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NOTHING: The Science of Emptiness



Why is there something rather than nothing? And what does ‘nothing’ really mean? More than a philosophical musing, understanding nothing may be the key to unlocking deep mysteries of the universe, from dark energy to why particles have mass. Journalist John Hockenberry hosts Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek, esteemed cosmologist John Barrow, and leading physicists Paul Davies and George Ellis as they explore physics, philosophy and the nothing they share.

This program is part of The Big Idea Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

The World Science Festival gathers great minds in science and the arts to produce live and digital content that allows a broad general audience to engage with scientific discoveries. Our mission is to cultivate a general public informed by science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future.
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Original Program Date: June 12, 2009
MODERATOR: John Hockenberry
PARTICIPANTS: George Ellis, Frank Wilczek, John Barrow, Paul Davies

Introduction 00:19

John Barrow lecture on how nothing can be something. 03:52

Participant introductions. 28:57

Can the beginning be ranked a zero? 30:00

Empty space and virtual particles. 37:11

Does science want there to be nothing? 40:02

Zero may not be nothing. 49:16

What do you get when you test nothing? 58:48

How do you jump from there was nothing to now we can measure nothing? 01:05:01

What if there is evidence that time changes rate and direction. 01:08:30

Does consciousness change the testing of the observer? 01:12:10

What does string theory say about nothing? 01:17:40

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