A photo of colliding galaxies NGC 1531 and 1532 by ESO et al.
A photo of colliding galaxies NGC 1531 and 1532 by ESO et al.

Cosmic Queries: Until the End of Time, with Brian Greene

Galaxies NGC 1531 and 1532. Image Credit: ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/R.Gendler and J.-E. Ovaldsen.
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About This Episode

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are answering fan-submitted Cosmic Queries with the help of theoretical physicist and author Brian Greene. Brian has been a frequent guest on StarTalk and always tends to blow our minds when he shows up – this time is no different. The topic for this episode is Until the End of Time, which also happens to be the name of Brian’s new book!

How far will we journey into the cosmos during our lifetime? Neil and Brian ponder this but they also debate how long humanity will last in general. Will we outlive the predicted length of existence we’ve seen from other species? Will we destroy ourselves? What happens if we send a crew into interstellar space and when they return everyone is gone? You’ll learn how long it takes just to get out of the Milky Way alone and what humans would be like if they grew up never knowing the Earth. 

We explore free choice and free will. Brian tells us why he thinks we don’t have either. Discover more about time: is it made of something? You better believe we talk about string theory. Brian shares why spacetime itself could be stitched together by the threads of quantum entanglement. You’ll hear how dark energy could rip the fabric of spacetime – and why that might not be as catastrophic as it sounds. You’ll also learn why black holes shrink down if spacetime rips apart. 

We dive into the meaning of life: Is there any? And, if there isn’t, what’s the point in living? Brian explains why he thinks physics should guide us and also set us free. Neil and Brian discuss the role of religion and if that would change if we were contacted by extraterrestrials. You’ll find out where the universe ends. Lastly, we investigate entropy in the universe. All that, plus, discover more about the simulation universe and if the human brain will ever figure out human consciousness.

Thanks to our Patrons Jamie Boneleye, Evan Blackburn, Matthew Pounsett, Chris Behrensmeyer, and Brett Armstrong for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

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