Nobel Conference on Einstein

  • Thread starter gdaigle
  • Start date
  • #1
I'm heading to this year's Nobel Conference in Minnesota. The topic is the Legacy of Einstein and the panels will consist of scientists in the areas of statistical physics, relativity, cosmology, and unified theories, who will discuss current work in the areas of Einstein's greatest contributions. I'll be able to submit questions to people like Wolfgang Ketterle, George F.R. Ellis, Wendy Freedmand, Sylvester J. Gates, Jr., Thomas Levenson and Kip S. Thorne.

So as members of this community site, what questions would YOU ask of these scientists? What are the current pressing questions of GR, SR, and other topics related to Einstein's works?

I await your comments.

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
I've heard of people getting the invitation to go to such a meeting, and they had the time of their lives. So I envy you and wish you a very good time. Would be asking too much if you could do something like a blog on here of this conference? The Journal section that is available to you would be suitable, or if you prefer, the General Physics section.

I do have a question for them that you can ask. Ask them this if you can: "Based on all the experimental evidence that we have currently on the EPR-type measurement, what is your gut feeling on Einstein's view about Quantum Mechanics if he were alive today?"

If you win a prize for best question, I want half!


  • #3
throwing dice or not?

This may have been better posted under “Special & General Relativity” but even though he always felt that QM was the wrong track for QT; he did give Quantum Theory its start.

About an hour south of the Twin Cities, for those interested in more details on speakers at the Tuesday Wednesday event Look here:
With over flow seating I think you can still get in.

As this should have a lot of fans of Einstein there I’ll be asking them:

How satisfied are they with the experimental evidence that shows Einstein was wrong about his EPR assumptions that “God does not throw dice”? Do you agree that “God or Nature” does throw dice?

Should be a good event.
  • #4
Nobel Conference


No special invitation, just one of the crowd of attendees submitting questions on 3 X 5 cards. But I've been lucky enough to have one or two asked by a moderator in the past. I do usually take extensive notes at these conferences, so I'll consider posting them here when I return.

I did think of posting under “Special & General Relativity", but that would have been like askin' the choir to praise the preacher. No fun there. Thought the comments would be more interesting if I posted in the Quantum Physics section.
  • #5
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
gdaigle said:
I did think of posting under “Special & General Relativity", but that would have been like askin' the choir to praise the preacher. No fun there. Thought the comments would be more interesting if I posted in the Quantum Physics section.

Actually, and surprisingly enough, there are many of us who think that Einstein's greatest contribution to physics isn't SR and GR, but rather his photon picture from his theory for the photoelectric effect. I would also extend that further by arguing that, in effect, he could also be considered as one of the "fathers" of solid-state physics. I believe I do not need to explain why solid-state physics, in turn, is the reason we have all of our modern electronics.

These two links may be of interest:

People forget that he has made some of the most crucial formulation in a number of areas in physics.

  • #6
Worth while trip & event

Included a few surprises, at least for me:
The long running conferences, this was number 41, are endorsed by the Noble Foundation in Sweden.

Every speaker was interesting, even Ketterle was able to make Bose-Einstein condensates make a good deal of sense to us non-academics. Especially on how they do their work.

Gates described himself as a “renegade” in the area of strings. Working outside the accepted areas of current string study formulating it in an even more complex set of equations (Like many of have a chance of understanding it as the math gets even harder!), to enable a description restricted to just 4 dimensions! I’d never head of that before. Obviously he’s hoping that might be more compatible with 4D of GR. But he was also very clear that it was still fundamentally a string theory in that the math is based in QM and HUP as are all String theories.

On the issue of entanglement Gates indicated that D. Fivel in his Physics Dept @ U of MD had written what he considered a definitive and conclusive support of the Bell-Proof. Although, I’ve only found some things from 2002, what he referred to may not be published yet.

On what would Einstein say today about current EPR-Bell evidence I wasn’t able to get anyone to commit on that. But got no disagreement on my own speculation: That Einstein would appreciate Bell pointing out decades later, that the von Neumann Postulate of his day had errors that made it “absurd”. And Einstein was stubborn enough that he would have continued to hold out the chance that the Bell-Theorem might be shown to be in error as well.

A humorous event came at the Director’s discussion after the premiere showing of “Clockworks: Einstein Time” a play produced at the school especially for the conference. It included a couple that throughout the play kept building their home higher and higher in attempt to be in slower time to live longer. I asked the director if it was intentional to have them incorrectly build up instead of dig down to “live longer”. She (director, writer, producer) didn’t know it was an error and the Physics Dept consultant was a little embarrassed. It was an interesting play that ran without an intermission, at the end I felt it unnecessarily focused on “The Bomb”.

Very well run program, Video of much of it will be aired on local PBS. In time they hope to have those segments available on their website so you might want to check their website for 2005 update info in a couple months.
  • #7
Notes on Nobel Conference - Part 1

I took notes on the presentations made during the Nobel Conference. They can be found below.

41st Nobel Conference Sept 27 & 28, 2005
Gustavus Adolphus, St. Peter
The Legacy of Einstein

Wolfgang Ketterle
Thomas Levenson
Kip Thorne
Sylvester James Gates, Jr.
Wendy Freedman
George F. R. Ellis

Day One

Day One morning:
Speaker One: Dr. Wolfgang Ketterle - John D. MacArthur Professor of Physics?Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. 2001 Nobel laureate in physics

Wolfgang Ketterle is widely known for his research in atomic physics and laser spectroscopy, particularly in the area of ultracold atomic matter using samples of Bose-Einstein condensates. His research group at MIT has used these condensates as amplifiers for light and atoms and for high-precision atom interferometry. He shared the 2001 Nobel Prize for physics with two physicists from the University of Colorado “for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates.”

Quantum gases: the coldest matter in the universe. What is temperature? Movement of atoms. What happens to atoms at low temperatures? They slow down. How fast do they move? At the speed of a jet airplane: 500-600 mph (~250 m/sec). At low temperatures they slow down from 250 m/sec to 1mm/sec. Why can't you cool below -459 deg. F (0 deg. Kelvin)? Because there is no (free) energy left. What is the difference in temperature between summer and winter? On average 15% is the answer. This is a very small change. In the laboratories temperatures can easily go down to a nanokelvin: more than a million times colder than interstellar space. Why can you make new discoveries at these cold temperatures? It's like if you lived on the sun and invented refrigerators. You would be the first to discover liquids and solids. The role of the scientist is to take the veil off the face of nature (as symbolized in the graphics portrayed on the Nobel medal).

