I’ve been tremendously lucky to have the opportunity to work with BBC Earth and Pomona Pictures over the past few months, creating a series of animated videos to explain ideas in physics, astronomy, and even a little philosophy. Here they are:
Read more "Science videos!"
Warping space and time ain’t hard to do. You’re doing it right now, in fact. Einstein’s theory of general relativity says that everything – you, me, even the Earth itself – warps space and time, simply by existing. This astonishing idea turns 100 years old today, and to celebrate, I recorded a short video with the BBC explaining how Einstein discovered general relativity. I hope you enjoy it!
Read more "Warp Speed"
I got a book deal a few months ago! My book is about the sordid untold history of quantum physics, exposing the shocking secrets behind the strangest theory in all of physics. It’s going to be published by Basic Books, the same people who publish the Feynman Lectures and Gödel, Escher, Bach, among other things. This is really exciting – I’ve wanted to write about this for a long time.
Read more "Book trip!"
As part of my research, I’m doing a sort of Grand Tour of Europe for the next month, interviewing people for my book…
I fought off an insane film crew while I was in grad school. My story is on the Story Collider podcast this week:
Why is it easy to break an egg, but impossible to un-break it? More generally, why is the past so different from the future? We can’t travel into the past, but we’re inexorably carried into the future. We can remember the past, but we can’t reliably predict the future. But strangely, the fundamental laws of physics work just as well backwards as forwards – so why do we perceive an arrow of time? That’s the subject of my new feature article for BBC Earth….
Read more "Back to the Future"
I’m telling a story on Februay 4th, in Brooklyn, as part of a Story Collider show. Some of you might remember that I told a story with Story Collider once before and it was a blast. This time, I’ll be talking about a run-in I had with a (literally) crazy film crew; more than that I don’t want to say just yet.
Read more "Telling stories and teaching classes"
Einstein called it “spooky action at a distance.” Entanglement is the strangest feature of quantum mechanics — yet it might be the stuff that space and time are made of. My piece for New Scientist is about this strange idea, and how it might shed light on some of the biggest puzzles in physics….
Read more "Spooky Wormholes"
Big news this week! The full data set from the Planck satellite has finally been released to the public and the scientific community at large. Cosmologists around the world have been itching to see this data for years, and with good reason: Planck has given us our sharpest full-sky image of the cosmic microwave background radiation, the oldest light in the universe….
Read more "A Cosmic Picture of Your Ancestors"
Some of my friends and I use big computers to try to find out where stuff was — all of the stuff, in every place out in space — in the first tiny part of a second, at the beginning of time. We do this by looking at where all of the stuff in space is now, and trying to guess what that means about where stuff was before. But it is very hard to do that, even with a big computer….
Read more "Where were all of the things a long time ago? Can we find out by looking at things now?"
For the first time, a part of the dark matter “skeleton” of the universe has revealed itself. The discovery strengthens our understanding of the universe’s history and tells us more about the formation of galaxies like our own, billions of years ago.
Current theories about the largest structures in the universe predict the existence of giant structures made of dark matter — the unseen substance that comprises over 80% of the matter in the universe — between most galaxy clusters. Now, for the first time, a team of cosmologists led by Jörg Dietrich at University Observatory Munich has found hard evidence that the long-sought-after strands of dark matter actually exist….
Read more "Seeing Strands in the Cosmic Web"