Brian Cox

  • Aired:  07/25/11
  •  | Views: 30,268

Particle physicist Brian Cox talks about the future of the universe and the possibility of the Higgs boson particle. (6:46)

EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A PARTICLE

PHYSICIST HERE TO TALK ABOUT HIS

NEW TV SERIES "WONDERS OF THE

UNIVERSE."

I ALREADY KNOW THREE WONDERS,

STEVIE, BREAD AND WOMAN.

PLEASE WELCOME BRIAN COX.

[CHEERING AND APPLAUSE]

HEY, NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN

BRIAN.

ALL RIGHT.

YOU ARE A SMARTY PANTS.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: TELL THE PEOPLE

OUT THERE JUST HOW SMART YOUR

PANTS ARE.

YOU'RE A PARTICLE PHYSICIST,

ROYAL SOCIETY RESEARCH FELLOW AT

THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER

WHERE YOU HOLD A CHAIR IN

PARTICLE PHYSICS.

YOU'RE ABOUT TO PRESENT THE

SECOND INSTALLMENT OF YOUR

PEABODY AWARD-WINNING SERIES

"WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE" JULY

27th, 9:00 P.M. ON THE

SCIENCE CHANNEL.

IT HAS A COMPANION BOOK CALLED

"WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE."

>> YES.

I'LL SETTLE FOR THAT

INTRODUCTION.

THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: WHAT KIND OF

WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE ARE YOU

TALKING ABOUT?

IS THIS LIKE THE SEQUENCE

DESCRIBING THE SHAPE OF A

SUNFLOWER AND THE SHAPE OF A

GALAXY OR LIKE UFOs PAINTED

THE MONA LISA?

WHAT KIND?

>> NEITHER OF THOSE.

>> Stephen: THIS IS BASIC

CABLE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.

>> IT'S A HISTORY OF THE

UNIVERSE REALLY, A HISTORY OF

WHAT WE KNOW OF THE UNIVERSE.

>> Stephen: A SHORT BOOK.

JUST ONE VOLUME?

IT MUST BE IN SONNET FORM.

>> IT'S ONLY BEEN AROUND FOR

13.73 PLUS OR MINUS 0.12 BILLION

YEARS.

>> Stephen: WHO'S COUNTING.

>> THAT TINY BIT.

>> BUT ALSO THE FUTURE OF THE

UNIVERSE.

>> Stephen: HOW CAN YOU WRITE

THE FUTURE?

>> WE KNOW ROUGHLY HOW THE

UNIVERSE HAS EVOLVED TO THIS

POINT.

YOU CAN SEND THAT OFF INTO THE

FUTURE AND YOU CAN PREDICT HOW

IT'S GOING TO GO, BUT THE NUMBER

IN THE SERIES, WHICH IS THE

OLDEST THING WE CAN IMAGINE,

WHICH IS A POINT IN THE UNIVERSE

WHEN ALL THE BLACK HOLES, THE

COLLAPSED STARS EVAPORATE AWAY

TO NOTHINGNESS, AND THE NUMBER

IS TEN TO THE POWER OF 100

YEARS.

THAT'S ONE WITH 100 NOUGHTS.

IF I TOOK AN ATOM, ONE, TWO,

THREE, AND STARTED COUNTING.

I'D RUN OUT OF ATOMS ON THE

EARTH VERY QUICKLY.

THERE ARE 100 BILLION STARS IN

THE MILKY WAY GALAXY, 300

BILLION GALAXY IN THE UNIVERSE.

THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH ATOMS IN

THE ENTIRE OBSERVABLE UNIVERSE

TO COUNT UP TO THAT NUMBER,

WHICH IS THE AGE OF THE OLDEST

THING WE CAN IMAGINE IN SCIENCE.

SO IT'S QUITE A BIG STORY, AS

YOU SAY, IN A SMALL BOOK.

YOU'RE RIGHT THERE.

>> Stephen: BRIAN CONGRESS,

WILL YOU LIE ON A HILLSIDE WITH

ME AT NIGHT?

[LAUGHTER]

STAIR - STARE UP AT THE SKY?

I GOT A CHILL, AND I DON'T KNOW

WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

THAT WAS REALLY BEAUTIFUL.

>> I SAW YOU BEGIN WITH THE

CALENDAR.

IT SEEMS TO HAVE GOTTEN TO YOU.

>> Stephen: THEY CAN COME TOO.

THE LAST TIME YOU WERE HERE, WE

WERE TALKING ABOUT YOU ALSO WERE

CONCERNED IN GENEVA.

IT'S A BIG PARTICLE ACCELERATOR

THERE.

WE WERE TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING

CALLED THE HAGUES BOZON

PARTICLE.

EXPLAIN WHAT THAT IS.

>> IT'S A THEORETICAL THING THAT

WE THINK IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MASS

IN THE UNIVERSE.

>> Stephen: SUBATOMIC?

>> SUBATOMIC PARLIAMENT.

WHY DOES THIS TABLE HAVE MASS.

>> Stephen: IT'S WOOD.

IT'S MADE OF WOOD.

GO AHEAD.

