It looks like Smolin's conjecture has been refuted by neutron star observations.
This week Amazon began taking advance orders for The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos, Brian Greene's new book. It is already up there on the physics bestseller list. Release scheduled for 25 January 2011. Looks like a hot one.
Here is the publisher's page on the book:
The blurb is slightly more toned-down and dignified than what you get at the Amazon webpage. I'll quote part of it:
==quote Random House webpage about the book==
From the bestselling author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos comes his most expansive and accessible book to date—a book that takes on the grandest question: Is ours the only universe?
There was a time when “universe” meant all there is. Everything. Yet, in recent years discoveries in various branches of physics and cosmology have led an increasing number of scientists to consider the possibility that our universe is one among many. Parallel worlds or parallel universes or multiple universes or alternate universes or the metaverse, megaverse, or multiverse—they’re all synonymous and they’re all among the words used to embrace not just our universe but a spectrum of others that may be out there.
With crystal-clear prose and inspired use of analogy, Greene shows how a range of different multiverse proposals emerge from theories developed to explain the most refined observations of both subatomic particles and the dark depths of space. And, with his unrivaled ability to make the most challenging of material accessible and entertaining, Greene tackles the core question: How can fundamental science progress if great swaths of reality lie beyond our reach?
How indeed? Truth out of the mouth of blurbs. The book has 400 pages and will be issued simultaneously in hardcover, e-book, audio CD, and audio download versions.
How many more pop-crap books do they plan to write?!