Big Picture Science
March 18, 2019: Hawkingravity
Stephen Hawking felt gravity’s pull. His quest to understand this feeble force spanned his career, and he was the first to realize that black holes actually disappear – slowly losing the mass of everything they swallow in a dull, evaporative glow called Hawking radiation.
But one of gravity’s deepest puzzles defied even his brilliant mind. How can we connect theories of gravity on the large scale to what happens on the very small? The Theory of Everything remains one of the great challenges to physicists.
Also, the latest on deciphering the weirdness of black holes and why the gravitational wave detector LIGO has added colliding neutron stars to its roster of successes.
Plus, a fellow physicist describes Dr. Hawking’s extraordinary deductive abilities and what it was like to collaborate with him. And, a surprise awaits Molly when she meets a local string theorist to discuss his search for the Theory of Everything.
Leonard Mlodinow – physicist and author of “The Grand Design” with Stephen Hawking, and most recently, “Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change.”
Janna Levin – Physicist and astronomer, Barnard College, Columbia University, and the author of, “Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space.”
Richard Camuccio – Graduate research assistant at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy, a LIGO collaborator.
Wahltyn Rattray – Grad-student, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Center for Gravitational Wave Astronomy.
Raphael Bousso – Physicist, Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics, University of California-Berkeley.