Lisa Randall: Knocking on Heaven's Door
Friday, July 06, 2012
Harvard physicist Lisa Randall is at the forefront of the search for new theories about how the universe works. She’s especially interested in dark matter and is involved in work at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. And although her work requires complex math and work on the theoretical level, she manages to write about the universe in layman’s terms.
In her new book Knocking on Heaven’s Door, Randall considers the intersection of science and creativity, and suggests that concepts like beauty can be found in scientific theories. “It’s when you have some idea that you can explain in relatively few words, that has implications in many different areas, where things tie together and seem to make sense,” she tells Kurt Andersen.
Randall compares her work — building models of the universe — to the design of the world at our human scale. “Of course it’s different than designing a building or a subway station. But we are trying to understand: What are the ingredients? How do they fit together?” she explains. “We’re making models of what we think could be implemented in the universe.”
(Originally aired: December 16, 2011)
Bonus Track: Kurt's extended conversation with Lisa Randall
Knockin' on Heaven's DoorArtist: Bob DylanAlbum: Pat Garrett & Billy the KidLabel: SBME SPECIAL MKTS.Purchase: Amazon