A podcast about how we imagine, and how what we imagine shapes what we do. Each conversation brings together visionaries from the worlds of arts, sciences, humanities, and technology discussing the nature of imagination and how we collaborate to create the future. Hosted by Dr Brian Keating, Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Physics at UC San Diego.
Stephen Hawking: A Memoir of Friendship and Physics Leonard Mlodinow was Stephen's closest colleague in his final years. Who better to put us in the room as Hawking indulges his passion for wine and curry; shares his feelings on love, death, and disability; and grapples with deep questions of philosophy and physics. Whether depicting Hawking’s devotion to his work or demonstrating how he would make spur of the moment choices, such as punting on the River Cam (despite the risk the jaunt posed), or spinning tales of Hawking defiantly urinating in the hedges outside a restaurant that doesn’t have a wheelchair-accessible toilet, Mlodinow captures his indomitable spirit. This deeply affecting account of a friendship teaches us not just about the nature and practice of physics but also about life and the human capacity to overcome daunting obstacles. 🎥 my previous conversation with Len, Deepak Chopra and Frank Wilczek https://youtu.be/E-8mF4HWDnE?sub_confirmation=1 Get the book here https://amzn.to/3gWgS7U Len received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley, was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute and was on the faculty of the California Institute of Technology. His previous books include the bestsellers The Grand Design and A Briefer History of Time (coauthored with Stephen Hawking), Subliminal (winner of the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award), and War of the Worldviews (with Deepak Chopra), as well as Elastic, Euclid’s Window, Feynman’s Rainbow, and The Upright Thinkers.
Learn about the exciting promise of quantum computing and how it may solve problems in fundamental physics. Join my mailing list to get slides from this conversation: briankeating.com. We went deep...discussing Artificial Intelligence, the simulation hypothesis, lessons from Richard Feynman and more! You don't want to miss his answers to my patented Thrilling Three final questions! John Preskill is the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, where he is also the Director of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter. He is one of the most prolific and influential scientists of our time. Preskill is a leading scientist in the field of quantum information science and quantum computation, and he is known for coining the term “quantum supremacy.” Preskill studied magnetic monopoles in Grand Unified Theories. This work pointed out serious flaws in the then-current cosmological models, a problem which was later addressed by Alan Guth and others by proposing the idea of cosmic inflation. He's the Director of the Institute for Quantum Information at Caltech. He is known for coining the term “Quantum Supremacy” in a 2012 paper. Preskill has achieved some notoriety in the popular press as a party to a number of bets involving fellow theoretical physicists Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne. Preskill was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2014.
Learn about the exciting promise of quantum computing and how it may solve problems in fundamental physics. Join my mailing list to get slides from this conversation: briankeating.com. We went deep...discussing Artificial Intelligence, the simulation hypothesis, lessons from Richard Feynman and more! You don't want to miss his answers to my patented Thrilling Three final questions! John Preskill is the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, where he is also the Director of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter. He is one of the most prolific and influential scientists of our time. Preskill is a leading scientist in the field of quantum information science and quantum computation, and he is known for coining the term “quantum supremacy.” Preskill studied magnetic monopoles in Grand Unified Theories. This work pointed out serious flaws in the then-current cosmological models, a problem which was later addressed by Alan Guth and others by proposing the idea of cosmic inflation. He's the Director of the Institute for Quantum Information at Caltech. He is known for coining the term “Quantum Supremacy” in a 2012 paper. Preskill has achieved some notoriety in the popular press as a party to a number of bets involving fellow theoretical physicists Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne. Preskill was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2014. This was one of John's only podcast interviews. We went deep...discussing Artificial Intelligence, the simulation hypothesis, lessons from Richard Feynman and more! You don't want to miss his answers to my patented Thrilling Three final questions! John Preskill is the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at the California Institute of Technology, where he is also the Director of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter. He is one of the most prolific and influential scientists of our time. Preskill is a leading scientist in the field of quantum information science and quantum computation, and he is known for coining the term “quantum supremacy.” Preskill studied magnetic monopoles in Grand Unified Theories. This work pointed out serious flaws in the then-current cosmological models, a problem which was later addressed by Alan Guth and others by proposing the idea of cosmic inflation. He's the Director of the Institute for Quantum Information at Caltech. He is known for coining the term “Quantum Supremacy” in a 2012 paper. Preskill has achieved some notoriety in the popular press as a party to a number of bets involving fellow theoretical physicists Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne.
Does your mind create matter? What happens when an irresistible force meets an unmovable object? What is the nature of free will? Find out, in this special episode of the Into the Impossible Podcast in collaboration with Deepak Chopra's "Chopra Well". Fundamentals: Closer to Truth: A Look at the work of Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek and physicists Leonard Mlodinow and Brian Keating. In this riveting conversation, co-hosted with Deepak Chopra, physicists Frank Wilczek, author of Fundamentals: Ten Keys to Reality, Leonard Mlodinow co- author with Stephen Hawking of two books, The Grand Design and A Briefer History of Time, and me discuss what we know about the physical world, questions that fundamental science cannot address, and more.
Lord Martin Rees has played a huge role in my career and is an inspiration to me and millions of scientists around the world. There is literally nothing beyond his purview and our conversation bore this out -- we covered everything from A to Z: artificial intelligence to zoology! Nothing was off-limits -- we even shared our mutual and controversial distaste for alchemy and astrology! Lord Rees of Ludlow, the Astronomer Royal, is the Co-founder of Centre for the Study of Existential Risk and an Emeritus Professor of Cosmology & Astrophysics, at Cambridge University. He is the 38th Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He is the author of ‘On the Future’ and 10 other books and the 60th President of the Royal Society. Find Lord Rees on https://www.martinrees.uk/ and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LordMartinRees Buy ON THE FUTURE here: https://amzn.to/2Lg9MPT
ax Tegmark and Eric Weinstein chat on the last day of 2020! Let's say 'good riddance' with good friends and great conversation! We'll talk a bit about Artificial Intelligence, Theories of Everything & the seemingly impossible challenge of building a positive future for humanity. Max thinks that, by improving the news we receive with the aid of machine learning, we can achieve a brighter future. Check out his new center at MIT: https://iaifi.org Find him on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/mtegmark Watch Max’s appearance on The INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE Podcast in 2020 discussing Theories of Everything: https://youtu.be/3MX8EpvLwao Eric Weinstein, host of the Portal will share insights from Geometric Unity and thoughts on the meaning of it all! Find Eric at https://www.youtube.com/c/EricWeinsteinPhD/ Watch Eric’s previous debate with Stephen Wolfram: https://youtu.be/OI0AZ4Y4Ip4
MIT Physics Professor Emeritus Rainer Weiss won a 1/2 share of The Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 For his contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves. He was born in Berlin, where his father was a doctor and psychoanalyst and his mother an actress. His father was of Jewish descent, and the family fled Nazism to the United States. After schooling in New York, Weiss studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his doctor’s degree in 1962. After a couple of years at Tufts University and Princeton University, he returned to MIT, which he has been associated with ever since. Rainer Weiss is married and has a daughter and a son. Professor Weiss' Nobel winning work come out of one consequence of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the existence of gravitational waves. These are like ripples in a four-dimensional spacetime that occur when objects with mass accelerate. The effects are very small. Beginning in the 1970s the LIGO detector was developed. In this detector laser technology is used to measure small changes in length caused by gravitational waves. Rainer Weiss has made crucial contributions to the development of the detector. In 2015 gravitational waves were detected for the first time.
Join me in welcoming Prof. Cumrun Vafa (Harvard) in his first major podcast interview! We discussed a wide range of topics including what message he'd put into a billion-year time capsule. Plus, we discuss his delightful new book. Beneath all of the complex and formidable mathematical structures that formulate physical laws rest simple but deep nuggets of truth. It is these simple truths, and not the complicated technical details, that scientists strive for when uncovering the laws of nature. Fortunately, these core ideas can often be illustrated with simple mathematical puzzles. These puzzles are so simplified that one can tackle them and appreciate their meaning without using any complicated math. His book, Puzzles To Unravel The Universe, includes over a hundred puzzles and their solutions, along with a discussion about how they relate to deep ideas in physics and math. Examples are drawn from classical physics, such as Newton's laws and Einstein's theory of relativity, as well as from modern physics, including black holes and string theory. Professor Vafa is world-renowned for his groundbreaking work in string theory and the mathematical technology needed to explore this field. He is one of the founders of the duality revolution in string theory which has reshaped our understanding of the fundamental laws of the universe. He has uncovered mysteries of black holes using topological aspects of string theory and is the founder of `F-theory’ which is one of the most promising directions in connecting string theory solutions known as the `string landscape’ to particle physics. His ideas related to apparently consistent, but ultimately inconsistent, theories of quantum gravity which he initiated in the `swampland’ project has helped narrow down the vast string landscape and is currently an active area of research with an impact on cosmology, as well as particle phenomenology.
