Richard Panek explains the concept of the 4% universe. Lee Smolin and Panek discuss the problem with dark energy according to quantum mechanics. Rational understanding begins with asking why something is a law of nature.
Smolin considers the impact of observers on science. Panek admires the people he wrote about in his book; scientists try to prove themselves wrong.
Cosmology theorists struggle with the connotation of the universe—the etymology is one turn. Panek likes the idea of more universes. Lee cites moral and scientific reasons he does not like the theory.
Laws of physics are construed in specific context. Smolin cites problems when considering the universe as a whole and describes domains of confusion with the Big Bang Theory.
Panek considers the difference between theorists and observers. Smolin discusses moving from speculation to science; science is not about a definitive final picture.
The observers Panek works with look to theorists for guidance. Vera Rubin's series of clean observations cements the idea of dark matter.
Smolin explains the gravitational theory; he is willing to accept dark matter. The people Panel speaks with are optimistic that dark matter will be detected. He and Smolin reflect on the "23-73-4" argument and the viability of modified gravity.
Panek and Smolin consider how the surviving model will change philosophical ideas. Scientists use two basic pathways to attempt to explain the universe.
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Richard Panek, author of The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality, meets with theoretical physicist Lee Smolin to discuss Panek’s book and cosmology.
Length: 39 minutes
Copyright date: ©2011
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