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: Hello Sean. I know you're leaning towards the multiverse being true, but I wanted to ask a question that assumes that the Universe is all there is (multiverse doesn't exist). It's been explained that the expansion of space is "self-contained" but our intuition of course fails us miserably when trying to visualize this because our brains always assume that an expansion is expanding into some pre-existing volume. Do you know of any way on how to best visualize a "self-contained" expansion?
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      May 19 2011: Sadly, no. The mathematics are perfectly clear and unambiguous, but the translation into words is hard, because as you say this kind of thing is outside our experience. Space is expanding, but it's not expanding "into" anything at all.

      Some people find it helpful to think of space as fixed, and everything in it to be *shrinking*. That's mathematically equivalent and perfectly okay, if it helps you out.

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