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The Elegant Universe: Part 3

Eleven dimensions, parallel universes, and a world made out of strings. It's not science fiction, it's string theory.

Premiered: Runtime: 53:07Topic: Physics + MathPhysics & Math
Premiered on PBS

Part 3 of "The Elegant Universe" with host Brian Greene shows how Edward Witten of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study, aided by others, revolutionized string theory by successfully uniting the five different versions into a single theory that is cryptically named "M-theory," a development that requires a total of eleven dimensions.

Ten...eleven...who's counting? But the new 11th dimension implies that strings can come in shapes called membranes, or "branes" for short. These have truly science fiction-like qualities, since in principle they can be as large as the universe. A brane can even be a universe—a parallel universe—and we may be living on one right now.

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Major funding for "The Elegant Universe" is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation, with additional funding from the Department of Energy and from Volkswagen of America, Inc. Promotional Sponsor for The Elegant Universe: SEED Magazine