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CGolder

All Doom and Gloom from Brian Cox

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The smile is so fixed.. i'm wondering if it's due to wind...

Patagonia and Namibia are both noted for it :(

Edited by Psychobilly

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My Tv has an "Off" button so if i do not like something i turn it off. It saves me from being forced to watch programs and then gripe about them.

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Then again there are some programs that you feel have got to get better - especailly after all the hype - so stick you it out to the end...

I guess I must have left my "rose tinted" spectacles on the bus...

Billy...

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My Tv has an "Off" button so if i do not like something i turn it off. It saves me from being forced to watch programs and then gripe about them.

So you have never discussed whether or not a film was good?

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Well I've finished the show/programme to the end now, and I thought it was just fine.

But now I've been corrupted by all the comments on this thread, I'll be now looking to see now many times he gazes up into the sky, which shirt he is changing into, how long the helicopter panning/pull-back shot is......arrgghhh

Give me 1 of these shows/programmes anyday over the so-called 'reality' (cheap tv/mass-fodder) shows.

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Well, when you consider some of the utter bilge served up by all the TV companies, Sky most of all, (except their Sports channels,)

The Brian Cox prog. was a welcome change, and they don't come around often enough. I wouldn't have the temerity to criticise the man with the job he's got. He must be a genuine physicist, CERN wouldn't have given the job to someone who just thought they were, would they?:(

Ron.

Edited by barkis

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Heheh. Image does seem to matter these days. Poor Dr. Nina Ramirez: Treasures of the Anglo Saxons. On one history forum - Factual failings, too Goth-looking... and "dominatrix" boots! Hmmm... And I thought tres cool. But then a smattering of Anglo Saxon always works for me. :(

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the thing I like about his presenting is that if I got the chance I hope I'd be the way he is. full of wonder, amazed and (apparently) truly filled with awe about what he's seeing/knows and getting this across in a way that we plebs (who are not trained physicists) can understand.

I am sure I have a stupid smiling face too when looking at a new Messier or a fab double that I've not seen before (or at least I hope I do).

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So you have never discussed whether or not a film was good?

Of course , but i wont waste my time if a Film fails to interest me. It will be turned off or if other people are watching it i will find other things to do.

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The only bit I really didn't like was when Cox explained the sun would 'explode' (his word) at the end of its life. I'm certain that's wrong - the sun will get big and unstable and, over a series of expansions and contractions, boil off its outer layers. That's not an explosion.

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I enjoyed the show, I'd probably rather the fate of the universe was a bit more upbeat in places!!

Looking forward to some more. I quite liked the hopping about to some amazing places on earth, for me it's a nice bonus to see some incredible places on top of the astro side of things.

Edited by Luke

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I'm certain that's wrong - the sun will get big and unstable and, over a series of expansions and contractions, boil off its outer layers.

Nearly right ... though intensified solar wind is the best way of visualizing the "evaporation" of a small proportion of the sun's envelope. The pulsation that will occur when the sun ascends the red giant branch and eventually becomes a Mira star will never threaten to have any part of the photosphere expanding at close to escape velocity.

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I watched it last night, and I liked it. If it's the "same story", it is because the story has not changed recently.

I think that the explanation of the arrow of time was incomplete, though. As emphasized by Roger Penrose (and others), if everything is time-symmetric, then the standard entropy argument should work going backwards in time, too. But the universe in not time-symmetric, it had a beginning. If the configuration of the universe at the beginning was special, like the sand castle, then entropy does give an arrow of time. An arrow of time is further evidence for (or is at least is consistent with) a beginning for our universe!

Being a critic is all too easy; I do think that Cox really knows his stuff. It is not easy to become a full prof at Manchester, and to be part of projects at CERN. Cox should be commended for the constant effort that he makes to bring physics to the public.

Programmes like this have to walk a line; they have to be entertaining enough to have an audience (or they won't get made), and they have to present some real science. It is a matter of personal opinion whether any particular programme has succeeded.

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Think, that day will come.

It is rather gloomy, AND they could be wrong. So cheer up - aren't we all lucky to be born in the age of stars!

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aren't we all lucky to be born in the age of stars!

No. It couldn't happen any other way.

Before the age of stars, there were no heavy elements necessary for life.

After the age of stars, there will be insufficient energy available for life to continue.

Therefore, by the application of the weak anthropomorphic principle ...

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Programmes like this have to walk a line; they have to be entertaining enough to have an audience (or they won't get made), and they have to present some real science.

But it wasn't always like that. And it's up to us to demand that things don't stay like that.

It used to be that we got science programmes about actual triumphs in science. Since the 90s, all we get is wildly speculative theories presented in a semi-mystical manner.

Besides, the physicist's physicist will always be [removed word] Feynman and he could present the most difficult ideas so that everyone in the room could take something out of them and he did it by being brilliant, in front of a blackboard with some chalk.

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the physicist's physicist will always be [removed word] Feynman and he could present the most difficult ideas so that everyone in the room could take something out of them and he did it by being brilliant, in front of a blackboard with some chalk.

Yes ... except that he usually got one of his students to give his lectures for him.

"Six Not So Easy Pieces" - based on a series of lectures organised by Feynman - remains one of the best introductions to relativity that has yet appeared in print.

