Category Archives: Science

Father of the Big Bang

Georges Lemaître died fifty years ago today, on 20 June 1966. If anyone deserves the title “Father of the Big Bang,” it would be him. Both because he investigated and popularized the Big Bang model, and because he was an … Continue reading

Posted in Science | 52 Comments

Did LIGO Detect Dark Matter?

It has often been said, including by me, that one of the most intriguing aspects of dark matter is that provides us with the best current evidence for physics beyond the Core Theory (general relativity plus the Standard Model of … Continue reading

Posted in arxiv, Science | 62 Comments

Gravitational Waves at Last

ONCE upon a time, there lived a man who was fascinated by the phenomenon of gravity. In his mind he imagined experiments in rocket ships and elevators, eventually concluding that gravity isn’t a conventional “force” at all — it’s a manifestation of … Continue reading

Posted in Science | 91 Comments

Guest Post: Grant Remmen on Entropic Gravity

“Understanding quantum gravity” is on every physicist’s short list of Big Issues we would all like to know more about. If there’s been any lesson from last half-century of serious work on this problem, it’s that the answer is likely … Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Science | 10 Comments

Quantum Fluctuations

[View the story “Quantum Fluctuations” on Storify]

Posted in Science | 41 Comments

The Big Picture: Table of Contents

Greetings, surface-dwellers! I have finally emerged from the secret underground laboratory where I have been polishing the manuscript for The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. We pushed up the publication date to May … Continue reading

Posted in Big Picture, Philosophy, Science, Words | 40 Comments

Thanksgiving

This year we give thanks for an area of mathematics that has become completely indispensable to modern theoretical physics: Riemannian Geometry. (We’ve previously given thanks for the Standard Model Lagrangian, Hubble’s Law, the Spin-Statistics Theorem, conservation of momentum, effective field … Continue reading

Posted in Math, Science | 15 Comments

The Universe Never Expands Faster Than the Speed of Light

Breaking my radio silence here to get a little nitpick off my chest: the claim that during inflation, the universe “expanded faster than the speed of light.” It’s extraordinarily common, if utterly and hopelessly incorrect. (I just noticed it in … Continue reading

Posted in Science | 140 Comments

The Big Picture

Once again I have not really been the world’s most conscientious blogger, have I? Sometimes other responsibilities have to take precedence — such as looming book deadlines. And I’m working on a new book, and that deadline is definitely looming! … Continue reading

Posted in Big Picture, Personal, Philosophy, Religion, Science, Words | 59 Comments

The Bayesian Second Law of Thermodynamics

Entropy increases. Closed systems become increasingly disordered over time. So says the Second Law of Thermodynamics, one of my favorite notions in all of physics. At least, entropy usually increases. If we define entropy by first defining “macrostates” — collections of … Continue reading

Posted in arxiv, Science, Time | 49 Comments