Big science thinker John Brockman asked scientists around the world one question: what breakthrough will change everything? We’ve got their answers.
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Recorded 9/23/2008 - Recognized for his groundbreaking discoveries in superstring theory, Brian Greene is also well- known as the host of the Public Broadcasting Service’s NOVA series based on his book, The Elegant Universe. A professor of mathematics and physics at Columbia University, where he researches string theory and quantum gravity, Greene’s goal is to make complex scientific principles accessible to general audiences. Visually stunning, with full-color images from the Hubble Space Telescope, Icarus at the Edge of Time is a futuristic retelling of the fable of Icarus: instead of the sun, a black hole.
MIT Professor David Kaiser describes the field of physic’s bumpy transition from New Age to cutting edge. In recent years, the field of quantum information science has catapulted to the cutting edge of physics. Long before the big budgets and dedicated teams, however, the field smoldered on the scientific sidelines within the hazy, bong-filled excesses of the 1970s New Age movement. Many of the ideas that now occupy the core of quantum information science once found their home amid an anything-goes counterculture frenzy, a mishmash of spoon-bending psychics, Eastern mysticism, LSD trips, CIA spooks chasing mind-reading dreams, and comparable "Age of Aquarius" enthusiasts.
Leonard Mlodinow and co-author Stephen Hawking say that you can explain the existence of everything without requiring God. Charles Yu’s novel details some of the perils of existence in multiple time streams. James Kakalios says that some of the early quantum physicists were inspired by science fiction. John Polkinghorne is the author of many books on the subject of bridging the gap between science and religion. Michio Kaku tells us exactly why the impossible just takes a little longer.