PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

by Michio Kaku

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PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby Liz » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:04 pm

Welcome to ONBC’s discussion of Parallel Worlds. And a big congratulations to all of you who took the quantum leap on this one. :highfive: Sharpen your pencils and get out your TI 34 Plus calculators.

And to those of you who didn’t read the book, you still might be able to participate on some of the questions (including this one).

Good luck to all, and remember that there are no wrong answers…..case in point—the “uncertainty principle”.


Question #1: What has been your past (or present) encounter, as it were, with physics, cosmology, astronomy or astrophysics? We’ll talk later about how the book may have changed your views.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby shadowydog » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:18 pm

I have always been interested in the "cosmos". I grew up in the country away from all the city lights and was always fascinated with the milky way and comets. I would love to get up an hour before dawn and just look at the stars.
I have nothing to do and all day to do it in.

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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby Liz » Mon Feb 23, 2009 1:23 pm

Thanks for starting us off, shadowydog. I love to look at the stars, too. It is not often enough that I get a chance to do it.
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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby IngridN » Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:07 pm

I am not that good at maths, physics or chemistry but I do like to read popular science books.
For me it all started after watching Carl Sagan’s TV series Cosmos. I think that was around 1981, 82. :cool:

I’ve read books by Stephen Hawking (a brief history of time) , and Brian Greene
(The Fabric of the Cosmos) and other books about the origins of the universe, quantum and string theory.

Last week I bought an interesting book titled: The Black Hole War.
It’s about the battle between Stephen Hawking and American physicist Leonard Susskind and Dutch physicist Gerard ‘t Hooft over the true nature of black holes. It is written in understandable language.

I enjoyed reading Parallel Worlds very much but Michio Kaku does cover a lot of topics.:headache:
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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby Theresa » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:03 pm

Hmm...all my cosmos encounters have come from just going outside and looking up.

Image Although there's way too much light in my area now to see more than just a very few stars, when I go camping on vacation, we go to places where we can actually see the Milky Way. I've spent many an evening hour laying on one of those banana loungers, just staring at the sky looking for shooting stars.

Oh, yeah...and I've seen a moon rock at NASA...does that count?
:lol:

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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby shadowydog » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:27 pm

Theresa wrote:Hmm...all my cosmos encounters have come from just going outside and looking up.

Image Although there's way too much light in my area now to see more than just a very few stars, when I go camping on vacation, we go to places where we can actually see the Milky Way. I've spent many an evening hour laying on one of those banana loungers, just staring at the sky looking for shooting stars.

Oh, yeah...and I've seen a moon rock at NASA...does that count?
:lol:


:highfive: I have this site bookmarked. It is great for finding out what is up there. It has been too cloudy here to see the "green comet" :bawl: But they have great pictures.

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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:32 pm

I always loved looking at the stars and wondering about the sky. One of my best memories is of living in West Texas as a child and my dad pointing out all the constellations to me. I took astronomy in college for my science credit and loved it. I loved the Carl Sagan series, Cosmos too! That series and my college class were my only introductions to cosmology. My father-in-law has always been an amateur astronomer and we would always look at the stars when we went to visit. Theresa, I saw that moon rock too so I say it counts! :highfive:
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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:46 pm

Question #1: What has been your past (or present) encounter, as it were, with physics, cosmology, astronomy or astrophysics?

Little to none until reading this book. I took the usual high school classes in chemistry and physics and that sort of thing well over 40 years ago. I watched a occasional episode of Star Trek over the years, does that count? :lol:

I live in a rural area and we have not invested in satellite TV. I had never even heard of Dr. Kaku before ONBC chose to read PW (imagine my surprise when I added him as a friend on my space and found out he had several thousand "friends"!) but since starting PW I ordered two seasons of DVDs of the History Channel's Universe series as well as the History Channel Parallel Universe DVD. This is all more interesting to me than I ever thought it would be, having been a cosmos virgin as it were.

IngridN ...... :notworthy: I am really impressed with your reading list!