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I found it most interesting what will happen to the Universe in the fullness of time and the way we think it will come about according to what we know and have discovered, and I admit it all sounds a bit doom and gloom, but there is one factor Prof Cox has not taken into the equation, and that is the human factor, the last 100 years has seen progress in the sciences increase many fold and this is but a pin ***** in space and time evaluation, who can say what developments man can achieve in the next thousand years, remember Star Trek and the Genesis Project, in the millenniums to come man may spread among the stars and be in a position to halt or reverse the inevitable, but I know one thing for sure I won`t be here to see it, so I shall enjoy what I have left and view the beauty of the Heavens, as we all see it at the moment.

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WHSmith are selling the book at half price at the minute - £10. The book is very good with lots of good diagrams.

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But it wasn't always like that. And it's up to us to demand that things don't stay like that. It used to be that we got science programmes about actual triumphs in science.

Yes, if enough people more and deeper content, we will get more and deeper content, but I don't think this will happen. I think that this can be found in books.

Did anyone see the television version of Nigel Calder's Key to the Universe, which was aired decades ago? If so, how does it compare to today's presentations? I saw PBS's presentation of it when I was in high school, and it made a big impression on me, but that was too long ago for me to make a comparison. Doe anyone know if a DVD of this is available?

Since the 90s, all we get is wildly speculative theories presented in a semi-mystical manner.

Does this general comment apply to this first episode of Wonders of the Universe? Unfortunately, there seems to be a market for "semi-mystical" stuff. About this time (maybe a little later), New Scientist also made this type of transition. I think that part of the problem is that, since the 70s, there really haven't been many deep, new fundamental results that have both theoretical and experimental aspects (I expect some people to disagree with my opinion). Before this, there was a steady stream of new results available for popularization.

Besides, the physicist's physicist will always be [removed word] Feynman and he could present the most difficult ideas so that everyone in the room could take something out of them and he did it by being brilliant, in front of a blackboard with some chalk.

Just because a physicist doesn't have Feynman's physics abilities doesn't necessarily mean that the physicist can't do good physics. Just because a physicist doesn't have Feynman's populariztion abilities doesn't necessarily mean that the physicist can't be a good popularizer of physics.

Yes ... except that he usually got one of his students to give his lectures for him.

I don't think that this is true. Feynman researched, developed, and delivered his own lectures. As was common then and still is common now, his students did give tutorials for some of Feynman's courses.

"Six Not So Easy Pieces" - based on a series of lectures organised by Feynman - remains one of the best introductions to relativity that has yet appeared in print.

These lectures are taken from the three-volume set (lectures 11, 52, 15, 16 ,17 from V I, and lecture 42 from V II), The Feynman Lectures on Physics, which are edited transcripts of lectures from physics courses delivered by Feynman at Cal Tech. Audio recordings of Feynman's voice during the lectures exist. Roger Penrose wrote the wonderful introduction to "Six Not So Easy Pieces", which I just read.

If you want to see and hear Feynman explain the theory that won him a Nobel prize:

The Vega Science Trust - Richard Feynman - Science Videos

Videos for a series of seven one-hour (approx.) lectures on physical laws are also available,

Project Tuva: Enhanced Video Player Home - Microsoft Research.

As usual, edited transcripts were published in book form, The Character of Physical Law. For me, Chapter 2 from the book, The Relation of Mathematics to Physics, is the best exposition available for the topic.

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I think that part of the problem is that, since the 70s, there really haven't been many deep, new fundamental results that have both theoretical and experimental aspects

Oh?

String theory; supersymmetry; dark matter; dark energy ... Guthrie's inflationary theory of the early cosmos, and the unification of the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces; all this is subsequent to 1970.

If we look at what we think we know now and compare it with 1970, we were pretty ignorant then. Oxford University was still teaching particle physics as if they were naturalists then - every "animal" that they saw in their cloud chamber photographs was categorized & only slowly did they realise that many of these apparently different "animals" were different representations of the same object. "The particle zoo" was a good description of the state of knowledge. Quark theory was very recent & most of the older physicists didn't accept it yet.

Sure, our current theories are not perfect (that's why we continue to run high energy particle physics experiments) but at least the models that they predict are fairly close to the actual results obtained. Though this last sentence may have to be retracted if the Higgs boson isn't found fairly soon.

BTW I do remember Calder's series; it was a great deal less lavish than Cox's, and contained a great deal more "meat". It has aged very badly but this was always likely as it was made at a time when significant discoveries were being made at a high rate.

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I think you mean Guth, right?

Dark matter was suspected very early on (Zwicky, 1934?). Dark energy is the only recent breakthrough. Strings and Supersymmetry are wildly speculative and, IMHO, probably not even wrong. And Salam, Weinberg & Glashow got their electro-weak unification Nobel in 1979 (you don't get a Nobel for speculative theories so it was already demonstrated by 1979).

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Being a critic is all too easy; I do think that Cox really knows his stuff. It is not easy to become a full prof at Manchester, and to be part of projects at CERN. Cox should be commended for the constant effort that he makes to bring physics to the public.

Programmes like this have to walk a line; they have to be entertaining enough to have an audience (or they won't get made), and they have to present some real science. It is a matter of personal opinion whether any particular programme has succeeded.

Too right...

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