PW Question #15 ~ Perceptions of the Universe

by Michio Kaku

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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PW Question #15 ~ Perceptions of the Universe

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:43 am

After having read the book, did your perception of the universe change? If so, how? If not, why not?
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Re: PW Question #15 ~ Perceptions of the Universe

Unread postby Theresa » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:38 pm

Interesting question, DITHOT.

I don't think my perception of the universe as changed as much as my perception of physicists and cosmologists. (Is cosmologist a word? Can't remember....) I work with scientists every day, chemists mostly, so their perception of the world is a bit more, if you'll pardon the obvious -- down-to-earth. I had no idea that this section of the scientific community was so very different.

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Re: PW Question #15 ~ Perceptions of the Universe

Unread postby Liz » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:25 pm

Theresa wrote:
I had no idea that this section of the scientific community was so very different.

Neither did I, T. :-O
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Re: PW Question #15 ~ Perceptions of the Universe

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:09 pm

I have to admit I have never thought a whole lot about the science in this book - the big bang, the size of the universe, the possibility of real life time travel, atom smashers, any of that stuff. I have been on a VERY steep learning curve! As for physicists and cosmologists and scientists in general, I had no idea there were people who devoted their entire lives to these ideas and I sure didn't know how much math was involved in theoretical space exploration! So yes, my perception changed in a big way. After the discussion is over, I don't know how often I will think about things like string theory and M theory, it is all a little overwhelming for me, but I hope I will always be able to appreciate jokes that rely on Schrodinger's Cat for the punch line! :lol:

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Re: PW Question #15 ~ Perceptions of the Universe

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:36 pm

I learned a lot and there is still a lot I don't understand. The vastness of space has always overwhelmed me and I'm glad I have learned more about it so I would have to say the way I look at it did change. I don't know that I have thought much about parallel universes or escaping Earth to save our species so that expanded my perception. I thought the history of cosmology and the people that study it was really interesting as well. Although I didn't understand everything I read I grasped enough of it to change what I knew.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: PW Question #15 ~ Perceptions of the Universe

Unread postby suec » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:39 pm

I guess I was a bit surprised at the scale of the energy and money going into the research, for example with that atom smasher thing. I was also surprised to read about things I had pretty much regarded as science fiction. I think my perception of how it works has improved a little, thanks to Michio Kaku. I was very thankful for the way he returned to the idea of the balloon expanding, and also gravity working like a heavy ball sinking into a mattress. So yes, I would say my perception has changed.
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Re: PW Question #15 ~ Perceptions of the Universe

Unread postby gemini » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:08 pm

Well I don't know if my perception has changed. I heard about it in off hand ways without really delving into it until reading this book. I think I have been updated. I knew about the big bang theory and had heard of string theory but didn't realize it had replaced the big bang until Kaku explained it. I certainly learned a lot that I never would have taken the time to get into before. Thanks Johnny. I guess I have a better (but not great understanding) of the theories but it has not changed my outlook from what it was before. My perception of the Universe didn't change but my knowledge of physicist did. :-O
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Re: PW Question #15 ~ Perceptions of the Universe

Unread postby Theresa » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:25 am

nebraska wrote:... but I hope I will always be able to appreciate jokes that rely on Schrodinger's Cat for the punch line! :lol:

:highfive:

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Re: PW Question #15 ~ Perceptions of the Universe

Unread postby Liz » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:30 am

My perception of the universe has changed in that I was not aware of many of the ideas being explored. Although I had heard of black holes (even typed multiple papers on them & discussed them with astrophysicists), I did not truly understand them until I read this book. I feel I have a basic understanding of them now. I think that the papers I typed were so technical that I couldn’t grasp them. They were papers for those who already had a basic knowledge. I hadn’t taken the pre-requisites for graduate level astrophysics, I guess.

I was aware of the LHC, and what its purpose was, but that was it. But I’m just as afraid of the thing as I was when I first heard about it last fall.

I had never heard of string theory or m-theory. I guess it is still like black holes were to me 30 years ago. Maybe in 30 years, I’ll get it.

As suec, I was unaware that some of the things I thought were just science fiction were really a possibility.

And I have learned more about what Stephen Hawking is all about.

Another big change in my perception has been about physics, in general. I will look at it in a different light from now on.

And this may be the most surprising of all to me: I was pretty shocked to find out the “Father of the Big Bang” was actually a Father….as in priest. That made me question a lot of things—like maybe science and Christianity could co-exist and be mutually acceptable and explainable.
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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