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Nothing: The Subtle Science of Emptiness

Thursday, June 11, 2009
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Why is there something rather than nothing? And what does ‘nothing’ really mean? More than a philosophical musing, understanding nothing may be the key to unlocking deep mysteries of the universe, from dark energy to why particles have mass. Journalist John Hockenberry hosts Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek, esteemed cosmologist John Barrow, and leading physicists Paul Davies and George Ellis as they explore physics, philosophy and the nothing they share.

This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.


John HockenberryJournalist

Three-time Peabody Award winner, four-time Emmy Award winner, and Dateline NBC correspondent John Hockenberry has broad experience as a journalist and commentator for more than two decades. Hockenberry is the anchor of the public radio show The Takeaway on WNYC and PRI.

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George F. R. EllisCosmologist

George Ellis is Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics at the University of Capetown and investigates cosmology, the nature of time, and the emergence of complexity. He is the co-author with Stephen Hawking of The Large Scale Structure of Space Time.

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Frank WilczekTheoretical Physicist, Mathematician, Nobel Laureate in Physics

Professor Frank Wilczek is considered one of the world’s eminent theoretical physicists. He received the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction—key to several major problems in particle physics and beyond. 

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John BarrowMathematician, Physicist

John Barrow is a research professor of mathematical sciences in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge in England. He is also the author of nearly twenty books for a general audience, including The Book of Nothing.

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Paul DaviesPhysicist, Cosmologist, Astrobiologist

Paul Davies is a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, and best-selling author. He is Regents’ Professor at Arizona State University, where he is Director of Beyond: Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science.

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