Toward the end of the last book of the Remembrance of Earth's Past series, Death's End, there is (spoiler):

a small universe, one of many, which various low entropy species have setup as "bubbles floating above the supermembrane which contains the Great Universe(s)".

The cosmologist in that part recognizes the cubic space through the research of Charles Miser who the cosmologist directly mentions.

I've looked into Charles Miser's work a bit and haven't found anything with any clear relation to that space in the book. Maybe I haven't dug deep enough into his work, or maybe I am looking in the wrong place.

What is the connection between Charles Miser and that space toward the end of the trilogy?

  • Does this question refer to Charles W Misner?
    – Alith
    Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 14:05
  • Yes I presume so. The book only refers to "Charles Miser". Given that physicist's work on quantum gravitation and topology, that would fit well with the phenomenon in the book. However I couldn't find any research of his directly related to the phenomenon in the book. Of course that phenomenon is theoretical, but I expected some hard scientific basis for the phenomenon which led the in-book cosmologist to exclaim 'Ah yes, I know this phenomenon! Ever heard of Charles Miser? <goes on to describe phenomenon a little more>'
    – cr0
    Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 14:11
  • It could be that the answer is en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misner_space and I lack the math to understand it (plus as the Wiki page notes, the article needs attention and a better description)
    – cr0
    Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 14:22
  • I'm aware this book might be in the genre of [hard-sci-fi] but we have a current on-going meta with how we want to use it, however we don't add genre tags to all out questions, only when the question is specifically about said genre .
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Nov 1, 2017 at 14:22

1 Answer 1


This is possibly an allusion to Misner space (as pointed out by cr0 in the comments.) However, this particular spacetime described by Misner is not a perfect match for the situation at the end of the book.

Misner space does have the right topological properties: if you go around once, you come back to where you started. The main difference is that some of the paths "around" spacetime are what are called "timelike curves" rather than "spacelike curves": instead of traveling forward a certain distance in space and returning to where you started, you travel forward a certain distance in time and end up when you started. (More or less.)

It's possible that Liu is alluding to another work of Misner's, or it's possible that he didn't fully understand the physics behind Misner space and just picked it because it was similar to what he wanted. A closer analog to what's seen in the novel is the three-torus cosmology.

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