Science fact, sort of

<strong>The Never-Ending Days of Being Dead: dispatches from the front line of science</strong>


Did you know that the static on your TV screen is "cosmic microwave background radiation", which last interacted with matter in the fireball of the Big Bang? Or that Elvis is "living in another space domain" – indeed, in an infinite number of other space domains? It's also possible that stars are technological artefacts built by extraterrestrial intelligence, and that a single number contains the answer to every question ever asked. Oh, and we might all be resurrected in a computer simulation.

Marcus Chown's "science from the frontier" is self-consciously wacky, but his claims are grounded in scientific theory – albeit from the "most imaginative and daring" theorists in the world. Visionary thinkers have always been a little unhinged. As Chown points out, the Big Bang theory itself is a "stupendously grand vision of creation", and if we accept it, the possibilities are limitless.

He does not have an answer for everything. For example, no one knows why the expansion of the universe started speeding up. But the questions he asks are interesting, and his writing is lively. It may not solve the universe's mysteries, but it does serve up food for thought.

This article first appeared in the 29 January 2007 issue of the New Statesman, Climate change