Clifford Pickover | Physics Milestones, November 17, 2011


November 17, 2011–Author of forty books on such topics as mathematics, black holes, and alien life, Cliff Pickover, discussed his latest work, The Physics Book, which presents 250 milestones in the history of physics. The milestones include thought provoking topics such as parallel universes, dark energy, and "quantum immortality," as well as some fascinating curiosities. Quantum immortality, he explained, is based on the idea that in subatomic physics, two different choices are simultaneously possible, thus creating an infinite number of worlds. So, in this 'many worlds' paradigm, you might seem to live forever because there'd always be one reality where you didn't die. Another topic he addressed was the 'Big Rip,' which suggests that the universe is rapidly expanding, and that our solar system could eventually rip apart.

One of the curiosities he spoke about was Dyson Spheres-- a hypothetical proposal by the physicist Freeman Dyson, in which an advanced civilization could make a sphere that surrounds our sun to capture all its energy. Pickover also talked about unusual ancient technology such as the Baghdad Battery and the Antikythera Mechanism, as well as a kind of natural nuclear reactor created two billion years ago.
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