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Neil deGrasse Tyson in your new book astrophysics for people in a hurry you open it by saying that the universe is under no obligation to make sense to you what does that mean get over it I think up until well really up to the year 1600 when we didn't have any particular tools to investigate the natural world our five senses we're the primary means by which we obtained all information about the universe and not even knowing that our five senses had limits if it's everything you know you think it's everything the universe is trying to give you but in fact it's not and so around 1600 with the invention of the microscope in one direction and then the telescope and the other next direction each event it within a decade of one another then all of a sudden pieces of the universe come available to us that transcend our senses the fact that leeuwen hook would look inside of a drop of pond water and see Mike microorganisms just like doing the backstroke right that your your eye brain sensory system could not have detected work not for the microscope and you know you can say does that make sense that you could have entire living creatures inside of a drop of water well today we know that because we learn it from childhood but in the day it made no sense at all in fact he had communication with the Royal Academy Royal Society in London which is what you would normally do when you make a discovery and they thought he was drinking too much gin it's like good write another letter when you recovered from this stupor from this drunken stupor and that we can continue our scientific conversation so they were in denial of it until they send someone up to verify which is a very natural thing to happen among scientists one result is not one eyewitness testimony about one result is not a scientific discovery you need verification of it to confirm that it's real and especially in modern times the 20th century and onward we have particle accelerators we discovered quantum physics which has rules of how matter behaves that fall completely outside of not only our senses but our our our expectations for how life would or or the how anything should work particles popping in and out of existence matter turning into energy and back and forth so then we discover like black holes and and the expanding universe how could everything there is be expanding at all right and so if you keep invoking that doesn't make sense you're going to miss out on a lot of what we have learnt discovered to be true about this universe what's significant about the year 1600 anything oh well optics had taken it up there's there's a lot of the Dutch we're very good at optics and lenses and this sort of thing and we know about what one lens would do you can make a little magnifying glass out of it but sort when you start combining them you get other properties of your optical system enabling you to get a microscope and once you did that that just opened the floodgates to what else you would do when you combine lenses and then Galileo made a really good version of it back in the early 1600s and then sky's the limit as he looked up was Galileo treated as a kind of a devil in a sense well so it was a little bit of cleansing so if depending on how long is the write-up on the account of his time like in times it that'll determine how much back you know background information you'll get so the the simple story is he makes these discoveries they conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church they put him on trial they find him guilty of saying that birth goes around the Sun and not vice versa as well as other other discoveries he's made with his Devils instrument and then they put him under house arrest what they don't tell you well they would tell you if you had a longer biography about him is that he actually made fun of the Pope public fun of the Pope he wrote a book in Italian not in Latin which is the academic language of the day in Italian which means the local people can read it and in it he invents a conversation between a simpleton and a someone who is wise of the ways of the universe and all if you track the statements of the simpleton they're all statements that have come but official decree from the Catholic Church so he's he's he's really a pompous a-hole basically can I say that it was a feast man and so socially he he did not express the respect he really should have for people who had much more power over him he could have published in Latin had it spread around the world among academic circles and I'm betting he probably would not have gone to trial that's my read of this and then the period is the Renaissance after all and you know new thought and fresh thought was not some weird thing so yeah he was just he had it coming because he he didn't know how to appease authority back to your book astrophysics for people in hurry 14 billion years ago the universe started you say how do we know how do we know that so the way knowledge is acquired scientifically is you you have an idea and you propose an experiment to test the idea and then you if it's an expensive experiment you probably don't have the money to do it in your garage so now you propose to get funding from sources typically if it's pure research it'll be a government source the National Science Foundation NASA has a research arm if you're in the other fields like biology human physiology you might be getting a grant from the National Institutes of Health and so so you have this idea you build an experiment and you test it and if the results of that experiment match your expectations then the foundation of your idea gains some currency in the conversations you might have at the scientific coffee lounges at workshops or in the journals then you're a competitor of mine and you say you know I never liked you I have a different you know huge scientists are human you know we're people too right so and I think you're wrong and here's the experiment I'm going to build to show that you're wrong so then you build an experiment and then you get a result it kind of matches my result that's kind of