It's All Relative

Presenter: Seth Shostak, SETI Institute
When: June 15, 2015 12PM PDT

A century ago, Albert Einstein rewrote our understanding of physics with his Theory of General Relativity. Our intuitive ideas about space, time, mass, and gravity turned out to be wrong.

Find out how this masterwork changed our understanding of how the universe works and why you can thank Einstein whenever you turn on your GPS.

Also, high-profile experiments looking for gravitational waves and for black holes will put the theories of the German genius to the test – will they pass?

And why the story of a box, a Geiger counter, and a zombie cat made Einstein and his friend Erwin Schrödinger uneasy about the quantum physics revolution.

Guests:

Jeffrey Bennett – Astronomer, author of What Is Relativity?: An Intuitive Introduction to Einstein’s Ideas, and Why They Matter
Beverly Berger – Theoretical physicist and the Secretary for the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation
Hiawatha Bray – Technology reporter, Boston Globe, author of You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves
Paul Halpern – Physicist at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, author of Einstein’s Dice and Schrödinger’s Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics

Big Picture Science

  • The Big Picture Science radio show and podcast engages the public with astrobiology through lively and intelligent storytelling. Science radio doesn’t have to be dull. The only dry thing about our program is the humor. Big Picture Science takes on big questions by interviewing leading researchers and weaving together their stories of discovery in a clever and off-kilter narrative style.
  • Subscribe to this series

Other Seminars in this Series