Skip to main content

tv   Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space  CSPAN  December 3, 2016 10:45am-11:36am EST

10:45 am
i am hugely visible in places like the internet and things like that. some people hear my story and i think it's special or unusual because they're not hearing any of my colleagues also tell their story about how they became astro physicist. my story is common. he got interested at age eight. when i parents brought me. i thought it was a hoax. has too many stars. i've seen them from the bronx. there's 12 of them. so this is a deception it's an entertaining deception. they are not fooling me. it was actually represented in
10:46 am
actual universe. books that my parents brought me for my birthday. that by age 11 i have an answer to that annoying question that adults always ask the kids. what do you want to be when you grow up. i said i want to be an astrophysicist. that pretty much shut them up. if you say that. that was it. they just walk away at that point. to this day i am a little bit scarred for having not known a night sky until i saw one in the hayden planetarium. from those mountaintops in chile into the stay when i go to commune with the cosmos in these singularly majestic sites and i look up at the
10:47 am
night sky it reminds me of that. ladies addendum and thank and gentlemen thank you all for coming. we will see you at the year in review in january. have a great night. [applause]. book tv is on twitter and facebook and we won't hear want hear from you. post post a comment on her facebook page. tv.
10:48 am
[inaudible] am a friend of the book fair in the chair of the literary society. have you turned your phoness off. i expect they had been off all day.than thank you for coming to support the book fair.ha we think our sponsors and especially the knight foundation the bachelor foundation and the degroot foundation. we think all of your friends and we hope all of you that are not friends of the book fair will become friends in the volunteers hundreds of them around and about making this work while. a special thanks to miami dade college for hosting us all in for sponsoring this absolutely wonderful event.dade c the session will feature a
10:49 am
conversation between two women who had caused a lot of excitement in their fields. it is best known as the creator and curator the site that features an assortmentckina from the past. and now she has several millions and astro physicist. who views science as a is a powerful force in culture. even assessable. they had been called a hipster sh physicist. as
10:50 am
he is a professor of business. also the pioneer work which is the center for art and ideaswi the concentration and philosophy. her two previous books wereoo the highly acclaimed she returns to nonfiction with her new book. other songs from outer space tells of the 50 year campaign to detect gravitational waves which has made a big news in 2016. i'm going to leave it to dr. levin to tell you more about her book. please welcome. [applause].
10:51 am
i have to say first that this is one of the most fascinating and beautifully written books they've ever read and i don't take that lightly. i didn't have to pay her to say that. so you tell this story of the century long vision and half a century long quest to hear the sound of the space time. as i was reading one thing kept coming to mind which was a very short piece that the great journalist wrote in the summer of 19376 days after amelia airport -- amelia earhart disappeared.ot
10:52 am
the best things of mankind are the things that are undertaken not for some definite measurable results but because someone not counting the costs are calculated of the consequences is moved by curiosity the level of excellence. the compulsion to event or make her understand in suchue persons. they alone surpass themselves.t they the explorers into the creators partake of it. they do not know what they discover. they do not know where their impulses taking them. they can give no account in advance of where they're going they do with the useless no mere in the dust of which it has is great wings from the sky.
10:53 am
it was really after. there was an experiment that did not bear fruit for flight. to me it is that contemporary counterpart to that. it's as much as this. how do they have the courage to do that. i think you are so perceptivelyo it is about the human campaignt, and the drive. well in some sense the insanity of it. it wasn't about blind success. it was a great moment. in reality it was a arduous
10:54 am
campaign. very much like climbing a mountain in the sense that not everybody can make it to the summit. there's something about that universal a drive just to know and just as he that i saw it was at work there. the timeline is that einstein did that. he lived at a time before all of the technologies have made it impossible to test it out. in 1915 they publish the great theory. and then from the trenches.
