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.

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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: Conceptually, Dr. Carroll, that the universe is more likely to manifest an apple pie, rather than an orchard, some sugar, an oven, and then from these an apple pie, makes sense to me. This is an example of the random fluctuations of matter and energy in our universe - and furthermore that all possible "states" will one day be achieved. IF time is not circular but infinite, then do all of the finite configurations only happen once? I.e. If we detonate a bomb (one could substitute 'universe' here), which scatters its material far and wide, could a future configuration ever include the exact same bomb?
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      May 19 2011: This is a very good questions that cosmologists are currently tackling, known as "the measure problem." In an infinite universe, it's very possible that everything that can happen actually does happen, infinitely many times. But if two things happen infinitely often, which is more likely? Of course we answer questions like this all the time, but in the case of an infinite universe the rules are just not clear right now. But we're trying. (And of course the universe might not be infinite after all.)

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