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Time Travel & Cosmology

Date: 11-15-10
Host: George Noory
Guests: J. Richard Gott, Michael S. Roberts, Douglas Hagmann

Professor of astrophysics at Princeton University, J. Richard Gott spoke about his studies of cosmology, his work with the physics of time travel, and the need for space colonization. Working on the Sloan Survey of the universe, his measurement of what came to be called the Sloan Great Wall was listed in the Guinness World Records as the largest structure in the universe. The structure is a chain or filament that connects various galaxy clusters together, running some 1.37 billion light years across, he detailed.

We know from looking at the dinosaurs, there are definite extinction events that can wipe out entire species-- so we need to have some "lifeboats," for the human race, he said. "The goal of the space program...should be to increase our survival prospects by colonizing space, as a life insurance policy against anything bad that might happen on Earth," he continued. We should plant a colony on Mars, while the space program is intact, he urged.

Based on Einstein's theory of relativity, time travel to the future is known to be possible and people are doing it in a small way today, Gott pointed out. In the future, if someone could take a spaceship at near the speed of light to a destination 500 light years away, when they returned to Earth, 1,000 years would have passed, but because they were traveling so fast, it would have only been 10 years for them. A small example of this effect can be seen with astronaut Sergei Krikalev, who by virtue of his many space flights, has aged 1/48th of a second less than he would have if he'd stayed on the Earth.

Airport Body Scanners

First hour guest, security expert Douglas Hagmann talked about the TSA's new whole-body security scan, which has been drawing increased complaints. "Instead of treating every passenger as a potential terrorist," we should use profiling and then select those individuals to undergo the increased security checks, he commented. Pilot Michael Roberts, who recently refused both the body scan and physical frisking, also joined the discussion.

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Bumper Music

Bumper music from Monday November 15, 2010

  • Stay
    Frankie Valli & Four Seasons

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