Last week the Guardian and Scientific American announced that Breakthrough Listen astronomers using the Parkes radio telescope in Australia saw a weird radio signal coming from Proxima Centauri, the star system closest to Earth. The signal behaves strangely, only using a narrow 982MHz band typically not used by human-made spacecraft. It also does not correspond to known natural processes. The frequency moves around too...not what you’d expect from a planet. As soon as I heard about it, I knew I had to talk to my friend, Jill Tarter! Check out the biography of Jill (Making Contact) here: https://amzn.to/2M22Bv5 Please consider donating to the SETI Institute: https://www.seti.org Watch Jill's TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EszGIvRdgTE
American managing director of Thiel Capital, Peter Thiel's investment firm, a position he has held since 2015. Though not an academic physicist, he proposed a unified theory of physics in 2013. He and his brother Bret Weinstein coined the term Intellectual Dark Web to refer to an informal group of pundits. Weinstein received his Ph.D. in mathematical physics from the Mathematics Department at Harvard University in 1992 under the supervision of Raoul Bott Find Eric's Portal Podcast here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR85PW_B_7_Aisx5vNS7Gjw
Join me on a cosmic journey with Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek. We will embark on a voyage of related discoveries, from Plato and Pythagoras up to the present. Wilczek’s groundbreaking work in quantum physics was inspired by his intuition to look for a deeper order of beauty in nature. This is the deep logic of the universe—and it is no accident that it is also at the heart of what we find aesthetically pleasing and inspiring. Wilczek is hardly alone among great scientists in charting his course using beauty as his compass. As he reveals in A Beautiful Question, this has been the heart of scientific pursuit from Pythagoras and the ancient belief in the music of the spheres to Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, and into the deep waters of twentieth-century physics. Wilczek brings us right to the edge of knowledge today, where the core insights of even the craziest quantum ideas apply principles we all understand. The equations for atoms and light are almost the same ones that govern musical instruments and sound; the subatomic particles that are responsible for most of our mass are determined by simple geometric symmetries.
Barry Barish is an emeritus professor at Caltech, where he has worked since 1963. He became director of the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) project in 1997, which led to his Nobel Prize in 2017. He has many other awards and is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences and American Physical Society, of which he was also president. Barry joins our Nobel Minds playlist on the INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE podcast. He shared the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics with Rai Weiss and Kip Thorne “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.” We discuss Barry’s long and remarkable career that covers many disciplines within physics. It’s not the standard model, but he has a confidence about himself, and his contributions that make it seem perfectly natural to have been part of such varied, noteworthy projects during his career. Despite that, Barry also admits to feeling like an imposter at times, especially when singing the same Nobel register as Einstein. What a moment!
Sheldon Glashow is a theoretical physicist and emeritus professor at Harvard, where he also earned his Ph.D. He was the first to propose a grand unified theory and also worked as a visiting scientist at CERN. Glashow shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Abdus Salam and Steven Weinberg. He is a member of the Board of Sponsors for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. It was an honor to have Sheldon Glashow on the INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE podcast. He joins our Nobel Minds playlist, having won the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics, for his "contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including, inter alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current.” Shelly recounts a remarkable life as the son of a plumber who went to the acclaimed Bronx Science high school and then worked his way through some of the most notable laboratories in the world, meeting colleagues and forming collaborations along the way. Having won science’s top prize over 40 years ago didn’t slow him down, as he only recently retired from research and teaching. Shelly’s 1988 book, “Interactions: A Journey Through the Mind of a Particle Physicist and the Matter of this World,” holds up decades later as one that asks important questions about physics and guides future generations of scientists.
We all have limited time on Earth, so how should we spend it? Financial advisors urge us to be more like the ant than the grasshopper: work hard to maximize our earnings, save early and often, and, in retirement, reap the fruits of our labors and the rewards of compound interest. “What a monumental waste of human life,” says multi- millionaire Bill Perkins. If you spend a lifetime working and die with lots of money left over, you’ve squandered a huge amount of life energy, bypassing the opportunity to enjoy your money — or to give it away — during your lifetime. Our lives are only as fulfilling as the sum of our experiences, Perkins argues, so the more time and money we invest in experiences during our lifetime, the richer our lives become. “Bill Perkins’ Die With Zero opens up a completely different avenue of thinking to realize that your life can be maximized through memorable experiences. Why wait? Being present is a priority. This book provides an amazing blueprint to living your life while using your resources correctly!” —Kevin Hart, Award-Winning Comedian, and Actor Follow Bill on social media: https://www.diewithzerobook.com https://twitter.com/bp22 https://www.instagram.com/billperkins https://www.instagram.com/diewithzero/ https://www.twitch.tv/thirstlounge
Eric Weinstein joins me live to take your questions about the past, present and future of physics. We'll discuss my recent chats with Lenny Susskind, Shelly Glashow, and Barry Barish and Eric's recent podcasts with Lex Fridman too. Eric and Stephen Wolfram: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OI0AZ4Y4Ip4?sub_confirmation=1 Join us in the chat room to ask questions! Previously featured: Eric Weinstein: https://youtu.be/YjsPb3kBGnk?sub_confirmation=1 Join my mailing list: http://briankeating.com/mailing_list.php Podcast mentioned: The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJUskAl8mzw?sub_confirmation=1 Subscribe for new interviews with Sheldon Glashow, Barry Barish, Cumran Vafa and more!
Paul M. Sutter is a research professor in astrophysics at the Institute for Advanced Computational Science at Stony Brook University and a guest researcher at the Flatiron Institute in New York City. Paul earned his PhD in physics in 2011 as a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellow at the University of Illinois. He then spent three years at the Paris Institute for Astrophysics followed by two years as a research fellow at the Trieste Observatory in Italy. Prior to his current appointment, he served as the chief scientist at the Center of Science and Industry in Columbus, Ohio while maintaining a cosmological researcher position at the Ohio State University. Paul's areas of research include studying the largest empty regions in the universe, mapping the leftover light from the big bang, and developing new techniques for finding the first stars to appear in the cosmos. He has authored over 60 academic papers and given over 100 seminars, colloquia, and conference talks at institutions around the world. A prolific and globally known science communicator, Paul is the author of two books, Your Place in the Universe: Understanding Our Big, Messy Existence and How to Die in Space: A Journey through Dangerous Astrophysical Phenomena. He writes for Space.com, Universe Today, LiveScience, and more, with his articles syndicating to news outlets worldwide. Paul hosts a variety of science shows across all platforms, including as a contributor to How the Universe Works on Science Channel and host of Space Out on Discovery. He also writes and hosts his own shows, including his hit Ask a Spaceman podcast, which is one of the top podcasts across all subjects globally, and his weekly live show Space Radio.
Evan Carmichael believes in entrepreneurs. At 19, he built then sold a biotech software company. At 22, he was a venture capitalist helping to raise $500,000 to $15 million. He now runs EvanCarmichael.com, a popular website for entrepreneurs. He breathes and bleeds entrepreneurship. He's obsessed, aiming to help one billion entrepreneurs and change the world. He has set two world records, uses a stand-up desk, rides a Vespa, raises funds for Kiva, wears five-toe shoes and created Entrepreneur trading cards. He speaks globally, but Toronto (#EntCity) is home. He loves being married, his son, salsa dancing, DJing, League of Legends and the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics is a 2008 popular science book by American theoretical physicist Leonard Susskind. The book covers the black hole information paradox, and the related scientific dispute between Stephen Hawking and Susskind. Susskind is known for his work on string theory and wrote a previous popular science book, The Cosmic Landscape, in 2005. Leonard Susskind (born 16 June 1940) is an American physicist, who is a professor of theoretical physics at Stanford University, and founding director of the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics. His research interests include string theory, quantum field theory, quantum statistical mechanics and quantum cosmology. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences,[and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an associate member of the faculty of Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and a distinguished professor of the Korea Institute for Advanced Study.
Janna is back to discuss her wonderful new book, BLACK HOLE SURVIVAL GUIDE https://amzn.to/2IlbpKS Janna Levin is the Claire Tow Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Barnard College. She earned a PhD in theoretical physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993, and a Bachelor of Science in astronomy and physics with a concentration in philosophy at Barnard College in 1988, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Much of her work deals with looking for evidence to support the proposal that our universe might be finite in size due to its having a nontrivial topology. Other work includes black holes and chaos theory. She joined the faculty at Barnard College in January 2004 and is currently the recipient Tow Professor grant. She is also the Chair and Director of Sciences, Pioneer Works!
Albert Einstein is often viewed as the icon of #genius, and his theories are admired for their beauty and correctness. Yet the final judge of any theory is the rigorous test of experiment, not the fame of its inventor or the allure of its mathematics. For decades, general relativity has passed test after test with flying colors, including some remarkable new tests using the recently detected gravitational waves. Still, there are reasons for doubt. Einstein's theory of gravity, as beautiful as it is, seems to be in direct contradiction with another theory he helped create: quantum mechanics. Until recently, this was considered to be a purely academic affair. But as more and more data pour in from the most distant corners of the universe, hinting at bizarre stuff called "dark energy" and "dark matter," some scientists have begun to explore the possibility that Einstein's theory may not provide a complete picture of the cosmos. This book chronicles the latest adventures of scientists as they put Einstein's theory to the test in ever more precise and astonishing ways, and in ever more extreme situations, when gravity is unfathomably intense and rapidly churning. From the explosions of neutron stars and the collisions of black holes to the modern scientific process as a means to seek truth and understanding in the cosmos, this book takes the reader on a journey of learning and discovery that has been 100 years in the making.
