The evidence that the universe emerged 14 billion years ago from an event called ‘the big bang’ is overwhelming. Yet the cause of this event remains deeply mysterious. In the conventional picture, the ‘initial singularity’ is unexplained. It is simply assumed that the universe somehow sprang into existence full of ‘inflationary’ energy, blowing up the universe into the large, smooth state we observe today. While this picture is in excellent agreement with current observations, it is both contrived and incomplete, leading us to suspect that it is not the final word. In this lecture, the standard inflationary picture will be contrasted with a new view of the initial singularity suggested by string and M-theory, in which the bang is a far more normal, albeit violent, event which occurred in a pre-existing universe. According to the new picture, a cyclical model of the universe becomes feasible in which one bang is followed by another, in a potentially endless series of cosmic cycles. The presentation will also review exciting recent theoretical developments and forthcoming observational tests which could distinguish between the rival inflationary and cyclical hypotheses.
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Neil Turok on the "Endless Universe" and the Q2C:Quantum to Cosmos Festival.
Host: Marc Pelletier
Guest: Dr. Michio Kaku, Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
In this episode, we are very fortunate to have Dr. Michio Kaku. He is the co-founder of String Field Theory, and a Professor of Theoretical Physics at City Univerity in NY. In our discussion he talks about everything, literally: the theory of EVERYTHING! I must say, if we are going to have a true understanding of the living world, it will demand an understanding our universe and how it ‘s assembled. You can’t separate out the laws of physics from biology, they go hand in hand. Dr. Kaku also talks about the current teleportation experiments to the space shuttle, and how we might some day be able to teleport DNA. Seriously, that is some BIOTECH!!!
Robyn Williams visits Canada’s Perimeter Institute for theoretical physics. The institute is known for its multidisciplinary approach, fostering an environment where people from a range of backgrounds can work together, developing ideas by sparking off each other.