Broadcast 3108 Dr. Brian Keating

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Guest:  Dr. Brian Keating; Topics:  "Losing The Nobel Prize," BICEP experiments, physics, cosmic microwave background (CMB), galactic dust, black holes, reforming the Nobel Prize, the Nobel Prize in Physics 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,  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  

We welcomed Dr. Brian Keating to the program to discuss his new book, "Losing The Nobel Prize: A Story Of Cosmology, Ambition, And The Perils Of Science's Highest Honor."  Remember, if you buy his book, which I strongly recommend, you can do so through the OGLF/Space Show link on our home page.  If you do that, Amazon will donate a part of the purchase prize to The Space Show.  In addition, you can find out more about the book and purchase it at (if you want Amazon to donate a portion of the purchase price to TSS, you need to use the Amazon link on our home page, then follow the instructions).  During the early part of our discussion, we discussed issues in both physics and astrophysics along with concerns regarding the Nobel Prize in Physics and other disciplines.  We started our one segment sixty-six minute discussion with Dr. Keating by my asking him about the title of his book. 

Dr. Keating described how the book got his title which is a story you need to hear.  Also, it is key to understanding our discussion for today's Space Show program.  In brief, the BICEP and BICEP2 experiment results were published, then retracted an error was found.  Listen to what our guest had to say regarding the details of this process.  Also, this led to the BICEP3 experiment now underway, using different wavelengths and specifically looking for the special galactic dust.  Our guest explained all of this detail  so don't miss what he had to say which took place over the first half of our program.  Dr. Keating talked about the new work being done at the Simons Observatory in Chile ( 

We started getting listener emails and phone calls early in the show, mostly dealing with physics questions.  For example, Sherry wanted to know what happened or what existed just before the Big Bang happened.  Don't miss what Dr. Keating said in response to Sherry's question.  Listener Zoe sent in a note asking where to buy the book (see above), plus Zoe wanted to know what was the hardest part of being a cosmologist?  Brian talked about the hardest part being unable to do live, real time experiments so instead being compelled to use computer models and simulations.  Don't miss all of what Brian said in response to this particular question. 

Tim from Huntsville was the first caller asking multiple cosmology questions.  He asked about time, black holes, the speed of light and more.  Brian and Tim had a good discussion on these issues so be sure to hear it as they covered many subjects and issues with Dr. Keating offering clarifying responses to good questions.  Dr. Doug and Dr. Jurist sent in email questions for our guest. Dr. Doug wanted to know if it was feasible to get Nobel prize winners to join a petition drive calling for Nobel prize reform thinking that former prize winners would bring credibility to the reform efforts.  Don't miss what Brian said about this as he did reach out to several former prize winners and folks on the prize committee.  Dr. Jurist suggested that Brian made a strong argument regarding the flaws of the Nobel Prize in Physics and wanted to know if Brian had comments about Nobel prizes in other fields or even other prizes, such as MacArthur Prize.  Again, don't miss what Brian said in response to the Jurist comments. 

Marshall was the next caller asking about the use of computers in physics.   He wanted to know how the use of computers had impacted the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physics.  AI came up in the discussion so don't miss what was said about this developing field.  Marshall and Brian then talked about Galileo, the multi-verse, the inflationary theory and obtaining current research grants.  The next caller was John from Ft. Worth who wanted to talk about inflationary cosmology, the curvature of the universe, the curvature of Earth's surface, measurement uncertainty and a flat universe. Brian introduced the triangle example in this discussion.  John and Brian talked Big Bang, the concept that K=0 and more so don't miss this discussion.  Before this conversation ended, Brian mentioned dark energy being unstable, he talked about the possibilities with the photon, and dark matter. 

As our program was drawing to a close, a listener in Denver inquired about the steady state universe and the late Sir  Fred Hoyle.  Brian then introduced us to the quasi-steady state multiverse theory.  Adrian got in the last question which was critical of our guest, suggesting he was complaining about the Nobel Prizes due to his having had to retract the findings discussed earlier in the show.  Don't miss what our guest had to say in response to Adrian's complaint as our guest said similar comments have been made about his work before.  I added in that having read the book authored by our guest, I detected no complaining and said so to Adrian, suggesting he read the book before making his assumptions about Dr. Keating and his work.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach our guest through me or his websites:,   It is also worth noting the support earned by the book.  Check out' s Ten Best Nonfiction Books of the Month ( and the list of Nature Magazine’s Six Best Books of the Season (




UCSD astrophysicist, his new book"Losing The Nobel Prize: A Story of Cosmology, Ambition, And The Perils of Science's Highest Honor

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29 Apr 2018 Dr. Brian Keating
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