Host of Into The Impossible Professor Brian Keating, David Spergel, Janna Levin, Sara Seager, Wendy Freedman, & Nobel Prize winner Adam Riess debate the hottest topics in modern astronomy while celebrating the Hubble Space Telescope's 30th birthday🎉! An all-star (get it??) party featuring observations of Hubble's 'greatest hits', courtesy of Wyoming Stargazing Association! Plus we debated the greatest mysteries in the Universe including: What is the nature of Dark Matter? How did the Universe begin? How will it end? Is there life beyond earth? What is the nature of Dark Matter and Dark Energy? What is causing the Hubble Tension and how will it be resolved?
Join me for a very special discussion with Sir Roger Penrose, co-winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics. We will discuss Conformal Cyclic Cosmology, Black Holes, and of course, Nobel Prizes! GET OUR SLIDES: https://kingsumo.com/g/vn03wc/sir-roger-penrose-on-the-into-the-impossible-podcast-slides Sir Roger Penrose is co-winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in physics. We discuss Conformal Cyclic Cosmology, Black Holes, and of course, Nobel Prizes! Roger is a mensch. He always makes time for me and provided one of the first and most enthusiastic "blurbs" for my book, Losing the Nobel Prize. He has always been so generous with his time, even after winning the Nobel Prize when demands for his attention are relentless. You may also enjoy this video recorded at UC San Diego in late- 2018 "Hawking Points in the CMB Sky", based loosely on his precursor book, "Cycles of Time: Conformal Cyclic Cosmology, Hawking Points in the CMB Sky".
Marwa A.ElDiwiny, an early stage researcher PhD, I am working on modelling and simulating self-healing soft materials for industrail applications at VUB.
Seth Godin is a prolific writer, thinker, and self-declared “non-guru” guru to millions around the world. He invented email marketing. He started the AltMBA program. He has written 20 books, including the Practice. He thinks deeply about the way ideas spread whether these be née notions in quantum physics, science fiction, entrepreneurship, leadership, and--most of all- marketing. He’s worked with Nobel Prize winners, industry titans and even Sir Arthur C. Clarke. Seth’s past books include Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip, Purple Cow, and What to do When it's Your Turn (And it's Always Your Turn). Buy The Practice: Shipping Creative Work: https://amzn.to/3k2BNpY Seth has founded several companies, including Yoyodyne and Squidoo. His blog is one of the most popular in the world. In 2013, Godin was inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. He is the host of AKIMBO podcast: https://www.akimbo.link and has his world famous blog at https://seths.blog
Unni and I are in complete resonance when it comes to the tarnish on the Nobel. The peace prize is as distorted from Alfred's original intentions as are the science prizes. It's mesmerizing to watch Unni mix an attorney's keen analytical mentality with a journalist's powerful observation skill to illuminate the flaws with the Peace Prize. All along she mixes in humor and even Alfred's love-life, which had been more mysterious to me than why the committee keeps nominations sealed for a half-century. Unni wrote The Mystery of the Lone Wolf Killer and comes back with a powerful shot across the bow of the Nobel Peace Prize in Betraying the Nobel: Secrets, Corruption, and the World's Most Prestigious Prize!
Professor Gentry Patrick is a neurobiologist and the Director of Mentorship and Diversity at UC San Diego. As a kid from Compton, he didn’t have an easy road, but he is committed to making sure future generations have it easier than he did. We discussed the importance of diversity in science and academia and the unfair burden placed on people of color in those spaces. We also talk about failures, storytelling, and what Gentry looks for in a graduate student. Gentry Patrick is a professor of neurobiology at UC San Diego researching the central nervous system. He has a PhD from Harvard and was a postdoctoral fellow at CalTech. Gentry is the Director of Mentorship and Diversity at UC San Diego and established the PATHways to STEM program to remove barriers for underrepresented students.
On April 26, 1920, in Washington DC, two contestants took the stage in a debate that would alter the cosmos forever. Was this contest the 1920 presidential debate? No, this battle was literally for universal domination, not a mere skirmish between presidential contenders Warren Harding and James Cox. Only the wonkiest history buffs recall who won 1920’s presidential debates. But every astronomer knows the two scientists sparring on that April evening at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, taking sides in astronomy’s “Great Debate”: Heber Curtis, director of the Allegheny Observatory, versus Mt. Wilson Observatory astronomer Harlow Shapley. The Debate’s outcome could not have been more consequential; the span of the entire universe was at stake. This epic contest concerned the nature of the so-called “spiral nebulae” that had vexed astronomers since Lord Rosse first pointed his 54-foot long telescope, appropriately nicknamed ’the Leviathan’, toward the heavens in 1845.
In 1990, Sean Carroll's, George Field and Roman Jackiw wrote an epochal paper that had a tremendous impact on physics, and in particular, on me and my career as a young graduate student in the 1990's. Sean will discuss the background physics behind this effect and the implications for physics if the PRL is confirmed by upcoming polarimeters or otherwise convincing evidence is found. I will discuss some of the experimental challenges to making such a measurement and prospects for upcoming experiments such as CLASS, BICEP Array, SPT3G, Simons Array, ACT, LiteBIRD, Simons Observatory, and CMB Stage 4 to make a definitive, high confidence level claim. Sean Michael Carroll (born October 5, 1966) is a theoretical physicist specializing in quantum mechanics, gravity, and cosmology. He is a research professor in the Walter Burke Institute for Theoretical Physics in the California Institute of Technology Department of Physics. He has been a contributor to the physics blog Cosmic Variance, and has published in scientific journals such as Nature as well as other publications, including The New York Times, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist.
In The Last Stargazers, Emily Levesque reveals the hidden world of the professional astronomer. She celebrates an era of ingenuity and curiosity, and asks us to think twice before we cast aside our sense of wonder at the universe. Emily Levesque is an astronomy professor at the University of Washington. She has won the American Astronomical Society's Annie Jump Cannon Prize and been named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics. She is the author of two academic works on astrophysics and has written for Physics Today. She lives in Seattle.
Why are politics and society becoming more polarized? How does misinformation, disinformation, bigotry, and hatred spread? How are decisions really made? Dr. Gad Saad has answers and we get to many of them in this fast-moving discussion. We also discuss his personal philosophy, religion, and his roles as both an accomplished academic and a renowned public communicator. Dr. Gad Saad is Professor of Marketing at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada), and former holder of the Concordia University Research Chair in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences and Darwinian Consumption (2008-2018). He has held Visiting Associate Professorships at Cornell University, Dartmouth College, and the University of California–Irvine. Dr. Saad received the Faculty of Commerce’s Distinguished Teaching Award in June 2000, and was listed as one of the ‘hot’ professors of Concordia University in both the 2001 and 2002 Maclean’s reports on Canadian universities. Saad was appointed Newsmaker of the Week of Concordia University in five consecutive years (2011-2015), and is the co-recipient of the 2015 President’s Media Outreach Award-Research Communicator of the Year (International), which goes to the professor at Concordia University whose research receives the greatest amount of global media coverage.
It finally happened, I took up golf. It's hard to resist when I work next to one of the nation's most spectacular municipal courses, Torrey Pines. As a practicing scientist, Golf's Holy War by Brett Cyrgalis, appealed to me. It discusses how technology, science, and data analysis are changing the game, maybe not all for the better. In this episode, I talk to Brett about how he pivoted from journalist to book author, and how the game of golf is being transformed. Brett is a veteran sportswriter covering hockey and golf at the New York Post. He has covered almost all major sporting events, from postseason baseball to the Stanley Cup final to the U.S. Opens in golf and tennis. He is an accomplished golfer, a member of the Metropolitan Golf Writers Association, and he lives on Long Island.
Carl Hagen , a man who, as much as anyone alive was responsible for discovering the so-called Higgs Mechanism". I found Carl fascinating and very similar to his lifelong friend and colleague, my former quantum mechanics Professor at Brown University, Gerry Guralnik. The so called "GHK Paper" co-authored by Gerry, Carl and Tom Kibble is regarded as perhaps the most important and accurate description of the mechanism by which massive particles like the electron 'acquire' their masses. Carl and I agree -- the Nobel Prize is not the real reward -- doing the science is. But nevertheless, the process by which the history of science is recorded often is by reference to those who win Nobel Prizes. This, in my opinion at least, is the most pernicious and sometimes cruel aspect of the Nobel Prizes...Let us know what you think is the best and worst aspect of the Nobel Prizes in the comments.
Paul Halpern’s latest book is “Synchronicity: The Epic Quest to Understand the Quantum Nature of Cause and Effect.” Paul joins me to discuss the book as well as big topics like quantum entanglement and the meaning of life. Hear about how he balances his physics research, writing projects, and love for the outdoors. He also wrote a book about the science of “The Simpsons” as well as fifteen other popular science books. Find Paul Halpern on the web: http://phalpern.com. Subscribe to my mailing list to receive show notes for this episode: https://briankeating.com/mailing_list.php. Paul Halpern is a professor of physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He is also a prolific science writer. Paul has received both a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship. Buy Paul’s books here: https://amzn.to/333HLle Find Paul Halpern on Twitter: https://twitter.com/phalpern
A discussion with Rabbi Wolpe, Max Webb Senior Rabbi, Sinai Temple, Los Angeles.
