Carlo Rovelli on why time is not what it seemsThe Life Scientific Carlo Rovelli first became interested in the nature of time when he took LSD as a young man. Later he became curious about the world of the almost absurdly small, where time has no meaning and space is grainy. He took seven years to complete his undergraduate degree, having spent a lot of time protesting against the political establishment, falling in love and travelling. An extended hippy trip across north America was, he says, perhaps the most useful time of his life. All this rebelling taught him the value of seeing the world in a different way and the benefits of challenging the status quo. In the end he concluded it was easier, and more meaningful, to challenge Einstein's understanding of time, than it was to overthrow the government. He's a theoretical physicist who became a household name when his book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics became an unexpected international bestseller. His concise, and poetic, introduction to the laws and beauty of physics has sold more than a million copies. He's also a pioneer of one of the most exciting and profound ideas in modern physics, called loop quantum gravity. Early in his research career, he rejected more mainstream approaches to unifying physics (string theory for example) in favour of trying to understand the quantum nature of gravity. No one in Italy was working on this when he started to think about it in the early 1980s, and his PhD thesis was effectively unsupervised. The quantum world he studies is a billion trillion times smaller than the smallest atomic nucleus. When understood at this absurdly tiny scale, the world is 'a frenzied swarming of quanta that appear and disappear'. It makes no sense to talk about time as we understand it, or even things. The world is made up of a network of interacting events, 'kisses not stones', that are linked together by loops. And the evidence that's needed to prove the theory of loop quantum gravity will be found by studying the white holes that emerge when a black hole dies. Producer: Anna Buckley. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b1r1cw
another physicist on bbc radio 4 today. ---------- Tej Lalvani on Richard Feynman Great Lives Richard Feynman was a physicist who helped design the atomic bomb and won the Nobel Prize. He is the great life choice of businessman Tej Lalvani CEO of his family business Vitabiotics and the newest Dragon on the BBC show Dragon's Den. Feynman was also regarded as something of an eccentric and a free spirit who had a passion for playing the bongos. Helping to make the case for this great life Tej is joined by the expert witness David Berman, Professor of Theoretical Physics at Queen Mary University of London. The presenter is Matthew Parris and the producer is Perminder Khatkar. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b0pwgl
carlo on `start the week` - bbc radio 4. abridged version of programme broadcast tonight at 21.30 hours. The Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli delves into the meaning of time. He tells Andrew Marr how we live in a timeless world but have evolved to perceive time's flow. The astrophysicist Carole Mundell is interested in the extragalactic. Her studies of the universe beyond our Milky Way help expand knowledge of cosmic black holes and explain powerful explosions in space. Space travel is the new frontier, but exactly 250 years ago the Endeavour set sail from Plymouth seeking to test the limits of scientific understanding. An exhibition at the British Library, curated by Laura Walker, tells the story of Captain Cook's world-changing voyages and their studies into the skies, seas and lands beyond our shores. And the marine biologist Helen Scales is more interested in exploring the world beneath the oceans. Her latest book marvels at the wonders of fish, from centuries-old giants to tiny restless travellers moving in shoals across our globe. Producer: Katy Hickman Carlo Rovelli is an author and theoretical physicist who has made significant contributions to the physics of space and time. He is currently directing the quantum gravity research group of the Centre de Physique Théorique in France The Order of Time (Translated by Simon Carnell and Erica Segre) is published by Allen Lane. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b0lz7l
carlo on `start the week` - bbc radio 4 : https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b0lz7l
Read Seven Brief Lessons last year, great little read.