that's interesting because you had no no intent of matching me you don't even like me but now the results match and someone else does it you'll always have some outliers just because of the experimental uncertainties that exists in all experiments will always be some outlier but when there's a general a general lean towards a truth and emergent truth you look back into hell okay all these experiments pointed approximately the same result and they have these few outliers here so now we come to recognize that this is the new truth the new objectively established truth and that's what science does it is the most effective way we have ever devised as a species as a culture in decoding what is and what is not true about the natural world nothing rivals it at all and so so once we've done this then I say here is how the world works then we go on to the next problem and this is a celebrated thing I mean it's what goddess relativity and quantum physics and gravity and and it empowered the entire Industrial Revolution you couldn't have these machines you know what is a machine it's something that converts energy that lives as one form into energy that's useful to us in another form so what is a car it takes chemical energy and gas and turns it into energy of motion kinetic energy of your car and that requires machines to do that all this came out of the Industrial Revolution before the Industrial Revolution there were no there were no machines such as this there's something they had what we call simple machines a lever is an ax pulley those don't require high technology technically in the world of physics those are called machines okay a lever a pulley an inclined plane and what they do is they make your job a little easier so it it's simple so what watch how this works so I have this ledge and I have a very heavy thing and I want to lift it up to that ledge well I'm not strong enough to do that but if I make a ramp then I can just lift it up little bits at a time now the distance over which I have to lift it is longer but it takes this height and spread that out over time so that it makes it easier for me to complete the task the same amount of total energy is exerted but the rate at which I expend that energy is different and that's what that's what simple machines have always done for us and modern machines basically empower all of civilization first ten seconds of the universe what happen well so that that's a busy moment inspector oh sorry I didn't really focus in on your question about how do we know it's 14 billion years so here's what we did we look up in the universe and we say okay we see galaxies Hubble discovered that these fuzzy things in the night sky are entire galaxies such as our Milky Way major discovery in 1926 and then in 1929 he discovers that these fuzzy things that we now identify as whole galaxies are hurtling away from one another and this is the first evidence that the universe is expanding so people just think this up oh it must be X no it was an observation and then we look to see if it fit Einstein's general theory of relativity and it did general theory of relativity is the modern understanding of gravity and if anything's happening in the universe is going to involve gravity so you check to see if it works with this equations it does and so that way that means we didn't have to reinvent the theory of the universe because it worked and so then we say like if the universe is getting bigger the universe bigger today than it was yesterday and that must mean it was bigger yesterday than it was the day before and then the day before and then the day before so what happens if we just turn the clock back when you do this because you see how fast we're expanding just just reverse that you can do it on a pen sand paper on the back of an envelope just calculate what happens if you reverse this rate of expansion and the whole known universe is in the same place at the same time fourteen billion years ago that is the origin of the idea of the Big Bang first ten seconds first ten seconds so everything we know about matter that is compressed and under pressure tells us that the temperature will rise and the simplest example of this is if you ride a bicycle and your tire gets a little flat so you pump a hand pump you pump air into the bicycle tire and then you feel the valve when you're done it's hot you are compressing air through it okay and so that's just an example so it's related it's not exactly the same thing but it's related thermodynamically the science of the movement of energy from one medium to another is called thermodynamics so as the universe gets smaller so on it actually would have been hotter in the past than it is in the present and so now you keep because the inverse actually now has a temperature you can measure it got measured in the 1960s very cool you look in every direction and you see these the the heat signature left over after the fourteen billion years and so now you go back in time and you say okay the universe was hotter and hotter and hotter and higher huh how much hotter would it have been 14 billion years ago when the universe was this big and you get a stupendously high temperature and now you ask what is the behavior of matter and energy under those temperatures so now you turn to the particle accelerators that slammed particles together and the high pressure high energy high temperature I mean high so you start approximating the conditions of the earlier was that what an atom does is that when a nucleus does is that what happens so now you take knowledge gleaned from modern atomic physics and particle physics and you apply it to what's going on in the first few moments of the universe when it was hot small and dense and that gives you a pathway in a pathway of insights into what was going on then you know we find that you have an area where all particles are formed the basic foundational particles that everything else is comprised of we have light in the form of photons we have quarks that make up protons and neutrons we've all heard of protons and neutrons they're made of something else they made it what we call quarks