Juan Maldacena joined me to discuss his fascinating new paper on human traversable wormholes and other topics in fundamental physics. Join in the chat to participate! We discussed the Multiverse, Black Holes, Wormholes, SETI, Life on Einstein Lane, Interstellar the Movie, and even God! We chatted about his recent paper "HUMANLY TRAVERSABLE WORMHOLES" https://arxiv.org/abs/2008.06618 which is based, in part, on this earlier paper: "Traversable wormholes in four dimensions" https://arxiv.org/abs/1807.04726 When you sign up for my newsletter, I'll send you links to download two explanatory talks on these papers. Please join my mailing list; just click here 👉 http://briankeating.com/mailing_list.php We also discussed an interesting economic analog to the Higgs Mechanism first elaborated by Dr. Pia Malaney and Dr. Eric Weinstein, explaining gauge theory and electromagnetism. See Juan's paper "The symmetry and simplicity of the laws of physics and the Higgs boson". Juan Martín Maldacena (September 10, 1968 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) is a theoretical physicist and the Carl P. Feinberg Professor in the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study. He has made significant contributions to the foundations of string theory and quantum gravity. His most famous discovery is the AdS/CFT correspondence, a realization of the holographic principle in string theory.
Ben Shapiro is an accomplished author and podcast host. Ben talks about nearly everything •except• politics on this episode of INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE. Learn what Ben would be doing if he wasn’t famous and why he loves science fiction. Ben shares rapid-fire thoughts about who he would MOST like to have on his show, what he would do if elected president, and the downside of success. We also discuss his newest book, “How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps”. Ben Shapiro is the author of multiple New York Times best-selling books. His popular podcast “The Ben Shapiro Show” has millions of followers and is syndicated to radio stations nationwide. In 2015, Shapiro founded the conservative news site The Daily Wire. He has a B.A. in political science from UCLA and a degree from Harvard Law School.
A conversation with MIT Professor Sara Seager and The Verge Journalist Loren Grush, with Prof. Brian Keating. Loren Grush writes: "Deep within the acidic clouds of Venus, astronomers have detected a tantalizing gas never found on the planet before — a gas that, remarkably, could be a sign of life on the hellish world. The gas’s presence isn’t enough to say for sure that Venus hosts life forms, but the fact that it exists in the planet’s clouds indicates that something is going on there that we don’t fully understand."
Alexander Heyne is the creator of Modern Health Monk, a popular YouTube channel devoted to helping people learn healthy habits and manifest a happy life. Alex is also the author of “Master the Day: Eat, Move and Live Better With The Power of Daily Habits.” He joins me to talk about the book, growing his audience, and how journaling can help us all get and stay healthy. Alexander Heyne has a doctorate in Classical Chinese Medicine. He is dedicated to helping people identify and manifest their goals for a better life. His YouTube channel Modern Health Monk has over 315,000 subscribers.
Moiya McTier is in the final year of her PhD in astrophysics at Columbia, but she is already a science communication star. With a background in folklore, she is an accomplished storyteller working to bring more science into science fiction. Moiya joins me on the INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE podcast to discuss her research on the Milky Way, her upcoming popular science book, and how her background influences her career choices. Moiya McTier is in her fifth year of a PhD program in astronomy at Columbia University. She studied astrophysics and folklore at Harvard. Her podcast, Exolore, fosters world building - bringing science into science fiction. She is an accomplished science communicator and public speaker.
David Brin is best-known for shining light — plausibly and entertainingly — on technology, society, and countless challenges confronting our rambunctious civilization. His best-selling novels include The Postman (filmed in 1997) plus explorations of our near-future in Earth and Existence. Other novels are translated into 25+ languages. His short stories explore vividly speculative ideas. Brin's nonfiction book The Transparent Society won the American Library Association's Freedom of Speech Award for exploring 21st Century concerns about security, secrecy, accountability and privacy. As a scientist, tech-consultant and world-known author, he speaks, advises, and writes widely on topics from national defense and homeland security to astronomy and space exploration, SETI and nanotechnology, future/prediction, creativity, and philanthropy. Urban Developer Magazine named him one of four World's Best Futurists, and he was appraised as "#1 influencer" in Onalytica's Top 100 report of Artificial Intelligence influencers, brands & publications.
A conversation with @James Altucher about the explosive controversy surrounding his LinkedIn piece "NYC is DEAD", the repercussions of which are still resonating around the globe! We begin by chatting about Jerry Seinfeld who inveighed against James in a shallow, but widely read Op-Ed in the NY Times.
Rose Schindler survived Auschwitz and has shared her remarkable story with thousands of people over the course of 50 years. Her memories of the Holocaust have remained clear over the decades, but so has her mantra to never give up hope. Rose joins me on this special episode of the INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE podcast to talk about the book “Two Who Survived: Keeping Hope Alive While Surviving the Holocaust.” This memoir includes both her and her husband’s story. Rose Schindler was born in Czechoslovakia in 1929 and survived Auschwitz. She met her husband Max shortly after the war and they were married in 1950. They moved to San Diego in 1956. Rose first told her story of survival to her son’s junior high class and hasn’t stopped speaking publicly about the horrors of the Holocaust since. She has received multiple awards as well as an honorary high school diploma and MBA.
Rebecca Smethurst is known as Dr. Becky on her popular YouTube channel. She is an astrophysicist and science communicator, answering questions about physics and astronomy in engaging videos. Dr. Becky is also the author of the new book “Space at the Speed of Light: The secrets of 14 billion years for people short on time.” Dr. Becky Smethurst is a Junior Research Fellow at University of Oxford, where she also earned her PhD. She studies galaxy quenching and supermassive black holes. Her YouTube channel Dr. Becky has over 150,000 subscribers.
Jordan Harbinger’s long career in podcasting has earned him the nickname “The Larry King of Podcasting.” His previous career path included being a lawyer in New York, a tour guide in North Korea, a life coach, and a radio talk show host. He interviews diverse and interesting guests on his popular podcast “The Jordan Harbinger Show.”
Heather Lynn Mac Donald is an American conservative political commentator, essayist and attorney. She is a Thomas W. Smith Fellow of the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of the institute's City Journal. She has written numerous editorials and is the author of several books.
Patrick Bet-David runs one of the most successful YouTube channels in history, Valuetainment: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIHdDJ0tjn_3j-FS7s_X1kQ Let his clarity of purpose and ability to build a great team inspire your next 5 moves! On this episode of INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE, Patrick and I talk about his newest book “Your Next 5 Moves: Master the Art of Business Strategy.” We discuss his approach to business, life, and learning. His enthusiasm and drive to not only succeed but help others reach their potential are great motivators.
A deep and wide-ranging conversation with two mathematical mavericks.
David Marquet’s leadership transformed the fate of those aboard the U.S. Navy submarine under his command. Watch this episode to learn tips from his latest book and motivate people through your language. David and I talk about the small adjustments in our habits and language that can make a difference. His creation of intent-based leadership programs encourages purposeful and effective leadership, which in turn creates happy and productive workers. Subscribe to my newsletter to receive show notes for this episode: https://briankeating.com/mailing_list.php
Experimental evidence for any current Theory of Everything is, at best, inconclusive. This is perhaps the greatest fundamental challenges facing physics. That lack of progress has opened up a sea of controversy. Welcome to the second in our two-event series about Theories of Everything!
James Altucher is an American hedge-fund manager, author, podcaster and entrepreneur who has founded or cofounded over 20 companies. He has published 20 books and he is a contributor to publications including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and The Huffington Post.
What are the Leading Theories of Everything? In this 90 minute summit with some of the world’s leading physicists, we’ll go beyond the hype into the heart and soul of physics. The search for a theory that finishes what Einstein began and ties together all the forces of the universe. Can that ever be achieved ? Will it be achieved? When? Is physics stuck in 1920? Join @matt_of_earth and @DrBrianKeating on @PBSSpaceTime with some of the world’s leading physicists. #TheoriesOfEverything https://www.pbsspacetime.com/events Part 2 with Lisa Randal, Sabine Hossenfelder, Lee Smolin and Eric Weinstein!
Rapper and entrepreneur Zuby shares his thoughtful brand of straight talk on this episode of INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE. Topics included whether an AI rapper will ever pass the “Turing Test”, his fitness book “Strong Advice,” his independently released albums, and his REAL TALK podcast. Zuby is a musician, author, podcaster, public speaker, fitness expert, and life coach. He studied computer science at Oxford.
Noam Chomsky is one of the most influential and highly cited scholars of our time. He is a pioneer in the fields of linguistics and cognitive science. This episode of INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE covers those topics and delves into his thoughts on communicating with aliens, meditation, and free speech including his contribution to the “Harper’s Magazine letter”. Chomsky is a prolific author and known political activist. We avoided politics, as is the custom for my interviews. Our conversation also covers the Turing Test, neural nets, and artificial intelligence, including why he expects Elon Musk’s Neuralink project to fail.
Nobel Prize-winning astronomer Adam Riess is my guest on this episode of INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE. Adam was an essential character in my book, Losing the Nobel Prize. Though at the top of his field, Riess is relentlessly passionate about perfecting his craft and he credits curiosity as the force that sustains his career. Riess and I discussed cosmological controversies including inflation, the Hubble tension, and primordial magnetic fields. We also discuss legacies, prize money, Albert Einstein's ability to transfix physicists and laypeople.
