Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Big Bang Entertainment.

Wow…what a lecture! I’m under the weather for the last week with almost no energy and mood for bloging. Simon Singh’s Perimeter Institute (PI) public event lecture on Big Bang woke me up. I have to write about it while it is fresh in my memory.

I enjoy PI public events since I always learn something new and interesting. If you think though that you need intellectual energy to attend these lectures, think again. The Big Bang lecture will prove you wrong. Besides being interesting and informative Simon Singh presentation was fun, invigorating and energizing. It is the most entertaining lecture I’ve ever seen. Almost every 5 minutes Simon Singh made you laugh. He proved that science could be presented in an entertaining way.

For example the Doppler effect, used in explaining the expansion of the universe, was demonstrated live with 2 experiments and the video clip of the Cosmic Doppler Song was shown. Then to demonstrate the role of prejudice in interpreting scientific theories, the Led Zeppelin song Stairway to Heaven was played 3 times, but only the first play was the usual one. The second play was in reverse order and the audience was questioned if any lyrics could be understood. The last play was also in reverse order but this time the audience became biased since clues were given on how to interpret the song. Then Simon Singh explained how the subject of a horror movie could give birth to a new theory of the universe, the steady state universe.

Simon Singh spiced his presentation with comments on how Hubble got married, to comments about a grumpy astrophysicist or how a pair of pigeons interfered with cosmic microwaves detection, etc. Considering the scientific evidence of the existence of cosmic microwaves it looks like it was a Big Bang. I’m waiting to see again this funny lecture when it will be broadcasted on the local TV channel by Rogers Television.

Well after such a Big Bang presentation I became healthier and more refreshed than ever.


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