Linde is riveted by the possibility that the explosion didn't just create us -- but billions of other universes governed by different physical laws. It is a comfortable concept for a mind that grew up under Soviet dogma and distrusts any single authoritarian system -- including monotheistic religions ruled over by a single God. He said he is more attracted to polytheistic Eastern philosophy.
"Even if one tries to interpret our results in religious terms, I think that it would be such a waste of energy for 'God' not to use this way of creating a universe -- to take a milligram of matter and then the universe does the rest of the job by itself, producing infinite number of universes," he said.
If there was a creator of the universe, was the work signed? Is there a hidden message? The inflationary expansion could make it too huge to read, he concedes. But perhaps the message is encoded in the laws of that universe -- legible only to physicists. The thought brings him joy.
"Maybe God is a physicist hacker," Linde laughed. Then he turned quiet. "I am not so sure this is just a joke."
Contact Lisa M. Krieger at 650-492-4098.