A double act of narrators
The origins of the universe
Schrodinger's cat and Pavlov's dog
Genetics clones and mutations
When things go wrong and Space travel
Featuring sketches by Eddie Izzard, Billy Connely and The Simpsons
Andrei Linde , a leader in the field of cosmology, was being interviewed by John Horgan for his book The end of science. After discussing the idea that universes can give rise to baby universes and the possibility of creating a universe in a laboratory, Linde suggests that our own universe may have been created by beings in another universe.
John Horgan writes the following about his reaction to the interview: "Linde presented these ideas warily, watching my reaction. Only at the end perhaps taking satisfaction from my gaping mouth, did he permit himself a little smile. His smile faded however, when I wondered what the message in our universe might be.'
'It seems he said wistfully that we are not grown up enough to know.'
Linde looked even more glum when I asked him if he ever worried that all his work might be-I struggled to find the right word- bullshit."
Another leader in the field of cosmology is Stephen Hawking his work encompasses wormholes, baby universes and black holes that emit matter. Stephen Hawkins makes a guest appearance in one episode of the Simpsons and is referred to in one of the best episodes, Homer3
In Homer3 Homer hides from Selma and Patsey behind the whatyemacallit (book) case and finda a gateway into another dimension.
Homer: Marge I don't know where I am
Marge: Do you see sheets? If you see sheets your probably in the linen closet again
Homer: No I'm somewhere I've never been before
Selma, Patsey: The shower
[later in the show]
Reverent Lovejoy: Do you see a light Homer ?
Reverent Lovejoy: Move towards the light
In the alternate dimension Homer is hit by a cone. He says 'Hey, watch it coney' as he throws it away. The cone pierces the space time fabric and
creates a black hole into which evreything starts to be sucked
Homer: There's so much I don't know about astrophysics. I wish I read that book by that wheelchair guy (Stephen Hawking)
Homer is eventually sucked into the black hole and ends up on earth.
Hawking guest appearance
Stephen Hawking makes his guest appearance in the show 'They saved Lisa's brain.' While Homer and Stephen Hawking are are sitting in Mo's Hawking says 'I am intrigued by your theory of a donut shaped universe Homer, I might have to steal it'
Mo: O.K who is paying the tab
Homer [with his hand in front of his mouth impersonating Hawking]: I am
Hawking: I didn't say that
Homer [impersonating]: Yes I did
Homer then gets punched by the boxing glove attached to Hawking's wheelchair.
Eddie Izzard E=mc2
Many of the theories of cosmology are difficult to prove or disprove. Eddie Izzard approaches the issue of testing theories in his show the definite article.
"Einsteins theory of relativity, ooh yes I like that. E=mc2 that's the theory of relativity you can only test it if you go into a black hole on a rope.
'Oh right I'm letting go of the rope now, oh its kind of tough, quite a lot of gravitational pull,ooh I'm stuck.'
Sorry bit of a physics joke there, sorry just crap.
"E=mc2 , Energy equals mass blah, blah, blah. He just wrote, it's so small as well and it works.
'There you go I'm off to have a coffee now.I will plug my hair into the mains waoh!.'
There must have been some physicists going 'E=mc2 is that right? I had F=mc2 I was so close'.
'Well what does your F stand for?'
"We used to do crap experiments at school. Me and Jeff decided to test the theory of relativity to see if it was really true. First of all we measured the speed of light. Jeff got a torch. Jeff when you shout go switch on the torch and I will time how long it takes to see the light, OK. Oh hold on if you say go, that's the speed of sound isn't it and I'll hear that after I see the light. So say go slightly earlier so I can hear that and time how long it is, oh f**ck. Lets say a million miles an hour because no ones got a car that fast, and that's squared. And the mass, can you weigh the torch? Do you have a vacuum? Does your mum have a vacuum? How does she do the carpets then? Oh right weigh it near the vacuum then. Right that's four and a half fluid ounces, and that is it. That's the energy in counts per square ironing boards."
Ali G on infinity and the big bang
Ali G discusses the big bang and the concept of infinity in his interview with Proffessor Heinz Wolff.
So what is the big bang?
Right, well what happened in the beginning, there was a giantic flash of energy...
.. and some of the energy was turned into matter, and this matter, in the first few millionths of a second, um, shot out all over the place.
And was it like a really loud, rocking bass?
Nobody heard it, because nobody was around. But it must have been a pretty fantastic, um, event.
Was it really really loud?
No. It wouldn't have been audible at all, because sound travels through air and there wouldn't have been any air. I mean with all respect again it isn't a question of...
But if it happened now, and there was air, would it be really, really loud? Would it be like the loudest, mega-bass car stereo, or louder?
