Elegant Universe TV show streaming Video

  • Thread starter Integral
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  • #1
Integral
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Here is a link to the PBS web site. where you can watch the Nova shows.

You get to see and hear the String Theory Pioneers.
 

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  • #2
Dysprosium
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Hey thanks, Integral...this stuff is great!
 
  • #3
Sonty
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this is a tv station? it really goes on air not just over the net? where cand you get it and how exactly is it called?
 
  • #4
Integral
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PBS = Public Broadcast System
It is the only commercial free, publically supported TV network in the US.

It does not offer the pablum shown on the big three commercial networks, but shows more esoteric subject matter. Yes, this show was broadcast on Tuesday night at 8:00 pm. Since I work a 6pm-6am graveyard shift I am not able to watch it live. This streaming video is great!
 
  • #5
Thanks

Originally posted by Dysprosium
Hey thanks, Integral...this stuff is great!
Ditto.
I live in Australia, don't have a video or cable TV, so this is the only way I could easily see it. It's great to finally see and hear these theorists who I've read about for years and to feel 'connected' with fellow seekers, etc.
Thanks PBS, thanks NOVA, thanks Quicktime, thanks physicsforums, thanks www.,[/URL] thanks mathematicians and physicists and special thanks to the Al-mighty Creator of this somewhat 'elegant', sometimes strange, sometimes dimly 'understood' but fascinating and challenging universe. :smile:
 
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  • #6
Rimbaud65
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Brian Green

Superstring theory is fascinating. Last night I watched the first hour of The Nova show online. I'll watch the rest as fast as I can, tonight probably. At the same time I'm reading 'The Elegant Universe', so together it'll be a full dose of superstring theory.

Can this theory be the unified theory long sought? Intriguing.
 
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  • #7
KLscilevothma
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Thanks ∫, it is so cool! I've watched 3 clips already and forwarded it to my two physics teachers. I'll watch the rest of the clips later. :smile:
 
  • #8
lethe
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in the second to last clip, about 1/3 of the way in, they showed an interview with a guy that they claimed was e. witten. he didn t look or sound like witten to me. i think they made a mistake. did anyone else notice this?
 
  • #9
Brad_Ad23
502
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I believe the supposed Ed Witten you refer to is consistent throughout the whole program. And it does sorta sound like him too.

Anyways, while M-theory holds promise, I am still opposed to it for the simple reason it is still a theory of interactions taking place in a background spacetime. A theory of everything, and of true unification should be able to tie it all into a dynamic spacetime. LQG takes care of the dynamic spacetime bit, but is lacking in other areas. Ultimately, these two fields should converge together.
 
  • #10
selfAdjoint
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Brad, take a look at Urs' threads on this forum. There is at least one species of M-theory that has a dynamic spacetime.
 
  • #11
Brad_Ad23
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Yes, I just did a search. That particular varient of M-Theory looks promising, but as Urs himself said, it isn't quite background independent. By the very mathematical nature M-theory is formulated in, it has to be background dependent. To change this, is a step towards that union of LQG and M-Theory I mentioned. I suspect, we need to take a bit more steps in understanding the actual physics before we can truly formulate such a theory. In particular, we need to extract something meaningful and common in physics out of both M and LQG theory.
 
  • #12
lethe
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Originally posted by Brad_Ad23
I believe the supposed Ed Witten you refer to is consistent throughout the whole program. And it does sorta sound like him too.

i think this guy in chapter 3 is ed witten:


i think this guy in chapter 6 is not ed witten:


he is right before halfway of the 6th segment of the third hour. am i just going crazy? i don t think he looked like ed witten or sounded like him at all...

does anyone else notice that these guys don t look the same?

Edit: pictures removed. Img tag is not enabled
 
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  • #13
Brad_Ad23
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Different lighting and angles...they could be the same guy.
 
  • #14
ranyart
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Originally posted by lethe
i think http://www.sit.wisc.edu/~jhannon/witten.jpeg [Broken].

i think http://www.sit.wisc.edu/~jhannon/notwitten.jpeg [Broken] is not ed witten.

he is right before halfway of the 6th segment of the third hour. am i just going crazy? i don t think he looked like ed witten or sounded like him at all...

does anyone else notice that these guys don t look the same?



This is a deliberate action for the observer in order to Understand 'M-Theory'..everybody is everybody else!..or we are all Ed Wittens!

It is about OBSERVER DEPENDENCE, from where you look from?

Will (not the will from Lost-In-Space :wink: )..the REAL Ed Witten please step forward?
 
