Lawrence Krauss

  • Aired:  06/21/12
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Cosmologist Lawrence Krauss discusses his book "A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing." (7:21)

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A COSMOLOGIST WHOSE NEW TO BE IS ABOUT WHY THERE IS SOMETHING

INSTEAD OF NOTHING.

I'M GUESSING BECAUSE HIS PUBLISHER GAVE HIM A DEADLINE.

PLEASE WELCOME LAWRENCE KRAUT.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ) THANK YOU FOR COMING ON.

LET'S GET THE C.V. OUT HERE.

IT IS NOT UNIMPRESSIVE.

YOU ARE A COSMOLOGIST.

>> NOT A COS MOATOLOGIST.

Stephen: I WAS GOING TOMOATOLOGIST.>> ASK YOU FOR A MANNY-PEDY.

THE NEW BOOK IS CALLED, "A UNIVERSE FROM NOTHING: WHY THERE IS SOMETHING RATHER THAN

NOTHING." A BOOK ABOUT THE ULTIMATE QUESTION.

>> UH-HUH.

>> Stephen: OKAY, DOCTOR,

SWEEP AWAY THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF MYSTERY AND AWE AT CREATION THAT LET THE GREET MINDS IN

CIVILIZATIONS ALL OVER THE WORLD TO LEAD TO ONE POINT-- A SINGLE DIVINE LOVING CREATOR.

DESTROY IT.

WHY IS THERE SOMETHING INSTEAD OF NOTHING?

>> IT'S REALLY EASY, BECAUSE NOTHING IS UNSTABLE.

IN FACT, THERE'S NO EVIDENCE FOR ANYIDATEY.

EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT THE LAWS OF PHYSICS, WHICH ARE REMARKABLE AND HAVE CHANGED

EVERYTHING ABOUT THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT THE UNIVERSE WHAT,

NOTHING IS AND WHAT SOMETHING IS-- THIS TABLE HERE IS MOSTLY EMPTY SPACE.

>> Stephen: THIS TABLE COST ME $500.

YOU TELLING ME I GOT RIPPED OFF?

( LAUGHTER ) LET'S GO BACK, GO BACK A SECOND,

OKAY.

NOTHING IS UNSTABLE.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT NOTHING IS UNSTABLE.

NOTHING IS NOTHINGNESS.

>> PHYSICS HAS CHANGED WHAT WE MEAN BY NOTHING.

NOTHING IS AN EMPTY SPACE, A BOILING, BUBBLING BREW OF VIRTUAL PARTICLES POPPING IN AND

OUT OF EXISTENCE.

>> Stephen: THAT'S NOT NOTHING.

THAT'S SOMETHING.

WHY ARE THOSE VIRTUAL PARTICLES THERE?

BECAUSE OF LAWS OF QUANTUM MECHANICS AND THEY TELL US EVEN THOUGH YOU CAN TRY AND COUNT AND

SEE WHAT'S THERE IN EMPTY SPACE,

YOU'LL SEE NOTHING BUT IN FACT ONE OF THE BIGGEST MYSTERIES AND

THE REASON I WROTE THE BOOK ONE OF THE GREATEST DISCOVERIES, IN FACT, EMPTY SPACE WEIGHS SOMETHING.

>> Stephen: EMPTY SPACE WEIGHS SOMETHING.

>> IN FACT, IT'S THE DOMINANT STUFF IN THE UNIVERSE.

>> I AM NEVER GOING TO LOSE THOSE LAST FIVE POUNDS.

>> NEVER, AND IN FACT-- WORSE,

BECAUSE IN FACT, UNLIKE NORMAL STUFF YOU MAY HAVE LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL HIGH SCHOOL THAT

GRAVITY SUCKS.

IN FACT IT DOESN'T.

WITH EMPTY SPACE IT'S REPULSIVE AND FORCING THE UNIVERSE TO EXPAND EVER FASTER.

>> Stephen: SO THE NOTHINGNESS IS FORCINGs APART.

>> IT'S FORTHING US APART.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE FORCED APART BUT THE GALAXIES ARE.

>> Stephen: YOU SAY-- YOU SAY-- YOU SAY-- YOU HAVEN'T BEEN

RUBBING ANY OF THAT BABY SHAMPOO ON YOUR HEAD, HAVE YOU, WITH THE T.H.C. IN IT?

>> NO COMMENT, NO COMMENT.

>> Stephen: LEAVE MAY A HAIR SAMPLE.

WE'LL CHECK IT LATER.

OKAY, YOU SAY THERE ARE THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF NOTHING.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: WHAT ARE THE THREE-- I DIDN'T KNOW THERE WAS SUCH A VARIETY.

A SAMPLER PLATTER OF--

>> I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE AN EXPERT ON IT.

>> Stephen: ON NOTHINGNESS?

>> THERE ARE THREE DIFFERENT KINDS OF NOTHING.

FIRST EMPTY SPACE THE NOTHING OF THE BIBLE, AN ETERNAL DARK,

EMPTY VOID --

>> Stephen: YOU MEAN LIKE A TRUE HARD VACUUM.

THAT WOULD BE--

>> MOST PEOPLE WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT WOULD BE NOTHING.

>> Stephen: THAT'S WHAT I THINK NOTHING IS.

FALSE ALARM.

