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Sean M Carroll

July 5, 2008
Re "Studying time's mysteries, and the multiverse," June 28 Sean M. Carroll states that "it used to be, a thousand years ago, that if you wanted to explain why the moon moved through the sky, you needed to invoke God." In fact, a thousand years ago, Ptolemy's system of the universe was widely accepted in Christian Europe, Christian Byzantium and in the Muslim world. However mistaken that system was, it was based on observation and mathematics and did not involve God mechanically moving the moon through the sky. The tendency to insert God into the gaps left by inadequate observation and faulty mathematics was introduced by scientists of the 17th and 18th centuries, not by religious teachers.
June 28, 2008 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
Caltech physicist Sean M. Carroll has been wrestling with the mystery of time. Most physical laws work equally well going backward or forward, yet time flows only in one direction. Writing in this month's Scientific American, Carroll suggests that entropy, the tendency of physical systems to become more disordered over time, plays a crucial role. Carroll sat down recently at Caltech to explain his theory. What's the problem with time?
September 11, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Physicists around the world, some in pajamas and others with champagne, celebrated the first tests Wednesday of a huge particle-smashing machine they hope will simulate the Big Bang, which scientists believe created the universe. Experiments using the underground Large Hadron Collider, the biggest and most complex machine ever made, could revamp modern physics and unlock secrets about the universe and its origins. Staff in the control room on the border of Switzerland and France clapped as two beams of particles were sent silently first one way and then the other around the collider's 17-mile-long chamber.
August 26, 2008 | Brett Levy, Special to The Times
With SO many natural and resource crises facing mankind -- global warming, high energy prices, shortages of raw materials -- do we really need to worry about what life might be like a million years from now? But as new technologies emerge and our understanding of the universe grows, it is inevitable that futurists will try to project what lies ahead. It would be nice to report that "Year Million: Science at the Far Edge of Knowledge" -- 14 essays written by scientists, computer experts, mathematicians and fiction writers -- provides a fun escape while reaffirming to readers that we will survive our immediate woes.
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