Everything you wanted to know about the universe, and the opposite

| March 11, 2012 | 3 Replies

This is a highly entertaining and mind-stretching talk by Lawrence Krauss from 2009. The title is “A universe from Nothing,” and I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. Enjoy.

Here are a few of Krauss’ quotes from his talk:

The universe is flat,
It has 0 total energy,
And it could have begun from nothing. (min 40)

Why is there something rather than nothing? There had to be. If you had nothing in quantum mechanics, you’ll always get something. It’s not simple. . . but it’s true. (Min 41)

We live in a universe dominated by nothing. 70% of the energy in the universe resides in empty space. And we don’t have the slightest idea why it’s there. (min 42).

We now know that “we are more insignificant than we ever imagined. If you get rid of everything we see, the universe is essentially the same. We constitute a 1% bit of pollution in a universe that’s 30% dark matter and 70% dark energy. We are completely irrelevant. (min. 43).

There may be other universes that aren’t conducive to life, and lo and behold there isn’t life in them. That’s a kind of cosmic natural selection. (min 46:00).

[History of string theory in 10 seconds.] (min 49).

Strive for cosmic humility. The recognition that we don’t know far more than we know. (min. 50).

Galaxies are moving away from us at an increasing rate of speed. In 100 billion years, “all evidence of the big bang will disappear.” Scientists living then will derive a picture of the universe that is completely wrong. They will derive a picture of the universe being one galaxy surrounded by empty space that is static and eternal. Falsifiable science will produce the wrong answer. (min. 52).

We live in a very special time: The only time when we can observationally verify that we live at a very special time!” (min 52).

The universe remains mysterious, and that is great (min 53).

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Category: Astronomy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich and his wife, Anne Jay, live in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where they are raising their two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Tony says:

    Interesting lecture! Lawrence Krauss is fun to listen to. What I found interesting is the ways to estimate the amount of dark energy in the universe.

  2. Jim Razinha says:

    I just read his book, same title as the talk – “A Universe from Nothing”. I liked it a lot. Very accessible.

    The subtitle is “Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing”, though he notes in the book something I’ve been hawking for years: “why” in science actually means “how”. “Why” unfortunately implies a purpose and that entertains an outside agency, when the physics shows no such entity is necessary (nor likely).

    nothing is unstable – therefore we are

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