Visions 21

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Is there anything in this universe--except perhaps the mind of a rebellious teenager--that is stranger than the bright cutting edge of science? We try to wrap our imagination around the radical ideas that modern scientists take for granted, but we're left breathless. Cosmic strings that snap like rubber bands! Parallel universes that sprout like bubbles! Wormholes! Gravity waves! Particles that vibrate not in three or four dimensions but in 10, 11 or 12! In this, the next installment of TIME's questions for the 21st century, we focus on the great unsolved riddles of space and time and human consciousness.

Our journey is necessarily brief--we don't have enough fuel to travel more than 25 years or so into the future. But our guides are patient and remarkably lucid.

We come back excited by how much can be foretold--about cloning, evolution and space travel--and humbled by how much is yet unknown.'s Visions of the 21st Century home page

Will we travel to the stars?
Will we clone a dinosaur?
Will a killer asteroid hit the Earth?
Will the mind figure out how the brain works?
Will we keep evolving?