What is Bose Einstein Condensation (BEC)? Phase transition at very low temps. Think of condensates as moving in lock step, like troops. They are no longer particles, but a wave. Like ordinary light vs laser light. So it is for the creation of matter with the properties of laser light. Albert Einstein in 1925 took the predictions of and Satyendra Nath Bose and Max Planck's notion of black-body radiation "photons" and generalized them to gases. After making the prediction he asked "the theory is pretty, but is there also some truth to it?"

In 1938 Fritz(?) realized that it is an observable phenomenon. Cooling methods include laser cooling and evaporative cooling. Laser cooling uses lasers to heat atoms to fluorescence. The atoms absorb the longer laser light and (using the trick of Doppler shifting the light to "bluer" frequencies) reemit the energy as more energetic blue shifted light. The release of more energetic photons lowers the energy level of the atoms and thus cools it. Not cold enough for BEC. So they add evaporative cooling. Magnetic trapping is a thermos for nonokelvin atoms. Then you make sure the hottest atoms escape, and that leaves you with the BEC. 450 picokelvin is the lowest manmade temperature achieved so far.

Experiments are complex and that's a challenge. How do we show that the BEC has very low energy? We can't touch it to measure it. The condensate is a puff of gas 100,000 times thinner than air. Width of the condensate is comparable to the thickness of a hair and it is magnetically suspended in an ultrahigh vacuum chamber. How to measure temperature? Essentially, they put it in a balloon in vacuum chamber, pop balloon and the speed at which it leaves the chamber as an effusive atomic beam is measured. Using formula for kinetic energy, you can calculate the temperature. Ballistic expansion gives direct information about velocity distribution. Measuring the shadow of the atoms you can establish a distribution and that indicates the temperature. Shadow of atoms is also known as the absorption image. (He showed the shadow of a cloud of bosons as the temperature is decreased.) A shrinking condensate is indicated by a smaller and smaller gray shadow. Suddenly the center of the shadow becomes black and elliptical. Temperature is linearly related to the rf frequency which controls the evaporation. At 679 kHz it is a complete condensate.

First observation of BEC in sodium. 10th anniversary coming up. Magnetic trap with optical plug, using magnetic field coils to trap atoms. In one early experiment they noted that some gas didn't fly away from each other. Indicated BEC. But the shadow was split. The problem was the cooling laser beam pushed the BEC away. Needeed to switch off the laser beam. When rewired the apparatus they did that, 15 minutes later, they got BEC clearly.

To confirm the finding that atoms could move coherently like laser light, they split the beam and condensed two closely adjacent areas. Then they reduced the distance and the two condensates overlapped. A histogram showed an image of interference patterns, with atoms (light absorbing) shown as the dark lines and no atoms (0% absorption) as the light areas. When awarded the prize, an artist captures the significance of each recipient's discovery in the art of the certificate showing his work abstractly.

How do we show that the BEC is a superfluid? Interestingly, they found their answer late at night. Supports his contention that nothing happens in morning, mostly late evening to 5AM. Just the nature of doing physics. How to prove tht atoms march in lockstep? Would have to prove they are a wave. e.g. shoot a paint ball on a white wall and you get a red spot. Another paint ball gives two red spots and a darker overlap. If you overlap two laser beam points you get a fringe pattern: bright-dark-bright-dark patterns. If you overlap two condensates, the shadow pictures shows (split with laser (splitter) What they observed were fringe patterns.

Superconductivity and superfluidity are related. For charges particles you get superconductivity and superfluidity for neutral particles. Differences between normal and quantum matter are profound if you rotate them. With normal matter the water rotates with bucket and you get a meniscus. Rotating a superfluid develops mini-tornadoes. You are rotating waves. Wave has to close on itself. Faster it rotates, faster it wiggles around. Wave has to bite its own tail. Normal bucket of fluid spins faster near the edge A wave has steps or discontinuities as you get closer to the edge. You would expect rings with different levels. But nature doesn't do concentric rings, so you get individual vortices. The rotating bucket experiment is done with a superfluid gas 100,000 times thinner than air, you rotate green laser beams and then expand it. The result is little tunnel vortices in the gas.

Current research: cold molecules and cold fermions. Molecules more complicated, but perhaps cool a molecule and then split to two cooled atoms. . If atoms and molecule of two atoms have exactly the same energy, then you get a Feshback resonance. Then two atoms at BEC temps can form a BEC molecule. It was less than 2 years ago that 3 groups achieved BEC with molecules.

Outlook: ultracold chemistry, coherent transformation of atoms to molecules, ultracold fermions. Two kinds of particles: bosons and fermions. Bosons have an even number of spin and quarks. Fermions have odd number of spin and number of quarks. Bosons and fermions can also be atoms: if the total number of neutrons, protons and electrons in an atom is odd, then the atom is a fermion: if this total is even then the atom is a boson atoms: and are high energy. They are "sociable and will share the same quantum numbers. Fermions have odd number of spin, are lower energy and want to stay away from each other. The Pauli principle forbids them from sharing same quantum level as other particles. Fermions have oddnumber of protons, neutrons and electrons. Bosons have even number of protons, neutrons, electrons. Could get two fermions to come together on a level. Within that level you have an even number. So they act like bosons. Fermions form a fermi sea: atoms are not coherent and no superfluidity. That is why sodium can become a boson or fermion, depending upon the number of neutrons (forming different isotopes). Pairing of fermions is one of the most important frontiers in condensed matter physics. Electrons are also fermions. Paring of electrons is important to superconductivity, magnets, loss-less transport of energy [something to do with cooper pairs].

For the Future: ultracold atoms: a toolbox for designer matter. Normal matter is tightly packed atoms, complicated interactions, impurities. Ultracold atoms are extremely dilute, so it's a challenge to work with larger clumps matter. The forces between BEC atoms are 100M times weaker because they are spaced further apart than regular matter, have no impuriies, and exact calculations can be made for their behavior.

Gates - Supersymmetry and superstrings, how different is your use of "super"?
A - Uses it to mean extraordinary, going beyond. "Super" as a prefix has provided good marketing and advertisement, but use it sparingly.

Levinson - phase transitions .. what happens at that moment of phase transition?
A - It is a special moment.

Thorne - Einstein 35 years before laser, now it's 50 years after laser. What happens 50 years from now?
A - it's an atom laser, maybe in all households. Atoms very differnt nature from light. Light penetrates the air but atoms get stuck in the atmosphere. Possibly mater wave sensors and other applications.

Ellis - Think about the duality of studying lowest energy in universe rather than highest energy possible as fusion physicists do. Interesting bipolarity.

