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Sunday
Feb272011

Physics at the edge... of philosophy: Lecture 2 video

Is, and is impossible not to be. from Vatche Sahakian on Vimeo.

In recent years, powerful telescopes have pushed observational cosmology into its golden age. In a span of a decade astrophysicists have successfully charted out the entire history of our universe - all 14 billion years. We can now say that we have seen the edge of the cosmos! 

Yet, in doing so, we have to accept and understand strange forms of energy – somewhat cryptically called dark matter and dark energy. We also run up against several curious and profound puzzles: the anthropic principle and the question of what time is. Driven in such a way beyond physics, we need to call upon philosophy, and are lead, strangely enough, to the Ancient Greeks, and, in particular, to Aristotle’s notion of time. We are bound to confront the concepts of entropy and chaos, and the issue of whether time flows in a certain direction.

During this lecture we will look at some of the most recent—quite remarkable—pictures of deep space, as well as discuss the questions of the grand coincidence, of the beginning of time, and of order and disorder in the universe.

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