Wednesday, November 02, 2011

PBS Nova: The Fabric of the Universe (that is, Cosmos)

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, PBS Nova aired the first of a new series from Brian Greene, “The Fabric of the Cosmos”, one hour, directed by Graham Judd and Sabin Streeter, primary link here. This builds on the earlier “Elegant Universe”.

The subject of the documentary was space-time, and the “spoiler” is probably what comes first:  Our entire universe as we experience it may be a holographic illusion, based on the “encrypted” information on the outer spherical surface of a black hole.  But that suggests a countably infinite succession of universes expressed on concentric black holes.

The documentary starts with the notion that space is “something”, and space-time is one “thing”, which may be powered by dark energy, which makes up 70% of all the mass-energy of the observable universe – it keeps the universe expanding.

A lot of the documentary showed a NASA experiment with the Higgs gyroscope to help prove some of Einstein’s relativity theory.  I remember the “gyroscope” in freshman physics (in a particular recitation section) my lost semester at William and Mary in 1961.

Wikipedia attribution link for Bekenstein-Hawking Entropy Formula.  Enjoy the physics class lesson! 

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