May 10, 2020 8:00 pm

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Janna Levin, and Chuck Nice Explore Theoretical Physics

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, we’re getting INTO it. What better way to pass the time in quarantine than to get lost in theoretical physics? Neil deGrasse Tyson is joined by comic co-host Chuck Nice and astrophysicist Janna Levin, PhD, to answer fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on theoretical physics.

Image of galaxy IC 2051 by ESA/Hubble & NASA, P. Erwin et al.

Galaxy IC 2051. Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, P. Erwin et al.

We don’t waste any time getting into it because we start with a question about time itself. How does a black hole ever gain mass if everything we observe falling into a black hole freezes on the event horizon? Find out why black holes used to be called “frozen stars.” Then, we ponder if time is relative only to a person’s experience or if there is a universal “base” time. We explore the idea of a “cosmic event horizon.”

Then, we dive into energy. What is energy? Is it a “thing” or is it a relationship between things? Janna tells us why it could be both. You’ll hear about quantum entanglement and how it works. We debate which we will take advantage of first: quantum entanglement or wormholes.

If you didn’t think it was trippy enough up to this point, our trio gets asked a question that sends them on a rollercoaster cosmic discussion: what is space made of? The answer takes us on a journey that explores the fabric of space time, Einstein’s equations, and the principle that “there can never be nothing.”

Discover more about virtual particles. Lastly, Janna tells us about the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and the Casimir effect. All that, plus, our conversation ends with final musings on the nature of dark matter.

Please join us tomorrow for Cosmic Queries – Theoretical Physics at 3pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re a StarTalk+ Patron or an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 3pm, too.

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

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