Sir Roger Penrose is Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and is the best-selling author of The Emperor’s New Mind. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, most notably the Wolf Prize in physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their "development of the theory of general relativity, in which they have shown the necessity for cosmological singularities and have elucidated the physics of black holes… enlarging our understanding of the origin and possible fate of the Universe." Penrose was knighted in 1994 and currently lives in Oxford, England.
Also huffduffed as…
Famed screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and theoretical physicist Brian Greene dissect time as we know it. What is the smallest unit of time, and what does it look like? For starters, you should stop looking at the clock, and start looking at the universe.
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.
When writing the Principia Mathematica, Isaac Newton declared his hand on most of the big questions in physics. He outlined the nature of space, explained the motions of the planets and conceived the operation of gravity. He also laid down the law on time declaring:
“Absolute, true, and mathematical time, of itself and from its own nature, flows equably without relation to anything external.”
For Newton time was absolute and set apart from the universe, but with the theories of Albert Einstein time became more complicated; it could be squeezed and distorted and was different in different places.
Time is integral to our experience of things but we find it very difficult to think about. It may not even exist and yet seems written into the existence of absolutely everything.
Jim Al-Khalili, Professor of Theoretical Physics and Chair in the Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey
Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University
Ian Stewart, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick
(sometimes, they pull these shows after a week…but there’s a real audio stream available on their site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/inourtime/rams/inourtime_20081218.ram)