Explorations With Dr. Michio Kaku - December 25, 2001

Program Title:
Explorations With Dr. Michio Kaku - December 25, 2001
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

Explorations with Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York, science program. Content: GUEST: Dr. Kaku invites Dr. CLIFFORD A. PICKOVER of IBM, and author of "The Stars of Heaven"[Oxford U., 2001; ISBN0195148746] to discuss the night sky, astral phenomena such as Quasars, Supernovae, the Big Bang in terms of scientific and philosophical viewpoints. Specific topics and biographical figures addressed in the interview are: French Philosopher August Comte and his claim that science would never know what stars are made of 1) The sun, it's composition and energy source (nuclear fusion) 2) stellar evolution, white and brown dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes 3) George Gamow and techniques used to identify dead stars hundreds of light years away 4) Jocelyn Bell, pulsars, and politics behind proper recognition for work and the Nobel Prize 5) The black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy 6) Gamma-Ray Bursters and colliding black holes 7) The effects of falling into a black hole 8) The creation of heavy elements o Olber's Paradox 9) Inflationary theory, the accelerating expansion of the universe, and notion that the universe may not have an "edge" 10) Freeman Dyson and thoughts on physical reality 11) The Anthropic Principle 12) Fundamental physical constants, "tuning of the universe" and theological interpretation of a "universal design" factor implying the existence of god 13) Cosmological Darwinism and the Multiverse as it relates to our post Copernican placement within a possible infinity of universes 14) Limitations of the human mind to comprehend infinities and determining what is "special" 15) Einstein and notion of an omnipresent god of order versus a biblical god of intervention 16) Resources Cited: www.pickover.com Other topics covered: The World Meteorological Organization has determined that with an average global temperature of 57.2 degrees Fahrenheit, the year 2001 is the second hottest year ever recorded in the history of science going back 100,000 years. Also cited are the root causes of global warming and how it may adversely affect the environment. Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have released a report indicating that the number of "White Christmases" have dropped dramatically since the 1960's. Statistics from 16 cities show that during the 1960's residents experienced 78 "White Christmases" as compared to only 39 in the 1990's. Though the trend is not conclusive proof of the greenhouse effect, it is consistent with other data that supports the reality of the phenomenon. NASA is slated to send the "Kepler" satellite into outer space sometime in 2006 to begin its mission of searching for earth-like planets orbiting other star systems. The probe will continuously monitor 100,000 stars simultaneously and scan each one for a periodic diminution in light intensity that would indicate a planet has crossed in front it. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has earmarked $800,000 for a program to distribute potassium iodide in response to possible threats encountered by forms of nuclear terrorism. The compound would saturate and protect the thyroid gland from absorbing radioactive iodine-131, but would not offer any protection for other organs or from other radioactive isotopes like cesium-137 or strontium-90. The only way to reduce the potential for nuclear terrorism is by closing down commercial nuclear power plants. Researchers at IBM's Almaden Research Center have developed a quantum computer that is able to factorize the number 15 into 3 and 5. The quantum computer makes calculations on individual atoms using multiple orientations and states instead of just two used by a binary digital computer. In 20-50 years time, true quantum computers may become the ultimate code cracking devices given their innate ability to factorize huge numbers.

Date Recorded on: 
December 25, 2001
Date Broadcast on: 
December 25, 2001
Item duration: 
60 min.
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Los Angeles, Pacifica Radio Archive, 2001
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