10:55 am
i am incredibly impressed that there is this solution. the beautifully describes the time around where all of theg manse of.e mass he doesn't think that there can be real. there is nothing terminus enough to cause them. he never you commented from
10:56 am
the very unusual sampling. they are physicist. i shout out.ut to al this notion that you use it as a lens and it is a book about science. it's really a book about the lenses for the larger question. just the human spirit. and it's so unusual and inventive about it. each chapter is a psychological profile of one of the major people involved in with the real kind of style pros that you tell . s you interpret it so eloquently between scientist journalist and novelist.ll us tell us about the main
10:57 am
characters. but i set out to do was something completely different.wate i wanted to write a book about black holes as a scientist who works on black holes all the time and i felt that i have some different ways to discuss it in different ways and to talk about the scientific part of it. it's not what the book about at all. halfway through i got caught up in another story. i think this is how science has done sometimes. you start to follow it and you realize that there's something better in this other direction and if you can bear to stowaway your original ideas and be willing to follow it so i started talking to people like ray rice. he is one of the original architects of this experiment.
10:58 am
he began dreaming about it was very unpopular with the new york accent. he came from germany originally but has a certain intonation that i associate with a generation not so much a region and i thought ray isai a character in a novel and he's giving me dialogue. he's giving it to me. they're like 50 hours of tape. i started hearing that the book could be written in a more novelistic style about the characters. and so i began with ray. in the book i describe as an
10:59 am
inverted triangle.riangle, alm almost like the white of the shirt sort of bounding his beard. but kip is a real free spirit. it wasn't a cliché.oduct of they just thought they looked crazy and he was already anon incredibly famous person. they wanted to get in bigger than his own, schmitz away. he was thinking what can i do that is bigger than myself. and what can i do is big for the whole community. begins with the three of them and is now a team of nearly a thousand. they weave of the personal history into the genius. they show how every fragment
11:00 am
of our lives adds up to our cultural contribution is essentially a giant listening instrument. when he was a young man he fell in love with a pianist.then i'm in the free spirit hippie came from this unusual mormonun family of .. and with the obituary for the mother said something like: old radical dies. that's the headline and you can tell when kip relays that that he is kind of proud. >> he really is. >> and bond grew up in kind of a very poor village in scotland where he was building things out
11:01 am
of junk including a tv set, which was probably the only one in the village. he took that hacker spirit and took it to the largest scientific institution in the world. >> eventually recruited by caltech. he goes to harvard than caltech and he's reluctant to leave scotland, but i love about his story is that he liked to cut bits of rubber matting off a bold experiments and make new things while people at harvard were using the most advancedet . >> guest: it was the most advanced, he was using the earth's magnetic field because it was free. he had a way of exploiting what he had to make something incredible out of it, but eventually, this experiment you're describing became too big for all of them and raised the ram shackle structure on the perimeter of mit.
11:02 am
it was called a palace and-- >> with nine noble lawyeriets. >> the sheer crepeyne nesnes nn- crappiness of it, and occasionally a window would blow out down the street and they would steal each other's electricity through pipes overhead. one time he did an experiment with a cat. i don't know. and ray says -- ray says they were an odd bunch, but they were free to experiment and his first prototype was a meter and a half. and one of his colleagues said what you're doing is nothing, it's going to amount to nothing. and if the sun blew up. you wouldn't be able to-- and he says it's true. i'd be better looking out my
11:03 am
window and he realized it would have to be three times bigger, bigger than the campus, bigger and the city, bigger than the town. >> and the book really looks at the hero moment from the genius myth from that moment. and you've revealed the slow incremental buildup of personhood within an individual life that amounts to the spark we call genius, and it's the sciences and the amounting to eventually, after abdicated the most tragic-- not the most, certainly the most tragic fellow in the book. the first to try to build an instrument to detect gravitational rays. >> joe's story is difficult so even before there was ray, and kip and ron and before this was idea, there was joe weber. and joe weber was like the
11:04 am
shackleton of physics, he was almost the first. he was almost -- he had some of the original ideas for the mazer, the predecessor to the laser, but was not part of the noble winning prize team for the laser. and he had nobel prize ideas and sort of missed it. he had something to measure something in the microwave astronomically, the first detection of the light left over from the big banning. when it came to gravitational waves, he struck out before-- not struck out, but like a pioneer. and they were engenius, but they were not capable of detecting gravitational waves in their form. he believed they were, he believed they were ringing all the time and he claimed
11:05 am
ripples. >> this is while everybody is partying at woodstock in 1969. >> yes, joe weber is at an obscure physics prospect presenting what could have been the biggest scientific discovery of that era. >> absolutely. he's saying, i'm measuring ripples in this space time. it's not telescopes or picture in the sky, it's more like a tuning forecast ringing in resonance, to space itself. so it's a recording device and he becomes the most famous scientist of the time for about two years, webber bars, as they were described, are everywhere. they start building them in scotland, in japan and even put some of joe's instruments on the moon and suddenly in moscow. suddenly the skies are quiet for everybody else and so, after about two years, the entire community turns against him and it's a very difficult and painful year and he spends the next 25, 30 years essential i defending himself.