Dr. Fadel Zeidan, PhD, is the Associate Director for Research at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness and Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at UCSD. He and his laboratory have discovered the neural processes supporting mindfulness meditation and mindfulness-based pain relief. https://www.zeidanlab.com/ https://medschool.ucsd.edu/som/fmph/r... Recently, he and his team have demonstrated that mindfulness meditation is mechanistically distinct from and more effective than placebo, distraction, and relaxation. His research is currently funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and has disseminated his findings through traditional media outreach (CNN ; NPR ; Time Magazine , CBS and others), Tedx and recently personally presented his work to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama in Mongolia. In his role at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness, Fadel will focus on expanding his research to focus on working with different patient populations and user-friendly approaches to promote the self-regulation of pain. Fadel is especially excited at examining ways to integrate mindfulness from the lab to the clinic and community. Dr. Fadel is also part of the The Psychedelics and Health Research Initiative (PHRI) at UC San Diego, under the auspices of the Clarke Center, that conducts novel basic and clinical research on the use of psychedelics for the treatment of pain and other health conditions.
Theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin is an-award winning author of both nonfiction and fiction. In her interview on the INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE podcast, she emphasizes the important role of creativity in science, and life in general. We discussed Levin’s research on the topology of the universe and black holes, including the Event Horizon Telescope. We also discuss her highly-anticipated upcoming book, “Black Hole Survival Guide.” She is also the Chair and Founding Director of the Science Studios at Pioneer Works, a nonprofit center blending science and art. Levin is the author of both fiction and nonfiction books, winning literary prizes and a Guggenheim Fellowship for science writing.
Ann Druyan has brought the universe to millions around the world. The wife of the late Carl Sagan, Ann is a renowned science communicator and producer/writer and co-creator of the upcoming series Cosmos: Possible Worlds. She is the author of the companion book of the same name. She is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning writer and producer. She co-created and wrote the 1980 TV series Cosmos with Carl Sagan, whom she later married. She also co-created, wrote, produced, and directed the follow up series, 2014’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and 2020’s Cosmos: Possible Worlds. She was also creative director for NASA’s Voyager Interstellar Message Project and her brain waves are part of the golden record that has traveled outside our solar system.
Mathematician, code breaker, Professor, hedge fund pioneer, & philanthropist Jim Simons makes his first-ever podcast appearance on this episode of INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE with UC San Diego Professor Brian Keating. Learn about Chern-Simons theory, leadership lessons, hedge funds, and a dedication to serve the world through basic research from a master. It is truly a delight to share with you the more personal side of the man who’s been called The World’s Smartest Billionaire. In this interview, we discuss heroes, fatherhood, leadership and the art of math. He worked as a mathematician for the NSA and as a professor and department chair at Stony Brook University. Simons earned billions after founding the hedge fund firm Renaissance Technologies. He co-founded the Simons Foundation with his wife Marilyn in 1994 to advance scientific research. The foundation provided funding for the Simons Observatory, a telescope array being built in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile.
Chase Purdy’s book “Billion Dollar Burger: Inside Big Tech's Race for the Future of Food” is poised to become a bestseller. Learn about the edible space race as a meat-alternative you may never have heard of is developed by competing companies. Cell-cultured meat is different from plant protein masquerading as meat. It’s meat that doesn’t require killing the animal because it’s grown in a lab. In this interview with host Brian Keating, Purdy discusses everything from the ethics to the emotions behind the upcoming changes in the meat industry.
Part 2 of Brian Keating's conversation with Eric Weinstein on the INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE podcast pivots from faith & family to the course catalog at “Weinstein University” (fictional, for now!) which would combine scholarship with wonder. We also contemplate the notion of legacies, not just for our actual children, but for our ideological children as well.
Physicist, jazz musician, & President of the National Society of Black Physicists, Stephon Alexander is this week’s guest on the INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE podcast. He discussed the foundations of the cosmos, his advice for balancing academic and creative pursuits, and his book “The Jazz of Physics.” Stephon Alexander is a physics professor at Brown University, which is where he earned his Ph.D. He is President of the National Society of Black Physicists and a National Geographic Explorer. He served as a scientific consultant on the 2018 movie A Wrinkle in Time.
Sarah Frier is a prolific technology reporter for Bloomberg. Her new book, “No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram,” is both a compelling account of Instagram’s history and a record of the social media platform’s impact on society. Professor Brian Keating’s interview with Frier covers a range of topics, including the inspiration to research and write the book, the role of augmented technology, and how social media will be changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Show notes and resources are available here: https://briankeating.com/blog.php
Dr. Jud Brewer is a mindfulness expert, using his background in addiction psychiatry to help people around the world. In this interview with Brian Keating, on INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE, Brewer talks about his book, “The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love - Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits.” Show notes and resources are available here: https://briankeating.com/blog.php 00:08:53 The effects of nature versus nurture on cravings. 00:17:04 Are some cultures resistant to psychotherapy and meditation? 00:26:16 How technology can enhance mindfulness. 00:37:04 How to help our kids develop good habits. 00:44:03 Incorporating artificial intelligence & human empathy in healthcare. 00:49:38 Anxiety is rampant in academia. What can be done? 01:04:45 Questions INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE asks authors. I've used Brewer’s teaching in my own life and work. Mindfulness practices can help achieve higher efficiency and happiness at work, and moderate stress of all varieties, including the anxiety that comes with a global pandemic. Jud Brewer, M.D. Ph.D. is the Director of Research and Innovation at Brown University’s Mindfulness Center, as well as an associate professor in psychiatry. His company MindSciences develops mindfulness apps, including Eat Right Now, Craving to Quit, Breathe, and Unwinding Anxiety.
Part 1 of Brian Keating's fascinating interview with mathematician & economist Eric Weinstein on the INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE Podcast. Topics include Eric's provocative new ideas on physics and science culture. Weinstein is a vocal critic of modern academic hierarchies and advocates for advances in scientific theory over an emphasis on experimental results. Keating’s own issues with what he calls the “academic Hunger Games” leads to a lively debate about funding, academic freedom, and theoretical vs experimental physics.
This practice of turning off all screens for twenty-four hours each week, which she’s done for over a decade with her husband and kids (sixteen and ten), has completely changed their lives, giving them more time, productivity, connection, and presence. She and her family call it “Technology Shabbat”, which has become a worldwide movement. Learn more about it at https://www.24sixlife.com/ Drawn from the ancient ritual of Shabbat, living 24/6 can work for anyone from any background. With humor and wisdom, Shlain shares her story, offers lessons she has learned, and provides a blueprint for how to do it yourself. It has become even more important recently, in wake of the worldwide pandemic that has made so many of us reliant on screens for work, shopping, socializing, even exercise. COVID-19 has changed how we use the Web in some beneficial ways, but it has also made us even more dependent on screens for our every need. We are now spending almost all day online, and many of us are finding that it’s just too much. Turning off screens now feels like it provides double resilience for the soul. Having a much-needed boundary and separation -- a day unlike the others, a day dedicated to being present, reflecting, resting, and connecting with those around me -- helps us make sense of this unusual way we are living, where time seems to blur between days and between work and family and life. Because that’s what Shabbat is all about -- carving out time to appreciate and find joy in what’s right in front of you, and focus on what truly matters. As Heschel calls it, it’s creating a “Palace in Time.”
Sasha Sagan’s stirring debut book, “For Small Creatures Such As We: Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World,” is the topic of this week’s episode of INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE. Sagan is the daughter of late astronomer/author Carl Sagan and writer/producer Ann Druyan. Sagan discusses her own upbringing and how becoming a mother inspired her to research rituals from around the world and throughout history. Her interview with Dr. Brian Keating also touches on her secular upbringing and the intersection of science and religion. Sasha Sagan studied literature at NYU and has worked as a producer, filmmaker, and editor. Her essays, many about the lessons she learned from her parents, have been published in literary magazines.
Peter Diamandis is a remarkable entrepreneur, and futurist, best known as the Founder & Executive Chairman of XPRIZE Foundation. His new book, written with Steven Kotler, is “The Future is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives.” Already a bestseller, it is both timely and important. In this discussion with Brian Keating, Diamandis shares his vision for technological and educational advances over the next decade and how COVID-19 has accelerated the timeline.
Mario Livio is a renowned astrophysicist & best-selling author. His new book “Galileo and the Science Deniers” is the gripping first biography of Galileo Galilei written by an astronomer. In this discussion with Dr. Brian Keating, Livio recounts Galileo’s prolific life of discovery, each step building a stronger case for the theory of Earth’s orbit around the sun. Even under house arrest, Galileo continued his experiments and even wrote and published a book in the last few years of his life. Livio’s book encourages a “Believe in Science!” attitude. In this time of turmoil when it comes to the science of climate change and a pandemic, denial can be deadly.
Science journalist and author Sarah Scoles talks about her new book “They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers”, a study of UFO culture and its critics. What makes people believe intelligent alien life has visited the Earth? Fresh off this week’s news that the Pentagon has declassified and released three videos of UFOs (or UAPs Unidentified Aerial Phenomena as the government prefers to call them), Scoles talks about why some people are more prone to believe than others.
