Episode 1: Imagining the Impossible

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How do we imagine the impossible? On today’s episode, we talk to physicists and writers (and writer-physicists) about this question. Along the way, we’ll touch on a range of topics, from how to detect gravitational waves to how the hippies saved physics, from the history of science to the metaphors of science, from the birth of the universe to the creation of poetry about the birth of the universe.

Featuring David Kaiser (physicist, MIT), Rae Armantrout (Pulitzer Prize-winning poet), Freeman Dyson (physicist and writer), and Brian Keating (astrophysicist, UC San Diego).

Listen to Episode




David Kaiser’s How the Hippies Saved Physics

Rae Armantrout’s Partly: New and Selected Poems, 2001-2015

Freeman Dyson’s Birds and Frogs: Selected Papers, 1990-2014

Summary and visualizations of the LIGO detection of gravitational waves

The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination on Facebook and Twitter


Silmarillion,” “Lunar,” “Interludes,” and “Clockticks,” by Tapeworm Collective

Hallon,” by Christian Bjoerklund

A Strange Adventure,” by The Tleilaxu Music Machine

nostalgia of an ex-gangsta-rapper,” by deef

Industrial Swamp Singularity,” by Zreen Toys

Serpico Goes to Shanghai (1970s version tension),” by Keshco

Slow Lights,” by Lee Rosevere

Night Lights,” by Ketsa

Email us at info@imagination.ucsd.edu