Originally posted by sonhouse
Your'e a doctor? Seriously, two new words, totally not understood: Homology and Landscape, anyone have any layman explanations for those terms?
OK, homology first.
Homology (in part from Greek ὁμός homos "identical"
is a certain general procedure to associate a sequence of abelian groups or modules with a given mathematical object such as a topological space or a group.
That's from Wikipedia. The rest of the page made my ears bleed so I stopped looking. There is also a thing called a cohomolgy which is ummm, yeah, one of them things. Plenty easy to understand stuff on biological homologies (similarity apparently) but the mathematical thing is best described as opaque.
The landscape is easier to understand. There are many configurations allowed by string theory that are not minimum energy states and therefore unstable. Many of those unstable sectors of space are able to exist for considerable periods of time because they are cut off from the ground state by a barrier of higher energy states. The local minimum is unable to transition to the true minimum without some input to initiate that transition. The landscape refers to all those metastable configurations that can exist. Some of those configurations will have physical laws similar to our universe and at least one hopefully has identical physical laws to our universe. So our universe might be just one of a whole landscape of long lived but ultimately unstable bits of space. One day we might wake and discover we aren't here anymore!