11:06 am
>> they go vicious, not that they turn against him, he becomes the butt of every joke. and we should look at graph evaluation aa a evaluational-- gravitation gravitational is so important. >> since galileo we've watched the universe. >> we take pictures. >> there's an entire different world of sound that could reveal things that were important. when galileo was looking up at the universe, the telescope of his time was so primitive, he didn't know that galaxies existed. >> and 95% of the universe is dark, the revelation of the past 15 years, less than 5% of the universe is luminous, so we can take pictures and it looks like this universe full of stars in our galaxy, as many galaxies in the observable, and
11:07 am
it's a beautiful world. but actually 95% of the universe is not luminous, you cannot take a picture of it, it's dark. the only way we might detect some of this stuff is through the effect it has on space and time and gravitational waves are these ripples in space and time. so when the black holes move, for instance, they ring. it's like the ringing of the drum they record the sound of the drum and almost like the body of instrument playing of an electric guitar. >> that's why everybody was so excited about joe weber. what happened, he fell from grace and ligos is being built. and joe weber is a one man show with his janitor and his end,
11:08 am
it's heartbreaking, he's suffering from leukemia and one winter morning he goes to clean the lab because he's the janitor, he slips on the ice and falls and never recovers. >> he's not found for days. and it's a very, very tough story that the gravitational wave observatory sign is there and it's blanched by weather and reveals when people ask you how are you maintaining your facility he shows his wallet to indicate how he's maintaining his facility. but i think that now people are coming around to say the right things about joe weber. >> well, he was credited in the light of the discovery was announced in. >> which i loved. it meant a lot they did that. the very first discovery paper of this discovery of the century, possibly. they cite in the introductory paragraph that joe weber is the pioneer of gravitational web science. >> that's wonderful, his wife, virginia, who is also an astronomers, she, i think is the most likeable and unusual
11:09 am
character in the book, but she has one line where she says to you, science is a self-correcting process not necessarily in one's lifetime. and it's just, oh, you know? >> yeah. >> but your novel, a madman dreams of machines, based on lives of alan tearing and curtle has two tragic heroes. what is the draw in-- all tragic heroes. >> in a way-- >> they're all of us. >> all of us are, but also the notion that tragedy and triumph can co-exist, but not necessarily in the same time scale. and it's playing with the time scales that are at the heart of black hole, the human time scale and the gravitational wave that we detected ultimately. 1.4 billion years ago. >> yes. >> before our civilization existed. you know, so what are the time scales of tragedy and triumph. >> so you mention in the beginning when i finish the book, the discovery hadn't been
11:10 am
made and i printed out a cape -- copy for ray and kip thorne for accuracy, i wanted to make sure there were no factual errors. on the day the gravitational wave struck, it's one of those strange accidents. so if you imagine 1.3 billion years ago two black holes are in their final throes together and execute their final orbit. >> would you like to read the beautiful-- >> is this the opening? the opening was written before. >> this is an opening that describing perform wh-- what happened perfect it happened. >> when i wrote the opening i did not believe the discovery would happen for years and neither did ray, when people told me it will be years before the discovery happens, people told me not to write the book yet, to hold off on it. ray is like what are you going to do if something happens. it's not about, in some sense,
11:11 am
the success, which you perceptively picked up on, but this is the opening paragraph of the book. >> somewhere in the universe, two black holes collide, as heavy as stars, as small as cities. literally black. the complete absence of light. holes, empty who wihollows. they course through thousands of revolutions about the eventually point of contact churning up space and time until they crash and merge into one bigger black hole, an event more powerful than any since the origin of the universe, a trillion times the power of a billion suns. the black holes collide in complete darkness none of the energy exploding from the collision comes out as lightment no telescope will ever see the event. and i think what was remarkable was when they actually detected the two black holes, it was the single largest event we've detected since the origin of the universe.
