Five metronomes started at different intervals fall into sync because SCIENCE!
John Archibald Wheeler
What science knew about Mars in 1953.
Pair with Carl Sagan, Ray Bradbury, and Arthur C. Clarke in conversation about Mars in 1971.
Richard Feynman lecture on the differences between Mathematicians and Physicists. No powerpoint used.
Beautifully minimalist and abstract vintage science graphics from the back of books published by Time Inc.
Complement with these vintage science ads and Berenice Abbott’s minimalist, abstract science photography from the same era.
Enrico Fermi (1943)
The Drake equation is a mathematical equation used to estimate the number of detectable extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy. It is used in the field of the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI). The equation was devised in 1961 by Frank Drake while at the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center.
N = the number of civilizations in our galaxy with which communication might be possible (i.e. which are on our current past light cone);
R* = the average rate of star formation per year in our galaxy
fp = the fraction of those stars that have planets
ne = the average number of planets that can potentially support life per star that has planets
fℓ = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop life at some point
fi = the fraction of the above that actually go on to develop intelligent life
fc = the fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space
L = the length of time for which such civilizations release detectable signals into space
There’s beauty in this equation: mathematical, philosophical and aesthetic.
The BBC has a beautiful interactive infographics that explains how the Drake equation works in a visual way.
A Quick Proof That There Must Be Something Rather Than Nothing, for Modern People Who Lead Busy Lives
Suppose there were nothing. Then there would be no laws; for laws, after all, are something. If there were no laws, then everything would be permitted. If everything were permitted, then nothing would be forbidden. So if there were nothing, nothing would be forbidden. Thus nothing is self-forbidding.
Therefore, there must be something. QED.
Jim Holt in Why Does The World Exist.
I strongly reccommend Why Does The World Exist by Jim Holt if you’re interested in the fundamental questions of our existence. Jim Holt explores the human intellect by asking scientists, philosophers and man of faith the easiest and the at the same time the most complex question of all time: why is there anything instead of nothing?
Holt takes a tour around the world to converse with:
- Oxford philosopher Richart Swinburne about the universe being created by God,
- Oxford physicist David Deutsch about the existence of multiple universes,
- Russinan physicist Andrei Linde who thinks as the universe being a simulation of other intelligent beings,
- Pittsburgh philosopher Adolf Grünbaum who rejects any mysteriousness in the cosmos and considers nothing to be the natural state of the Universe,
- mathematician Roger Penrose and his neo-platonic approach to creation,
- science fiction writer John Updike about the relationship between science and religion,
- Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg on how a unified theory should look like
- and physicist Alex Vilenkin about the universe sprouting from nothing as a quantum fluctuation.
In the tour Holt explores the works of thinkers like Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Schopenhauer, Leibniz and Sartre, showing the various philosophical approaches to the fundamental question throughout history.
Get the book Why Does The World Exist by Jim Holt on Amazon.
The beauty of any particular scientific generalization is measured by its
simplicity relative to the number of phenomena it can explain.
E. O. Wilson