Archive for May, 2006

Superstring/Metaphor/Implication

I have taken a hiatus from Deleuze to delve into cosmology–been reading Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos and am 4/5 of the way through.  I got through the punishing introductions to relativity and quantum mechanics (punishing NOT because of his explanations–though I've read better, Lincoln Barnett's The Universe and Doctor Einstein comes to mind–but because of the complicated concepts of space and time), paying my dues to get to the stuff on superstring theory and brane theory.  Man, is it fascinating!  Aside from the claims that superstring theory will provide a GUT (Grand Unified Theory) encompassing general relativity and quantum mechanics, I was stunned by the connection to metaphor as I've developed it in previous posts.  On p. 390, Greene provides a diagram of "open strings with endpoints attached to two-dimensional branes, or two-branes" as well as "strings stretching from one two-brane to another."  One diagram shows a plane with strings jumping off of the surface, as if representing the trajectories of jumping fish, and another shows two similar planes (i.e. branes), facing eachother, with some of the strings leaping across the space inbetween to connect to the other brane/plane

Now I'm not sure what the implications of such a connection between (a theory of the fundamental nature of) the cosmos and the workings of poetic language (which, according to Lakoff and Johnson, underlie our very thinking processes), but at the moment I'm stuck on the sense of implication, the implication of implication, since this whole superstring theory is about hidden dimensions "folded" or curled out of our site.  This also makes me think of the first time I truly encountered this word, in Deleuze's work on Leibniz and the Fold (i.e. the "pli," French for fold), and the string/metaphor/brane crossings makes me think of Deleuze and Guattari's concept of the rhizome, the "between," and the notion of plateaus, that come across, metaphorically, as branes in a multidimensional universe.

Then I think of the what explicate might mean given all of the above implications.  As I saw the strings bouncing around on the surface of the brane and saw some of them leap off across the space between to another brane, I thought of them being "explicated," a kind of dimensional explication.  It's all almost. . . . inexplicable.

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9 May 2006 at 11:34 am 1 comment

The Multidimensional Geometry of Tree Limbs

I've been reading Brian Greene's The Fabric of the Cosmos and just finished the discussion in chapter 12 on string physics and extra dimensions, and I thought, as I looked at the strange forms that the limbs of some trees take, that perhaps they are manifesting some multidimensional geometric pattern that would make total sense if we had a better understanding of how the 6 or 7 hidden spatial dimensions that string theory posits affects how a tree's limbs unfold.  Then I started to look around at all of the bushes, flowers, plants as I approached my home, and I had one of these "everything is illuminated" moments as my reading of Ian Stewart's Life's Other Secret:  The New Mathematics of the Living World influenced my perception.  If things like pine cones and leopard spots manifest relatively understandable mathematical concepts like Fibonacci numbers and broken symmetry, then perhaps the growth of tree limbs manifest the shape of 10-D multidimensional space. . . .

8 May 2006 at 6:34 pm Leave a comment


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