NOVA: Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives

NOVA: Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives

Thu, 06/09/2011 - 8:00pm

Pictured: "E" trying to understand quantum physics and the parallel worlds theory at Princeton University. 

Credit: Courtesy of BBC/Adam Scourfield

Haunted by his genius father, rock star Mark Oliver Everett makes emotional journey to understand the physics of parallel universes.

Mark Oliver Everett, better known as E, is the lead singer of US cult band the EELS. What most of his fans don’t know is that Mark’s father, Hugh Everett III, was one of America’s top quantum physicists. In 1957, Hugh Everett came up with a revolutionary theory that predicted the existence of parallel universes. The idea quickly seeped into popular culture, but only recently has it been accepted by mainstream physicists. NOVA: Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives, airing Thursday, June 9 at 8 p.m. on WXXI World (cable 524/DT21.2), follows the wry and charismatic Mark, who had been estranged from his father, as he travels across America to learn about the father he never knew. It is only by entering the paradoxical world of quantum mechanics that Mark can hope to understand why he was such a stranger to his own father.