and as far as we know quarks are fundamental as far as we know so far and also electrons and they all have antimatter counterparts proton electron has an antenna is called a positron very cool name actually positron something that science fiction people rapidly picked up on just to be clear we invented antimatter and discovered it that was not a science fiction invention although it works great in science fiction storytelling it happened in the real universe first so now you you you put you bring your insights to those first few moments of the universe and say what must have happened then given what we know goes on in our particle accelerators and it will tell you at the rate we were expanding at those temperatures you would be making hydrogen as the predominant atom in the universe so simple adam has only one proton in the nucleus you make this much hydrogen you make this much helium that has two protons in the nucleus you'll make trace amount of lithium that's the third element on the periodic table of elements remember from chemistry class and nothing else we will be a universe born with hydrogen and helium and barely any lithium waving and you say it's that so it would mean that the very oldest stars we can find ones born closest to the Big Bang that would still be alive today would be comprised of only hydrogen and helium that is exactly what we measure the very oldest stars have the least amount of heavier elements which we know we know this from the mid 20th century from calculations enabled by the nuclear research from the Manhattan Project and that the atomic bomb because we're calculating what atoms do Weedon we know that after that time stars are born pure hydrogen and helium they manufacture heavy elements in their core then some of them explodes scattering this enrichment to gas clouds that have yet to form stars now they form a next generation of stars that have a little bit of extra enrichment they'll make even more enrichment explode and then carry that extra enrichment to the next generation and this continues through we our solar system was born four-and-a-half billion years ago so that's more than nine billion years after the start of the universe so we've had the benefit of multiple generations of enrichment so now an our proto cloud collapsed to make the Sun it had all these other ingredients in it that it used to make planets because rocks are not made of hydrogen they're not made of helium they're made of silicon and oxygen and aluminum and arsenic all these other Eltham iron cobalt nickel all of that manufactured later is in abundance in very late generation stars that were formed so the lesson here is how ever weird it is to assert that 14 billion years ago the universe was this big literally this big and exploded from there you say well you weren't there how do you know okay you're right I wasn't there but if everything we know happens to matter happens then that it accurately predicts things we do measure that's what give us gives us the confidence to sit here and describe the first 10 seconds of the universe like we were there and it all started with a big bang huh so a song in there do we know what that Big Bang loss do we know what it was yeah all what we can tell you is that the Big Bang account of the beginning of the universe is a description of what matter and energy was doing from the earliest moments onwards now there's a there's a point before which it's a little mysterious to us it's called the Planck time named after Max Planck one of the father many fathers and quantum physics there's a point earlier in which it's kind of the limits of our ability to understand what nature is doing so we pick it up right after that Planck time I forgot the exact the Planck time is like 1 trillion trillionth of a second after the Big Bang no trillion 1 billion trillion trillion was that right 15 1224 yeah that's about right but well 1 million trillion trillionth of a second after whatever was the beginning then our physics that we now measure in our labs apply and then we can talk about what's going on in your book welcome to the universe from 20:16 you write that in five billion years the earth will be a charred ember oh yeah you know it's weird every now and then I tweet that every couple of years I tweet that and apparently it blows people's minds and I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing but so the tweet goes it varies any time I do but it goes something like this in five billion years the Sun will expand so large that it will engulf the entire orbit of our planet as we double Gulf the entire it will engulf earth as Earth and earth will be a charred ember as it descends into this star while it vaporizes have a nice day or something like that and people so if it's just a reality and it's a remarkable that we can know our fate in that way over that much time but how do we know it will we be there probably not so how do we know what there are other stars there's no shortage of stars in the universe we can see stars being born we see stars living out their lives we see stars in the act of dying and you can staple these bits of information together and create a coherent story in other words we don't live long enough to see a star born live out its life and die it takes millions and sometimes billions and in some cases trillions of years and we're around for a few decades so how is it that we know this because there are so many stars that in any snapshot of the universe we see stars being born stars and in middle-aged stars dying and we look to see oh these are the steps the same arc of a star they're just different stars with what we're catching at a different time it wouldn't be any different from if you were an alien took a snapshot of civilization you would see some humans in a box underground so what are they doing there you see other humans who are like little things crawling on the carpet you'll see other humans who are who don't have any hair that a little and others that don't have any hair who are older right it's just a snapshot because you don't you don't live long enough to see the whole thing if you're an