Dark Energy is causing the expansion of the universe to speed up – and not to slow down as everyone expected. This discovery overturns astronomers’ ideas about the history and the fate of the universe. Professor Brian Schmidt describes the discovery that won him the Nobel Prize in Physics last year.
Tagged with “physics” (49)
The recent discovery of a new subatomic particle, believed to be the long-sought Higgs boson, was hailed as one of the biggest announcements in physics for a century - as a human achievement which will be known 300 years from now. The Higgs Boson is the final missing ingredient in the Standard Model of particle physics. This model describes the fundamental particles from which every visible thing in the universe is made, and the forces acting between them. Listen to the scientists at the level of the experiments which led to this discovery.
Think small to solve big problems. That, in a nutshell, is the promise of nanotechnology. In this barely visible world, batteries charge 100 times faster and drugs go straight to their targets in the body. Discover some of these nano breakthroughs and how what you can’t see can help you…
…or hurt you? What if tiny machines turn out to be nothing but trouble? We’ll look at the health and safety risks of nanotech.
Plus, scaling up in science fiction: why a Godzilla-sized insect is fun, but just doesn’t fly.
It’s all about you. And you, and you, and you and you… that is, if we live in parallel universes. Imagine you doing exactly what you’re doing now, but in an infinite number of universes.
Discover the multiverse theory and why repeats aren’t limited to summer television.
Plus, the physics of riding on a light beam, and the creative analogies a New York Times science writer uses to avoid using the word “weird” to describe dark energy and other weird physics.
Also, people who concoct their own theories (some would say fringe) of the universe: is all matter made up of tiny coiled springs?
Brian Greene – Physicist and mathematician, Columbia University, and author of The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos Dennis Overbye – Reporter, New York Times Simon Steel – Science educator at University College London Margaret Wertheim – Science writer, author of Physics on the Fringe: Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything
If you care about the big questions of the physical world, then Lisa Randall would be great company at a dinner party. Over drinks, the Harvard physicist could tell you what we know and don’t know about particle physics and cosmology.
During dinner she’d use poetry to describe the Large Hadron Collider – the biggest machine ever built – and the mysteries it could soon reveal. And with dessert — a passionate argument for the value of scientific thinking and what we lose when we put faith over logic.
Leonard Susskind of the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics discusses the indestructability of information and the nature of black holes in a lecture entitled The World As Hologram.
Deepak Chopra and physicist Leonard Mlodinow join us to talk science and spirit.
America was built on science. America was rooted in religion. For 200 years, both thrived. In the last quarter-century, they’ve clashed. And the clash has been costly.
Can we settle this? Maybe. We’ve got two big figures with us today who have taken on the war of worldviews.
Man of spirit, Deepak Chopra. Man of science, Leonard Mlodinow. One a giant in the realm of spiritual guidance. One a Stephen Hawking-scale master of physics and the scientific way.
Both ready to hash it out.
Quantum computing genius and Oxford don David Deutsch is a thinker of such scale and audaciousness he can take your breath away. His bottom line is simple and breathtaking all at once.
It’s this: human beings are the most important entities in the universe. Or as Deutsch might have it, in the “multiverse.” For eons, little changed on this planet, he says. Progress was a joke. But once we got the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution, our powers of inquiry and discovery became infinite. Without limit.
Seth is the Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, in Mountain View, California. He has an undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton University, and a doctorate in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology. For much of his career, Seth conducted radio astronomy research on galaxies, and has published approximately sixty papers in professional journals.
He has written several hundred popular magazine and Web articles on various topics in astronomy, technology, film and television. He lectures on astronomy and other subjects at Stanford and other venues in the Bay Area, and for the last six years, has been a Distinquished Speaker for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is also Chair of the International Academy of Astronautics’ SETI Permanent Study Group. Every week he hosts the SETI Institute’s science radio show, “Are We Alone?”
Seth has edited and contributed to a half dozen books. His most recent tome is Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist’s Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
Subjects Discussed: Maximum caps on bandying about theory in physics, relativity and string theory, the Theory of Everything, decoherence and the wave function of the universe, the Large Hadron Collider, detecting sparticles, how journalists are duped by perpetual motion machines, the Alcubierre warp drive, Edward Teller, the hydrogen bomb, military funding for research, invisibility, being asked to prognosticate on when new technologies are available, the slingshot effect, ray guns, phasers, WR104 and the Death Star, neural networks, the Blue Brain Project, Moore’s Law, the deficiencies of quantum computing, functional MRIs, telepathy, and lie detectors.
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