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28 May 2003

Brane(sic) New World

Oh, brane new world! (apologies to Stephen Hawkings for stealing that great pun.) Physicists, pursuing a thought experiment that relates to and builds upon string theory, have been mathematically theorising Plato's universe of the ideal, wherein the perceptible universe is only a shadow play on the wall. Except the physicists wall is not the wall of a cave, but is rather a "brane" (short for membrane), thin foil-like mini-universes that exist in the 10-dimensional space that is the real but never experiencable whole universe.

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