alien and you live just 90 seconds it alright so you'll say how do I make sense out of this are people born in a box in the ground and they're all shriveling and then they come out of the box and then they get littler and littler and littler and then disappear inside of another person or is it the opposite so you keep studying all these photos that you have and then you can piece together a coherent story of what's going on and for the stars in the universe this took decades we did just look at one synapse Donatello that bigs born there and dies this know this took effort this was major telescopes being brought to bear a lot of human capital intellectual capital invested in trying to understand what stars are and how them and why they work a lot of this traces back to the Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge Massachusetts with there's a room full of than computers these are human calculators computers and all women because that was judged to be menial work and the men stayed in their offices you know doing high-level thinking and in this in this room of women was the foundation of our understanding of stellar evolution and a Dabba soul you should get her on this just wrote a book on this I think we called the glass universe I think you've covered it yeah yeah just as a as an homage to the glass ceiling the glass universe little did the high and mighty men know that when you calculate data that was collected from all the world's telescopes on stars therein was the source of the seeds of how and why stars are born live out their lives and die and this is book TV on c-span 2 this is our monthly in-depth program and this month we have author and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is our guest as you know if you watch this program we spend three hours with one author talking about his or her body of work and this month it's dr. Tyson beginning in 1989 dr. Tyson has written several books merlyn's tour of the universe was his first universe down to earth came out in 1994 just visiting this planet 1998 the sky is not the limit that was his fourth book 2001 universe also came out in 2000 and then cosmic horizons came out in 2001 origins came out in 2004 death by black hole 2007 the Pluto files 2009 Space Chronicles three years later and then last year Startalk came out as well as welcome to the universe and his most recent book astrophysics for people in a hurry if you'd like to participate in our program this afternoon here's how you can do so we'll put the phone numbers up to zero to is area code seven four eight eighty two hundred for those of you in the East and Central time zones seven four eight eight two zero one if you live in the mountain and Pacific time zones go ahead and start dialing in now if you can't get through on the phone lines still want to ask a question or participate in our program try us on social media at book TV is our twitter handle you can also make a comment on our Facebook page you'll see dr. Tyson's picture there just make a comment right underneath facebook.com slash book TV and finally email book TV at c-span org and we'll begin taking those in just a few minutes dr. Tyson back to your most recent book astrophysics for people in a hurry forty billion earth-like planets in the Milky Way alone I've got two questions what is the Milky Way how big a space are we talking about forty billion earth-like planets yeah so I it was hard-earned to learn what the Milky Way was consider that term that we use dates from ancient Rome Rome when they built streets they didn't call them streets they call them ways the Appian Way for example you look up in the night sky and see this Milky band of light and they just called the Milky Way the milky Street literally and in China where milk is a less popular beverage into adulthood they don't call it the Milky Way they call it the silver River and so this is a well-known feature in the night sky imagine to just be some cloud of light crossing from one horizon to the next and it would not be until Galileo and other large telescopes brought to bear on this question did we learn that when you put a telescope on the Milky band of light it reveals itself into stars countless stars that without a telescope are just so far away the light sort of puddles together so we say Wow alright but is this all there is just stars in front of our face and then the stars that are far away that make this band it would be it would take until 1920 before we resolve the debate about whether the spiral fuzzy things in the night sky were actual other galaxies separate from our Milky Way that got resolved very quickly after 1920 and especially with Hubble's observation that there other that these are other entire galaxies beyond the Milky Way and so there's we now know there's nearly a hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe and each galaxy has hundreds of billions of stars on average and so there's a range big galaxies little galaxies but we count them up 100 billion stars per galaxy 100 billion galaxies and there you have the observable universe and these are scattered throughout the landscape like cities dotting a countryside when viewed from space the local areas of light you've mentioned him a couple times Edwin Hubble who was he well so there's a telescope of course after whom I had been Hubble the telescope was named after Edwin Hubble he was a bit of a pompous kind of snooty astrophysicist back in the early part of the 20th century he did his best work in the 1920s he had access to the biggest telescope so that always leaves open the question would anybody with access to the world's biggest telescope be making the world's greatest discoveries or does it also require some kind of insight to empower you to even know what question to ask so for him is probably a combination of both but he stories about him he wear these sort of tweed suits and smoked a pipe and done a partly British accent when he's from like from backwoods America so but anyhow doesn't get a good thing about science you your personality is completely irrelevant to the quality of the work that comes out of your lab and