I think the size of the reaction, which provided all of the matter for the universe is of a totally unimaginable size.
So would it be louder than all the stereos in the world, in America and in England put together?
Yes.. by billions and billions and billions and billions of times.
ALL the stereos in the world, and in the universe, and in America and England, and alien stereos and whatever..
The actual event would be, um, thousands and millions, and thousands of billions of billions of hydrogen bombs all going off at once.
So it's louder than drum and bass? What is the smallest thing in the universe?
The smallest thing in the universe are I think some of the elementary particles that make up an atom.
How small is they?
Well how small.. I mean how, you mean in linear, in sort of..
Yeah, in centimetres.
Um, ten thousand millionths of a millimetre.
Is it smaller than a sand? Is it smaller than a salt?
Yeah, much smaller.
Sand is smaller than a salt.
No, not necassarily, no. I mean you can get sand grains...
But salt is the smallest thing... known to man. Your hair.. FLOUR! Flour is smaller, is the smallest thing. I got muddled up.
No they are much much tinier than, than that.
What does infinity mean?
Infinity means, that if you were travelling, whether it's Concorde or sitting on a beam of light, you'd never come to the end.
Is it a number?
Is it more or less than a million million million million million million million million million million?
More. Because you can always add 1 on to the end.
OK, I add a MILLION on the end. Million million million million million million million million million million million million.
There is NO end, there is no end, by defenition..
Even if I carry on saying that all day? What happens if I use "zillion"?
It'll have no effect..
There ISN'T anything bigger than a quillion.
The principle is, that what ever number you try to think of, no matter how big it is, I could always come along and say "I've got a number which is 1 bigger".
And THAT number is.. infinity?
|Billy Connolley pays tribute
Billy Conolley pays tribute to the mathematical genius of Stephen Hawking in his show down under in Australia.
"I was reading an article about Stephen Hawking. You know, the brilliant Hawking in a wheelchair. The bloke who can only move his head." Billy does an impression of Stephen Hawking, speaking out of the side of his mouth. 'Hello Stephen Hawking, hello'.
'He's the most brilliant man in the world. I'll tell you how brilliant he is , mathematics no problem. You see if your in a field and a train passes you from right to left or from left to right, it doesn't matter, and the whistle goes whaaaooo!!. You see that note change there ? he can do a sum that proves why that happens.
He said that there's a place, now if Stephen says it you can put the pot on for it, it's true. There's a place where astrology and pure mathematics meet. Now we're talking pure mathematics we're not talking long division. I don't know what pure mathematics is I just like to say it, because I know it exists, I've read it in a book.'
|Hawkings speech synthesiser malfunctions
During the summer I heard about a childish office joke of rearranging the keys on the keyboard so that everyday words come up as rude and perverted words on the farts (Ah! some ones rearranged the keys that should be screen). Imagine if this happened to Stephen Hawking's speech synthesiser.
Some of the worlds leading professors, wearing their bow ties, have gathered in one of the most renowned conference halls in the country. Conversations are about the latest scientific developments in the field but tension is high because there are rumours that Stephen Hawking is about to present another revolutionary new theory.
Stephen Hawking comes up to the podium and everyone is hushed expecting him to give a new insight into the field of cosmology but instead he comes out with an incredibly derogatory remark criticising everyones work in the field. 'I hate to be the one to break this to you but counts per square ironing board arn't actually a unit of measurement. Homer could teach you lot a thing or two with his theory of a donut shaped universe. Have you ever worried that your work is bullshit?' Hawking is as shocked as everyone else and tries to say 'wait a minute I didn't mean to say that.' Instead it comes out as 'I had you all fooled with that theory of imaginary time didn't I Ha Ha baby universes? My equations? I just set the speed of light at a million miles an hour and substituted E for F.'
Time travelling Ali G
If time travel ever became possible one of the first things that should be done is to send Ali G back to interview some of histories greatest scientists. An interview with Charles Darwin may go something like this:
Is it true that you is an ape?
No my theory says that we evolved from apes
Do you like bananas?
So you is an ape?
No, we are descendent from apes
Was your great granny an ape?
No you have to go back millions of years before you find ape like ancestors
How many greats is that?
That is not comprehensible, if you go back far enough we all have the same ancestor
So there was loads'a inbreeding. Had you been smokin' when you made this up?
I didn't just make it up I undertook a journey to the Galacopus islands and made hundreds of observations
Do you experience loads'a tripping?
What's the wierdest thing you've seen? Have you ever seen pole vaulting salmon?
The iguanas on the Galacopus islands are fairly strange
How much had you smoked that day?
I've seen them lots of times
Bo ! big up to you Charles.