Gates - Are designer materials, ultrapure? What can you do with that?
A - Yes and no. Remember BECs are only 10M atoms big. Fentograms worth, that's nothing.

Other -
Q - how does Pauli exclusion principle apply?
A - It applies to the electronics inside, but doesn't easily apply to the electrons at those low temperatures.

Q - Why sodium?
A - Picked an atom with best properties. Element with existing associated lasers. Also convenience.

Q - Sodium has odd # electrons, is it a fermion?
A - You have to consider all nucleons (protons, neutrons).

Q - Why magnets?
A - Sodium is magnetic, can use magnet to hold atoms together and in place.

Q - Which other molecules will you study?
A - Using sodium molecules now, later, rubidiuim molecules

Q - Why does it form vortices?
A - It forms a regular lattice of vortices to attain the lowest possible form of energy. In some sense the vortices are like particles.

Q - How accurate were predictions in the original paper?
A - Accurate for an ideal gas.


Day One afternoon:
Speaker Two: Thomas Levenson - Associate Professor of Science Writing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Author and documentary film maker, Watertown, Massachusetts

Thomas Levenson is an associate professor of science writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the author of books on science, technology, and history, including the widely acclaimed biography Einstein in Berlin (Bantam, 2003). Einstein in Berlin focuses on the 18 years, from 1914 through 1932, that the Einstein spent in Germany between the two world warsa span that mirrored the entire 20th century in its swings from periods of great hope to calamitous strife. Levenson's narrative tells the story of how a former patent clerk became the greatest scientist of the modern era.
"The Education of Albert Einstein 1914 - 1932" Tried to keep the world from sliding into disaster. Mention of Einstein in Dylan's Desolation Row. Who was the real man, not the icon? Icon: wild hair, sage, being stalked by his mythogical namesake. Wit, person who could joke. Though high school too militaristic. Finished university at 21. Was a father at about age 25. Unable to land academic job because of open warfare with his professors. His real education begins in earnest in 1914, nine years after his first publication. Berlin was where he could do his work undisturbed. He wanted to be free of all obligations.
First Lesson: in which Elinstein learns that intelligence and wisdom are not correlated. Aug 4, 1914, Gret Brittan entered WW1. Thomas Mann, "Praise God ... for the collapse of the peaceful world" (1914). Mann was not alone, many did rejoice. Einstein thought that horrible. The enthusiasm is what bothered Einstein. He didn't find that group of like-minded individuals in Berlin. Left Berlin, hoped to serve as a military courier.

He revered Max Planck, but Planck was a supporter of war. Blamed Brittain and France on the war. He was a racist, blaming "mongrels and negroes...". One of his associates developed poisen gas. That scientist's wife developed depression and committed suicide. Called it brilliant brutality. Made himself obnoxious to German Govt. Was ranked #19 on list of dissident scientists known by the German Govt. His writings to urge his government to make ties with others after the war was considered radical and not supported by other scientists.

October 1915 wrote essay for group while writing the theory of GR. Wrote that as a Jew he recognized that Jesus told people to work by their deeds and the German people should do so. Germans didn't care. He that by rising to top of scientific heap he would ascend to a plateau above politics, but no such island existed. He confronted necessity to confront evil in public. Even during the last week of his life he signed an appeal for sanity.

The Second Lesson: In which Einstein discovers how to be Jewish. - framing his desire to act as a moral person in the world. He was not a joiner, not a believer in the conventional sense. Previously not religious. But later had his picture taken holding a violin and wearing Yamaha. Berlin became terrible place to be a Jew after the war started. Camps became hell-holes. Jewish establishment also saw inflow of Eastern Jews as a threat to their own establishment. Einstein, appalled by government's acts officially joined the Berlin Jewish community. Important to remember that this was hardly a risk-free position. He was very publicly known, but his name was found on death lists.

Never contemplated the existence of a diety. Argued that serving God was equated with serving the living. Never saw a conflict between the bible and science. "Live rightly, accept justice and walk modestly with your God" [??] Praised non-Jews at Jewish events for their support. "Sacrifice becomes grace."

Third Lesson: In which Einstein confronts the eternal war between truth and beauty -
Group shot of first "Solday Conference" [??] for physicists. "Still unsolved problem of the quantum". At 5th Solday conference, big names. By 1925 Heisenburg described quantum mechanics (QM). Schroeinger developed a similar method for QM. Aesthetically it was unlovely. In 1916 suggested conservation of momentum might not always exist. He didn't like the model of QM. Thought theory was not elegant enough "He does not play dice". Bohr, responsed "Who are you to tell God what to do?"

Where did revolution of 1925 go? Best work for Einstein and that of Bohr and Heisenberg, were at ages 24-26. Einstein knew he was very elderly for a physicist doing his best work. Made conscious choice not to accept QM. Had an aesthetic side, sense of what was beautiful. But beauty is an unreliable marker of truth.

Fourth Lesson: In which Einstein confronts the gap between hope and fact. In early 1930s Joseph Goebbels forced Einstein to abandon his research in Germany. Accepted that he failed to influence politics and accepted that failure. Became a true pacifist, saying that moral stand was more important than your country. In Dec. 1932 he gave up. He left Germany. Saw Hitler for what he was. Knew he was intent on war. No longer a pacifist, he wanted allies to prepare for war against Hitler. In 1939, first of 2 letters to Roosevelt re: atomic bomb. second sent soon after. Democracy is forced to fight for survival. Signed manifesto for global disarmament along with Bertrand Russell.

Q - Dirac believed his theory of QM was based purely upon beauty, what did Einstein think of it?
A - Einstein thought it not beautiful. Dyson tested relativity during the eclipse of 1919. Didn't mention to British authorities that relativity was a German theory, but it got Eddington out of military service.

Gates - Einstein called racism America's worst disease. Firmly convinced that racism was fatal misconception. Spoke out for rights of African Americans. FBI had file on Einstein as a subversive.

Q - What are the other lessons for Einstein?
A - Gregarious, he found out about nature of fame and publicity. Had core set of political and social passions. Not a builder of laboratories, but helped others build theirs.

Thorne - Einstein never set foot on German soil again. How obstinate was he re: Germany.
A - After holocaust became known he didn't care if Germany was dismantled stone by stone. After 1936 became a "bear in his den". He rarely traveled.