11:12 am
more energy, more power came out of that collision than the power of all the suns shining in the universe combined at that moment. and yet, it was a completely dark event, and the only detector that recorded it was this detector ligo 1.3 billion years coming from the southern do sky this essentially sound is recorded in a machine in the coast of louisiana and scoots 7 milliseconds across the continent until it rings in washington with the same sound. >> astonishingly einstein wrote the mathematical model of this in the fall of 1915. the detection happened exactly a century later in the fall of 2015. this is incredible. nobody can believe that because ray kept like a madman, in his 80's by now, walking up and down the tunnels of the 4
11:13 am
kilometer long incident. and so many people people said we better ask ray. ray was pushing, i want it, i want this and he would be okay if i can't have that the anniversary of another paper in 2018. everyone was telling him, ray, it's not going to happen. it's never going to happen in 2015. one of the most touching parts, sentences in the book comes toward the end. you're sitting across from roy-- robbie. >> one of the directors of ligos, one of the champions of it, flawed in his own way and dedicated. an 80-some-year-old man sitting in the academic dingy office and you say, he looked at me from behind wilted orchids, and it just captures the whole-- this is these men's lives. >> yes. >> and no sense, no sense it's going to be a success or not. >> robbie eventually was fired
11:14 am
from the project and for the past 25 years he's had an office on the same floor as the ligo people and doesn't speak to them and they don't speak to them. >> robbie is an intimidating man. when some of my friends heard i was going to meet robbie? are you sure you're going to be okay? he's a big man, a german prisoner of war and emigrated to the united states and has a hatred of authority because of his experience under the nazi regime. >> and once again the formative character. >> that's right, he hates authority, but becomes an authority and there are several things he said to me through the wilted orchids, which are painful. when they discover gravitational waves it won't be me that he's ousted from the project and says about himself as an authority, he says, that
11:15 am
he never strove for power because power corrupts you. and it's almost like a statement about himself. >> a very poignant remark in this day and age. >> yeah. >> yeah, it's very difficult because he talks about, also, how cal tech was in some sense more of his country than either germany or the u.s. and science was what he wants to be known for, not what he endured in germany in the first 15 years of his life, which was difficult years and not, you know, in some sense even as an immigrant, but as this leader of science. >> and that's the other beautiful undertone to the book, that it's this manifesto for science as a unifying force because, you know, with thousands of scientists around the world, have collaborated and i keep thinking that this is one of the last recordings of einstein's voice where he talks about the common language of science, this is who he-- it's a recording from the peek
11:16 am
of world war ii and he's making the case for science. it's the only real thing around which humanity can converge and we'll stand here today in a very divided time and you have to think, you know, this language is still there. >> it's why-- i mean, what you say is so important because it's why we have to be very upset if our leaders say things like i don't believe in science. it's not an option to believe or not believe in science and the fact that it's -- [applause] >> and i -- on the day when they announced this major discovery, which, you know, it's hard to understand what, even if we talked about this just the science of it for an hour, it's hard to understand about you for 24 hours it felt like the world stood still to look up at the sky and to like have some feeling of recognition that we're all under the same sky. i was doing interviews on al-jazeera tv with an
11:17 am