Brian Keating interviews Dave Rubin (The Rubin Report) on the most interesting issues of the day: free speech and expression, classical liberalism, lessons from Jordan Peterson, and the imperative of tolerance. More about Dave Rubin: https://daverubin.com/ Find Dave on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/RubinReport Get Dave's book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason: https://amzn.to/2KCurtT Dave’s background as a stand-up comedian, degree in political science, and willingness to listen without fighting has uniquely positioned him to tackle big ideas and uncomfortable truths with thought leaders from both sides of the aisle. His show The Rubin Report aims to create civil discourse with people we both agree and disagree with, and host a dialogue with others whose ideas are judged before being given the chance to be presented in an honest way. Dave is currently taping season 5 of his talk show, speaking around the world with Dr. Jordan Peterson on the “12 Rules for Life Tour,” and performing stand up comedy in cities around the U.S. Dave's book "Don’t Burn This Book", is the definitive account of our current political upheaval and your guide to surviving it. The Rubin Report is the largest talk show about free speech and big ideas. Whether it’s the debate surrounding religion and atheism, foreign policy issues like immigration and terrorism, or big ideas like the role of government, Dave Rubin goes one on one with thought leaders, authors and comedians in ‘The Sit Down,’ has honest conversations and moderates opposing voices in ‘The Panel,’ and shares his own unfiltered thoughts in ‘Direct Message.’
Stephen Wolfram, Founder & CEO of Wolfram Research, Creator of Mathematica, Wolfram Alpha, Author of A New Kind of Science, discusses computational science, his new Project to Find a Fundamental Theory of Physics, and more. Over the course of 4 decades, Stephen Wolfram has pioneered the development & application of computational thinking. He has been responsible for many discoveries, inventions & innovations in science, technology, and business. In this wide-ranging interview with Brian Keating @DrBrianKeating , Wolfram discusses his decades in-the-making Wolfram Physics Project, his career, his philosophy & approach to science, his hoped-for legacy, and questions from the audience including whether mathematical beauty matter at all, or is it just falsifiability?
Brian Keating, Director of the Simons Observatory, interviews Greg Zuckerman, author of the bestselling biography of Jim Simons, “The Man Who Solved The Market”. Portfolio/Penguin has published Greg Zuckerman’s latest book, THE MAN WHO SOLVED THE MARKET: How Jim Simons Launched The Quant Revolution. This book, the culmination of two challenging years of research, is the story of how Simons, a secretive mathematician and code breaker, set out to conquer financial markets, overcoming a series of imposing obstacles to become the greatest moneymaker in modern finance. Recruiting colorful and enigmatic mathematicians and scientists, Simons embraced algorithms and computer models while Mark Zuckerberg was still in grade school, launching a quantitative revolution that has shaken Wall Street. With their winnings, Simons, his colleague Robert Mercer, and others at Renaissance Technologies have upended the worlds of education, science and politics.
A Conversation with Physicist and Science Fiction Author David Brin about his work and his recent post: More repercussions in a plague year... and some long term (excerpted here) : And yes, some foresee all this accelerating the exodus of the uber-rich, abandoning us to simmer in festering cities and suburbs. Connecticut, Wyoming and New Zealand have seen such influx. Certainly there is a “prepper” wing of oligarchy that’s bought up whole mountain ranges in Patagonia, Siberia and under the sea. I portrayed that mind set in The Postmanand in Earth and in Existence. Of course the smarter half of the zillionaire caste wants no part of such insanity. Nor will such preparations avail the selfishness-fetishists an iota, even if the fit truly hits the shan. There are five reasons why this masturbatory survivalist fantasy is utter proof of mental defectiveness. Finally Smart Sovereignty: - Whether this Minsky Moment triggers revitalization and waves of new-creative solutions by an empowered citizenry... or one of Marx's purportedly "inevitable" stages of spiral into revolution... may depend on to what extent we revive civic goodwill and use new technologies to enhance logical, fact-centered. pragmatic civil discourse. Recall that earlier communication techs -- e.g. the printing press, radio and loudspeakers -- all led first to polemical horror shows that made things much worse... before folks sussed the new media and learned to parse truth from populist lies, making things much, much better. That natural progression took decades, though. Time we simply do not have.
Brian Keating Interviews Skeptic Magazine publisher and author of "Giving The Devil His Due" Michael Shermer. Get Michael Shermer's Books here: GIVING THE DEVIL HIS DUE HEAVENS ON EARTH THE MORAL ARC: Find Show Notes and Links here Dr. Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine, the host of the Science Salon Podcast, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism 101. For 18 years he was a monthly columnist for Scientific American. He is the author of New York Times bestsellers Why People Believe Weird Things and The Believing Brain, Why Darwin Matters, The Science of Good and Evil, The Moral Arc, and Heavens on Earth. His new book is Giving the Devil His Due: Reflections of a Scientific Humanist. Follow Michael on Twitter: https://twitter.com/michaelshermer and Brian Keating here: https://twitter.com/drbriankeating Michael regularly contributes opinion editorials, essays, and reviews to: the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Science, Nature, and other publications. He wrote 214 consecutive monthly columns for Scientific American. He appeared on such shows as The Colbert Report, 20/20, Dateline, Charlie Rose, Oprah, and Larry King Live (but, proudly, never Jerry Springer!). He has been interviewed in countless documentaries aired on PBS, A&E, Discovery, The History Channel, The Science Channel, and The Learning Channel. Dr. Shermer was the co-host and co-producer of the 13-hour Family Channel television series, Exploring the Unknown. His two TED talks, seen by millions, were voted in the top 100. Dr. Shermer received his B.A. in psychology from Pepperdine University, M.A. in experimental psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and his Ph.D. in the history of science from Claremont Graduate University. He has been a college professor since 1979, also teaching at Occidental College, Glendale College, and Claremont Graduate University, where he taught a transdisciplinary course for Ph.D. students on Evolution, Economics, and the Brain.
Krav Maga ("contact combat" in Hebrew) is a hard-hitting and efficient form of self-defense that was popularized by Israeli soldiers. Stressing practical, real-world fighting and a philosophy of self-defense, its popularity has grown worldwide over the past few decades. In The Physics of Krav Maga, John Eric Goff, a physicist, best-selling author, and martial arts practitioner, explains the science behind dozens of Krav Maga moves, from headlocks to hammer fists. Focusing on Warrior Krav Maga, a fighting style that combines the key elements of Krav Maga with kickboxing, wrestling, karate, and other fighting specialties, this equation-free, conceptual introduction is aimed at martial arts practitioners interested in refining their fighting technique and all fans of the fascinating moment when sports meet science. With step-by-step descriptions and detailed photos of each critical motion, Goff takes a scientific look at everything from punch speed to power output and reaction time. Armed with this book, readers will understand the physics behind each move.
Elena Aprile is UCSD’s Margaret Burbidge Visiting Professor at UC San Diego and Professor of Physics at Columbia University. She is the founder and spokesperson of the XENON Dark Matter Experiment. Aprile is well known for her work with noble liquid detectors and for her contributions to particle astrophysics in the search for dark matter. Professor Aprile appears in the documentary CHASING EINSTEIN about the search for dark matter. Could Einstein have been wrong about the true nature of gravity? Does his general theory of relativity and the Standard Model need an update? Unprecedented advances in experimental particle physics, astronomy and cosmology are uncovering mysteries of cosmic consequence. Among the most challenging is the realization that 80% of the universe consists of something unknown that exerts galactic forces pulling the universe apart. The search for Dark Matter extends from the worlds most powerful particle accelerators to the most sensitive telescopes, to deep under the earth. Nobel worthy discoveries await. Scientists at UC San Diego are at the epicenter of the search for Dark Matter leading efforts to build the next generation of instruments and experiments to uncover its secrets.
This discussion describes a strategy of looking for ETI artifacts. It proposes both passive and active observations by optical and radio listening, radar imaging and launching probes. We might even broadcast to them. But what if we find nothing there? That would be a profound result: suggesting that, perhaps, no ET intelligence has yet come to look at Earth, on that other hand, perhaps other civilizations are simply not as curious as we are or are better at concealing their activities than we are. Such speculation forms the basis of this lively conversation between astrophysicist and associate director of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, Dr Brian Keating (https://www.youtube.com/DrBrianKeating), Prof. Paul Davies, Dr. James Benford and Mat Kaplan (Planetary Society).
