Thursday, 17 September 2009

Exchanges at the Frontier: Lawrence Krauss

@ Wellcome Trust. Anthony Grayling, Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck interviewing Lawrence Krauss, Director, Origins Initiative, Arizona State University.

Can't quite describe how amazing this talk was. The first of four to be organised by Anthony Grayling to explain further to the public the latest advances at the forefront of various disciplines, and making connections between science, philosophy, art etc. I didn't make loads of notes as I had to concentrate to understand all the theories we went through!

Lawrence Krauss started as a particle physicist and became interested in all the big stuff i.e. the universe as it is all essentially described by particle physics, can read about the rest of his career here.

Open, Flat, Closed universe:

Spoke about Neutrinos, supersymmetry, inflationary cosmology, dark energy, dark matter

There is an argument for the universe being flat, as + and - gravity = 0 energy, so something that has come from nothing (big bang, and as in Quantum Mechanics where flucuations cause particles to come into and out of existence all the time). (ps probably no space or time existed before that).

Universe is just over 14 billion years old and during the inflation there was a phase transition and there could be another one where the symmetry of the universe will change and although the rules of physics will remain the properties governing elementary particles might change. i.e. water to ice, different rule if it is supercooled.

Dark energy could be responsible for the universe expanding as it is repulsive in empty space, negative pressure. So the matter has to do work on the dark energy and that work causes energy, which cause the universe to expand - I think this is right, got a bit lost in the explanation!

Anthropic Principle, Multiverse - Metauniverse.

ooo and just found this about the dream argument.

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