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Physicists' Pursuit of Branes and Beauty

May 22, 2003

Re "A New Slice of Physics," May 17:

K.C. Cole's masterly article on the latest of physicists' extravagant mental bubbles tiptoes around the social process that inflates such otherworldly speculations. One clue to physicists' abandonment of nature's portions, lying right outside our doors, for the safety of conjured dimensions is that they are wholly flummoxed by life and the manner with which it "organizes" itself.

The last time I checked, the teeming buzz encountered on walks through vestiges of passably natural areas is also part of the universe(s) of their discourse. Although we might concede that the digging out of the underlying mechanisms locally is labor too messy for such rigor-trained minds, we should not forget that physics is a process conducted by a particular faction of humans who are as focused on current tribal notions of beauty as others have been on lip plugs, codpieces, tongue studs and so on. Regardless of their sources, some ideas are pretentious and, in the end, irrelevant distractions from earthly issues confronting us today.

Dennis Hollenberg

Ventura

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Cole's explanation of "brane" theory was amazingly well presented. I don't wish to imply that I understand it all -- my math never really went beyond three dimensions with a bare intro to Einstein's fourth -- but the writing actually gave me a feel that I could almost understand! Thank you, K.C. Cole.

Salem Spitz

Cerritos

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Is it possible that whatever it is that people call God might actually reside in another brane and somehow "seeps through" (for lack of a better term) to our brane? Would explain a lot of things.

Trent D. Sanders

La Canada

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