Sean Carroll

See also preposterousuniverse.com

  • Energy Conservation and Non-Conservation in Quantum MechanicsEnergy Conservation and Non-Conservation in Quantum Mechanics
    Conservation of energy is a somewhat sacred principle in physics, though it can be tricky in certain circumstances, such as an expanding universe. Quantum mechanics is another context in which energy conservation is a subtle thing – so much so that it’s still worth writing papers about, which Jackie Lodman… Read more »
  • ThanksgivingThanksgiving
    This year we give thanks for one of the very few clues we have to the quantum nature of spacetime: black hole entropy. (We’ve previously given thanks for the Standard Model Lagrangian, Hubble’s Law, the Spin-Statistics Theorem, conservation of momentum, effective field theory, the error bar, gauge symmetry, Landauer’s Principle,… Read more »
  • What I Look for in Podcast GuestsWhat I Look for in Podcast Guests
    People often suggest guests to appear on Mindscape – which I very much appreciate! Several of my best conversations were with people I had never heard of before they were effectively suggested by someone. Suggestions could be made here (in comments below), or on the subreddit, or on Twitter or… Read more »
  • The Biggest Ideas in the Universe | 24. ScienceThe Biggest Ideas in the Universe | 24. Science
    For the triumphant final video in the Biggest Ideas series, we look at a big idea indeed: Science. What is science, and why is it so great? And I also take the opportunity to dip a toe into the current state of fundamental physics – are predictions that unobservable universes… Read more »
  • The Biggest Ideas in the Universe | 23. Criticality and ComplexityThe Biggest Ideas in the Universe | 23. Criticality and Complexity
    Spherical cows are important because they let us abstract away all the complications of the real world and think about underlying principles. But what about when the complications are the point? Then we enter the realm of complex systems – which, interestingly, has its own spherical cows. One such is… Read more »
  • How to Make Educational Videos with a TabletHow to Make Educational Videos with a Tablet
    We’re well into the Biggest Ideas in the Universe series, and some people have been asking how I make the actual videos. I explained the basic process in the Q&A video for Force, Energy, and Action – embedded below – but it turns out that not everyone watches every single… Read more »
  • The Biggest Ideas in the Universe | 22. CosmologyThe Biggest Ideas in the Universe | 22. Cosmology
    Surely one of the biggest ideas in the universe has to be the universe itself, no? Or, as I claim, the very fact that the universe is comprehensible – as an abstract philosophical point, but also as the empirical observation that the universe we see is a pretty simple place,… Read more »
  • The Biggest Ideas in the Universe | 21. EmergenceThe Biggest Ideas in the Universe | 21. Emergence
    Little things can come together to make big things. And those big things can often be successfully described by an approximate theory that can be qualitatively different from the theory of the little things. We say that a macroscopic approximate theory has “emerged” from the microscopic one. But the concept… Read more »
  • The Biggest Ideas in the Universe | 20. Entropy and InformationThe Biggest Ideas in the Universe | 20. Entropy and Information
    You knew this one was coming, right? Why the past is different from the future, and why we seem to flow through time. Also a bit about how different groups of scientists use the idea of “information” in very different ways. And here is the associated Q&A video:Related Posts:The Biggest… Read more »
  • The Biggest Ideas in the Universe | 19. Probability and RandomnessThe Biggest Ideas in the Universe | 19. Probability and Randomness
    Sometimes the universe is unpredictable. (Nobody needs to be reminded of that just now.) Is that unpredictability fundamental, or merely apparent? And how should we deal with it when it comes along? And here is the Q&A video.Related Posts:The Biggest Ideas in the Universe | 5. TimeThe Biggest Ideas in… Read more »
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