Einstein's famous equation that we've all heard or read about one time or another, explains the very large - gravity, planets etc. And it has been proven many times in numerous ways. However it it doesn't work with the very small - atoms, electrons, quarks even photons etc. Particle physics as it is called, is explained / governed by the math of Quantum Mechanics. 

The goal of all physicists has been a unifying formula for both. The leading contender is String Theory which works if one allows for a multi dimensional universe.

Vibrating Strings


Let's start from the beginning… Where does music come from? I believe that music is at the heart of everything. It is the language of a vibrating, living cosmos. And this isn't exaggeration; this is the basis of a current theory about what truly makes up the universe.

During my studies at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts we were visited by Brian Greene a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University. Brian is a proponent of string theory, a theoretical idea that seeks to explain the behavior of everything, big and small. String theory posits that deep inside the smallest particle we can observe there are tiny lines of energy vibrating at different frequencies and these vibrations interact to create everything that there is; from a hydrogen atom to the largest galaxy.

During his time with us, Professor Greene had a session with the composers at the school of music. We were discussing creativity and the genesis of new ideas. At the end, he asked for questions. I raised my hand and said, "I've read your book the Elegant Universe and I have a very basic understanding of your research. I want to ask, at its heart, is string theory stating that the rules of music, the mathematics of frequency, harmonics and pitch, are the same as the rules for these vibrating strings that make up everything?" Brian said that in essence, I was correct. I've thought about that question and answer for years now, it is has truly captured my imagination.

So, imagine with me, these infinitesimally small chords of energy like the strings of a violin. They can play different notes, different frequencies and when they do, they behave in unique ways. One note makes them an electron, another the building blocks of the nucleus of an atom. How they play together influences gravity, nuclear decay, magnetism, all of the forces of physics. According to string theory, this universe is an orchestra of strings playing a symphony that is existence itself.

So when we think about where music comes from, let's start from the very beginning. Because the first note of this cosmic symphony would be the big bang itself. And the music continues, everything we know, everything we see and don't see is ringing with this song of existence. At the risk of sounding overly poetic, you and me, everything… we are music.

A Video Tutorial 8:00

String Theory Is Not Just For Atheists

By JOHN MANOS Wake Forrest U. 11/18

All right, this one is obscure, but interesting nevertheless. String theory, is it true? Do you have to be an atheist to believe it? The answers to both of these questions is a resounding "No." To the first one especially because string theory (M Theory) is a THEORY. So it isn't necessarily true, nor is it untrue … And to the second one, you do not have to be an atheist to believe it either. Trust me on this one, I'm an Anglican Christian and while I'm not fully aboard the string theory bandwagon, I do think it holds some validity. So, let's get into this very elementary explanation of one of the most complicated ideas in history.

Interstellar was a great movie. The scene in which the University of Texas' very own (RIP to that football program) Matthew McConaughey was communicating with his daughter through manipulating string particles from the future might be one of the most curiosity-invoking scenes for me personally. Obviously it's a very "Hollywood" concept, but it's a cool one at that. Perhaps the most intriguing part of this specific scene is the depiction of time as different compartments in a single structural complex. Time is depicted as a physical location. Even in the movie, astronaut Amelia Brand talks about creatures living in the fifth dimension as being able to walk to the future as if it were on the top of a hill and to walk back to the past as if it were at the bottom of a valley behind them. What if this were true? What if there existed a plane where time was a physical location? Well, it might actually be true. It isn't proven but it is a theory and a well-adopted one at that.

So what is M theory? Essentially, life is lived on planes, also called dimensions. Each plane holds a perception. We live on the X, Y and Z plane, with the plane "t" for "time" being our fourth dimension. On these four dimensions we can perceive ‘up-down' motion (Y), ‘side-side' (X), ‘front-back' (Z), and time. For creatures who live in only two dimensions, X and Y, they cannot perceive anything moving on the Z-axis. As for creatures who live only on the X-axis, they cannot perceive anything that moves on any other axis. Follow me here. So if you live on all four dimensions, like a human does, you can perceive those four just fine … but what about the fifth? That's where it gets interesting. Imagine a scenario in which there are beings who live in five dimensions. Albert Einstein, who balanced religion with science, thought that time was the fourth dimension and that creatures living in five could observe time. The concept that we, as humans, are slaves to. If M Theory is valid, then Interstellar's Amelia Brand was right. There may be a universe where time is just a path. Where it's malleable. And if that universe exists, we're in it, we just can't see all of it. Not only that, if this fifth dimension exists, then so do six more.

String theory proposes the idea of eleven dimensions, and we can only fathom four of them. One more thing — nobody has said that creatures from the fifth dimension cannot visit the fourth. This could explain ghost sightings, alien encounters or any supernatural experiences. So next time you see something peculiar, immensely peculiar, more peculiar than the idea of a Big 10 team winning the college football playoff, maybe it's just somebody from one of the dimensions above you paying you a little visit.