Alan checks out this year’s Kavli Prizes and discovers how figuring out why hot peppers are hot could lead to new pain killing drugs; how putting a tiny black hole in your gas tank would give you a mileage of a billion miles per gallon; and why giving a new generation of electron microscopes the ability to see atoms was a little like being able to see inside a baking cake while it’s still in the oven.
He’s a Nobel and Kavli prizewinner for his role in what’s been described as one of humanity’s greatest scientific achievements – the detection of ripples in the fabric of space. He can also explain what that means! Kip Thorne is deeply committed to communicating science, even bringing it before the public by working with artists and filmmakers. Including, more than once, with Alan Alda.
Alan sits down with physicist Brian Greene in front of a virtual audience to talk about how Brian sees himself (and you and me) as nothing more than an ephemeral cluster of particles in a dying universe—and how that gives him a deep sense of gratitude for his own existence. Along with wonder at how other mere collections of particles can compose the 9th Symphony or write Hamlet.