Videos by topic: UNIVERSE

THE CYCLIC UNIVERSE: PAUL STEINHARDT

Conversation:
[11.19.02]
Topic:

"...in the last year I've been involved in the development of an alternative theory that turns the cosmic history topsy-turvy. All the events that created the important features of our universe occur in a different order, by different physics, at different times, over different time scales—and yet this model seems capable of reproducing all of the successful predictions of the consensus picture with the same exquisite detail."

 

THE INFLATIONARY UNIVERSE: ALAN GUTH

Conversation:
[11.19.02]
Topic:

"Inflationary theory itself is a twist on the conventional Big Bang theory. The shortcoming that inflation is intended to fill in is the basic fact that although the Big Bang theory is called the Big Bang theory it is, in fact, not really a theory of a bang at all; it never was."

 

THE INTELLIGENT UNIVERSE

Conversation:
[11.5.02]
Topic:

"The universe has been set up in an exquisitely specific way so that evolution could produce the people that are sitting here today and we could use our intelligence to talk about the universe. We see a formidable power in the ability to use our minds and the tools we've created to gather evidence, to use our inferential abilities to develop theories, to test the theories, and to understand the universe at increasingly precise levels."

 

THE EMOTION UNIVERSE: MARVIN MINSKY

Conversation:
[11.5.02]
Topic:

"To say that the universe exists is silly, because it says that the universe is one of the things in the universe. So there's something wrong with questions like, "What caused the Universe to exist?"

 

THE COMPUTATIONAL UNIVERSE

Conversation:
[10.22.02]
Topic:

"Every physical system registers information, and just by evolving in time, by doing its thing, it changes that information, transforms that information, or, if you like, processes that information. Since I've been building quantum computers I've come around to thinking about the world in terms of how it processes information."

 

A GOLDEN AGE OF COSMOLOGY

Conversation:
[12.2.01]
Topic:

"Even though cosmology doesn't have that much to do with information It certainly does have to do with revolution and phase transitions, in fact phase transitions in both the literal and the figurative sense of the word."
 

 

A DAY IN THE COUNTRY

Conversation:
[11.18.01]
Topic:

"Physics and everything we know in the world around us may really be tied to processes whose fundamental existence is not here around us, but rather exists in some distant bounding surface like some thin hologram, which by virtue of illuminating it in the right way can reproduce what looks like a 3-dimensional world. Perhaps our three dimensional world is really just a holographic illumination of laws that exist on some thin bounding slice, like that thin little piece of plastic, that thin hologram. It's an amazing idea, and I think is likely to be where physics goes in the next few years or in the next decade, at least when one's talking about quantum gravity or quantum string theory."

 

HOW FAST, HOW SMALL, AND HOW POWERFUL?

Conversation:
[7.22.01]
Topic:

"Something else has happened with computers. What's happened with society is that we have created these devices, computers, which already can register and process huge amounts of information, which is a significant fraction of the amount of information that human beings themselves, as a species, can process. When I think of all the information being processed there, all the information being communicated back and forth over the Internet, or even just all the information that you and I can communicate back and forth by talking, I start to look at the total amount of information being processed by human beings — and their artifacts — we are at a very interesting point of human history, which is at the stage where our artifacts will soon be processing more information than we physically will be able to process."

 

TIME LOOPS

Conversation:
[11.1.00]
Topic:

"As providing an insight into the nature of reality, and the nature of the physical universe, this whole area is really fascinating. I've thought a lot about it over the years, and I'm still undecided as to whether nature could never permit such a crazy thing, or whether yes, these entities, these wormholes, or some other type of gravitational system do at least in principle exist, and in principle one could visit the past, and we have to find some way of avoiding the paradox. Maybe the way is to give up free will. Maybe that's an illusion. Maybe we can't go back and change the past freely."

 

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