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Ingenious: Laura Mersini-Houghton

The universe chaser.

Laura Mersini-Houghton is on the trail of, quite literally, the biggest secret code going. Her analysis of the faint microwave radiation that permeates the sky, called the Cosmic Microwave Background, reaches a startling conclusion: She believes that it (along with recent particle physics data) provides definitive, empirical evidence that our universe is just one of many.  If proven to be true, this would change our understanding of what nature is and where its laws come from. When we caught up with Mersini-Houghton in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we found someone who carried the weight of her work lightly. Quick to smile and full of anecdotes, Mersini-Houghton took us from the farthest reaches of the multiverse to her family home in communist Albania. Meet her in this video, and be sure to check out her essay, “Beyond the Horizon of the Universe.”

What is a multiverse?

Does the multiverse include everything that exists?

What does the multiverse do to our understanding of time?

Is your work the first empirical test of string theory?

Is there a debate within the multiverse community about what multiverses are?

Why is believing in a single universe dangerous?

Has the response of the scientific community to your work been completely rational?

Why is the anthropic principle dangerous?

Who is your favorite philosopher?

What would you have done if you weren’t a scientist?

Eastern Europe has produced a lot of strong theoretical physicists. Why is that?

Your father was a mathematician. Was he an inspiration for you?


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