so you can pray someone's work without that having to be being praiseworthy or the person themselves you can just separate the two so he worked for the Carnegie observatories in California and yeah I think back then if they if they figured out that they should have they would have given him a Nobel Prize for these discoveries but astronomer types didn't start getting a Nobel Prize until the 1960s so it would be the Nobel Prize in Physics given to an astrophysicist so we get them maybe once a decade or so for something we do you use this example in astrophysics for people in a hurry you talk about the earth as an apple and then the skin of the Apple is basically where we've traveled in a sense and I'm probably getting it a little wrong oh yeah so now I can tighten that up so people we think to ourselves that here you are walking around on the surface of a planet and we're at the bottom of this ocean of atmosphere okay whereas the thickness of the functional thickness of our atmosphere is to the size of the earth what the skin of an apple is to an apple what the shellac is to a school room globe that's on that school room globe so this atmosphere is not some infinite extent of air molecules it is it is a fragile thin skin on this thing we call Earth and I can quantify this for you the atmosphere has particles associated with it they go up thousands of miles but the part that when I said it's functional thickness because there's not an edge not atmosphere on this side not on that's a no-no it fades but you can say what distance so in the daytime how come you can't see stars you can ask that question and you said well because the Sun is out no that's not why you can't see stars but could the Sun of that you can't see stars because we have an atmosphere and the atmosphere scatters sunlight rendering itself aglow so in the daytime our atmosphere glows sky blue and that prevents you from seeing the stars in the daytime sky if you go to the moon you can be in broad daylight but there is no atmosphere you look away from the Sun have your eyes adapt there's the full nighttime sky so you can ask the question what altitude above the earth do you have to travel before the atmosphere is so thin that you can see stars in the daytime that's 100 kilometers up about 62 miles and so that's the functional definition that we invoke about being in space and that's 62 miles is what is the skin of an apple - an apple as is our atmosphere - the size of our planet how far out have we gotten from Mir do we go for the roof well with satellites or anything Oh much farther okay but humans we've gone to the far side of the moon when the moon was the moon's orbit around the earth is not a perfect circle so sometimes it's farther it's like an ellipse so Apollo 8 was an Apollo 13 it was Apollo 13 went to the moon when the moon was it nearest farthest point from the earth and they went around the moon before they made their trajectory landed they wanted to but they had remembered they had the the oxygen tank got destroyed so on the backside of the moon in that trajectory they were the farthest humans had ever been from Earth and so how far that about 240,000 miles away so in terms of spacecraft we the Voyager spacecraft just a few years ago launched in 1977 given some gravity boosts but slingshotting around Jupiter and Saturn and and I forgot the exact comic it was multiple planet multi cushion pool shot to exploit the the orbital energy of these various planets because we couldn't launch it with enough energy to escape the solar system it had to be it had to steal energy from planets in order to make this happen and we did this quite on purpose so you do this that Voyager 1 has now basically left all traces of the solar system so it's doesn't being going just past Neptune the last planet in the solar system if there's like comets beyond that the Kuiper belt of comets of which pluto is a happy member there's you go beyond and beyond the beyond and you reach a point where the sun's influence on the electronics of your spacecraft are now confused is with the influence of everything else in the galaxy and that's a functional place to say you have left the solar system and Voyager has done just that and that far away oh I forgot the number several hundred times the Earth's Sun distance but I forgot to I have to look that number up but it's far it's the farthest anything is out there still producing well yeah but you have to ask if we're still learning anything and what is them you know it's cost money to always keep something on line and we keep talking to it and which by the way we go through these funding episodes often you have something that's kind of working but it's exhausted it's useful life but it's still taking money so you shut this off and then get a fresh project then we'll have new questions that you're answering would you keep this going because you know it still works and you might discover something so we have what are called senior reviews each year where some of the most respected among us get together and decide what switch gets turned off and what switch gets turned on and that's why it's important that it's our most respected scientist among us because then we we judge that they are being fair in these assessments so so the Voyager spacecraft farthest thing we've ever sent by the way at the rate which is traveling if you aimed it to the nearest star it would take seventy thousand years to get there so give up all expectations that we're going to be visiting other planets outside of our solar system anytime soon 1973 how'd you end up in the Mojave Desert oh yeah 73 uh so I attended a camp a special astronomy camp for like geeky school kids I was in 73 yeah I was in ninth grade yeah so that was my first year in high school because back then what they called sorry I was transitioning from ninth grade to 10th grade and ninth grade was the oldest grade in my junior high school today they called up middle schools and they ended eighth grade but anyhow so that I was transitioning between the two I was a geeky kid as well as every other kid at this camp we lived in the Mojave Desert far