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268 | Matt Strassler on Relativity, Fields, and the Language of Reality

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Manage episode 404588718 series 2621923
Content provided by Sean Carroll and Sean Carroll | Wondery. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Sean Carroll and Sean Carroll | Wondery or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://player.fm/legal.

In the 1860s, James Clerk Maxwell argued that light was a wave of electric and magnetic fields. But it took over four decades for physicists to put together the theory of special relativity, which correctly describes the symmetries underlying Maxwell's theory. The delay came in part from the difficulty in accepting that light was a wave, but not a wave in any underlying "aether." Today our most basic view of fundamental physics is found in quantum field theory, which posits that everything around us is a quantum version of a relativistic wave. I talk with physicist Matt Strassler about how we go from these interesting-but-intimidating concepts to the everyday world of tables, chairs, and ourselves.

Blog post with transcript: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2024/03/04/267-matt-strassler-on-relativity-fields-and-the-language-of-reality/

Support Mindscape on Patreon.

Matt Strassler received his Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University. He is currently a writer and a visiting researcher in physics at Harvard University. His research has ranged over a number of topics in theoretical high-energy physics, from the phenomenology of dark matter and the Higgs boson to dualities in gauge theory and string theory. He blogs at Of Particular Significance, and his new book is Waves in an Impossible Sea: How Everyday Life Emerges from the Cosmic Ocean.

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

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331 episodes

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iconShare
 
Manage episode 404588718 series 2621923
Content provided by Sean Carroll and Sean Carroll | Wondery. All podcast content including episodes, graphics, and podcast descriptions are uploaded and provided directly by Sean Carroll and Sean Carroll | Wondery or their podcast platform partner. If you believe someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can follow the process outlined here https://player.fm/legal.

In the 1860s, James Clerk Maxwell argued that light was a wave of electric and magnetic fields. But it took over four decades for physicists to put together the theory of special relativity, which correctly describes the symmetries underlying Maxwell's theory. The delay came in part from the difficulty in accepting that light was a wave, but not a wave in any underlying "aether." Today our most basic view of fundamental physics is found in quantum field theory, which posits that everything around us is a quantum version of a relativistic wave. I talk with physicist Matt Strassler about how we go from these interesting-but-intimidating concepts to the everyday world of tables, chairs, and ourselves.

Blog post with transcript: https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2024/03/04/267-matt-strassler-on-relativity-fields-and-the-language-of-reality/

Support Mindscape on Patreon.

Matt Strassler received his Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University. He is currently a writer and a visiting researcher in physics at Harvard University. His research has ranged over a number of topics in theoretical high-energy physics, from the phenomenology of dark matter and the Higgs boson to dualities in gauge theory and string theory. He blogs at Of Particular Significance, and his new book is Waves in an Impossible Sea: How Everyday Life Emerges from the Cosmic Ocean.

See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

  continue reading

331 episodes

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