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Ideas of Lawrence M. Krauss, by Text

[American, fl. 1996, Professor of Physics at Arizona State University.]

2012 A Universe from Nothing
04 p.57 General Relativity: the density of energy and matter determines curvature and gravity
     Full Idea: The left-hand side of the general relativity equations descrbe the curvature of the universe, and the strength of gravitational forces acting on matter and radiation. The right-hand sides reflect the total density of all kinds of energy and matter.
     From: Lawrence M. Krauss (A Universe from Nothing [2012], 04)
     A reaction: I had assumed that the equations just described the geometry. In fact the matter determines the nature of the universe in which it exists. Presumably only things with mass get a vote.
04 p.66 In 1676 it was discovered that water is teeming with life
     Full Idea: Van Leeuwenhoek first stared at a drop of seemingly empty water with a microscope in 1676 and discovered in was teeming with life.
     From: Lawrence M. Krauss (A Universe from Nothing [2012], 04)
     A reaction: I am convinced that this had a huge influence on Leibniz's concept of monads. He immediately became convinced that it was some sort of life all the way down. He would be have been disappointed by the subsequent chemical reduction of life.
04 p.70 Most of the mass of a proton is the energy in virtual particles (rather than the quarks)
     Full Idea: The quarks provide very little of the total mass of a proton, and the fields created by the virtual particles contribute most of the energy that goes into the proton's rest energy and, hence, its mass.
     From: Lawrence M. Krauss (A Universe from Nothing [2012], 04)
     A reaction: He gives an artist's impression of the interior of a proton, which looks like a ship's engine room.
04 p.71 Uncertainty says that energy can be very high over very short time periods
     Full Idea: The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle says that the uncertainty in the measured energy of a system is inversely proportional to the length of time over which you observe it. (This allow near infinite energy over very short times).
     From: Lawrence M. Krauss (A Universe from Nothing [2012], 04)
     A reaction: Apparently this brief energy is 'borrowed', and must be quickly repaid.
05 p.87 The universe is precisely 13.72 billion years old
     Full Idea: We now know the age of the universe to four significant figures. It is 13.72 billion years old!
     From: Lawrence M. Krauss (A Universe from Nothing [2012], 05)
     A reaction: It amazes me how many people, especially in philosophy, would be reluctant to accept that this is a know fact. I'm not accepting its certainty, but an assertion like this from a leading figure is good enough for me, and it should be for you.
06 p.96 Space itself can expand (and separate its contents) at faster than light speeds
     Full Idea: Special Relativity says nothing can travel 'through space' faster than the speed of light. But space itself can do whatever the heck it wants, at least in general relativity. And it can carry distant objects apart from one another at superluminal speeds
     From: Lawrence M. Krauss (A Universe from Nothing [2012], 06)
     A reaction: Another of my misunderstandings corrected. I assumed that the event horizon (limit of observability) was defined by the stuff retreating at (max) light speed. But beyond that it retreats even faster! What about the photons in space?
08 p.122 An understanding of the most basic physics should explain all of the subject's mysteries
     Full Idea: Once we understood the fundamental laws that govern forces of nature at its smallest scales, all of these current mysteries would be revealed as natural consequences of these laws.
     From: Lawrence M. Krauss (A Universe from Nothing [2012], 08)
     A reaction: This expresses the reductionist view within physics itself. Krauss says the discovery that empty space itself contains energy has led to a revision of this view (because that is not part of the forces and particles studied in basic physics).
08 p.129 It seems likely that cosmic inflation is eternal, and this would make a multiverse inevitable
     Full Idea: A multiverse is inevitable if inflation is eternal, and eternal inflation is by far the most likely possibility in most, if not all, inflationary scenarios.
     From: Lawrence M. Krauss (A Universe from Nothing [2012], 08)
10 p.153 Empty space contains a continual flux of brief virtual particles
     Full Idea: Empty space is complicated. It is a boiling brew of virtual particles that pop in and out of existence in a time so short we cannot see them directly.
     From: Lawrence M. Krauss (A Universe from Nothing [2012], 10)
     A reaction: Apparently the interior of a proton is also like this. This fact gives a foot in the door for explanations of how the Big Bang got started, from these virtual particles. And yet surely space itself only arrives with the Big Bang?