away from any lifes very low atmospheric humidity which is one of the definitions of a desert and so that means there's no cloud formation very few clouds and we all live nocturnally and you wake up at night and there's a whole slew of telescopes we all had research projects and computers were very early at the time as we're programming this week route hovered around this computer we all try to program it one of us programmed it to spew out prime numbers which is a interative calculation we made it do ya this event this early this is like computation BCE so those are some formative years of my life ninth grade tenth grade 11th grade transitioning out of middle school into high school I attended the Bronx High School of Science the borough that I grew up in and I had a telescope and the camera and so yeah I was just that that that was a happy summer and my mother as a city kid that was my first time in the desert and then all these like creatures at night there was like you know tarantulas and black widows and not tarantulas black widows and what's the motive scorpions they said don't put your foot in your boot until you shake out the blue otherwise you'll get venom injected into your it's like hook heavy back to the city where my only all I thought just might be mugged that's all at least least I could talk to the mugger you know so but it was it was it was fun it was fun and so my mother saw an ad for this camp and she knew that I was had been interested in the universe for the previous five years of my life and then she was why would I know where to look for an ad or even have that as an ambition so my parents were particularly sensitive to what the interests were me my brother and my sister so they didn't impart interest upon us they carefully observed where we expressed interest and then fed those interests in whatever way best served our curiosity now with Cyril and sanchita yeah yes sir Oh Tyson sanchita Tyson I just lost my father this past into 7 December yeah yeah he's 89 so there's a full life I still miss him he ends up he was wise wise man and I think in modern times we forget what wisdom is you know there people who know a lot and they talk a lot and their pundits and and wise people don't talk a lot they do more observing than talking and then somewhere in their head mixed with their life experience they digest it and then come out with with simple easy-to-understand perspective that then sort of live with you course they'll live with you because they're the digestion of so many different pieces that you didn't necessarily have access to but they did because they live longer than you and they're observant their whole lives 2012 your book space chronicles came out and in that book on page 234 you write that our nation is turning into an idiocracy that was I that harsh awful up page that's why I wrote the page number just in case you a question that you wrote that I yeah okay sure I'm normally softer with my critiques than that normally the way I would present such a statement would be we are behaving this way in these situations if that continues we would then become a nation in idiocracy that's generally how I word that so I would double check after a 301 when the cameras fell off on the right now so I think if if people don't or they stopped valuing disco three so just just just for as backdrop for space chronicles facing the ultimate frontier if I can just tell a brief backstory to that we've got three hours so I'm assuming I could ultimately maybe how I worded all that okay our nation is turning pretty and regionally okay okay so you've got a getting this quote it's verbatim so thank you so an idiocy in the context in which I've discussed it um it's not a system where people simply don't know things okay if you don't know something there's no crime in that maybe you didn't study it maybe you didn't spend sixteen years in school and he spent only 12 over 20 years in school as some people do to get advanced degrees so as an educator I will never hold someone's absence of knowledge against it the problem arises if you have an absence of knowledge and you either know or worse don't know that you have this absence of knowledge and then you have power over legislation that should be informed by that knowledge and is not and then you have you come to it aggressively in your ignorance that is that as a recipe for societal disaster so part of what it is to be educated is to have a keen sense of when you don't know something and you either do the homework yourself you know just because you're not in school doesn't mean you can or shouldn't do homework all right just because you're not at school doesn't mean you shouldn't keep learning so that's an obvious point so the viewers of book TV of course but in the for the general population consider how many people you know who might have run down the steps on the last day of school and thrown their notes in the air school down whether that's the last day of school because they're graduating even just any other year up until graduation summer I don't have to learn anymore and where does that come from how is it that your time in school can lead you to celebrate being out of school what's that about what is what is missing in the educational pipeline that people resent being in school what is missing where in college you attend a lecture but the word lecture outside of college is otherwise a bad word stop lecturing me I don't want to be lectured that it's a bad work what's going on so so maybe what we're missing in the educational system isn't is a is a a reminder that can be fun to learn and the last day of school people should walk down the steps sad that now there's an entire summer where they won't be learning what a world that would be oh my gosh so do we teach it differently are we selecting our teachers the white right way or the curriculum I don't I don't have an answer for that and simply simply sharing the observation and I know that's not helpful to just point it out but I would claim a lot of the world's problems would be solved if education became a joyous experience rather than it's something you