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  • #15
notevenwrong
38
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It's not Ed Witten, it is Paul Steinhardt,
a physicists at Princeton who does
cosmology
 
  • #16
lethe
653
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Originally posted by notevenwrong
It's not Ed Witten, it is Paul Steinhardt,
a physicists at Princeton who does
cosmology

whoa... OK, thanks.

so that s a pretty egregious error, don t you think?
 
  • #17
lethe
653
0
Originally posted by notevenwrong
It's not Ed Witten, it is Paul Steinhardt,
a physicists at Princeton who does
cosmology

google turned up lots of pictures of paul steinhardt. clearly you are correct

i should have known this. i have seen paul steinhardt lecture, i just forgot what he looks like.
 
  • #18
MathematicalPhysicist
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the next step is to interview lee smolin about lqg in this programme.
 
  • #19
dongoku
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hey guys... I'm new here, but i thought i'd post a link to dl the show instead of streaming it. just incase it goes down or something one day...
if this isn't allowed I'm sorry and i'll remove them asap

http://members.optusnet.com.au/donchichio/string.html [Broken]

hope that works!
 
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  • #20
MadMan
3
1
I watched it beffore I even found this site! It was so great I was up all night thinking about it... Truely amazing...(and educational) what channel is pbs is on?
 
  • #21
Loren Booda
3,119
4
Ed Witten is a very gracious, soft spoken family guy with a personality physicists and mathematicians would be proud to emulate. I hope that his work will eventually yield revolutionary yet basic concepts and formulas that can be appreciated by the general public toward constructive ends.
 
  • #22
lethe
653
0
Originally posted by Loren Booda
Ed Witten is a very gracious, soft spoken family guy ...

i didn t know he had a family, but he does have a wife. i have met her, and she s kinda nutty.
 
  • #23
lumidek
92
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Photographs

Hey guys,

you might find our Harvard High Energy Theory photogallery useful. There are many well-known physicists among faculty and visitors (Strominger, Vafa, Coleman, Arkani-Hamed, Randall, Georgi, and others; Schwarz, Maldacena, Horowitz and many other visitors), but look at the postdocs and the students, too.

http://schwinger.harvard.edu/~motl/PeoplePixWeb/ [Broken]
http://schwinger.harvard.edu/~motl/PeoplePixWeb/visitors.html [Broken]

Best wishes
Luboš Motl
 
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  • #24
Niels Bohr
14
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I read the three transcripts, very interesting. I look forward to the results of the tests in the atom smasher to see if any physical evidence exists for Superstring Theory, such as loss of energy to other dimensions or the supersymmetrical particles (I think this is what it's called).

Regards,

Niels Bohr
 
  • #25
The_Professional
418
1
Originally posted by dongoku
hey guys... I'm new here, but i thought i'd post a link to dl the show instead of streaming it. just incase it goes down or something one day...
if this isn't allowed I'm sorry and i'll remove them asap

http://members.optusnet.com.au/donchichio/string.html [Broken]

hope that works!

Thanks for posting that. I was trying to figure out how to save it in Real Player, I'm glad I won't have to resort to "alternative" means :wink:
 
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  • #26
MythioS
50
0
Can someone answer a question for me about something that was in this show. When they get to the part where the two physicists were trying to get both of the equations to match on the chalkboard, did they say that they somehow found these other dimensions or more so that the other dimensions were required in order for the string theory to function? Because for some reason i remember the latter in which case this theory is more here-say and simply a means to get some equation to work right?

MythioS
 
  • #27
ranyart
370
0
Originally posted by MythioS
Can someone answer a question for me about something that was in this show. When they get to the part where the two physicists were trying to get both of the equations to match on the chalkboard, did they say that they somehow found these other dimensions or more so that the other dimensions were required in order for the string theory to function? Because for some reason i remember the latter in which case this theory is more here-say and simply a means to get some equation to work right?

MythioS

Technically one can ask what came first?..the dimensions or the Maths?
Some of the abstract mathematics of string theory do not conform to our everyday experience, for instance in order to accommodate more than the usual three-dimensions, there are Mathematical extensions..all the way up to infinite (Wittens latest paper).

Some time ago there was a general consensus that 26 dimensions was pretty much suitable for the avialable 'string' Mathematics, but if the current trend continue's then there will not be enough Dimensions in our Universe to accommodate the coresponding predicted Mathematical Dimensions!

Of course the spacetime dimensions (theorized as 9+1 until Ed Witten thought of another dimension, and then 9+1 became 10+1 spacetime's).

