March 2, 2017 8:04 pm

Friday, Neil Tyson and Godfrey Answer Questions About Spacetime

“You have never been at a place unless it was at a time, and you have never been at a time unless you are at a place. Recognizing that fact, you will understand that space and time are forever intertwined with one another.”

That is not a quote from a historic, scientific textbook or from a great philosopher’s personal essays, but, in fact, from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in this week’s episode of StarTalk.

Episodes like these are the very reason I started listening to StarTalk: the perfect blend of science, humor, and a little bit of cosmic inspiration.

Photo of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Godfrey in the StarTalk studio.

To start, Neil deGrasse Tyson and his comic co-host, Godfrey, ponder why Sir Isaac Newton might have a hard time adapting to the world if he were alive today. However, as Neil says, because he was such a genius, it would probably take him an afternoon to catch up to speed on all the advances society has made since his time.

Our duo then dives right into the discussion on spacetime. You’ll hear why physicists use “infinity” as a placeholder when describing the size and expanse of the universe. You’ll then hear discussion on zero-energy points, and if they can be found anywhere in the universe.

One of my favorite parts of the episode is when Neil and Godfrey explore dark matter and dark energy. Not only do they talk about the scientific mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, but they also explore the connections between dark matter and traveling back in time. They also explore “gravitational bleeding” – the idea that dark matter may be matter from another dimension harassing the matter in our universe – and yes, the explanation from Neil is as cool as it sounds.

On a lighter side, Neil and Godfrey converse about the evolution of language and what English sounds like to a non-native speaker. And you’re not going to want to miss Godfrey trying to teach Neil to speak some Chinese.

All this, plus, our lightning round which, as Godfrey finds out, never disappoints, because StarTalk listeners don’t mess around when they get the chance to ask their own personal astrophysicist a few Cosmic Queries.

Please join us tomorrow night for Cosmic Queries: Spacetime at 7pm EST right here on our website, as well as on iTunes Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. And if you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen

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