  • #8
Notes on Nobel Conference - Part 2

Day One late afternoon:
Speaker Three: Kip Thorne - Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California

Caltech’s Kip Thorne is one of the world’s foremost experts on the consequences of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Thorne has done pioneering research on black holes and gravitational physics and laid the foundations for the theory of pulsations of relativistic stars and the gravitational waves they emit. He is a co-founder of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) Project, whose goal is to detect gravitational waves emitting from black holes, a search that could ultimately provide a view of one of the universe’s most mysterious objects.

Studies black holes. Cofounded the laser interferometer lab for detecting the gravity waves produced by black holes. CalTech faculty. National Academy of Sciences, many honorary degrees. co-authored "Gravitation". Recognized for research, general writings, teacher.

Newton and Einstein. Newton 1643-1727: a framework for the laws of nature that last 200 years. Space, time, forces, accelerations ... everyday experience. Einstein 1876 - 1955: A new framework, now in place for 100 years. Laws the same in all reference frames. Time is "relative" (personal); space is "relative" (personal). Minkowski: Space-time unified; absolute (4 dimensions). Teacher of Einstein's Discovered in Einstein's laws a way to unify space and time. This is an absolute reference frame. Laws as 4 dimensional geometry. Space-time (and space & time) warped by mass & energy they contain.

The warping of space he means: space is warped inside and around the sun and any other massive body. So a flat sheet bisecting the sun won't be euclidian. The parallel lines will cross. Warping of space and time like a rubber sheet. Deflection of starlight [Einstein 1915]. There is a shift (gravity lensing). Verified by Eclipse Expedition of 1919. By 1955 the test data was found to be not very accurate. Appeared to be too big by about 20%. In 1970 they used radio interferometry. By 2005 accuracy was found to be to 1 part in 10,000 (.01%). Using SIM (Space Interferometry Mission), to be launched in 2011, researchers will map stars in sky to 4 microarcsecond accuracy, 1,000 times more accurate that solar light deflection for measurements far from the sun. But this may be bumped by Bush's Moon/Mars mission.

Warping of Space: gravitational Lensing [Einstein 1912, 1936]. SIM will search for exotic objects, map dark matter in galaxies and clusters of galaxies, and measure the cosmological properties of the Universe.

Warping of Time [Einstein 1915] TIme slows near any massive body. 1955 it's still controversial! Sun is messy! 1976 Gravity Probe A, Robert Vessot predicted time slows near Earth by 4 parts in 10 billion. Confirmed to accuracy of 0.01 per cent.
Warping of Time today: global positioning System (GPS) works on basis of accurate clocks in satellites. GPS would not work if correction for rate of time not built into it.

The Whirl of space: The angular momentum of a rotating body drags space into tornado like whirl around it [ Lens & Thiring 1919]. Accounts for one revolution every six million years. Gravity Probe B's goal is to measure space whirl to one per cent accuracy. Some data in. Results due in one year.

Black Hole (BH) made from warped space-time. Predicted by Karl Schwarzschild in 1916. Oppenheimer & Synder gave specific predictions in 1939. Diameter is very large compared to pi because of the warping of space (dimple). Below the event horizon no signal or light can escape because time slows, and below the horizon time flows backward [?]. As black hole spins it creates a whirl of space. The challenge for coming decade: probe black holes in exquisite detail.

Map for non-spinning hole. At event horizon the rate of time is zero. A fast spinning hole has a long narrow throat. How can we see a black hole and map its space-time warpage? Use radiation made from the same stuff as the hole: a second smaller black hole in orbit will produce gravitational waves. Full map of big hole's warpage is encoded in the waves. This includes all aspects of small black hole as it orbits a big black hole. For a pair, the small BH creates frequency, large BH creates precession of small BH, given as a modulation in the signal. How to monitor gravitational waves? Consider it being like two corks on the waves of the ocean. Monitor that motion with corks. Earth-based detectors. Small holes in distant galaxies: about 10-100 suns, about 100 km in size. Using a network LIGO detectors. Network is required for detection confidence, waveform extraction and direction by triangulation. LIGO has built two detectors in the US (one in Hanford WA, one in Livingston LA). Full network requires collaboration of about 500 scientists at about 50 institutions in 8 countries.

LIGO (laser interferometer gravitational-wave detector) works by the motion of mirrors. It will detect one part in 10 to the -21st power in the GW field. Motion is 4 times 10 to the -16th power cm of movement. How small is ten to the -16th"? Well, 1-cm is 10 to the -2 m, human hair is 10 to the -4 m, wavelength of light is 10 to the -6 m, atomic diameter is 10 -8 m, nuclear diameter is 10 to -13 m, LIGO sensitivity is 10 -16th m. A year-long search begins next month.

LISA is a planned 3 satellite laser interferometer space antenna to be launched in 2014 (again, probably Moon/Mars funding will ground LISA). Looks at giant holes in distant galaxies where there may be 1 million suns the same diameter as LISA when deployed. In orbit around the sun like the Earth. What if map is not that of a BH? May have discovered a new type of inhabitant of the dark side of the universe. Two long-shot possibilities are:
- Boson stars - objects made from cold, dark matter (dark "stars")
- Naked Singularities - where gravity becomes infinitely strong with strange warping of gravity.

Probing the big BH's event horizon and subsequent tides by small BH, will be the job of LISA. Most interesting source of waves will be collisions of BHs. The most violent events in the universe. In such a case 10% of a hole's mass is converted to radiation. Fusion has efficiency of .5 of 1%. With a colliding BH there are no electromagnetic waves emitted whatsoever, just gravity waves. When they collide you get tornados, wild vibrations of warped space-time. How far can we see these collisions? 250M light years (includes about 50,000 galaxies) estimates predict one collision every 10 years (so we have to be lucky to see one). Upgrade in 2010 to advanced detectors with greater capability.

Want to interpret observed waves and compare with computer simulations. Simulations are very difficult. Movie made by numerical relativity group in Golem Germany depicts the waves.

Singularity in BH's core. Domain of quantum gravity: string/M theory (Gates' lecture). Is there any hope to ever do experimental studies of singularities in the present day universe? Probably not. Roger Penrose' Cosmic Censorship Conjecture: all singularies are hidden. Thorne bet Hawking about naked singularies along with Prescal. Hawking has conceded the bet, but not graciously. Conceded because of the result of imploding gravitational waves. They had enough energy to nearly form a BH, but waves went in , interacted nonlinearly, and created a naked singularity. At the center both time and space began to boil. Right at the center was a naked singularity. Lasts for infinitesimal time.

Wormholes and Time travel:
Wormholes span the universe through a hole in hyper-space. GR says they could exist if you could keep throat open. But to do that you have to thread through it a string of matter with a negative energy.

