Tag Archives | Cosmology

“Why Does the World Exist?” with Jim Holt

Note: this interview was broadcast on the WGBH public radio affiliate WCAI, on the Cape and Islands!

Jim Holt (photo: Michael Todd)
Jim Holt (photo: Michael Todd)

In this ThoughtCast interview, science writer Jim Holt takes us on a jaunty tour of being and nothingness, existence and emptiness, quantum tunneling and the uncertainty principle. The author of Stop Me If You’ve Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes, Holt lends his wit to a dissection of the puzzle of existence, which happens to be the topic of his just-published book Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story!  A frequent contributor to The New York Times and other publications, Holt approaches his subject with a personal, philosophical and scientific point of view. But does he solve the puzzle?… You tell me!

Click here to listen (28 minutes.)

Posted on January 9, 2012 in Ideas, Philosophy, Religion, Science
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The End of Our Universe among other timely topics…

Note: this program was broadcast on WGBH‘s sister stations WCAI & WNAN, on Sept. 9, 2007, and picked up by KPVL, a Pacifica station, on July 2, 2013!

Alex Vilenkin
Want to know how the world is going to end? Just ask Russian cosmologist Alex Vilenkin. If it’s our own universe you’re talking about, well, it’s called the big crunch, and it’s going to be hot hot hot! But if it’s the multiverse, that infinitely expanding, infinitely varied and infinitely populated sea of universes, well, guess what — there is no end. Isn’t that reassuring??
Vilenkin is Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University, and also the author of a new book, called Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes. He’s also a former zookeeper. And – lest I forget – he was blacklisted by the KGB
Click here: to listen. (29:45 minutes)

Posted on July 1, 2007 in Science
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Astrophysics in Cambridge — at the Planetarium!

Noreen Grice
As part of the Cambridge Science Festival, Noreen Grice, the operations coordinator of the Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science in Boston, hosted a series of presentations that feature new research in astrophysics taking place in Cambridge. Specifically, she highlighted the work of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, in Kendall Square, as well as scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and MIT.


Click here: for Noreen Grice’s presentation at the planetarium (30 minutes)
Click here: for an interview with Noreen Grice (15 minutes)

Posted on April 26, 2007 in Science
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Lisa Randall, Harvard physicist

WGBH broadcast this ThoughtCast interview, and also features it on their “Science Luminaries” series, as part of “WGBH Science City.” It was also broadcast on WCAI/WNAN, public radio stations for the Cape and Islands.

Lisa Randall
Professor Randall is a theoretical particle physicist who sees past the rest of us to a world of extra dimensions and parallel universes. Hers is a world of warped geometry, sink-holes and branes — a world that fills glaring gaps in current thinking, and can finally explain why gravity is so ‘weak’!

Now while this might sound like so much Greek — just wait. Randall’s latest book, written for the layman, is called “Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions” — so she’s had plenty of practice explaining these high-flying ideas to English majors.

Click here: to listen (28:30 mins).

Click here to listen to Lisa Randall’s lecture at IDEAS Boston on the WGBH Forum Network.

Posted on April 11, 2006 in Front Page, Harvard Luminaries, Science
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