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Twisted Physics

State of the Universe(s)

19 Oct 2009, 21:21 UTC
State of the Universe(s)
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Last night I had the honor of moderating a fantastic discussion between three leading cosmologists: ASU's Lawrence Krauss (of The Physics of Star Trek fame), University of Michigan's Katie Freese, and Neil Turok, now the director of the Perimeter Institute, which organized the city-wide Quantum 2 Cosmos festival. The Q2C organizers have gone all out with the multimedia: most lectures and panels are available online, streaming live while in progress, along with a Twitter feed.

We covered a lot of ground in 55 minutes, discussing the unprecedented explosion in our scientific knowledge of the universe during the 20th century and looking to the future by exploring the mysteries currently facing cosmologists: dark matter, dark energy, gravitational waves, whether inflationary theory is correct, and what might have existed before the Big Bang? These are deep waters, Watson. Okay, I had to ask Krauss about the whole "red matter" scenario in the latest Star Trek reboot (he liked the movie, had little use for the "science"). But other than that, we stuck to the serious stuff. Mostly.

I always learn something new when I talk to scientists, and this time was no exception, thanks to Katie Freese. She told me about ...

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