EPISODE RELEASED 1st DEC 2022

WHAT EXACTLY ARE TIME AND SPACE? WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THEM NOT BEING AS THEY SEEM? WHAT IS THE RELATIONAL INTERPRETATION OF QUANTUM MECHANICS? WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF ITS LEADING TO NO UNIVERSAL LAWS OF NATURE?  

In this Episode we have the non-linearity of space and time to get our heads around. In Episode #28 with physicist Paul Davies we talked about the implications of Einstein’s work, and in this episode we delve deeper into the implications of relativity, particularly of time, but also of space and extension. A subject that our guest has worked on extensively.

 

Carlo Rovelli is a theoretical physicist who works mainly in quantum gravity research, heading up the Quantum Gravity Group at the Centre de physique Theorique in Aix-Marseille in France. He is also passionate about the philosophy and history of science, so a perfect guest for this show.

 

Rovelli has written many popular science books, including the bestseller The Order of Time’ which we’ll be focussing on today. We’re also going to discuss today the release the his new book ‘Helgoland’, which champions his favourite Relational Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Being such a philosophical scientist I’m also going to ask him about Intuition, Buddhist philosophy and psychedelics.

 

What we discuss:

00:00 Intro

08:05 Time is local not universal

12:32 ‘Block time’ is a bad analogy

13:20 The apparent ‘flow’ of time from the past to the future

18:00 Entropy’s relationship to time

21:15 Is time an illusion?

26:00 Matter and its extension is also relative

27:00 Space is curved

28:00 Back holes are full of space

30:35 Our most obvious intuitions may not be correct

31:00 Quantum Mechanics: Nature is radically and violently different from our intuition

36:00 Probability Matrices and margins of uncertainty

38:00 The wave particle duality and probability distributions

39:00 Why the relational interpretation is the best

46:00 Science is how you think about reality, not just maths

53:00 Our obsession with final truth is illusory, a silly dream

57:00 Buddha’s Dependent Origination + Nagarjuna’s emptiness

01:02:00 Intuition and altered states of consciousness

01:06:00 Psychedelics, insights and jumps of imagination

01:17:00 A scientific theory of meaning

01:26:00 An intro to Loop Quantum Gravity theory

 

References:

‘Helgoland: The Strange and Beautiful Story of Quantum Physics’ , Carlo Rovelli

‘The Order of Time’ , Carlo Rovelli

The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way: Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika’ , Nagarjuna

Empedocles - Greek philosopher

‘7 Brief Lessons in Physics’ , Carlo Rovelli

‘Reality is not what it seems’ , Carlo Rovelli