Listen to these sounds of black holes merging and falling into one another and the "white noise" of the Big Bang. A TED Talk with Janna Levin that stirs the mind.
As a theoretical physicist, Janna Levin probes whether the universe is finite or infinite. As a novelist, she explored the separate but parallel lives of two influential 20th-century scientists: Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing. Their work laid the foundations for computer intelligence while challenging fundamental notions about how we can know what is true.
Pertinent Posts from the On Being Blog
A classic comic on faith in equations. "You take two numbers and when you add them, they magically become one new number!"
Video of a Seed salon with Janna Levin and fiction writer Jonathon Lethem.
Physicists have long sought to describe the universe in terms of equations. Now, James Gates explains how research on a class of geometric symbols known as adinkras could lead to fresh insights into the theory of supersymmetry — and perhaps even the very nature of reality.
About the Image
Located in the Bolivian Andes, Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat. The irregular, hexagonal cells are naturally occurring phenomena called Bénard cells. Scientists are trying to understand why these convective cells adhere to deterministic laws at the microscopic level but result in a non-deterministic arrangement, as you see here.
Voices on the Radio
Host/Producer: Krista Tippett
Senior Editor: Trent Gilliss
Senior Producer: David McGuire
Technical Director/Producer: Chris Heagle
Associate Producer: Nancy Rosenbaum
Associate Producer/Online: Susan Leem
Associate Web Developer: Anne Breckbill
Coordinating Producer: Stefni Bell
Parallel realities and the deep structure of space-time sound like science fiction. These are matters of real scientific inquiry. Lord Martin Rees is an astrophysicist and self-professed atheist who paints a fascinating picture of how we might be changed by what we do not yet know.
Science and religion are often pitted against one another; but how do they complement, rather than contradict, one another? We learn how one man applies the deepest insights of modern physics to think about how the world fundamentally works, and how the universe might make space for prayer.