Friday, March 1, 2013

Physics paper mentioned in Illuminatus!

 Our friend Nick Helweg-Larsen, scouring libraries in England, finds a 1960s paper on physics. It's mentioned on Page 241 of The Eye in the Pyramid in Illuminatus! when Joe Malik says, "This tomorrow-today-yesterday time is beginning to get under my skin."

Simon sighed, "You want words to put around it. You can't accept it until it has labels dangling off it, like a new suit. OK. And your favorite word-game is science. Fine, right on! Tomorrow we'll drop by the Main Library and you can look up the English science journal Nature for Summer nineteen sixtysix. There's an article in there by the University College physicist F. R. Stannard about what he calls the Faustian Universe. He tells how the behavior of K-mesons can't be explained assuming a one way time-track, but fits into a neat pattern if you assume our universe overlaps another where time runs in the opposite direction. He calls it the Faustian universe, but I'll bet he has no idea that Goethe wrote Faust after experiencing that universe directly, just as you're doing lately. Incidentally, Stannard points out that everything in physics is symmetrical, except our present concept of one-way time. Once you admit two -way time traffic, you've got a completely symmetrical universe. Fits the Occamite's demand for simplicity. Stannard'll give you lots of words, man.

Nick emailed me a PDF of Stannard's paper, "Symmetry of the Time Axis," and I have uploaded it here so that the rest of you can read it. Some of the physics are beyond me, but some of the passages I do understand are pretty mind-blowing.

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