Sean Carroll

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    • Atiyah and the Fine-Structure Constant September 25, 2018
      Sir Michael Atiyah, one of the world’s greatest living mathematicians, has proposed a derivation of α, the fine-structure constant of quantum electrodynamics. A preprint is here. The math here is not my forte, but from the theoretical-physics point of view, … Continue reading →
    • Mindscape Podcast July 26, 2018
      For anyone who hasn’t been following along on other social media, the big news is that I’ve started a podcast, called Mindscape. It’s still young, but early returns are promising! I won’t be posting each new episode here; the podcast … Continue reading →
    • On Civility June 25, 2018
      White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders went to have dinner at a local restaurant the other day. The owner, who is adamantly opposed to the policies of the Trump administration, politely asked her to leave, and she did. Now (who … Continue reading →
    • Intro to Cosmology Videos May 14, 2018
      In completely separate video news, here are videos of lectures I gave at CERN several years ago: “Cosmology for Particle Physicists” (May 2005). These are slightly technical — at the very least they presume you know calculus and basic physics … Continue reading →
    • User-Friendly Naturalism Videos May 10, 2018
      Some of you might be familiar with the Moving Naturalism Forward workshop I organized way back in 2012. For two and a half days, an interdisciplinary group of naturalists (in the sense of “not believing in the supernatural”) sat around … Continue reading →
    • Stephen Hawking’s Scientific Legacy March 16, 2018
      Stephen Hawking died Wednesday morning, age 76. Plenty of memories and tributes have been written, including these by me: “Stephen Hawking’s Most Profound Gift to Physics,” in The New York Times — a piece concentrating on black hole evaporation and … Continue reading →
    • Dark Matter and the Earliest Stars March 1, 2018
      So here’s something intriguing: an observational signature from the very first stars in the universe, which formed about 180 million years after the Big Bang (a little over one percent of the current age of the universe). This is exciting … Continue reading →
    • Why Is There Something, Rather Than Nothing? February 8, 2018
      A good question! Or is it? I’ve talked before about the issue of why the universe exists at all (1, 2), but now I’ve had the opportunity to do a relatively careful job with it, courtesy of Eleanor Knox and … Continue reading →
    • Guest Post: Nicole Yunger Halpern on What Makes Extraordinary Science Extraordinary January 29, 2018
      Nicole Yunger Halpern is a theoretical physicist at Caltech’s Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM).  She blends quantum information theory with thermodynamics and applies the combination across science, including to condensed matter; black-hole physics; and atomic, molecular, and optical … Continue reading →
    • Beyond Falsifiability January 17, 2018
      I have a backlog of fun papers that I haven’t yet talked about on the blog, so I’m going to try to work through them in reverse chronological order. I just came out with a philosophically-oriented paper on the thorny … Continue reading →