interviewer in qatar, there was a moment we're taking a pause to acknowledge that this is global, and world-wide and there's something that's exactly what it is about science that got me into it in the first place, that it is trance transcendent. it doesn't matter what language you speak or what era it is. >> and amid the practical applications, because people as you say have a hard time understanding something that you can't pinpoint to what it's going to be used for. >> right. >> and you make this enormous elegant case. in a way i was thinking your novel is easier to appreciate tearing as a tragic genius than webber. he pioneered the computer and we've seen-- i have the application. >> you have the universal machine on your lap. >> but with webber, we have no idea where gravitational astronomy is going to take us,
11:18 am
just as people give this example of einstein's general relativity is why we have gps though most of us would not have found our way into this room or town without einstein. >> you can thank einstein for uber finding you on the right corner. >> are we going to thank the joe weber and the ligo team that we can't envision with the tools of consciousness that we have right now. >> it's exactly true. but there is something-- the fact that we are the most importa important, even in our own minds, is really an assumption that a lot of scientists haven't made. and so, for instance, ray, who will always be a hero of mine, said towards the end of, well, what's now the end. book said that he was already thinking about new experiments and bigger machines and what's next. and these are projects that
11:19 am
take decade and ray is in his 80's and says frankly in no uncertain terms. this is what he's working on, it won't be in his lifetime, but it doesn't matter. that's a different attitude. >> in terms of your process and mehta occasion of a writer's festival, and because you said between these roles of expert scientist, reporter, you have a lot of dialog and then novelists, historical novelist. when you wrote these little vignets, childhood in scotland, they come to life in a new way and they bring the larger story to life in a deeper and more if i depositi i-- dimensional way. i owe that to the people who talk to me. for a while i didn't have enough on drevar, he's not well and is in a home where he's
11:20 am
lived for a few years so you can't talk to him, and you can't interview him and there were a handful of tapes of interviews from the '90s. it wasn't rich enough. i didn't have on him what i had on, let's say kip, and ray. and then after a lot of pushing and pushing people and pushing people who knew people, i got in touch with his brother, ian, who is this incredibly, affable and charming scottishman, a doctor who cares for his brother and just told me everything. i mean, it was incredible and once ian started talking, i thought, i have it. >> do you think he was more receptive to talking because he thought he was talk to go a fellow scientist versus a novelist, usually more reserved if you wore your novelist hat? >> i don't know, he was just such a generous spirit and very different from his brother who i think was very difficult to talk to, very hard to talk to and pin down and would not have
11:21 am
given the description. you know, ian describes being in charge of his brother, even though he was three years the junior and taking care of his brother, always, always having to make sure he was okay and where he was going, but they loved him. they -- ian said something, it was only later in my life i realized what a vortex our entire family had around ron and his peculiar genius and his difficult, difficult temperament. but he had an enormous generosity towards his brother. this is before the discovery so there weren't reporters calling him all the time and inviewing him. you couldn't have found a wikipedia page on ron or on the internet. it was the first time for him to talk about their childhood and beautiful detail and it was good luck in a way that, you know, that he was that kind. >> and throughout the book you
11:22 am
have this wonderful sympathetic curiosity about the brilliant imperfect people. they are contrasting people and nobody is kind of this saintly character, except maybe ray, who is likeable. >> ray swears a lot. ray is-- ray wouldn't describe himself that way. ray is a tough guy, gets the job done and doesn't always say polite things about other people. but when i went to him and i showed him the book. i was worried he would object to some of the stuff that was unflattering or where people said hostile things about ligo, the campaign especially before it succeeded so they're feeling vulnerable. he would say, i don't like this, i don't like this in your book, but it's true so you can keep it. >> only a scientist would say that.
