The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself
Human beings are made from the same particles and forces that make up rocks and rivers and planets. But the world as described by science, from quantum uncertainty to the genetic code and the expansion of the universe, can seem exotic and alien to us. Sean Carroll, author of the new book, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself and a Research Professor of theoretical physics at Caltech, will talk about how our human-sized world fits into the bigger picture defined by the underlying laws of nature - in particular, how our impressions of cause and effect and the appearance of complex structures can be traced to special conditions near the Big Bang - and what it implies for meaning and mattering in the universe.
Carroll, who has talked here in the past about his other books, received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Harvard University. His research focuses on fundamental physics and cosmology, quantum gravity and spacetime, and the evolution of entropy and complexity. His other books are The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World; and From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time. He has been awarded prizes and fellowships by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Sloan Foundation, the Packard Foundation, the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Physics, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Royal Society of London, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Carroll frequently consults for film and television, and has been featured on shows such as The Colbert Report, PBS's NOVA, and Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.
Copies of his new book will be available for sale and signing.
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