NEXT QUESTION, PHYSICS MAN.

>> WE NEED NOT BOTHER BUILDING

THIS THING.

SO IT'S A PARTICLE THAT WE THING

IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT,

GENERATING MASS IN THE UNIVERSE.

>> Stephen: IT GIVES MASS TO

THINGS.

>> TO EVERYTHING.

LAST TIME I WAS ON WE WERE

TALKING ABOUT IT, AND THERE WERE

THEORIES ABOUT PEOPLE COMING

BACK FROM THE FUTURE.

IT WAS ALL NONSENSE.

I THINK BOLLOX WAS THE WORD I

USED.

AS OF LAST WEEK, WE MIGHT SEE

HINTS OF IT FOR THE FIRST TIME.

>> Stephen: HINTS OF?

>> THIS THING, THIS PARTICLE.

IT MAY WELL EXIST.

>> Stephen: WHAT DOES IT MEAN

TO FIND THIS?

>> IT'S A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF

OUR THEORY OF EVERYTHING IN THE

UNIVERSE OTHER THAN GRAVITY.

SO EVERY PHENOMENON,

ELECTRICITY, MAGNETISM, THE WAY

NUKE LEE EATS STICK TOGETHER.

THE HEART OF THE THEORY IS THIS

THING WE'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR FOR

DECADES.

>> ARE THERE OTHER THINGS WE'RE

LOOKING FOR THAT WE CAN'T FIND

AT THAT LEVEL?

>> NO, THIS IS IT.

>> YOU DID THE 500

>> PIECE JIGSAW PUZZLE OF THE

CORAL REEF.

YOU CAN'T FIND THAT LAST PIECE.

>> AND THERE ARE HINTS ALSO IN

CHICAGO.

THERE ARE ALSO HINTS IN ROUGHLY

THE SAME KIND OF PLACE.

SO IT MAY BE A VERY EXCITING

TIME OF...

>> Stephen: ARE YOU CONFIDENT?

YOU'RE A PHYSICIST.

ARE YOU CONFIDENT THAT WHAT YOU

KNOW YOU KNOW?

BECAUSE LET'S JUST SAY THAT

PEOPLE COULD TRAVEL IN TIME AND

THAT I'M FROM 500 YEARS IN THE

FUTURE.

OKAY.

AND I'M JUST STEPHEN FROM 500

YEARS IN THE FUTURE AND I'M

COMING BACK THE TAKE HIS PLACE.

IF I SAID TO YOU, YOUR PHYSICS

ARE SO WRONG, THEY'RE SO

PRIMITIVE, THEY'RE LIKE THE WAY

YOU LOOK AT THE IDEA THAT THE

SKY IS A SERIES OF, YOU KNOW,

CONCENTRIC SPHERES, YOU KNOW,

UPON WHICH THE STARS ARE PINNED,

LIKE THAT'S HOW PRIMITIVE YOUR

PHYSICS ARE, COULD YOU CONCEIVE

OF THAT BEING TRUE?

>> YEAH.

PHYSICS, THROUGHOUT HISTORY,

SCIENCE A IS A SERIES... IT'S A

SNAPSHOT OF OUR BEST

UNDERSTANDING OF NATURE AS IT IS

NOW.

THE KEY TO IT, THE DIFFERENCE

BETWEEN IT AND EVERY OTHER

BELIEF SYSTEM IS THERE IS NO

SENSE IN WHICH IT'S RIGHT.

THERE ARE NO ACTS YUMS THERE

WHICH ARE UNSHAKABLE.

>> SO WE SPEND BILLIONS TO FIND

THIS, IT COULD SNAP IN THERE,

EVERYTHING WOULD WORKS, WE'D

CALL TITD THEORY OF EVERYTHING.

>> IT WOULD BE ON THE WAY TO

THAT.

>> Stephen: AND THEN SOMETHING

ELSE COULD HAPPEN AND YOU GO,

YOU KNOW WHAT, CHUCK IT ALL.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: TURN OVER THE

CHESSBOARD.

>> AND THAT'S THE POWER.

I CAN SEE WHERE THIS IS GOING,

BUT THAT'S THE POWER.

>> Stephen:, NO ONLY YOU CAN

SEE WHERE IT'S GOING BECAUSE YOU

CAN PREDICT THE FUTURE.

WHERE IS IT GOING?

>> WELL, I MEAN...

>>

>> Stephen: YOU'RE ABOUT TO

ADMIT SOMETHING, AREN'T YOU?

YOU PEOPLE ARE JUST MAKING THIS

[BLEEPED] UP AS YOU GO ALONG.

>> LET'S MOVE ALONG.

IT'S WONDERFUL.

THE UNIVERSE IS...

>> Stephen: THE UNIVERSE IS A

WONDER, AND HIS BOOK "WONDERS OF

THE UNIVERSE" IS OUT NOW.

BRIAN COX'S PROGRAM, THE WONDERS

OF THE UNIVERSE, BEGINS

WEDNESDAY ON SCIENCE.

CHECK IT OUT.

IT'S AS WONDERFUL AS THE

UNIVERSE.

WE'LL BE RIGHT

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