11:23 am
>> that's exactly what i would say, he's a scientist until the end. he doesn't like it. i have a line in the book where ray says, yep, it's all true, unfortunately it's in the public record and it doesn't have to be in your book, but i felt it did. he was like okay, i can do it. >> and this message that science is this largest of all aspirations pan people sublimate that, in the course of it-- first of all, let's describe what it looks like. it's impressive. >> yeah, so ligo. >> it stance for laser interfuhromet interfuhrometer-- >> ligo is in the shape of an l. there's a laser that's split and shines down two arms of the
11:24 am
lft. >> which are four kilometer longs each, vacuums tubes. >> one of the difficult parts of the experiment is drawing the vacuum. the vacuum creates two of the largest holes in the earth's atmosphere, less stuff in those tubes than in interstellar space. it was drawn in 1998. if the vacuum is broken they say things to me like we'd all go home, that it would be it. you can't just redraw empty space that large. so, the light shines down the l and bounces off these spectacular mirrors at the end of the l's and the mirrors are completely transparent to the human eye, stunning. we wouldn't call them mirrors to the human eye. they look like perfectly transparent glass, but to the laser lights they're like 99.99% reflective. so the lasers bounces off the mirror and to the apex. it's space time changes if a
11:25 am
wave passes that the mirrors would bob on the waves and the laser light keeps account of where the mirrors are. if the light comes down to the apex and i traveled down the distance on one of the arms and it makes a recording of it. the they listen to the detector in the control room and they listen to it as noise. and the gravitational wave if it passes will cause the mirrors to oscillate in a very characteristic way, very characteristic sound. the most extraordinary thing in terms of the practicality of it is that we have this incredibly sophisticated instrument that's been decades in the making, really, really impressive and meanwhile, they brush with every kind of natural and human disaster. you know? they have a wasps nest in the belly of the instrument. almost had a bat infestation at
11:26 am
the louisiana site. >> apparently the urine from spiders or wasps is corrosive to stainless steel. so it was causing-- apparently you can't make a swimming pool out of stainless steel because of the chlorine and apparently there are tiny holes coming in this incredibly important vac um. so they were leaking and ray was the first person to walk the four clkilometer tube and found these. >> science is not separate from life. it is life, it is nature and i mean, the whole history of modern kosomology is true, the cosmic microwaves were discovered because two guys were cleaning pigeon poop off it and that's how we know about
11:27 am
the big banning. >> they kept brushing off the pidgeons and they kept coming back. and eventually they shot it and turns out it wasn't pigeon pooh, it was beginning of the universe. >> and ligo, for one of the original nuclear weapons, the security guard was driving around in the middle of the night on this shrub steep deserty place in the total darkness and crashes into one of the tunnels, breaking his arm. but thankfully, sorry, not breaking the vacuum. they were shot up by hunters in louisiana. >> they had creationists meeting across the street to ban evolution being taught in the classroom across the street from ligo. >> one of the heads of the sate said to the europeans we just look foe typically american. all we need is a hamburger incident and it will be complete. i'm sensing, are we on time?