Backward Time Travel: Kip said in 1988-90 that if you have a wormhole, it's easy to make a time machine. Time dilation ahead or behind if you go through the wormhole. Kip and Kim 1990 say you get an explosion when you try to activate it due to quantum fluctuations in the same space and time. You get a quantum feedback loop. Kip later said that the explosion is weak, resulting in no destruction. Hawking said you're wrong and that the time machine self destructs.: chronology protection conjecture.

Growing consensus is that only the laws of quantum gravity know for sure. Stephen Hawking's 60th birthday gift to Kip: a first attempt to estimate via quantum gravity that there is zero probability that time machines can be created (to the level of 1 in 10 to the 60th). His 60th birthday gift to Stephen was LIGO and LISA will test his BH predictions.

Our extreme ignorance of warped space-time:
Does a BH have the precise shapes of warping that GR predicts?
What happens when BHs collide?
What other objects made from warped space-time ... exist?
Singularies: what are their structures?

Q - ?
A - If the laws of physics permit time travel they should keep the world safe for not only historians but also physicists. Self consistency proposed by Novakoff. Says you can't go backward in history. Full story not known. Might collide with yourself coming back so balance might be preserved.

Q - Ellis - expert on GR. No fixed space-time to grab onto. It's all moving around. Also, time machines discussion between Einstein and Gerbel. It upset Einstein.
A - Went to see Gerbel, wanted to know about galaxy spins lining up. Time travel perhaps affected by net spin of universe. Duhler [?] example of naked singularities. Hawking says nature abhors naked singularity. Challenge is whether or not singularity is generic or a special case. If you disturb it slightly do you still get a naked singularity?

Q - Freedman - do you have concern about the background noise to be detected by LIGO ?
A - Lasts for seconds to tens of minutes. If only a few times a day it should be okay. For LISA it is a major issue. Small objects falling into BH all the time. Have to sort them out. Have to develop ways to separate out sources. Thousands or millions of sources for LISA.

Q - Levenson - how well was precession of Mercury known at that time of Einstein?
A - Maybe 10%, not real good, but enough to be a question for decades until Einstein's predictions.

Q - Gates - Ray Wise some months ago, LIGO science has started already. What are possibilities that might lie around corner if they are lucky?
A - Depends on how kind nature is to us. There are uncertainties. Here, as with x-ray astronomy, theorists can predict but the astronomy capability lags behind theory. Do have a shot at seeing real waves. LIGO is funded by NSF, not NASA. However LISA depends upon NASA.

Q - How fast do gravity waves travel?
A - GR says at speed of light. Nature of physics says energy travels via quanta called gravitons. Like photons they lack zero rest mass. Can test. Gamma ray bursts would exhibit gravity waves and light waves arriving at same time.

Q - Quantization of time?
A - Gates: quantization of space-time, no fundamental quantization of time, but some measure of effect on scale of space-time that can be measured.

Q - Mathematical predication of where BHs are found?
A - Look in region of space with clusters of stars or massive stars. Better odds there.

Day Two

Day Two morning:
Speaker Four: Sylvester James Gates, Jr.
John S. Toll Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, University of Maryland, College Park

S. James Gates Jr. has focused his research on the mathematical and theoretical physics of “super-symmetric” particles, fields, and “strings,” including topics such as the physics of quarks, leptons, gravity, super and heterotic strings, and unified field theories of the type first envisioned by Albert Einstein. Gates’s work has been featured, along with that of several fellow physicists working in superstring theory, in a 1996 television program titled “The Path of Most Resistance,” part of the PBS television series Breakthrough: The Changing Face of Science in America.
"Is Cosmic Concordance in Concomitance with Superstring/M-Theory". What is important is to find you passion and then live it every day. Gravity, QM and GR need to be combined somehow. Super-symmetry and string theory may be the path. Accessible only to a small number of physicists who can do the math.
Teaches undergrads every year. Kenneth Griggs did the animation. Images are his creations. Necessary because no part of string theory has every been observed in the laboratory.

Einstein's biggest blunder: the Cosmological Constant. Introduced in his Field Equation. It was for the "quasi-static distribution of matter as required by the fact of the small velocities of the stars". Later thought it was the "biggest blunder he ever made in his life". Lambda is the cosmological constant. At the time all thought the universe had been here forever. It was a fudge factor inserted in the field equation. Big bang and big crunch is possible if Lambda = 0 (no constant). If Lambda is less than 0 you get expanding universe that speeds up (concordance model). If Lambda is greater than 0 you get a fixed universe bubble or fast expanding universe.

Dark energy: 65% of energy in universe, dark matter is 30% regular matter (baryons) is 5%. Dark matter keeps galaxies together. Computer simulations show that without it a pinwheel galaxy would spin apart. So it plays some role sustaining galaxies over billions of years. Galaxy at instant of big bang has equal distribution of energy, (concordance model).

One early clue was that satellites launched into orbit to detect nuclear explosions occasionally got out of alignment and turned their sensors outward. They detected explosions from outside the solar system. Natural phenomena. This creates violent ripples in space-time. LIGO is set to detect these. LIGO measures changes in distance caused by ripples in space that are perhaps 1/100th of the diameter of a proton. It's like a sonogram. Analogy is that we're in the womb making sonograms of our mother (the universe).

Science fiction is motivated by science. Strings are on the order of 10 to the -35 meters in scale. Compare to protons on the scale of 10 to the -15, atoms on the scale of 10 to the -10, DNA on the scale of 10 to the -9, cells on the scale of 10 to the -5. The Bosonic String uses non-covariant and covariant equations. Employs number theory, topology, etc. Leptons (electrons & friends) include all those that spin at a half H-bar. Quarks are in protons, neutrons, etc. and they spin at a whole H-bar. Action at a distance is not consistent with Einstein's SR. Time and space are not independent. According to the math, action is instantaneous, but that's not the case if all travels at the speed of light. How to resolve?

The interaction paradigm is one photon sending a message carrier. That message carrier conveying forces has a time delay that accounts for forces not being instantaneous. Photoelectric effect showed that there was a classical path and a quantum path. Analogy: Kids don't understand at first how objects fly through air, but they learn. Dogs catching frisbees can learn it too. Einstein didn't trust QM, but cell phones are a good test that it does work. Interaction paradigm could also be an electron giving off a photon and it splits into an electron and a positron, they recombine, and it is transferred to another photon. Quantum weirdness. Feynman Rules. Ultra-violet infrared catastrophe of GR.

In 1960 Hawking and Beckinstein said you can escape from a BH but requires quantum weirdness. So you have quantum rules happening on a gravitational scale. Hawking's BH radiation paper used gray-body factors and suggested that there is a gap that contains this "guess" that combines them.

