Our Mathematical Universe
My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality
by Max Tegmark
About The Book
Our Mathematical Universe is a journey to explore the mysteries uncovered by cosmology and to discover the nature of reality. Our Big Bang, our distant future, parallel worlds, the sub-atomic and intergalactic — none of them are what they seem. But there is a way to understand this immense strangeness — mathematics. Seeking an answer to the fundamental puzzle of why our universe seems so mathematical, Tegmark proposes a radical idea: that our physical world not only is described by mathematics, but that it is mathematics. This may offer answers to our deepest questions: How large is reality? What is everything made of? Why is our universe the way it is?
Table of Contents
1 What Is Reality?
Not What It Seems • What’s the Ultimate Question? • The Journey Begins
Part One: Zooming Out
2 Our Place in Space
Cosmic Questions • How Big Is Space? • The Size of Earth • Distance to the Moon • Distance to the Sun and the Planets • Distance to the Stars • Distance to the Galaxies • What Is Space?
3 Our Place in Time
Where Did Our Solar System Come From? • Where Did the
Galaxies Come From? • Where Did the Mysterious Microwaves
Come From? • Where Did the Atoms Come From?
4 Our Universe by Numbers
Wanted: Precision Cosmology • Precision Microwave-Background Fluctuations • Precision Galaxy Clustering • The Ultimate Map of Our Universe • Where Did Our Big Bang Come From?
5 Our Cosmic Origins
What’s Wrong with Our Big Bang? • How Inflation Works • The Gift That Keeps on Giving • Eternal Inflation
6 Welcome to the Multiverse
The Level I Multiverse • The Level II Multiverse • Multiverse Halftime Roundup
Part Two: Zooming In
7 Cosmic Legos
Atomic Legos • Nuclear Legos • Particle-Physics Legos • Mathematical Legos • Photon Legos • Above the Law? • Quanta and Rainbows • Making Waves • Quantum Weirdness • The Collapse of Consensus • The Weirdness Can’t Be Confined • Quantum Confusion
8 The Level III Multiverse
The Level III Multiverse • The Illusion of Randomness • Quantum Censorship • The Joys of Getting Scooped • Why Your Brain Isn’t a Quantum Computer • Subject, Object and Environment • Quantum Suicide • Quantum Immortality? • Multiverses Unified • Shifting Views: Many Worlds or Many Words?
Part Three: Stepping Back
9 Internal Reality, External Reality and Consensus Reality
External Reality and Internal Reality • The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth • Consensus Reality • Physics: Linking External to Consensus Reality
10 Physical Reality and Mathematical Reality
Math, Math Everywhere! • The Mathematical Universe Hypothesis • What Is a Mathematical Structure?
11 Is Time an Illusion?
How Can Physical Reality Be Mathematical? • What Are You? • Where Are You? (And What Do You Perceive?) • When Are You?
12 The Level IV Multiverse
Why I Believe in the Level IV Multiverse • Exploring the Level IV Multiverse: What’s Out There? • Implications of the Level IV Multiverse • Are We Living in a Simulation? • Relation Between the MUH, the Level IV Multiverse and Other Hypotheses •Testing the Level IV Multiverse
13 Life, Our Universe and Everything
How Big Is Our Physical Reality? • The Future of Physics • The Future of Our Universe — How Will It End? • The Future of Life •The Future of You — Are You Insignificant?
Suggestions for Further Reading
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