want to escape from as quickly as possible so an idiocracy of course I draw that word from the film it was an indie film called idiocracy if you might build an Netflix it or something but it was a world where the people in charge did not fully understand the decision the consequences of the decisions they were making and the absence of understanding came from an absence of awareness of how nature works and there's a scene where they're feeding Gatorade to plants because the ads for Gatorade said it replenishes your nutrients so they said well if it works for us I bet it works for our plants they just poured maybe just it he just got to see official government decisions that had little or no anchor in reality yet everyone kind of thought it was the right thing to do so I so so so in in space chronicles facing the ultimate frontier it contains an exploration of all the elements of society that might not be in a position to judge or make an informed decision about the value of space exploration going forward and that was in 2012 just recently in The Wall Street Journal an article by an op-ed by Crispin Sartre well this is a quote in the Trump era says celebrity physicists Neil deGrasse Tyson who adds that this is the most important thing he's ever said people quote have lost the ability to judge what is true and what is not okay so that sentence that was from a video that was posted just before the science March that sentence did not include reference to Trump at all that was added in that editorial I just said we live in a time where people have lost the ability to judge what is true and what is not and if you want to call the pre-election Eric part of a Trump era okay but if you're looking at something on the internet and you think it's true and do not have the capacity to judge whether it's not true that is another element that is another ingredient in the recipe for disaster so this is this Trump is a manifestation the Trump era where what is true and what is not has is home and we're almost that distinction is not made where that is risen to high Heights I would claim those seeds that those seeds were germinating long before and it has to do with what people think is true after they read it on the internet our susceptibility to this and here's something else again I hate to sound like a broken record if anyone remembers what a broken record is that in k-12 somewhere in there rather than pouring knowledge into people's heads and declaring them to be educated for having done so somewhere in there we need to train people how to think how to analyze how to interpret how to be skeptical of information and then how to recognize when sufficient data has been put for us to turn something that you might be skeptical about into something that is a newly established objective truth that is not taught in the schools this should be a class just on what science is and how and why it works and that would transcend the physics class the chemistry class the biology class the geology class the general science class this would be its own course so that when you are college educated and some institution has declared you graduated and alerted member of society if you turn around and say I choose not to believe this emergent scientific consensus I know you don't have that option it's not how objectively established scientific truths are determined it is true whether or not you believe in it and in retrospect you think maybe that's what you should base legislation on not something you want to be true or feel should be true or it's something that you that that you don't allow to be true because your religion prevents it or because your political philosophy prevents it you don't have that option if it's an objectively established truth and like I said earlier that is the entire point of the scientific enterprise knowing what is true what is not and in particular just like I said scientists are humans too and we have bias and we have all the stuff that goes on but every other human in this world also touches scientists so we built a system to double-check against that if I am biased and my bias shows up in some result because I took some data and not others and I could have done it this way and not somebody else is gonna get famous for checking my result and showing that I'm wrong Dyson is wrong he messed up here and if it's shown that I that my bias did influence it I get a demerit that's not a real thing but it's there it's it will it will interfere with the next time I have an interesting result and I want people to pay attention to it so there's a huge cost if a scientist is somehow meddling with their data because they have an idea of what they want their data to show then it comes at a huge cost to their career but even if they think they can get away with it somebody else will ultimately find it and if they show that it's wrong then we don't have any result at all and your bet everybody is back to the drawing board so so objective truth I'm thinking that's what any law legislation should be based on if you base it on anything else then you are imposing what might be your personal truth your political your personal truth is everyone should fend for themselves and not get a government handout let's say that's your you feel really strongly about that well that's how you feel and in a free country go right ahead if you want everyone else to feel that that's politics fine go have that political discussion in the floor of Congress because that will affect where monies go the a--fun this support program do you not do you put in a tariff do you subsidize do you not that's a political conversation go right ahead and then the law that comes out have political flavor to it I don't have a problem as that but if your law somehow pivots on something that is not scientifically true you're building a house of cards with a first flute or first two floors look stable but they're completely Hollow and empty by the time you put on a third floor the whole thing collapses nature is the ultimate judge jury and executioner of what is true space Chronicles 2012 we need to go back to the moon I I will not