Where does string theory fit in physics? Waves and particles replaced by filaments. It has normal modes (like notes from a string). Strings can be open or closed (ends tied together). Like spaghetti and spaghetti-Os. These are not fairytales, they represent the mathematics. Complex, but not more than an orchestral performance represented by musical scores. In how many different perspectives can you see an object? In 3D there are three: top-bottom, back-front, left-right. But strings require 25 ways. In the first generation of string theory no one incorporated spin. So they took the math of spinning electrons and applied it to strings. Created "spinning string". This approach required only 10 dimensions.

In 1984 four physicists wrote equations for the 10D heterotic superstring. Nodes of vibration are points that don't move in a vibrating string. They rotated the nodes. Propagation of left-moving modes. In a single package this describes gravity and quantum theory. This filled in the "guess" that Hawking made. Exactly in agreement.

In late 90s 4D heterotic superstrings. Electrical charge, weak charge & families save the day. More complicated than their 10D cousins. Right movers and left movers (propagation of left-moving modes). So this shows that extra dimensions aren't required (but still may happen). Formulation C: three formulations of heterotic strings.

How forces arise in string theory: two free closed strings join to form a single closed string: C3. In reverse, they can split apart (C3 : C1 and C2). Since strings represent notes and notes are particles, following the notes shows that there is a well established mathematical basis for quantum gravity.

SLeptons and Leptons means that symmetry mandates string versions of leptons. This yields photinos, selectrons, smuons, staons. He says it would have been proved by the super conducting supercollider, but wasn't built. So they saved the cost of 4-5 B2 bombers by not building it.

Freedman - Is String Theory Concomitant?
A - Many parts are, especially concordance of dark matter. String theory looks very good here. Quintessence (cosmological constant) is greatest challenge to string theory. Fudge factor is highly nontrivial. In special limit of string theory you can put fudge factor in if superstring theory employed.

Levenson - in legacy of Einstein, how does string theory fit? Geometry is a way of thinking. Geometrical thinking
A - Geometry is the key to string theory. Incomplete. We don't understand what geometry means in totality of string theory. Still looking for that iconic image of a man in the elevator. No such deep dramatic statements in string theory. Few think Einstein will be correct in this regards.

Ellis - you are cautious and many colleagues in string are not. Penrose's Road to Reality discusses geometric side. 4D very exciting but not linked to cosmology yet. Loop quantum gravity is a new theory and this could link to string.
A - Loop Quantum Gravity he opposes. Problem is that Energy Momentum Tensor (us) can be set to zero. But in string theory you can not set EMT to zero, you must have it for 4D theory. Says space, matter, energy equally important. Thinks the two theories will coalesce through use of spin networks. GR has no fixed reference frame, and string theory does. String loops (spaghetti-Os) are the forces of gravity. Covariant string field theory. That's the geometric route for spaghetti-Os to combine with Einstein's theories.

Q - Place of uncertainty in string theory?
A - Assume that we have properly understood quantum theory, so uncertainty is a basis.

Q - Is there a medium in which strings vibrate?
A - It doesn't vibrate in a medium despite the animations (not the truth). Don't require an extra dimension in which to perform the vibrations.

Q - Is 10 to the -35 scale is coincident with Planck's constant?
A - Not a coincidence. Math of string theory has behavior of Einstein's graviton. Had to insert Planck length to make it work.

Q - Multiple spatial dimensions but only 1 temporal dimension. Could there be more than one temporal?
  • #9
Notes on Nobel Conference - Part 3

A - Yes, called inequities string theories. Not sure why they're there or what they're good for. Not the only place in physics where two time dimensions exist.

Q - If Einstein were alive what would he say.
Levenson - he'd say math is above him, would have been an outsider but would have approved of program. Open question if he would find this satisfying solution but would approved geometric quality of the work. Didn't like QM but recognized it worked.
Ellis - Wouldn't have understood it.
Freedman - Was looking for unified theory and philosophically would have been delighted.
Gates - Krauss appeared on panel and this question came up. He said Einstein would have been working on not but would not have told anybody!

Q - How would superconducting supercollider (SSC) advance physics?
A - Was to have been built in Texas. Looking for a Higgs particle. Enormously important particle, "God particle". LHC Large Hadron Collider in Geneva is 1/3 as powerful. Hope it has enough energy to see Higgs.

Q - How large can a string get?
A - Being explored. Whitten suggested cosmic string (crack in space-time) causing gravitational [??] Tiny strings could generate larger cosmic strings. Sizes could be astronomical.


Day Two afternoon:
Speaker Five: Wendy Freedman - The Crawford H. Greenewalt Chair and Director of Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, California

Observational cosmology, galactic evolution, and the evolution of stellar populations are Wendy Freedman's main professional interests. She was a principal investigator for a team of 30 astronomers who carried out the Hubble Key Project to measure the current expansion rate of the universe. Her current research interests are directed at measuring the past expansion rate of the universe, and in characterizing the nature of dark energy, which is causing the universe to speed up its expansion.

"The Legacy of Albert Einstein for Cosmology". Played hockey at U Toronto.
Einstein Simplified: College-level course on GR. Rather simple explanations are deceptive to non-mathematicians. Most equations lead to very long equations. SR (1905) says space and time are related. GR (1915) says space is dynamical (curved). Newton said the force of gravity depends on the mass of the objects and falls inversely as the square of the distance between them. Unappealing aspect of gravity for Newton: Action at a distance.

Pre-Einstein view of the universe said it had structures (stars) and was 30K light years across. Composition of universe was stars with some clusters. Static universe. Origin unknown. Space and time are absolute. Sun at the center of the Milky-way galaxy.

Today we know that the radius of the observable universe is 13.7 B light years. Composition is stars, galaxies, dark matter, dark energy. Dynamic (changing in time). Big Bang origin. Space and time are related; space is curved. 100B stars in our galaxy, about 100B galaxies in the universe. Dark matter interacts only weakly with matter. Dark energy accelerates the universe expansion. It is a runaway Universe.

Einstein's Ideas: G represents curvature of space geometry in his equation. Implication is that a massive body curves space in its vicinity. GR predicts gravitational waves, ripples in the space-time curvature. Ripples travel at speed of light through space. GR says light beam near a massive object appears to fall (bend). LIght "falls" due to gravity! Matter tells space how to curve and space tells matter how to move. GR: 4D space-time.