There are about 12 Time zones graphed onto the surface of the globe, this is for each individual nation to define their own existence with their neighbours and stops Airlines from landing planes at the same time and such!, this is a human construct for ease of correspondance, it is not a consequence say of the proximity of the Earth within the Solar System along the Galactic Arm!
 
  • #28
lethe
653
0
Originally posted by MythioS
Can someone answer a question for me about something that was in this show. When they get to the part where the two physicists were trying to get both of the equations to match on the chalkboard, did they say that they somehow found these other dimensions or more so that the other dimensions were required in order for the string theory to function? Because for some reason i remember the latter in which case this theory is more here-say and simply a means to get some equation to work right?

MythioS

yes, that is exactly how it happened. string theory gives you quantum gravity, for free. some people felt that this was such a compelling argument, that they were willing to listen to what other things that the theory was trying to tell them. one of them is that it must have 10 spacetime dimensions.

the number 10 is, as you say, just the number that makes the equations work. in this sense, string theory is more constrained than other quantum theories. other quantum theories put no restriction on what dimensions you must live in (although renormalizability may have something to say to this question)
 
  • #29
Hyperreality
202
0
For some odd reasons, even after downloading QuickTime player from the specified URL (links provided on the PBS), I still can't watch the video. Everytime when the QuickTime player functions came out, it automatically closes all the windows.

What do I do?
 
  • #30
I think the PBS special sucked

It was so hoakey and cheesey. Not to mention that many of the things they say are completely stupid. There are plenty of intellegent people out there but no more great thinkers. Physicists have forgotten how to think and become obcessed with the math.
 
  • #31
lethe
653
0
I think you suck

Originally posted by tenzin
It was so hoakey and cheesey. Not to mention that many of the things they say are completely stupid. There are plenty of intellegent people out there but no more great thinkers. Physicists have forgotten how to think and become obcessed with the math.

If these physicists work hard, maybe one day they will be as smart as you.
 
  • #32
MythioS
50
0
Well the only thing that bothered me was when i watched it the second time i noticed he seemed to repeat things quite a bit. Kind of like going to school next year in america and having to repeat like the last half of the last year again for the next year, but for 3 hours of shows.

It seemed like more of a history show then a physics show but how much equation can you really expect a layman such as myself to understand... (although i do wish i had a little cheat sheet that explained what all the variables represented in the final m theory)

That aside if i understand lathes reply to my question awhile back i have to have some doubts as to what this whole string/m thing really means. I mean if i can just plug a number in somewhere to make sure something else makes sense... was that really the answer to begin with or is the room painted black simply because the lights arent on?

MythioS
 
  • #33
Orion1
973
3
Anti-gravity paradox...



Did anyone notice the segment where they attempted to display the analogy between Newton Gravitation and GR, in which if a star's gravitational field were removed then Newton's Gravitational field would be removed instantly, however, the GR field would only be removed at luminous velocity?

My point is that the warped field sheet they used to describe a gravity wave was displayed as a 'verted' field instead of 'inverted'. However, a GR field in this configuration could only repel mass, not attract it.

I am not certain if this was an oversight by the graphics designers, however the producers do need to pay more attention.

 
  • #34
laserblue
64
1
Parallel Thinking in an Elegant Universe

In the mid 1980's I dreamed of watching physics video documentaries on a wireless Z-183 in a park on a sunny day and was reading Buckminster Fuller's 1969 book EDUCATION AUTOMATION in which he talked about video documentaries being available to anyone 24/7 over a wireless network. I like that PBS has made ELEGANT UNIVERSE available.
I watched the entire show but I was quite put off by the first part. There was a harsh tone to it that was quite rude. I'm not against challenging accepted ideas and assumptions but Greene almost seemed to be calling all non-physicists black dogs that he was wasting his time trying to explain String Theory to. Most physicists I know bristle if you try to cast physics into the categories of RIGHT vs. WRONG but Greene bluntly says Newton is WRONG, Einstein is WRONG and says it several times throughout the show for anyone that might have idols. Greene was quite harsh with Dr. Einstein as well. At least Dr. Einstein had the grace to ask Newton's forgiveness in his 1946 autobiography and acknowledged Newton's brilliance. Greene mentions nothing about Einstein's role in the early years of quantum mechanics which gives a distorted view of Einstein's work and the alternate field theory path he chose to follow towards establishing a new foundation for physics. Physicists of the early 1900's were just as interested in finding a unified theory as String Theorists of today. Attempts to base all of physics on mechanics failed as did attempts to base all of physics on electromagnetism. Einstein's forte was statistical mechanics and he noted not one problem in the foundations of physics but two. A.I. Miller comments on this on page 137 of his analysis of the Special Theory of Relativity.
Dr. Einstein acknowledged his weakness in mathematics but had a great instinct for physical principles.
In the early 1900's there were great physicists like Ernst Mach that were still skeptical about atoms having a physical existence just as today there are doubts about strings being physical. Einstein was very impressed with kinetic theory and statistical mechanics and his Phd dissertation sought to show the physical existence of atoms in Brownian motion.
There are numerous instances of Einstein's contributions to atomic theory and quantum mechanics from his photon analogy with gases in his photoelectric paper and his use of a principle to quantize the action of electronic orbits, that turns out to be an optico-mechanical resonance principle, to the idea of stimulated emission of radiation. However, Einstein had very good reasons for parting company with quantum mechanics as formulated by Bohr and Heisenberg.
Sure, Minkowski and Hilbert could run mathematical circles around a lazy dog like Einstein, but physics is not mathematics.
You and I have the advantage of hindsight and far more information that men like Dr. Einstein did not have access to. To talk about others being WRONG is not constructive physics at all. As Poincare said, "Ruins may still be good for something." and "One geometry is not more correct than another, only more convenient."
 
