28 August 2008

You canna change the laws of physics

    All you are is a bag of particles acting out the laws of physics.
      Brian Greene

Assume the universe is infinite, but the number of possible configurations of particles in the universe, while tremendously huge, is finite. That means that at some point somewhere in the universe, a particular configuration of particles must repeat. Somewhere, an almost incomprehensible distance from here, there is another version of me writing this exact same blog post in an identical office when he should be coding. In fact, there's not just copy, there are countless copies.

That is just one of the concepts explored in this episode of the Radio Lab podcast. Brian Greene, physics and mathematics professor and director of the Institute of Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics at Columbia University, sits down with Robert Krulwich to talk about the nature of the universe.

Two other tidbits from the conversation:

  • The universe is actually a lot like a block of Swiss cheese.
  • If you think about it, it is actually more likely we exist in a huge computer simluation than in the actual universe.

Krulwich keeps the science content accessible and the conversation tone fun and interesting. Take a listen if you have a chance.

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