11:28 am
>> you're not out of time. i've been instructed not to necessarily stop your conversation, but we would be giving up q & a. so, i want to-- i want a show of hands. do we have questions out here or shall we let these brilliant women keep talking? >> i think he can incorporate the questions, we'll keep taking questions and then we have about eight minutes. >> okay. >> okay. thank you. >> thank you so much. >> i think there's a microwave. yeah. >> yeah, there's a line-- a mic stand in the center. >> hello. >> hi. >> when two black holes collide, it seems like they'd give off gravity waves for at least a week. what makes it just a fraction of a second? >> oh, it's a really important question. so the first generation of instruments was built in the year 2000 and it was a very sophisticated instrument, but it heard nothing. you can imagine where they are on this stage. 50th year they're building the second generation of
11:29 am
instruments installed in august 2015 over the period of a year and a half and the first time it's really operational is when it recorded the gravitational waves from these black holes. as you said it only recorded the final 1/5 of a second before they merged. the problem is that they might have been orbitting for a billion years for all we know. that means when the first generational machines were operational that was sloshing over the earth. the problem was, it's not loud enough. as the black holes get closer and close in the final seconds. >> it's like on a drum and ligo had the best sensitivity. that's what happened. they could have recorded possibly years of it had it been louder. it's only one second that it's loud enough to hear. >> and with the black holes,
11:30 am
their horizons meet and a traction of a second. >> it makes a big bigger black hole. and then it rings down, rings away the lump's and bump, black holes are like perfect objects. if there's a black hole 62 times the mass of the sun. it will sit there quietly. >> and it happens in a fraction of a second. >> the final, as soon as the event horizons merge, it's very fast, where it shakes off the lumps and imperfections you can imagine by having two round things together and the perfect black hole is very fast. you can hear what we call the ring sound in the data. you can hear it shed away and that's one of the things that's so stunning about the prediction that it's the final black hole. >> thank you so much for being here. i'm a high school language arts teacher and i love to integrate science writing into my classroom, but i am fighting
11:31 am
with my boss this moment and i was hoping you could give me the best line to say to him. the issue is, there's, of course, an enormous emphasis on stem instruction on every school district and i would never dispute the relevance and the essential role it has in education. in my particular situation, the higher ups are stripping funding from language arts and humanities to fund even more stem. i've told him you cannot separate science instruction from narrative communication. >> do you have a thought? so much of what maria does is synthesis across so many disciplines. >> i think it's hard to answer to a systemic problem that separates science from the rest of culture and the rest of knowledge, but one thing i think that's important for
11:32 am
people teaching science and also for the administration of the department that teach science to communicate and to understand is that we live with these hierarchies of information which needs to be transmitted muted into knowledge, transmuted into wisdom. science is the base of the pair mid. without the knowledge and discovery of information and without the people who can draw knowledge out of that information and trans mute that into wisdom, we would be primitive. i think that making sure that this is understood that it's inseparab inseparable, that language and science together are how we move through the hierarchy of understanding it's important. >> i would also just, responding to that say that it's just very sad to take away from one to think that that's the way to do it to give to the other. it's like people who only have
11:33 am
bread and water and saying we can give you more bread, but you can't have any water. and the fight shouldn't be between two essential aspects of human development, it should be that those aren't the two things that should be competing with each other for funding. so it's just very sad that one is coming at the expense of the other. [applaus [applause] >> so, how common an event is this? is this something that's very common and we just got lucky or is it widespread 0 and we finally have the tools to start to detect them? >> the beauty, if you really have to know the universe to answer that question. so many people believed that black holes would not be detected until 2020 because people didn't think that two black holes pairs were common enough. now, everything has been black holes since ligo was on. three events, two were significant.
11:34 am
first one was announced on december 26th there was a second detection and also two black holes colliding beautifully recorded and a third event earlier in the data, not quite as noise, just a little noisy, you didn't hear about it so it's there. it looks like it's all black holes. we're talking in the community, it's all black holes, we're excited. the answers are much more freakily than we thought. you can't see black holes, and the reason we think they exist is because we see them cannibalizing a neighbor and we see what they're doing in their environment. we doesn't see them there. the two black holes are very dark, they're not doing anything to the environment, not tearing apart stars. there are no other ways to detect them. they're more populous than we thought and it might be that we detect black holes colliding every month that ligo is
11:35 am
operational. >> and there's unknowable versus what is unknown. when einstein first envisioned those, a lot of this was unthinkable and not known and experiment is how we begin to see that we'll have to keep looking. astro physics to me is just so fascinating because it arises from the most elemental nature of reality, but it's no ripe with metaphor for so much. >> and i think we did evolve under a sky that we can see. it's part of our evolutiony process to be conscious animals that respect on what else is out there. it's just, it's just part of our nature. >> i want to close with this beautiful line that you have you say the golden age of relativity encouraged the day dream of a cosmos plentiful and at first unseen.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on