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Top US Experts in Black Hole, Worm Hole and Time Travel for public tv science show

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SunnyCA
#1
Apr25-11, 08:00 PM
P: 4
Hello Friends,

I need to find out who is currently THE TOP expert in the US in black hole, worm hole and time travel theories. When I last checked, it might have been Kip Thorne or Stephen Hawking, but perhaps there are others who are also prominent.

I would love to hear your opinions and if there are some recent theories you find fascinating.

This is for a public television science program and I need to come up with answers today and tomorrow preferably (but will continue checking throughout the month).

Many thanks!
Carey Ann
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Nabeshin
#2
Apr25-11, 09:11 PM
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Do you think there's some quarterly ranking physicists do as to who is "the top expert" in subjects x, y, and z?
SunnyCA
#3
Apr25-11, 09:49 PM
P: 4
Dearest Nabeshin,

No, I do not think there are quarterly rankings of physicists, but thank you for your humorous response. Very funny! : D

I do, however, know that there are multitudinous theories out there on the subject and I normally work on shows that are either funded by or working with the National Academy of Sciences or some other highly distinguished organization who would generally point me in the right direction right up front.

Regrettably, I was asked to help out on this project by a colleague and friend from another country, so this project doesn't have that kind of relationship with NAS, NSF, or any other organization (and I'm in a rush), so I thought I'd post something here.

If you would like to share your opinion on who you think is a "top expert" (the producer's words, not mine -- and I would invite you to be compassionate about the terminology as English is not his first language), I welcome it. I would love to know which scientists you respect or admire in this area. If you would rather not share that, of course, I respect that decision as well.

Thanks so much for sharing your opinion of my post, however. I'm really glad someone responded. I've sitting at this computer for hours and you're my first response.

If you have any suggestions for where else to post (I would normally call a scientist I've interviewed for another show but there's no time), I would also welcome that suggestion.

Best and highest regards,
Carey Ann

Polyrhythmic
#4
Apr25-11, 09:55 PM
P: 342
Top US Experts in Black Hole, Worm Hole and Time Travel for public tv science show

Quote Quote by SunnyCA View Post
I need to find out who is currently THE TOP expert in the US in black hole, worm hole and time travel theories. When I last checked, it might have been Kip Thorne or Stephen Hawking, but perhaps there are others who are also prominent.
Stephen Hawking is english, not american.
SunnyCA
#5
Apr25-11, 10:17 PM
P: 4
But he doesn't have a British accent...

Good point. Thanks, Polyrhythmic. Very helpful.

To be clear, the scientists I'm asking about need to be based in the US because that's where the crew is going to be shooting soon. Thanks for reminding me Hawking's at Oxford or somewhere in the UK I think.

Do you have a favorite black hole expert or are black holes / worm holes not your cup of tea?
marcus
#6
Apr25-11, 11:02 PM
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Abhay Ashtekar is an outstanding figure. He is at Penn State. Main theorist and director of the IGC there (institute for gravitation and cosmology).
http://cgpg.gravity.psu.edu/people/Ashtekar/index.html
The quantum theory of black holes may allow for the collapse (in our region) to bounce and reexpand to form another separate region of spacetime disjoint from ours. Several of Ashtekar's PhD students have explored this (unproven) theoretical possibility. He might have some speculative views on it.
Born in India but has spent most of his life in USA. Personable and lively. American wife. About 60 years old.
Known for basic work reformulating Einstein's GR in a new set of variables known as the Ashtekar variables. The new formulation (around 1985) helped the field of quantum gravity and quantum cosmology develop because the new variables are more conducive to quantization.

Has also done basic work on black holes and on quantum models of the big bang (that go back before the big bang to a collapsing phase---rather interesting analogy to a wormhole, as representing a one-way connection with another spacetime region.)
SunnyCA
#7
Apr25-11, 11:10 PM
P: 4
GOD BLESS YOU, Marcus! I so appreciate your post! Thank you! : )

Plus, Penn State is my alma mater, so double hooray. Thanks so much for your help.

Best wishes,
Carey Ann
marcus
#8
Apr26-11, 07:41 PM
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My pleasure. Physicsforums has a private message system (PM). The link is in the upper right corner of the screen where it says Private Messages. It's a good way to reach me or any of us. Sometimes works better than posting in Astrophysics (where I might not notice it.)

If you want any additional information you think I might supply, please write. If I don't know I will simply say so.
Chronos
#9
Apr26-11, 08:39 PM
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Lee Smolin, Perimeter Institute [University of Toronto], may also be a promising candidate. He is american born and educated [Harvard].
HarryRool
#10
May2-11, 03:00 PM
P: 51
The top U.S. guy by stature is clearly Kip Thorne (he must be pretty old by now).

But if youíre looking for U.S. scientists who thoroughly understand these subjects and can explain them to a lay audience, Iíd go with one of the physicists who have written recent popularizations, e.g.:

J. Richard Gott, Time Travel In Einsteinís Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time (2001)

Enrico Rodrigo, The Physics of Stargates: Parallel Universes, Time Travel, and the Enigma of Wormhole Physics (2010)

Michio Kaku, Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel (2009)

Of these 3, the Rodrigo books seems to be most focused on the topics of black holes, wormholes, and time travel.
lasm2000
#11
May4-11, 04:36 AM
P: 31
I guess that the top figure is indeed Kip Thorne. Now, in the very particular topic of black holes I guess Robert Wald (from Chicago) is probably the leading world figure. Other names you might consider are Charles Misner at Maryland and if you dont mind going up north then Werner Israel at University of Alberta was one of the key players in determining the properties of classical black holes.


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