanglement rule that our dreams are not dreams at all , but another reality in which we exist only when our subconscious is dominantly active. Ever notice how when something happening in this reality also plays nto your dreams, such as a smell or sound percieved here and also in the dream? This is a plasable concept indeed. I smell bacon so i dream bacon could be just the effect of the entangled mind existing and reacting to stimuli , just as when dreaming we see it as real and sometimes wake up with the emotions still felt or even a more violent awakening.

    I can dig it ..

  126. very good!!!

  127. Is what we think of as reality just an illusion and the illusion the reality? Do our dreams have life or is life just a dream? Is there such a thing as smoking too much weed?........

  128. The only reality is what we see and feel. The rest is all speculative. Reality tells me that life is a cycle of birth, growth , death and decay. Those who believe in God, like me, believe that the cycle will continue at a higher level of life's evolutionary process. Elementary paerticles or not, my life is based on how I interact with my fellow beings.Only that knowledge is beneficial that benefits the humanity at large. This is what my Book tells me.

  129. Very informative. I hope it is available in the market for refrence viewing and revision

  130. I want more...more...why didn't i go to school all my life? I love the idea brought about math on the last segment, quite brillant...that almost makes sense to me.

    can't wait to see what every one else will be saying about this doc...where's Razor?

  131. Most people would assemble a puzzle by starting with the edge and filling the inside, but reality is a very intricate puzzle. The puzzle of the reality of our life is being put together from the middle with the big bang and growing towards an incommensurable edge.

  132. @Stephen

    Wow... your comments really do a great job at discrediting psychology and the study of climate change. Thanks for enlightening us all.

    Though you might want to do some research on the EGO..

  133. @eire666:

    Correct, Einstein was not a true believer in religions or gods as a matter of fact.
    Noticed an error I made on blog 10 meant to say "Niels Bohr", one of the fathers of QM not "Bohm", my bad.

    @Dr. Sohini Shukla:

    Of course our reality is real, but is it as real as we know it, and is it as real as dreams, especially lucid dreams, that we wake up from, wondering which seemed more real? our dream? our waking up in the present?
    Of course am throwing in some supernatural stuff, to see if any other viewpoints, but this still ties in with QM.

  134. Why is it that these types of documentaries always ask only
    theoretical physicists and cosmologists about what reality is? Astronomy is a 'historical science' like geology is. You can't do experimental astronomy. All you can do is look out into space and see what happened far in the past. String theory has been around since the 70's and reached it's zenith in 1985 and to date there has never been any experimental evidence for it's existence. The same goes for the 'Many Worlds' theories and 'M/brane' theory. Multiple dimensions wound up so small that it's impossible to ever see them or sense them in any way? How does that explain reality? What these theoretical physicists are doing is engaging in meta-physics. A branch of philosophy. There is even good reason to believe that particle physics may be turning into a branch of mathematics and won't even be an empirical science any more. It will have come full circle.
    One of the worst advocates of this nonsense is Michio Kaku.
    If you haven't seen the series "Universe" Season 3 - "Parallel Universes" try to find it. While talking about
    multiverses he actually says, "This even affects morals. I mean, why should I obey the law knowing that in some
    universe, if I comit a crime I'm gonna get away with it?"
    I can just see someone using that as a defense in a murder trial.

  135. @Achems

    I always believed people like Eienstein saw god as just an unexplained part of physics , but merely used the word as a comman term for simplicity. It was just easier.

  136. Reality is a Question always remain to think of ....
    The world , we see, can feel but is an illusion and there is nothing in fact ...but we are here, enjoying every second and how can we say that this is an illusion.....
    Sri Aurobondo says that yes, it is real and because we can experience and the actual thing is that what we can see is always change to nothing and every thing comes from a big Zero and returns from where it comes.....
    But according to einstein Very thing is Energy....

  137. This documentary was extremely helpful in my understanding of what reality is. We were just discussing this question in an ethical theories class I'm taking.

    It seems whenever I need philosophical insight regarding the world in which I live, I can always count on this site!

    Thanks for the Education Vlatko

  138. Another brilliant doc from the bbc!

  139. A good doc with some of the basics, delves into the strange world of quantum physics/mechanics with some smattering of many worlds/parallel universe theory, only mentions string theory. Did not go into M/brane theory or any of the conundrum of quantum theories, quantum gravity, etc:

    Yes, Einstein called quantum mechanics "a spooky action at a distance"

    Einstein was basically at complete odds with Bohm on the subject of quantum theory.

  140. @prix

    Do a youtube/google-video search on "Dr. Quantum Double Slit Experiment." This is the best explanination I have seen to date on the concept. I double posted because when I copy-pasted the link I got the dreaded "Your comment is awaiting moderation" message. The amazing thing, in my opinion, is that this happens when single electrons are fired at the slits, not just light. Have a look :)

  141. Can someone who knows about double slit experiment explain something for me?

    When single particles are shot, it shows wave pattern. If we "observe" what's going on then it behaves normally.

    We can't just observe particles without shinning light, correct? So when the particles are waves and we interrupt the particles with light, the particles behave differently. In other words, we need different type of observation tool, right? It's not that we are "watching" it's a fault by the observation tool.

  142. I was wondering if anyone has read David Bohm's "Wholeness and the Implicate Order"? It has been a long time, but if I remember correctly Bohm thought of all this "reality" as a holographic paradigm? A continual enfolding/unfolding of events? I really hate to disappoint the status quo, but I suspect that the interpretations will have to change to fit reality instead of reality changing to fit the current paradigm.

  143. not saying i understand the subject fully but this explains theories simply enough to get a grip on a strange subject

  144. Have found this documentary to be very interesting. Made me think. The question, what is reality? is very philosophical. Keep the great documentary's coming especialy on this one and like subjects.

  145. Nice Doc.

  146. Great Documentary.

    I have long been interested in the Holographic Conjecture. Searching youtube for videos on the subject, however, yields nothing but garbage put forth by people who dont really understand what they're attempting to talk about (IE - the 2012 crowd). Finally a documentary featuring Leonard Suskind, co-founder of the idea w/ Gerrad Hofft (sp?). Good stuff, we inhabit a strange and wonderous world indeed.

    This documentary belongs in the Science category, unlike the insignificant drivel put forth by the climate-change ideologues. Compare the standards of proof in a hard science like physics to the nonsense comming out of areas such as psychology and climate science and you will see... There is simply no comparison at all.

  147. Good Info for people not educated on particle physics