Hubble: 1929 discovered expansion of Universe. Interested in fuzzy patches of light (nebulae). Galaxies not known at the time. Mt. Wilson telescope. Variable stars change position on a human timeframe. Variable stars discovered in 1700s. Get bright then fade their luminosity gradually, e.g. the Cepheid Variable (in Andromeda). Wanted to compare difference in luminosity between cepheids. Found very large distances between them that indicated existence of galaxies. So galaxies are moving and far apart. Suggests evolution of the universe with dense matter and inflation. 386K years after the big bang you get microwaves from the first galaxies. After 1B years you get light.

One test of big bang is remnant radiation (microwaves) and temperature of background would be 2.7 deg K. with a characteristic spectrum. Peak of distribution is bluer for hotter bodies than cold bodies. This is the "black body" spectrum. That's what they found. Measured error of 1/1000%, so it's very accurate.

Structure of the universe: Temperature measurements on a plot were shown. Rate of expansion is the Hubble Constant. Quantum uncertainties led to temperature differences. Locally there is a lot of structure formed by filaments but as a whole it is very homogeneous.

Measuring and modeling the universe: combining physics of the very small with physics of the very large. Quantum and Cosmology. GR equation said Hubble parameter equals mass density minus curvature of the universe plus vacuum energy density. Hubble found distance related to how fast galaxies are moving away from us. Showed that expansion of the universe required in Einstein's equations. Brighter cepheid variables pulsate slower than the less bright cepheids. Showed a cartoon showing married astronomers fighting about ... the Hubble constant?

The universe is 1/3 matter and 2/3 dark energy. Evidence for dark energy is that the universe is accelerating. Supernovae can be observed across the universe to chart its expansion. What is a Type 1a supernova? When fuel exhausted star collapses to white dwarf. If in a binary system with a companion the white dwarf pulls in atmosphere (gases) and eventually it explodes. 1998 observing distant supernovae showed fainter than predicted if inflation were slowing down. Showed inflation was speeding up. Observatory in the Andes mountain. 290 nights per year are clear and far from the city lights. Chilean telescopes The Magellan in Las Campanas. Used for measuring dark energy. Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) consistent with other observations of 1/3 matter 2/3 dark energy.

Giant future ground-based telescope. 24 meter, Giant Magellan Telescope. 7 independent mirrors, each with 8.4 meter mirrors, 21.5 meter aperture. Completion in 2016.

Ellis - Should have been clear to Einstein that there's no way to have an infinite universe. So why didn't he challenge it? After all, stars don't last forever. And in a stable universe they would have to last forever.

Ellis - proposes that awards should have been given to Gamoff who predicted cosmic background radiation and its energy level.
A - Cosmologists didn't take it seriously enough to measure accurately.

Q - Don't assume that universe is spatially flat. Frustrating that in reducing data people ignore some small measures that turn out to be very important. Whether the universe is spatially closed depends upon this.
A - Agrees

Gates - 2 questions. How do you know Earth is billions of years old? Were you there? (trying to make a point)
A - Time scales are based on inference. Geological tests dating minerals. Using theory of radioactivity to measure decay rate and relative abundance. Can test theory and see if predictions are what is measured.

Gates - Issue of knowing seems very volatile in public debate. Each scientist charged with nature of previous knowledge. Don't know all the answers but believe they have the ability to find them. Science is the DNA of your technology.

Levenson - People have trouble with biological experiments (e.g. evolution), but less so for physical sciences. Attacked from all angles before they can be believed.
A - Something is just a theory, people say. Scientists use it very differently. Gravity is just a theory. There is always testing. It is the nature of the enterprise.

Gates - We call our greatest accomplishments theories. We must accept that someone else can prove that we are wrong or it isn't a theory. In principle others can always prove that we are wrong. That defines science. Other reason we call them theories is that for scientists they are more real than facts. Theories are based upon what we think of as facts and thus are greater than facts. Millions of facts are proved by theories. More powerful. But, in kind, facts can destroy theories. Bottom line for "pedestrian view" versus "scientist view": "Your guesses aren't as good as ours".

Ellis - Maxwell's equations are proved with every cellphone call.

Q - What are dark mass and dark energy?
A - dark matter has mass and interacts weakly. One theory is that dark matter is made up of the most simple of the string theory particles.


Speaker Five: George F. R. Ellis - Distinguished Professor of Complex Systems, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa.

George Francis Rayner Ellis specializes in general relativity theory, an area first broadly investigated by Einstein. A professor of applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, he is considered among the world’s leading relativistic cosmologists; his most recent investigations question whether there was ever a start to the universe and if there is in fact only one universe or many. He is as widely respected for his anti-apartheid, Quaker activism as for his significant contributions to cosmology. In 2004 he was awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize for Progress toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities, for “his important contributions to the dialogue at the boundary of theology and science.”
Science of cosmology. Religion and science. "The existence of life in the universe and the crucial issue of ethics". Relationship of morality and compassion.
Universe is vast, expanding, big bang, structures formed. Stars and planets formed and provided the environment for life to exist. Hundreds of millions of stars in star clusters. Our galaxy is similar to Andromeda. Scale of our galaxy is about 50K light years across. Galaxies exist in clusters giving a total of 200B stars in each of the estimated 200B galaxies. Showed original data from Edwin Hubble in 1929.

When omega [related to lambda??] is 0 the universe has flat 3-spaces where kinetic energy and gravity are roughly in equilibrium. These are the ones that separate slowly. In the case of the negatively curved omega the kinetic energy wins and the universe expands rapidly. Positively curved 3-spaces gravity wins in a big crunch.

CBR isotropy. When the isotropic is at 1 part in 100 the sky is completely uniform. 1 part in 1000 you get anisotropy where some parts are hot and some are cold. We are moving relative to the universe at 300 m/sec. 1 part in 100,000 you get lots of clusters and voids of hot and cold. This is close to what exists. After the big bang the universe was opaque for up to about 300,000 years [??] Then it becomes transparent because atoms are able to stick together. About 1% of the snow on your TV is from the background radiation signal in the universe.

First galaxies formed of hydrogen and helium, and a little deuterium. Second generation stars give you heavier elements. Helium 4 varies with density of ordinary matter... goes up to a plateau. Deuterium goes down, and Lithium takes a bobble, but goes up overall. Nucleosynthesis theory and element abundance agree provided the baryon density in the early universe is low. Together with the density estimates from cosmology provides evident for much more non-baryonic dark matter than baryonic matter in the universe and for non-luminous baryonic matter. Heavier elements spread through supernova explosions.

