TED Conversations

Sean Carroll

theoretical physicist,


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LIVE TED Conversation: Join TED Speaker Sean Carroll

LIVE conversation with cosmologist Sean Carroll, TEDxCaltech Speaker and author of From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time.

The conversation will open at 4pm (Eastern Standard Time), May 19, 2011. Sean is on vacation in Las Vagas, and will join us from his hotel room there to discuss the cosmos, the nature of time, and the science of poker.


Closing Statement from Sean Carroll

Thanks for participating, everyone! I hope some light was shed. It's been a pleasure chatting with the TED community.

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  • May 19 2011: Hi. My question is a little off track.....but I think it has to do with the idea of entropy just not on the cosmological scale. I recently watched a youtube video by a physicist at the University of Boulder. (Albert Bartlett) His talk was basically about how we often fail to understand exponential growth, in regards to population, and economies. I read your book "The Arrow of Time", and I can not claim to have absorbed or understood all of the implications of the thought experiments; however, i found the part about entropies relation to complexity....and maxwells demon's relation to life to be some of the most mind blowing parts that I read. I wonder if you could elaborate a connection between those concepts and exponential growth(if there is any).......i figured because of the relationship of thermodynamics....to the consumption of resources that there is one........
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      May 19 2011: Exponential growth is important -- but so are other kinds of evolution that start off exponential and turn into something complete different, such as yeast growth curves. The universe is a complex place, and we should be open to all sorts of possibilities, rather than finding one favorite idea and applying it too indiscriminately.

      But you're right, the connection between entropy, complexity, and life is endlessly fascinating.

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