Books mentioned in this episode: The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS (born 8 August 1931) is an English mathematical physicist, mathematician and philosopher of science. He is Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics in the University of Oxford, an emeritus fellow of Wadham College, Oxford and an honorary fellow of St John's College, Cambridge. Penrose has made contributions to the mathematical physics of general relativity and cosmology. He has received several prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for the Penrose–Hawking singularity theorems. Penrose sat down with Professor Brian Keating to discuss artificial intelligence, consciousness, cosmology, and the many fascinating developments in physics since the publication of The Emperor’s New Mind in 1989. Previous talks at UC San Diego: Conformal Cyclic Cosmology: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt1WH_SkazQ&t=2284s New Theory of Dark Matter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlSMME-Cl5g Physics and Fantasy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaIdJMxP6bA Hawking Points in the CMB: https://youtu.be/gfYBfjVt08k
Dr. Stefano Spagna, PhD. and Ivy Lum Fipps, MS are both alumni of UC San Diego Physics. Dr. Spagna is Chief Technology Officer and Mrs. Fipps is Final Test Engineer specializing in dilution refrigerators. Since its inception in 1982, Quantum Design International (a privately held corporation) has developed and manufactured automated temperature and magnetic field testing platforms for materials characterization. These systems offer a variety of measurement capabilities and are in widespread use in the fields of physics, chemistry, biotechnology, materials science, nanotechnology, and quantum information research. Building on its expertise in the global marketing and distribution of its own scientific instruments, Quantum Design International (QDI) eventually broadened its scope to distribute quality scientific instruments from other manufacturers through an international network of wholly-owned subsidiaries in every major technological center around the world.
Richard Panek is most recently the author of The Trouble with Gravity: Solving the Mystery Beneath Our Feet, published in July 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. His previous book, The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality, received the Science Communication Award from the American Institute of Physics. He is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Antarctic Artists & Writers grant from the National Science Foundation, and a Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature from the New York Foundation for the Arts. His own books have been translated into sixteen languages, while his collaboration with Temple Grandin, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum, was a New York Times best-seller and the recipient of the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Nonfiction Book of 2013. He also co-wrote the giant-format 3D museum movie ROBOTS [[CUT: 3D]], a National Geographic production. He has been a monthly columnist for Natural History magazine and a regular contributor to The New York Times. Two of his previous books also cover the history of science for non-specialist readers, Seeing and Believing: How the Telescope Opened Our Eyes and Minds to the Heavens (Viking, 1998), and The Invisible Century: Einstein, Freud and the Search for Hidden Universes (Viking, 2004). Education MFA in Fiction, University of Iowa BS in Journalism, Northwestern University
Steve McCloskey is an Alumni from the first class of Nanoengineering at the University of California, San Diego. Steve’s work is focused on emerging technologies applied to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). During his time at UC San Diego Steve worked directly with the founding Chair of the Nanoengineering Department, Ken Vecchio helping set the foundation for the Nanoengineering Materials Research Center and developing thermodynamic processing methods for Iron-based Superelastic alloys. After graduating from UCSD he founded Nanome Inc to build Virtual Reality solutions for Scientists and Engineers working at the nanoscale, specifically protein engineering and small molecule drug development. Steve is also a founder of the Matryx blockchain platform which provides a secure framework for collaborative design and development for STEM. Nanome is transforming how we interact with and understand science, creating a virtual world where users can experiment, design and learn at the nanoscale. We’re building an open platform to solve age-old problems of collaboration, incentivization and siloed information – creating a world with open access to science & technology.
Jim Gates is the Ford Foundation Professor of Physics, and the Director of The Brown University Theoretical Physics Center. He is a 2013 recipient of the National Medal of Science He was a Distinguished University Professor, University System of Maryland Regents Professor, John S. Toll Professor of Physics, and Director of the Center for String and Particle Theory. Gates is well known for his pioneering work in supersymmetry and supergravity, and his 1977 doctoral dissertation on supersymmetry earned him a prominent place in the early development of the field, as did the 1984 book he co-authored, Superspace, or One thousand and one lessons in supersymmetry, which is widely considered the first comprehensive book on the subject. His study of string theory and supersymmetry has recently led Gates to develop an interest in what are called adinkras. Adinkra symbols are graphical representations of supersymmetric algebras named after symbols created by the Asante people. Adinkras may help us understand the structure of the universe, although Gates cautions, “most of the time when we make up ideas, they’re wrong. However, when we get it right, it’s amazing.” Gates is also a pioneer in another respect, having been the first African American to hold an endowed chair in physics at a major U.S. research university. He comes to Brown with a mission to increase the participation of historically underrepresented groups in the sciences. Gates is a former scientific advisor to President Barack Obama, Gates is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as the board of trustees of Society for Science & the Public, and one of the USA Science and Engineering Festival's “Nifty Fifty.”
Sean M. Carroll is a Research Professor of Physics at CalTech. He is a theorist who thinks about the fundamental laws of nature, especially as they connect to cosmology. His research involves theoretical physics and astrophysics, especially cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. He has worked on questions involving dark matter and dark energy, modified gravity, violations of Lorentz invariance, extra dimensions, topological defects, cosmic microwave background anisotropies, causality violation, black holes, and the cosmological constant problem. Currently, most of his attention is focused on the origin of the universe and the arrow of time, including the roles of inflation, baby universes, and quantum gravity.
Professor Hooper focuses on the interface between particle physics and cosmology. Particle physics explores the fundamental nature of energy and matter, while cosmology is the science of the universe itself, including its composition, history and evolution. Some of the areas of this field he has worked on include dark matter, supersymmetry, high-energy neutrinos, extra dimensions and ultra-high energy cosmic rays.
Stuart Volkow interviews two of the founders of The Additive Rocket Corporation (ARC), CSO Riley Weekes and CTO Kyle Adriany. ARC was started at UC San Deigo and utilizes state of the art metal additive manufacturing techniques coupled with advanced design and test processes to create thrust chambers for the space market. The company's revolutionary methods allow for the design and production of specifically tailored and mission specific propulsion solutions. Since its beginning, ARC has been dedicated to pushing the boundaries of rocket propulsion technologies. All members of the ARC team are driven with a passion to create the next generation of rocket technology and distribute its benefits throughout the industry. Through rigorous engineering and testing, products from ARC are certified at the highest levels of reliability, safety, and performance. ARC's use of additive manufacturing allows the company to create solutions to even the most challenging mission parameters. By working as a development partner alongside customers, ARC is positioned to deliver specialized solutions, meeting the customers’ exact needs. The byproduct of this philosophy is a customer experience that is unique in the space industry. Together with our customers and partners in industry, ARC aims to create brighter futures on Earth and beyond.
Primo Levi was deeply interested in the fascinating mystery of the Origin of Life. In particular, in his essay “Asymmetry and Life” he deals with the questions related to the Origin of Homochirality. Which are the prebiotical processes that, starting from a symmetric world, established a living world dominated by asymmetric biomolecules, such as L-amino acids and D-sugars? Would life be possible with the mirror image of these biomolecules? In this short interview, starting from Primo Levi’s writings, we will go through some answers that modern chemists are giving to the questions raised by Primo Levi.
This podcast is about the book, "What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics". The conversation was part of the "Into the Impossible" podcast at the UC San Diego Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, featuring a discussion between Professor Chip Sebens (UCSD Philosophy), Dr. Andrew Friedman (UCSD Physics), and the book's author, Adam Becker.
Co-Director of the Clarke Center Professor Brian Keating interviews bestselling author Julian Gurthrie about her latest book Alpha Girls. The stories of 4 women who achieved prominence in the male-dominated world of Silicon Valley venture capital. How did these women do it? What makes them so successful? Julian also reveals how she's written and published 4 successful non-fiction books over the past 8 years.
How history can shape science, and how science can change the tide of history? NYU Professor Matthew Stanley is our guest, here to discuss about his latest book: Einstein's War: How Relativity Triumphed Amid the Vicious Nationalism of World War I . Brian Keating, associate director of the Clarke Center and professor of physics at UC San Diego, talked to Professor Stanley about his interest in the history of science and the relationship between science and society. We learn about Einstein's first failed attempt at proving his theories with a disastrous expedition at the outbreak of WW I in 1914, and Arthur Eddington's 1919 solar eclipse experiment that made Einstein famous around the world.
How does Annalee approach world-building? I'm using the same skillsets for world-building in science fiction works like AUTONOMOUS and in journalism covering cutting edge science and technology. I want my science fiction to be as accurate as possible. The boundary is if I can make things plausible. Educated guesses about the future come from history. My approach to science fiction is to set stories at the edge of the present. Annalee discusses her books: Autonomous, Scatter Adapt, and Remeber: How Humans Will Face Mass Extinction, and her latest, The Future of Another Timeline about how people from the future seek to alter the past. She also discusses the abuse of graduate students in academia and how it shows up Autonomous.
On this episode, we explore physics, education, and what it takes to train imaginative scientists with Carl Wieman, Nobel Prize winning physicist with joint appointments as Professor of Physics and Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Dr. Wieman is interviewed by Brian Keating, UC San Diego Professor of Physics, Director of the Simons Observatory, and Associate Director of the Clarke Center.
THE SECOND KIND OF IMPOSSIBLE: The Extraordinary Quest for a New Form of Matter is the exciting, first-hand story of how Paul Steinhardt, the award-winning physicist and Albert Einstein Professor in Science at Princeton University, predicted a new type of matter – the quasicrystal – shattering centuries-old laws of physics. Steinhardt’s quest to prove the natural existence of quasicrystals takes him on a globe-hopping scientific journey from Princeton to Italy to the remote mountains of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. In a “suspenseful true-life thriller of science investigation and discovery” (Publishers Weekly), readers are taken along for the ride as Steinhardt challenges commonly held assumptions about settled science, refuting skeptics and disproving their notions of impossibility along the way. Steinhardt’s search to prove the existence of this rare crystal structure began in the early 1980s, when he first proposed the existence of “quasicrystals.” While studying abstract tile patterns, Steinhardt and his graduate student discovered a scientific loophole in one of the most well-established laws of science and, exploiting that, realized it was possible to create new forms of matter. In this podcast, co-associate director of the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, Professor Brian Keating, and Professor Paul Steinhardt explore a wide range of ideas from the discovery of new forms of matter to string theory and the sociology of science. Enjoy!
