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Seriously gritty videojournalism applied to cosmology by Skydive

  1. Aug 3, 2013 #1

    marcus

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    This week Skydive Phil released an outstanding 40-minute special on quantum cosmology. It's different. What makes it different from, say, slick science cinematography you get on "Nova" and commercial channels is the Skydive team's "realness"---their intelligent probing interview style.

    Phil's interviewer (wife/girlfriend?) is good at pushing two of the world's top QC experts just slightly out of their comfort zone. Revealing issues the researchers don't necessarily say they worry about, but one nevertheless senses they do.

    What's the word for a style that is polite but gloves-off honest, not unctuous, not slick---doesn't evade a few equations on a smudgy blackboard? Maybe you'd call this "down and dirty" (but still nice) science video journalism or "nice-gritty" for short.

    That's just my impression, yours might be different. I also found the piece informative. You can learn something about what Ivan Agullo and Abhay Ashtekar really think about the early universe--important issues like bounce, entropy, inhomogeneities, what can be told from the CMB sky, and so on.

    I'll go fetch the link.
     
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  3. Aug 3, 2013 #2

    marcus

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    Here's something you might watch (just 4 minutes or so) first to get an idea of who the Skydive couple are:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKdSMOwHuE8&list=UUtOgKmAM4MeFu-jd-HB3_cg

    It's a piece they did on the Northern Lights in real time (rather than time-lapse). It is how the N.L. really look and it is gorgeous. Plus they deftly work in an understanding of the physics underlying the N.L. What you sense is that there is cinematography talent here combined with a passion for what we can learn about Nature by looking at the sky. Or maybe a fascination with the sky itself :biggrin:

    And isn't it a part of the same thing to be fascinated by the cosmic microwave background and what we can tell from it about the very early universe?
    BTW towards the end of the 40 minute movie they take up the problem of observational testing, to distinguish between the various competing theories.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFcQuEw0oY8&feature=c4-overview&list=UUtOgKmAM4MeFu-jd-HB3_cg
     
  4. Aug 3, 2013 #3

    atyy

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    I'm an idiot. I've only seen Ashtekar lecture once, and to me he looked completely different sitting down and asking questions. For the longest time I wondered who the Indian-looking guy in the audience asking questions at LQG talks was!

    So he was the guy who asked Bianchi about the Hartle-Hawking state and spin foams, which was the same question I wanted to ask Bianchi.

    1 2 3 Infinity!
     
  5. Aug 3, 2013 #4
    wow thanks Marcus those are really kind words. You've really been an inspiration to us so it means a lot to read your comments.
     
  6. Aug 3, 2013 #5

    marcus

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    Well you guys have real talent. That's for sure.

    Anybody interested in cosmology should watch the new movie.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFcQuEw0oY8&feature=c4-overview&list=UUtOgKmAM4MeFu-jd-HB3_cg
    They'll pick up interesting ideas about what was going on around start of expansion, ideas that are currently being pursued and which are approaching testability.

    I can't resist the temptation to put in a plug for a related video of a slide presentation at a more technical level by the French cosmologist Aurelien Barrau. It's at the other end of the spectrum---lots of equations, few illustrations---but I think it is a really good review by someone who, like Ivan Agullo in Skydive's movie, is one of the up-and-coming young people in the field. I'll get the link. Don't look at this if you are at all allergic to equations :biggrin:
    http://pirsa.org/displayFlash.php?id=13070036
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
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