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: ok....so are there any growth patterns....that the universe seems to favor...because of the fundamental laws......?
    Is it possible to trace the fundamental asymmetries/symmetries all the way back....to the initial high entropy state.....and say ok....this particle(higgs boson for example) arose from this form...and then from then on....evolve all the emergent types of growth...into higher complexity forms.....
    i guess my question...if it makes sense....is did form or content come first.....or both together.....(I studied music...so I really dont have much technical knowledge)
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      May 19 2011: I think you have to distinguish between entropy, which characterizes the particular configuration a system is in, and the underlying laws of physics, which give you the building blocks of different systems. In the current way we understand physics, the Higgs boson and so forth are really built into the fundamental structure of reality. It's just a matter of actually bringing it to life, which we're trying to do (for example) at the Large Hadron Collider.
      • May 19 2011: so does....symmetry/asymmetry and the compression of information....in the fundamental laws....play a role.....in those configurations.......so that say an anti proton / proton mixture.....such as those in a neutron star....might have less or more entropy....based on the fundamental laws...
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          May 19 2011: It plays some role, yes. Entropy counts the number of configurations that look the same, and the number of configurations certainly depends on the fundamental laws of physics.

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