Particle physics tells us early universe particle physics played a major role. Quantum field theory allowed a violation of the standard energy condition at very early times. There can be a period of accelerated expansion driven by scalar files. "Inflation" with expansion accelerating rapidly takes place through many e-foldings before a subsequent HBB era begins (when the inflationary field has decayed to ordinary matter and radiation). First galaxies formed after the first 1B years.

Quantum cosmology says some kind of quantum gravity effects will dominate the dynamics of the universe and provide the initial conditions for inflation. Attempts to describe this quantum cosmology era include: wave function for the universe, re-big bang theory based on string dualities, brane cosmology: our universe lives on a 4 dimensional brane imbedded.

But can you test it? Proposed particle interactions and/or extension of classical gravity theory is not directly testable. But they are indirectly testable via their effects on structure formation. No fully formulated theory of quantum gravity. In the end we don't know if there was a start to the universe or not.

Decay of supernovae in distant galaxies provides a usable standard candle (maximum brightness correlated to decay rate). With redshifts, it gives the first reliable detection of non-linearity ... showing the universe is presently accelerating. Consequently there is presently an effective positive cosmological constant with Omega = about 0.7

Second set of observations: WMAP main results support theory well. Just a small problem at the high end of the scale. If dark matter density value is about 0.3 and the constant is about 0.7 you get the concordance model. Add them you get about 1.0. So the universe does have flat spatial sections. This was expected on the basis of inflationary theory.

Context for humanity:
Life occurs in this context - the laws of physics plus boundary conditions for the universe allow life to exist. First life arose by accident, then there was continual improvement by Darwinian processes - continual accretion of biological information and creation of higher order structures: life.

Conditions for the existence of life:
If you alter either the physical laws or boundary conditions at the beginning of the universe, even slightly, intelligent life as we know it would be prevented. Any change in strong coupling and weak coupling would result in no atoms being formed. Also, number of time dimensions and number of spatial dimensions leave a small area for life to occur.

IF you are GOD you have to get all of these just right:
- electrical force/gravitational force
- strength of nuclear binding
- normalized amount of matter in universe
- normalized cosmological constant
- in-homogeneous sees for cosmic structures

Why does the universe have the peculiar properties that allow intelligent life to exist? Could be because of ensembles of universes, or "multiverses". This is the only purely scientific approach to solving the puzzles raised by the anthropic issue: if enough variety of properties occur then somewhere conditions will be right.

Probability and ensembles bring cosmology with the realm of statistical analysis, giving a basis for probability. But it is completely unverifiable - metaphysics rather than physics. It is based on faith rather than evidence.

Other life:
Are we alone? Given the laws and existence of planets, life is almost inevitable. Almost certainly we are not alone: there are many others out there. But they may not be in communicable distance. If they are there how like us will they be? Will we still be alone even if they exist? Recent books on the convergence of biochemistry and of mechanics of life. There are only a restricted number of ways to solve the problems of life which has universal necessities. Simon Conway Morris: "Life's Solution". Almost certainly carbon based, RNA, DNA, convergent microbiology e.g. citric acid cycle. You would get something like DNA but not necessarily the triplets of codes in amino acids.

So are we alone? Would nerves be the same? Some good reasons for their structure. Conveyance also of the way the brain works at a psychological level - to meet universal necessities. Are we alone: will we find aliens? Will we be able to understand them? Mental processes say decisions are a combination of rationality and faith/hope and emotion. Emotions are primarily genetic/biological in character. Also depends upon social and cultural influences, and combination of perception/risk/intuition. Overriding these are ethics of what is the right thing to do.

Hard to imagine another intelligent being that didn't have these types of broad overriding structures. What kind of ethics will they obey? Structure does not determine the kind of ethics they may obey. Is there any reason to believe they will have the same kind of ethics? Will they be friendly?

What kind of ethics will they think we obey? Sphere of TV programs surrounding us constantly projects the image of homicidal aggression. How can we approach them in a way that will make them think we are friendly and compassionate? First, we should become as friendly and compassionate as we think we are.

What kind of ethics do we obey? What is the future life span of the human race? We will only survive if we make an ethical transition. Is that likely to happen? Is our ethical understanding is at a standstill or going backwards? Actually we have been making progress but not enough to have any certainty we will survive another thousand years: it's touch and go ... on the edge. But science by itself cannot provide the needed ethical transition to a compassionate way of life. Scientific and reductionist view of humanity are promoting a non-ethical way of life.

What is the true nature of deep ethics? Some have advanced that it is based upon wealth, power or intellectually certainty. Ellis claims that deep ethics is kenotic or self-emptying, based upon generosity and compassion. To convert an enemy to a friend you must create for them true security. True security comes from being surrounded by friends rather than enemies. A move of this kind can provide a true transformative quality.

This moves ethics to a totally new regime: the arena of deep ethics that can indeed transform content and situation. It is recognized as an aspect of the highest good for all the major religions and one can suggest that it is indeed the true nature of a realist universal ethic, deeply imbedded in the nature of the universe.

Levenson - Ethics are hoped for but far from proved
A - Possibility of multiverse arises because of parameters. Life is special and needs an explanation. Physical view of them might well be different but biochemistry would be similar. Kinosis tries to bridge that tension between justice and love. Justice is often not ethical.

Q - How to convince ET that we're fundamentally good?
A - That's a problem considering the way the broadcast television service tells our youth that if you have a problem go kill someone. There are a small percentage of films that don't say this, but not enough.

Q - Shouldn't we build a strong human community before building all these physics experiments?
A - Ethical living won't come by money but instead by common purpose. Spiritual leaders arise out of oppression. Ghandi, M.L. King, Desmond Tutu, etc.

Gates - Being a scientist is to be a hopeless optimist. Lots of signs that what you do will be fruitless and you will never see the answers. EInstein referred to following, "Lines of scripts from the books of the ancient ones". But possibly your idea will be picked up by someone of a later generation. Physicists have confidence in humanity. In that way one appeals for the support of science.
A - Man does not live by bread alone. Lives to understand,

Q - Could deep ethics be basis for absolute truth on a universal scale.
A - Yes!

Q - How can politicians learn lessons of good ethics.
A - By feedback mechanisms, but elections make poor mechanisms. Pay should be cut if they don't perform their jobs.
  • #10
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
gdaigle, this must have taken a LOT of time. Thanks very much for putting in so much effort to put up your report on here.

  • #11
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
I second that. Thanks, gdaigle !
  • #12
Science Advisor
Gold Member
I'll extend my thanks as well. Very interesting!

Suggested for: Nobel Conference on Einstein

  • Last Post
  • Last Post
  • Last Post