In a ranging conversation, associate director Brian Keating interviews the preeminent scientist and thinker Freeman Dyson, discussing his career in science and letters, the role of creativity and subversiveness, the perils of prizes, and how nature always shows more imagination than we do.
How is the internet changing our humanity, and what can we do about it? We explore these questions and more with Antonio Garcia Martinez (author of Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley) and Douglas Rushkoff (author most recently of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus and host of the fantastic podcast Team Human).
On May 8th, the Clarke Center will host an evening of Graphic Science: Comics Engage the Cosmos. In advance of that, associate director Brian Keating chatted with Jorge Cham, creator of PHD Comics, and Daniel Whiteson, physicist at UC Irvine, about their new book We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe, a witty, creative look at the biggest open questions in cosmology.
We’re continuing our conversation from episode 14 about alien contact by focusing on language barriers: barriers betweens humans and aliens, humans and animals, and, in what some consider the most alien encounter of all, between scientists and artists. With acclaimed science fiction writer Ted Chiang, dolphin researcher Christine Johnson, and visual artist Lisa Korpos.
In 2007, Erik Viirre, Associate Director of the Clarke Center, was fortunate to share a unique experience with the great Stephen Hawking: taking him into zero gravity. He shares his remembrance of the intellectual giant with Brian Keating here, in honor of Hawking's passing on March 14, 2018.
We’re going to get pretty dark today... by exploring dark matter, with one of the foremost theorists in physics: Sir Roger Penrose. Dr. Penrose visited the Clarke Center this past January to deliver a talk titled “New Cosmological View of Dark Matter. We wanted to share this talk with you today, and for those of you who are able, check the video version on our Youtube channel (find via imagination.ucsd.edu) to see Penrose's rightly famous for his hand-drawn illustrations on overhead transparencies, which are beautifully illuminating.
We're digging in the vaults to explore ideas of alien contact, with Jill Tarter (SETI Institute) and Jeff VanderMeer (bestselling author of the Southern Reach trilogy). We'll talk about the Drake Equation, the faulty math of the film Contact, manifest destiny, whether we're alone, flawed assumptions about the concept of intelligence, what fiction can do to help us think about the very alien-ness of alien contact, and how it may be happening all around us.
It’s the end of 2017, but we’ll spend this episode living, imaginatively, in the 2080s, on the first lunar city, called Artemis. Artemis is the invention of Andy Weir, the author of The Martian and another of the great science fiction writers to have come through UC San Diego. We welcomed him back to campus earlier this month, and we have the live conversation to share with you today.
How can CubeSats—the small, standardized satellites paving the way for the democratization of space—change our sense of the possible? We dive into two projects: the Planetary Society's Lightsail 2, with Director of Science and Technology Bruce Betts, and with MacArthur Genius grant-awardee Trevor Paglen, we discuss Orbital Reflector, the first satellite to be launched purely as an artistic gesture.
We have a mid-month bonus episode with Andy Weir, author of the novel The Martian, so memorably adapted in the film starring Matt Damon, and the new book Artemis, which launches today! Our own Brian Keating, author of the forthcoming Losing the Nobel Prize, sat down with Andy to discuss lunar colonization, his approach to world- and character-building, and what he would do if he was in charge of the future of space exploration. Andy will be speaking at the Clarke Center on December 7th (see imagination.ucsd.edu for more details).
In honor of Halloween, we're exploring the relationship between fear and imagination. First, a story about when the production of this very podcast was visited by a demon from the Upside Down (maybe?). Then, a conversation with Christopher Collins, author of Paleopoetics: The Evolution of the Preliterate Imagination, on the auditory and visual imagination, the evolution of language, and how human culture has spent so much time telling itself scary stories.
Physics is cool—and sometimes very hard to understand. Today we talk to Duncan Haldane, winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize, about quantum topology and why the Nobel committee brought a bagel, a pretzel, and a bun to the award ceremony to explain his ideas. And with the inimitable Sir Roger Penrose, we explore the visual imagination as it relates to science, the work of artist M.C. Escher, and what it has to do with Penrose's cosmological theory of the universe.
We kick off Season 2 of Into the Impossible by diving into the world of artificial imagination. As the artificial intelligence dream comes closer to AI reality, are the doomsday stories about AI correct—or will AI augment human imagination in unexpected and powerful ways? We speak with Kenric McDowell, the Director of Google's Artists and Machine Intelligence group, about generative AIs, Deep Dream, neural nets, AlphaGo and Deep Blue, artists working with machine learning, and what the technological enhancement of human imagination may, ultimately, look like.
Science fiction and fantasy have gone from the sidelines to the mainstream. We bring you a live conversation between two of the field's living legends, George R.R. Martin (“A Song of Ice and Fire,” adapted for television as Game of Thrones, the Wild Card series) and Kim Stanley Robinson (New York 2140, the Mars trilogy), discussing their careers, the history of fantastic literature, and how it shapes our imagination. They came to the Clarke Center in support of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop (clarion.ucsd.edu), the premiere training and proving ground for emerging writers, which the Clarke Center organizes each summer with the Clarion Foundation.
We’re looking at new spaces in space, speaking with Drs. Yvonne Cagle (astronaut and physician) and Adam Burgasser (astrophysicist). We talk about why we send humans into space, the discovery of potentially habitable worlds at TRAPPIST-1 and how we imagine them, the role of interstellar art, the evolution of human physiology in zero-g, why the scariest thing about being an astronaut might be finding yourself on stage at the Oscars with Dr. Katherine Johnson, subject of the film Hidden Figures, and how important it is that we remain vigilant in our embrace of diversity across disciplines.
How do you design the future? Today we talk with cyberpunk founder and design theorist Bruce Sterling and feminist/activist writer Jasmina Tešanović about speculative design, design fictions, open source hardware, the maker movement, and the soft robots of our domestic future. Plus we go behind the scenes of the creation of a design fiction by Bruce, Jasmina, Sheldon Brown, and the Clarke Center—a video installation called My Elegant Robot Freedom.
In advance of our upcoming event Entanglements: Rae Armantrout and the Poetry of Physics, we have a bonus episode: a conversation between the inimitable poet Rae Armantrout and Clarke Center cosmologist Brian Keating. Enjoy! And join us April 13, 2016 at UC San Diego for a evening with Rae, Brian, the writer Brandon Som, and the critic Amelia Glaser in conversation on how Rae's poems mix the personal with the scientific and speculative, the process of interdisciplinary creativity, and what her poetic engagement with physics can teach those working in the physical sciences.
On this episode, we’re touching up against the outer limits of cosmology, and through that bringing up questions of limits on the imagination, the role of theology, and the end (and ends) of the universe. First, we’ll hear Paul Steinhardt on developing the inflationary model of the universe—and then casting that model aside in favor of the radically different cyclic model that replaces the Big Bang with a neverending series of Big Bounces. Then David Brin, science fiction author and futurist, shares his perspective on understanding religion, enabling discussion, and how nice it would be if we were all reborn in computronium as the universe collapses in on itself.
How do you jumpstart the private spaceflight industry? Passion, commitment, bold risk-taking, some inspiration from Charles Lindbergh, and a little luck. On today's show, we hear from Peter Diamandis, whose XPRIZE Foundation launched the competition that gave us the first private manned spaceflight—and paved the way for Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, Blue Origin, and his own Planetary Resources, among others—along with the prize-winning pilot, Brian Binnie, and the writer Julian Guthrie, who chronicled their stories along with those of the other teams from around the world inspired by this unprecedented challenge. Also on this episode: convincing Arthur C. Clarke to buy your college friends dinner and a nearly disastrous incident with a mother-in-law and a cup of coffee.
Today is an unusual and very special episode of Into the Impossible. In winter of 2015, the Clarke Center produced a collaborative project with the performance artist Marina Abramović and the science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson. The multi-day workshop cultivated a series of interactions between a story that Stan was writing about a multi-generational spaceship heading to another star, and the performance art gestures of Marina’s that are a journey into our inner self. We improvised readings and performance actions to find the ways in which these seemingly diametric experiences touched on the common idea of how we extend our sense of time and space from the moment to the eternal. Out of this, we created an installation with multiple audio tracks, which was then further developed for the Venice Biennale. We also made a short film, which you can find a link to on the podcast webpage, and the audio tracks were mixed and choreographed by Adam Tinkle into the podcast we are featuring today: The Hard Problem: An Audio Voyage, by Kim Stanley Robinson, Adam Tinkle, Marina Abramović and the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination.
We’re looking at wonder and imagination today, through the plays of Herbert Siguenza (playwright, actor, and director; founding member of Culture Clash) that take us from Pablo Picasso in 1957 to a post-apocalyptic California, and the art (and green thumb) of Jon Lomberg (astronomical artist), who worked with Carl Sagan on the original Cosmos and has created a garden that can help us imagine our place in the universe. Both ask, as Herbert does in the persona of Picasso himself, “How can we make the world worthy of its children?”