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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby Liz » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:04 pm

Wow! Thanks for the heads up, shadowydog. I’m assuming that’s 1:00 a.m. EST. That means I’ll still be awake. Will it still be cloudy tonight for you, shadowydog? And if that fails, there is the webcam.

IngridN, I applaud you on your interest in this subject. I was never all that interested in it until now….even though I worked with people who immersed themselves in the subject matter. And I applaud the rest of you in your perseverance in reading Parallel Worlds. I think we can thank Johnny and Dr. Kaku for that. But more on those 2 later. And more on my exposure a bit later….
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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby Charlene » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:28 pm

Well, I was starting to feel bad that I had asked him the question...and then I picked up the book and thought "well, it's not too bad"...but then I got sidetracked and put the book down and picked up Steadman's...and picked up Daniel Depps... I think my DH said it best when we happened upon PBS and Kaku one night. After the segment was over, he commented something to the effect of "wow, that was really interesting...and I haven't a clue what he just said." You ladies have inspired me to pick the book back up. I do indeed love to look at the stars when I get out of the city....the Milky Way is hard to take in, it's so beautiful.

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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby suec » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:54 pm

I've watched a lot of Star Trek and that kind of thing. And I'm relying on it to count. :grin: But have done no reading. As far as physics goes, it was my weakest subject at school. After a while I pretty much gave up. I'd sit at the back of the lab with my nose buried in a good book. Of course I regret it now. I blame poor numerical intelligence for a lot of it - I was also hopeless at maths and I've come to the conclusion that's a significant factor. But then again, so was laziness. Over the years, often I'd look up at the stars and reflect on my own ignorance and wonder about them but never did much about finding out. There's a fair bit of light pollution where I live so I don't see as much as I'd like too. What knowledge I do have has been picked up incidentally, from documentaries about the formation and history of Earth, or from conversations so it's all pretty patchy really.
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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:56 pm

Charlene wrote:Well, I was starting to feel bad that I had asked him the question...and then I picked up the book and thought "well, it's not too bad"...but then I got sidetracked and put the book down


Don't feel bad, Charlene. Mr nebraska pointed out that just because Johnny was reading it then doesn't mean he finished it. :lol:

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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby Theresa » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:10 pm

nebraska wrote:
Charlene wrote:Well, I was starting to feel bad that I had asked him the question...and then I picked up the book and thought "well, it's not too bad"...but then I got sidetracked and put the book down


Don't feel bad, Charlene. Mr nebraska pointed out that just because Johnny was reading it then doesn't mean he finished it. :lol:

:applause2: Good one, Mr nebraska!

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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby gemini » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:11 pm

I see we are all of various degrees of interest. I have tried a couple very amateur telescopes without much luck but have always been interested in the stars. Whenever anything is supposed to be viewable in the sky I usually give it a shot. ( I usually only find things that are easy to see and if its chilly I give up easily) I saw Venus several times over the past few months.

Living in Florida I have spent a lot of time watching the sky for NASA take offs. Like IngridN, Carl Sagan has been an influence; I read a couple of his books, Contact and The Demon Haunted world.
As Nebraska asked, Does Star trek count? If so I'm in. Also Nebraska reminded me mentioning satellite tv, that I still get my TV the old fashion way, with the big 12 foot dish. That means I get a lot of practice after hurricanes and big winds of re aligning up with the satellites. With me its mostly trial and error not like with the techie guys who know where they are. Yuck! Pray for no winds.

Does debating with my brother and father count? They are obsessed with science, and read popular science like its required reading. I usually join in on the debates. I guess you could sum me up with not much know how, just a lot of curiosity.
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Re: PW Question #1 ~ Your Exposure to the Study of the Universe

Unread postby Liz » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:48 pm

nebraska wrote:
Charlene wrote:Well, I was starting to feel bad that I had asked him the question...and then I picked up the book and thought "well, it's not too bad"...but then I got sidetracked and put the book down


Don't feel bad, Charlene.

Ditto! You got the scoop. You did you what you set out to do. And we are very appreciative. :guitar:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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