What do we really know about the universe? What mysteries are today's top cosmologists investigating? Join a discussion with leading cosmologists to hear fresh perspectives on some of the deepest questions in modern science: What is the mysterious dark matter that fills intergalactic space? Was there another universe before the big bang, and what will happen to ours in the distant future?
The search for the origins of species has entailed a series of great adventures over the past 200 years. This talk will chronicle the exploits of a group of explorers who walked where no one had walked, saw what no one had seen, and thought what no one else had thought. Their achievements sparked a revolution that changed, profoundly and forever, our perception of the living world and our place within it.
Commitment to space travel has ebbed and flowed. Physicist Stephen Hawking believes the way to ensure human survival is to continue space exploration. Critics of space travel argue that Planet Earth is in dire need of our attention and resources right now. Is there a trade-off between going to space and fighting climate change, overpopulation and other earthly concerns? Be part of the live studio audience for this special edition of TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin.
Three profound transformations are under way on Earth right now. Climate change is real and is pushing us toward managing the planet as a whole. Urbanization—half the world’s population now lives in cities, and eighty percent will by midcentury—is altering humanity’s land impact and wealth. And biotechnology is becoming the world’s dominant engineering tool. In light of these changes, environmentalists are going to have to reverse some longheld opinions and embrace tools that they have traditionally distrusted.
This discussion explores the promise and perils of thenext 50 years. Can humanity, heading toward a population of approximatley 9 billion, advance economically without overheating the planet? Can food and water supplies be sustained without erasing what's left of wild nature?
Quantum gravity, quantum processes in the early universe, evaporation of black holes, limits on the measurements made by real detectors (coupled to the environment), and with regards to mathematical problems, studying techniques rather than finding solutions.
The global warming
crisis is part of a bigger transformation in which humanity realizes that the
Earth is a finite system and that our population, energy usage, and the like
cannot continue to grow exponentially. While politics and economics pose the
biggest challenges, physicists are in a good position to help make this
transition a bit easier. After a quick review of the problems, we discuss a few
ways physicists can help.
Using results from models of the atmosphere/ocean/sediment carbon cycle, the impacts of fossil-fuel CO2 release will be examined including the effect on climate many thousands of years into the future, rather than for just a few centuries as commonly claimed. Prof. Archer will explain how aspects of the Earth system, such as the growth or melting of the great ice sheets, the thawing of permafrost, and the release of methane from the methane hydrate deposits in the deep ocean, take thousands of years to respond to a change in climate.
Sixty-five million years ago dinosaurs ruled the warm Cretaceous Earth. Without warning, this world was swept away forever by the impact of an asteroid about 15 km in diameter, leaving a huge scar now called the Chicxulub crater in Yucatan, Mexico. This catastrophe set the stage for the ascendance of our own biological group, the mammals. Although the fact of this impact is now established beyond doubt, the precise means by which an impact could wipe out such a large fraction of the Earth\'s inhabitants is not fully understood.