Lisa Randall’s Guide to the Galaxy

The famed cosmologist unveils her latest theories on the invisible universe, extra dimensions and human consciousness

Lisa Randall is the first female theoretical physicist tenured at Harvard. (Andreas Pein / LAIF / Redux)
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(Continued from page 6)

(You have to imagine these words dramatized by an operatic soprano.)

But in “PLANE III: FEAR AND HOPE” the conjecture about extra dimensions changes things:

—This step—a new dimension—
excites me
beyond anything I have ever felt.

Then suddenly in “Plane IVA,” things get a little trippy as...

—I enter the fifth dimension...
and time
are alive!
—I see more—
The full extent of our universe...!!

There’s more but I’ll leave the opera text with her two exclamation points.

She ends PLANE V with:

—How do I share this with you? 

And in a way, in the operatic form, she’s found a means of sharing the operatic emotions, her sense of wonder and awe at experiencing the cosmos. The extra dimensions within her mind. Randall can’t bring us to her visionary level, but she can give us a sense of how thrilling and frightening and ultimately fulfilling it is to have such visions. To be, let’s say, one thousand percent alive.


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