Science Night 11/23

Wednesday Science Night for November 23rd presents:

NOVA: The Fabric of the Cosmos: “Universe or Multiverse?” 8 pm
Accompany physicist and acclaimed author Brian Greene on a mind-bending reality check and journey to the frontiers of physics to see how scientists are piecing together the most complete picture yet of space, time and the universe. Hard as it is to swallow, cutting-edge theories are suggesting that our universe may not be the only universe. Instead, it may be just one of an infinite number of worlds that make up the multiverse. Brian Greene takes us on a tour of this brave new theory at the frontier of physics, explaining why scientists believe it’s true and showing what some of these alternate realities might be like. Some universes may be almost indistinguishable from our own; others may contain variations of all of us, where we exist but with different families, careers and life stories. In still others, reality may be so radically different from ours as to be unrecognizable. Greene reveals why this radical new picture of the cosmos is getting serious attention from scientists. It won’t be easy to prove, but if it’s right, our understanding of space, time and our place in the universe will never be the same.

Capital of Innovation at 9 pm
Three entrepreneurs offer a glimpse of why Austin is being hailed as the best place in the country to launch a business. Josh Kerr tells how he hit the jackpot creating one of the first successful apps for the iPhone. Chris Richter shares his triumphant struggle to create and launch the first healthy, low-calorie drink mixer that also prevents hangovers. And Ruth Glendenning explains why her idea to turn an abandoned big-box store into a micro incubator for small businesses is attracting national attention.

NOVA: The Elegant Universe: “Welcome To The 11th Dimension” 9:30 pm
The third and final episode of “The Elegant Univserse” shows how in 1995 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 required a total of 11 dimensions. Ten… 11… who’s counting? But the new 11th dimension is different from all the others, since it implies that strings can come in higher dimensional shapes called membranes, or “branes” for short. These possess 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 in one right now.