>> BUT THEN IF I TELL THAT YOU KIND OF NOTHING SULTULLY IS UNSTABLE, IF YOU WAIT LONG

ENOUGH, THAT KIND OF NOTHING WILL ALWAYS PRODUCE PARTICLES.

>> Stephen: BY SAYING IT WILL--

>> IF YOU WAIT LONG ENOUGH THE LAWS OF QUANTUM MECHANICS TELL US PARTLES WILL BURP OUT OF

EMPTY SPACE AND FILL UP A UNIVERSE.

>> Stephen: TO ME THAT SOUNDS LIKE THE EMPTY SPACE MAY BE EMPTY TO US BUT IT IS SOME SORT

OF SHEATHE OR MEMBRANE BETWEEN US AND SOME OTHER REALITY.

>> THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THERE UNTIL THERE'S SOMETHING.

>> Stephen: WHAT'S THE SECOND TYPE OF NOTHING?

>> OKAY, IF YOU DON'T BUY THAT,

YOU MIGHT SAY THAT'S NOT NOTHING BECAUSE THERE'S SPACE.

>> Stephen: YEAH.

>> IF YOU APPLY QUANTUM MECHANICS TO GRAVITY, THEN IN FACT SPACE ITSELF BECOMES

DYNAMICAL, AND UNIVERSE AND SPACES THEMSELVES AND TIME CAN POP INTO EXISTENCE WHERE THERE

WAS NONE BEFORE.

>> Stephen: SO IN SOME THEORETICAL END SPACE, BEFORE THE MOMENT OF CREATION, THERE--

THERE-- THERE CAN BE NO TIME AND NO SPACE AND NO ENERGY?

>> AND NO ENERGY, ZERO ENERGY.

>> Stephen: AND SUDDENLY FROM NOWHERE AND FROM NOTHING COMES SOMETHING AND SOMEWHERE.

>> AND IT SOUNDS LIKE THE ULTIMATE FREE LUNCH, AND IT IS.

>> Stephen: IT IS.

>> IT IS.

AND WHAT'S REMARKABLE IS IT'S POSSIBLE WITHOUT ANY SUPER NATURAL SHENANIGANS.

>> Stephen: STOP WITH THAT.

>> WHY?

>> Stephen: WHY DO YOU WHYV-- WHY IS WHAT YOU'RE DOING-- WHATEVER THIS IS-- OBVIOUSLY

BECAUSE I AM NOT IN THE PRIESTHOOD I CAN'T UNDERSTAND THE VALUES ON THE BLACKABOARDS

YOU PEOPLE DOWN-- WHERE ARE YOU?

>> Stephen:

>> THAT'S WHY I WROTE THE BOOK.

>> ARIZONA STATE.

>> Stephen: YOU PREACH OF THEORETICAL PHYSICS.

YOU CAN EXPLAIN TO EACH OTHER WHAT YOU MEAN BY YOUR LANGUAGE OF MASS, AND I HAVE TO TAKE THAT

ON FAITH.

>> NO, IN FACT YOU SHOULD BE SKEPTICAL.

>> Stephen: I AM.

>> I KNOW.

THAT'S WHY I HAD THE ARGUMENTS IN THE BOOK --

>> Stephen: BUT I WILL NEVER READ IT.

YOU SHOULD BUY IT.

>> BUYING IT IS IMPORTANT.

>> Stephen: BUYING IS GOOD.

( APPLAUSE ) WHY DOES WHY-- WHY DOES WHAT

YOU'RE SAYING HAVE TO BE AN ATTACK ON MY GOD.

THAT'S ALL YOU'VE DONE IS ATTACK ATTACK MY GOD THE LAST FEW MINUTES.

>> ALL I SAID IS YOU DON'T NEED HIM.

>>HIM.

>> Stephen: THAT'S AN ATTACK.

>> THE UNIVERSE AS WE UNDERSTAND IT-- WE'VE CHANGED OUR MINDS ABOUT THE UNIVERSE.

WE LEARNED THAT THE UNIVERSE IS MORE REMARKABLE THAN ANYTHING WE EVER THOUGHT BEFORE.

AND IN FACT, CHANGING YOUR MIND AND IN FACT BEING WRONG IS WONDERFUL.

SHU TRY IT SOME TIME.

IT'S REALLY AMAZING.

IT MEANS THAT IT-- IT MEANS THAT-- THE FACT THAT THE UNIVERSE IS MORE REMARKABLE THAN

THE FAIRY TALES THAT WERE TALKED ABOUT BY BRAWN'S-AGE LITERATE PEASANTS BEFORE WE KNEW THE

EARTH ORBITED THE SUN --

>> Stephen: SO YOU BELIEVE THERE'S NO GOD.

>> I DON'T EVEN USE THE WORD "BELIEVE."

>> Stephen: THERE IS NO GOD.

>> THERE'S NO NEED FOR GOD.

>> Stephen: IS THERE GOD?

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

>> THERE'S NO EVIDENCE FOR GOD.

THERE'S NO EVIDENCE FOR GOD.

>> Stephen: LET ME ASK YOU SOMETHING-- IF THERE IS NO GOD,

OKAY, IF THERE IS NO SIN CALLED GOD, IF HE IS NOTHING CAN'T SOMETHING COME FROM HIM?

( APPLAUSE )

>> LAWRENCE KRAUT, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

LAWRENCE KRAUT "THE UNIVERSE FROM GOD." WE'L

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