Season 31, Episode 4 Welcome to the 11th Dimension

First Aired: November 4, 2003

The conclusion of “The Elegant Universe,” physicist Brian Greene's exploration of string theory, the “theory of everything” that ties quantum mechanics to general relativity, looks at where it could lead---to 11 dimensions and parallel universes. “Things that used to seem like science fiction aren't so far-fetched,” says Greene. The theoretical underpinnings for this were solidified in 1995 by Princeton's Robert Witten, who united five divergent string theories into one “m” theory (no one knows what the “m” stands for). If it's proved (and an atom-smasher under construction in the Alps might do it), “not only would our universe be nothing special,” says Greene, “but we'd have lots of company.” And some of the universes might have their own laws of physics.

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  • Premiered: March 3, 1974
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  • Premise: PBS's premier science-documentary series, which has won six Peabody Awards and more than 20 Emmys (four in 2002 alone) since its 1974 debut. `Nova' clearly, and often engagingly, `demystifies' a vast range of science, technology and history topics---past a… (more)

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