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Science Buzz Cafe # 446 Strings to Multiverse: The Very Small & The Very Large


September 5, 2018
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Hopmonk Tavern Sebastopol
230 Petaluma Ave.
Sebastopol, Ca 95472 United States
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Steve Pollaine, Ph.D will take us all on a wild tour – from the very small to the very large – from the tiny world of multi-dimensional strings to various forms of the multiverse. Sixty-one orders of magnitude will be covered in no time. What preceded the Big Bang? What questions do you have and what the heck is going on? JOIN US Wednesday night!

The largest and smallest of problems. Two separate rulebooks explain nature: (1) general relativity accounts for gravity and the orbiting planets, colliding galaxies and the expanding universe – that is big; (2) quantum theory rules the other three forces of electromagnetism and the two nuclear forces adept at describing what happens when a uranium atom decays – that is small.

The PROBLEM: relativity and quantum are fundamentally different theories that have different formulations where it is not just a matter of scientific terminology but a clash of titans – 2 incompatible descriptions of reality. This conflict between two halves of physics has been stewing for over a century.

Steve has a B.S. from Yale and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from U.C. Berkeley. He worked for 31 years at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in fusion energy research. He has been a student of Hameed Ali’s Diamond Heart spiritual school since 1987. He is now retired and gives talks on astronomy and physics at IONS, Science Buzz Café, and other venues. He also plays the piano for senior centers and farmer’s markets.