When I heard Lawrence Krauss, author of A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing, was giving a lecture at The University of Auckland I had to be there.
I’ve always regretted missing Richard Feynman’s 1979 Douglas Robb Memorial Lectures. I was 13 and although aware of Richard Feynman’s work — thanks to Isaac Asimov — a lecture on Quantum Electrodynamics probably wasn’t high on the priority list. Later on, having read his books and several about him, I sought out the lectures on VHS (this was before YouTube!). It was a treat to see Feynman in action, if only via a grainy video.
So, I couldn’t miss the chance to hear another brilliant science communicator. I haven’t read 'A Universe from Nothing' yet and only recently started Lawrence’s own book on Feynman: Quantum Man. Throughout the lecture (similar to the Richard Dawkins Foundation YouTube below) I was reminded of Feynman.
“Lawrence Krauss will present a mind-bending trip back to the beginning of the beginning and the end of the end, reviewing the remarkable developments in cosmology and particle physics over the past 20 years that have revolutionised our picture of the origin of the universe, and of its future. In the process, it has become clear that not only can our universe naturally arise from nothing, but that it probably did.”
Throw in some social comment — mainly targeting US education, politics and creationism— and it was an entertaining and inspiring evening. It’s amazing how fascinating Nothing can be, even more amazing to think there is a plausible case it is responsible for everything.
While searching for the video above I also found this: “Join critically-acclaimed author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and world-renowned theoretical physicist and author Lawrence Krauss as they discuss biology, cosmology, religion, and a host of other topics.”