Is anything real? How many universes are there? Do we know what dark matter is all about? Is everything a simulation being run by a quantum computer through a wormhole from a future era? Is the answer to everything really ... 42? The affable and charming astrophysicist, author and philosopher of tiny particles Dr. Adam Becker pulls up a seat. And Alie has an existential crisis or two as they discuss the drama, intellectual battles and drunken debates of science past, and the hope that a new era of thinkers will figure out what exactly is going on in the world. Either way: cut bangs and text your crush.
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There are many mysteries surrounding quantum mechanics. To me, the biggest mysteries are why physicists haven’t yet agreed on a complete understanding of the theory, and even more why they mostly seem content not to try. This puzzling attitude has historical roots that go back to the Bohr-Einstein debates. Adam Becker, in his book What Is Real?, looks at this history, and discusses how physicists have shied away from the foundations of quantum mechanics in the subsequent years. We discuss why this has been the case, and talk about some of the stubborn iconoclasts who insisted on thinking about it anyway.Support Mindscape on Patreon.Adam Becker received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Michigan. He is currently a science writer and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Science, Technology, Medicine & Society at UC Berkeley. His book What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics comes out in paperback on Sept. 3, 2019.Web siteBerkeley web pageWhat Is Real?Talk on the history of quantum mechanicsInteractive explanation of Bell’s TheoremWikipediaTwitter