  • #35
lumidek
92
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Brian Greene and the message of the show on PBS

Dear laserblue,

I think that I know Brian Greene better than you do, and I am absolutely sure that he did not want to compare the dog to the other people (non-physicists). Brian is an extremely peaceful person, and he was trying to ask a profound philosophical question whether the humans - all humans, including you - are able to understand the intellectual design underlying Nature at the deepest level.

The dogs might have some problems with learning GR, but his attempt to teach the dog Einstein's equations was not meant as a humiliation of non-physicists! We should not be paranoic, I think. The program was assuming that the spectators view themselves as humans who are much better in maths than the dog - they are on the same side as Brian. I apologize to all dogs who are reading this post - it was not meant as an attack on you either.

Also, you had to watch another show if you think that the show was not respectful to Newton and Einstein. These are probably the two biggest heroes of physics, and the show displayed this fact pretty clearly and presented the whole classical physics as a conflict between the ideas of these two Gentlemen. Their theories are still deep and pragmatically speaking true - they are just not true if we want to understand the more fundamental workings of the Universe. Once we want to ask some questions about high-velocity, large mass, or on the contrary, about the microscopic world, then Newton's, Einstein's, and other ideas are simply WRONG.

Let me repeat the word once again, because it is very important. These theories, despite their magnificent success during the centuries, are not quite right. They're WRONG. I think that it's amazing how these old Newtonian ideas - that used to look so obviously true to us - can be so terribly wrong once we probe the questions beyond the everyday life. The fact that we are making progress, that we are making to show that the previous images of reality are incomplete, obsolete, and not quite true, is simply amazing, and it shows both the depth of reality as well as the power of human creativity and curiousity. I have no idea how can someone be unimpressed or even irritated by the amazing progress that allows us to show that Newton and later also Einstein and others were wrong. I am sure that most people who wanted to watch a program like that - both scientists as well as non-scientists - were sharing this fascination by our ability to challenge the paradigms that seemed so obvious in the past.

You must have misunderstood the program if you complain that the program wanted to suggest that Einstein did not contribute the key contributions to the search for the unified theory. It was the whole point and the main thread - a little bit poetic and artificially flavored thread - of the program to show that this quest for the unified theory is Einstein's baby, and the string theorists are simply following his dreams, although with a bit more modern and sophisticated (and more quantum) tools.

All of us admire Einstein. For some of us, he's like God, for some of us, he's a human being who could have flaws but who has essentially started modern physics as we know it. His instinct was amazing, but it is simply true that his research in field theory after General Relativity had been finished was misled, and there were other important discoveries, too - some of them turned out to be very deep and true despite Einstein's negative feelings about them.

I disagree that Einstein had good reasons to be skeptical about quantum mechanics as formulated by Bohr, Heisenberg, Dirac, and others. Einstein was simply wrong, even though it is easy to share his mistaken point of view. In attempts to advocate his wrong opinion, he (co)discovered some interesting physics - namely the EPR effect - but this interesting physics eventually made it even more clear that Einstein's opinions were not correct. The current interpretation of quantum mechanics might be slightly more acceptable for Einstein, but it is conceivable that he would have problems even today. Einstein has started the revolution on many fronts, and he had certainly all the rights to be wrong.

All the best
Luboš
 

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