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Guest: Dr. Ethan Siegel; Topics: Astrophysics, astronomy, cosmology, Big Bang, the beginning of the universe and much more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed back to the show Dr. Ethan Siegel, a theoretical astrophysicist who writes the blog Starts With A Bang. You can follow his blog at Forbes here: www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/#60754e41e545. Dr. Siegel has also written a book that I believe you will find interesting, "Beyond The Galaxy: How Humanity Looked Beyond Our Milky Way and Discovered the Entire Universe." As you will hear during our discussion, his book explains and discusses many of the topics discussed tonight - without equations! I ordered a copy of the book and will bring Dr. Siegel back to The Space Show to go over it once I have and read it. I am sure I will have lots of questions for Ethan. Remember, if you buy the book through Amazon, use the Amazon Space Show/OGLF portal or Smile program so that Amazon will donate a part of your purchase price to The Space Show. For instructions, just click on the big bold Amazon button in the center of The Space Show home page.
During our 95 minute discussion (no break) with Dr. Siegel, we started off by my asking about The Big Bang and what came before The Big Bang. This opened the door for a comprehensive discussion about our universe, our ability to only be able to go back so far, say 99% of the age of the universe. We cannot go back beyond the time the stars were formed because there would be no light to see. Our guest had much to say talking about the cosmic microwave background radiation, cosmic inflation, and examples using a balloon. Our guest was asked about multiple universes, a subject which he discussed in some detail. Don't miss what he had to say about this subject and the other topics during the first part of our interview.
John from Ft. Worth called to talk about relativity and other topics. Included in this discussion were super-horizon scales and inflation. Dr. Siegel suggested the size values for the actual universe beyond just our observable universe. Dark energy came up and was identified as being the cosmological constant in at least one theory. Dr. Siegel further mentioned the Model of Quintessence and the Tracker Solution Model. John and Ethan talked about asymmetry and the Baryogenesis question.
In response to Charlotte's email question about dimensions and universes, Ethan talked about string theory and the 4th way or dimension plus the Ana Kata Dimension. Cosmic inflation was discussed along with the spectrum of fluctuation that the universe had had since birth.
Kim called from Mexico to ask about crossing the universe and then ending up where you started. Ethan discussed this with her in some detail but said it would not happen in our observable universe. He talked about refocusing the question being asked to consider all the possibilities and to look at the possibilities. Don't miss this discussion with Kim.
Another listener asked if it might be possible to find some sort of physics equivalent to the Rosetta Stone to enable getting more information and answers to the many issues we had been talking about up to this point during the interview. Make sure you listen to Ethan's response to this question. Another listener, Todd in Alaska, asked if we could look back to say specifically 60 million years and see dinosaurs. Ethan explained why we could not do that. Don't miss what he had to say but for the most part, we are looking at the light from stars and other objects but not from Earth. Someone on a celestial body 60 million year light years from Earth looking back at Earth might be able to see dinosaurs but unless there was a giant mirror or reflecting system, we would not see our own light.
Near the end of the program, I asked our guest what he saw for advances in physics and the subjects we had been talking about for 500 years from now. Do not miss what he said in response to my question.
Please post your comments/questions in the comments section for this program archived on The Space Show website. You can reach Dr. Siegel through his blog or me.