Max Tegmark – Reality is a Mathematical Object

These equations describe how light behaves…
This equation describes how gravity behaves…
This equation describes how atoms behave…
These equations describe what happens when you go really fast near the speed of light…

And it’s just amazing to me that a little bit of scribbles like this can capture the essence of what’s going on in this very complicated looking universe out there.

Galileo way back in the renaissance already remarked that nature seems to be a book written in the language of mathematics. These all [formulas] came after Galileo so why are we discovering even more and more mathematical regularities out there? What is it telling us?

I think our universe isn’t just described by maths. I think it is maths. I think our entire universe is a giant mathematical structure that we’re a part of and that’s the reason why the more we study physics, the more mathematical regularities we keep discovering

I think the universe is a mathematical object.

It’s just out there existing in a sort of Platonic sense. It’s not that it’s existing inside of space and time but space and time exists inside of it.

And that really changes our perspective.

What that really means is that reality is very different from how it seems.

Speakers Voice:
If Max is right maths isn’t a language we’ve invented but a deep structure we’re gradually uncovering like archeologists. An abstract unchanging entity that has no beginning and no end. As we peel back the layers we’re discovering the code. Strange as it seems it’s a comforting theory because if reality is a mathematical object understanding it might be within our reach.

If I’m wrong it means that fundamental physics is eventually going to hit a roadblock beyond which we just can’t understand reality any better. If I’m right then there is no roadblock and everything is in principle understandable to us and I think that would be wonderful because then we would only limited by our own imagination.

I watched MIT Cosmologist, Max Tegmark, the other night making a fascinating appearance in the BBC Horizon Documentary What is Reality? Above text is a transcript.

The whole program is available on website

I think professor Tegmark’s exposition is great and his ideas are truly intriguing. But I’m also feeling that I’ve seen ideas very similar to his expressed some time ago.

Werner Heisenberg says in his Physics and Beyond (1971):

I think that modern physics has definitely decided
in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter
are not physical
 objects in the ordinary sense; they
are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously
only in mathematical language.



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