Our Mathematical Universe with Max Tegmark

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  • ℹ️ Description
Our Mathematical Universe with Max Tegmark 4.5

Our universe isn't just described by mathematics, but it is mathematics. Specifically, it's a mathematical structure.
Our world doesn't just have some mathematical properties: it fundamentally has only mathematical properties.

Why is mathematics so spectacularly successful at describing the cosmos? In this Ri talk, MIT physics professor Max Tegmark proposes a radical idea: that our physical world is not only described by mathematics, but that it is mathematics. He shows how this theory may provide answers to the nature of reality itself.

This event was filmed at the Royal Institution on January 30 2014.

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💬 Comments on the video

I'm nearly done with his book of the same title and it is totally mind blowing.

Author — dk6024


Wild imagination and accurate intuition, that afterwards is proven scientifically. Humans will do in time whatever think they'll do.

Author — RAFA


Is it me or does Max, at times, sound like Christopher Walken🤣

Author — asusedz


Great teacher.  Wonderful analogies, colloquial expression, enthusiasm, he's enjoying teaching.

Author — Erick Wilberding


Love you Max, you're a real treasure to humanity.

Author — Ted L


Can someone explain to me how this theory can account for the self-evident fact of change? By that I mean, this thing losing and gaining another, succession.

Also, how does this theory not result in idealism? There is no physical world in this view, only these immaterial mathematical forms, and the universe is one of them. So everything we know about the universe is mental representation. But if we only know mental representations, then we never know the universe as it is, and that includes any mathematical properties of the universe. And if we want to say matter exists, then we have something other than number and have no explanation for it.

Another problem is that it doesn’t seem as if their theory can salvage induction at all. How can we guarantee the mathematical universe we live in is going to continue behaving nicely, as opposed to the many many other mathematical universes that don’t behave with any regularity at all? Since things in this theory aren’t substances with real natures that ground how they act, and instead are just random assortments of numbers that can make a mathematical object, we have no sound basis for induction.

Let alone trying to explain how colours, sounds, smells and all other forms of qualia can be explained by mathematics. It would seem to rule out qualitative plurality entirely, because it’s all the same stuff, it’s all just numbers. I’m not sure what saying an electron just is -1 and all it’s other properties that can be described mathematically even means. What brings all these numbers together to make a single electron? Is an electron just a collection of numbers? What makes this electron different from that electron, if they’re all just the exact same collection of numbers? You might say spacial location, but then they’re a different collection of numbers and therefore don’t share a common nature. So we can’t speak of electrons anymore?

These are just some thoughts I have about this theory of his. I don’t buy it.

Author — Maxthemannn


When was young in science class I had a joke. I would put my safety glasses upside-down and lopsided and said "Cwimwate chwange iswint weal" in a 4-year-old voice.

Author — FreeT1me


Thanks for this wonderful video. Great information from a great teacher.

Author — Dick Armstrong


Great teacher indeed. Wonderful lecture. I don't know how big our chances are to expand our civilisation into the universe though. The closest star (excepting the sun of course) is four lightyears away, and I don't think there are any exoplanets around that star anyway, also I thought it was Kepler who calculated that the planets moved in elipses around the sun, not Newton, never mind, I liked the lecture a lot.

Author — Torsten Torell


i have always wondered about the wavelength of hydrogen being 21 cm (more or l;ess)
It's a very nice accessible scale for humans.
I tried making objects in which 21cm was a feature.
Nothing interesting happened though.

Author — Alan Garland


PERFECT! (A+)^55 wow. I was an young engineer thinking universe really is math not the other way around!

Author — Richard Östberg


14.:23 Nice racks. It's great to see you using off the shelf SKB cases that you can get from a music equipment provider.

Author — bouldersoundguy


There is a point where the description becomes what is described. Symbol becomes the meaning behind it.

Author — Klaus Poppe


pure mental power of Eratosthenes was not enough to prevent the lecturer's mistake at 1:36 in presenting his finding :)

Author — mz1rek


Joe Pesci and Rob Lowe had a baby and it was molested by Stanley Kubrick.

Author — th3giv3r


Tegmark! You propose 2 possibilities, that maths n physics may reach a "dead end" or that the road could go on n on! But the dead end itself is possibly leading us on n on, isn't it! 😁. Like the dead end of Aether the pre 1905 required, man has had dead right from the Earth Flat days right up to dark matter / energy now, or Schrodinger Cat or entanglement etc all are apparent dead ends. Man surmounts all by the sheer power of maths, yes sir! Thanks.

Author — Raghu Parandhaman


He sounds like the Christopher Walkens of physics.

Author — Bill Bill


"Our universe isn't just described by mathematics, but it is mathematics."
What do you mean by "is", in "it is mathematics"?

Author — Patraka Lawang


For years I've suspected that "mathematics" is far more fundamental and expansive than it appears -- that perhaps everything we experience (nature, music, design, et al) are manifestations of mathematics.   A mathematical universe makes a lot of sense. 

Now, what about this Mandelbrot Set? 

Author — cseeger1


Great lesson, even if it's 4 yrs old !!

Author — giuseppe3010