A Conversation on the Existence of Time

By Sean Carroll | November 19, 2009 1:27 pm

You know, other people talk a lot about time, too — it’s not just me. Here’s a great video from Nature, featuring a conversation between David Gross and Itzhak Fouxon about the existence of time. (Via Sarah Kavassalis.) Itzhak plays the role of the starry-eyed young researcher — he opens the video by telling us how he originally went into physics to impress girls, although apparently he has stuck with it for other reasons. Gross, of course, shared a Nobel Prize for asymptotic freedom, and has become one of the most influential string theorists around. David plays the role of the avuncular elder statesman (I’ve seen him be somewhat more acerbic in his criticisms) — but he’s one of the smartest people in physics, and his admonitions are well worth listening to. He gives some practical advice, but also advises young people to think big.

Unfortunately the video doesn’t seem to be embeddable, but you can go to the video page and click on the “David Gross” entry. (The others are good, too!)

davidgross

You all know my perspective here — time probably exists, and we should try to understand it rather than replace it. But I’ll agree with David — let’s not ignore more “practical” problems, but not be afraid to tackle the big ideas!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Advice, Science, Time
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Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] cosmicvariance.com .

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