Broadcast 1603 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

05 Aug 2011 Dr. David Kaiser
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Guest: Dr. David Kaiser. Topic: This is the fascinating story of "a band of freewheeling physicists who defied the imperative to 'shut up and calculate' and helped to rejuvenate modern physics (quoted from Dr. Kaiser's website)." You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. For more information as well as contacting our guest, visit the book website, Dr. Kaiser started us off with an overview of interest in physics and science since his childhood days, his discovery of the book "The Tao of Physics" by Fritjof Capra, then on into college and being excited by quantum theory and Bell's Theorem. At this point in the discussion, Dr. Kaiser provided us with a brief overview of the history of physics from the end of WWII to the 60's and early 70's. As you will hear, the lay of the landscape was changing radically due to the economy, the Vietnam War, DOD basic research funding and other issues. In fact, at one point during the discussion, we were able to extrapolate comparisons to what is happening in the space workforce today though for different reasons. Dr. Kaiser then took us into the world of the Fundamental Fysiks Group centered around Berkeley, CA. Quoting from the book's website, "in the 1970s, amid severe cutbacks in physics funding, a small group of underemployed physicists in Berkeley decided to throw off the constraints of academia and explore the wilder side of science. Dubbing themselves the “Fundamental Fysiks Group,” they pursued an unconventional, speculative approach to physics. They studied quantum theory alongside Eastern mysticism and psychic mind-reading, discussing the latest developments while lounging in hot tubs. Unlikely as it may seem, their work on Bell’s theorem and quantum entanglement helped pave the way for today’s breakthroughs in quantum information science." Our discussion from this point forward talked about the personalities of those making up the Fundamental Fysiks Group, the consciousness and New Age movements in the San Francisco Bay Area and stretching down the coast to the Esalen Institute at Big Sur, CA. In our first segment, Dr. Kaiser talked about this group, their backgrounds, doing the calculations but also caring about the philosophy & the understanding of the science. In the second segment, John from Atlanta called to talk about Einstein & others and their relationship to quantum physics. John & our guest talked about the EPR Experiment, Bell's Theorem, & the concept that nothing moves faster than light. Our guest went into more detail regarding the counterculture physicists & a listener asked how this early unorthodox work contributed to the science of physics today. Don't miss what Dr. Kaiser said about this. As our discussion was coming to an end, Dr. Kaiser was asked if it was possible to bend the laws of physics or if other laws of physics might exist elsewhere in the universe. Again, don't miss his response to this listener question. Post your comments & questions on the blog URL above. You can email Dr. Kaiser through the book webpage provided above. Above all, you will really enjoy this book & you will likely learn a history that is not that all familiar to most of us.



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