say what we need to do all I will do because I'm not I'm not a pundit trying to get everyone to agree with an opinion I might have what I do instead of other space Chronicles is a collection of everything I've ever thought and written on space exploration and so it contains like op-eds and articles and speeches it's a it's an amalgam and so you can dip it's very easy to dip in and out of but I'm not going to tell you we should go to the moon know what I'm going to say is that high highly ambitious exercises conducted by governments have huge exhibit huge force on the ambitions of a nation on the creativity of the nation on the innovations of the nation I don't think it's an accident that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were 12 and 14 what if somewhere around there when we landed on the moon how impressionable can you be can you get there it is there's a future that and you see this and you don't even have to be interested in space you just have to be interested in the fact that new frontiers are being breached and it's possible to do so and then it gets infused into your into your goals into your it into your trajectory of life so I'm offering space exploration be at the moon Mars beyond doesn't matter but if you go into space it is adventurous it is you have to invent stuff to make that if you're advancing a frontier you're gonna have to invent some because you can't just use off-the-shelf things you're going to have to use and invent things that have never been used or invented before that takes ingenuity innovation clever engineers scientists working together and you might even need clever lawyers why because oh I want to live on the moon who owns that plot of moon surface is it am I in my homesteading a my I want to mine an asteroid for natural resources who owns the asteroid should anyone on the asteroid these are legal questions that's a whole legal frontier so everyone can become a participant in this and when that happens the government does it first because the government doesn't have to satisfy a quarterly report the government can open new industries as it's done before as it did with aviation the government monies from the government prompted innovations in aviation in its earliest days because I'm saying I owe an airplane now we can carry mail through the air who wants the contract and each I want the contract I can carry four bags of mail and somebody else is I'm using the same plane as you but I can make a modification I can make the hole a little bigger I can carry a little more fuel make sure I can carry six magazine a mail and so there is a race to see who would then get these government contracts to carry air mail and what if so what happens the fifth person says I can carry 30 bags and whatever make up these numbers what the sense of it is correct at 30 bags minutes of wait a minute I don't need to carry mail I just put champions now I can sell seats and then vests is born an entire industry of aviation because of certain investments that a government makes that then enable subsequent entrepreneurs to expect the new place that the technology has been taken so we go into space I'd say you have a whole suite of launch vehicles and where do you want to go today are you on a mine an asteroid that's why I put these two Rockets together and you bring all your own equipment because I don't know how to dig on an asteroid but you'll know there you go oh you're a biologist you want to look for life on the surface of Mars strap these together there's a big pocket in this and if foods there you go we want to torse jaunt around the moon that's these rockets and all of a sudden the solar system becomes our backyard again to do all this requires huge levels of innovation but I would claim that once there's a first round of innovation that can establish the cost and the risks and the returns on investment then private enterprise comes in and then they do they do their thing as they always do no different from the Dutch East India Trading Company coming in after Christopher Columbus who himself was sent by Spain and he comes back and says we're how long it took you quantify things the thing you can make a business case to to exploit if you can find another way to infuse an entire nation well with ambitions of tomorrow that will trigger innovations of today thereby assuring a future of health wealth and security because that's coming from technology it's not coming from any other branch of human existence but science and technology are going to give us tomorrow's health wealth and security I'm simply offering the exploration of the universe as a force of nature operating on our innovations on our urge to innovate if you have something else bring it in I'm not going to if it works and it works better go ahead I've yet to hear of a better example another quote from space Chronicles NASA operates on our hearts on our minds on the educational pipeline all for one half cent on the tax dollar about a twenty dollar twenty billion dollar yes if you just take twenty billion and divide it by by the the budget I forgot what is it three trillion four trillion whatever the number is if you if you run the numbers it comes in to about a half a penny on the tax dollar and if you hold up in a literal dollar and then take scissors and cut one half of one percent of its width you don't even get into the ink from the side of the dollar and when people say buy wise mess is spending those money up there when we have problems here on earth and that's assuming that if you took all the money we spent on NASA and then apply them to the problems in the earth that all the problems would get solved that very statement kind of presupposes that yet most of those people who utter that sentence do not actually know how much NASA is getting I've done I've done this I've done it like people on the street right so you ask the people who complain about NASA I say well here's a tax law how much do you think they're gay Oh 10% 15% 5% no one-half of 1% when I tell them that I didn't know that is that half of 1% they made a space station and the space shuttles and the Hubble telescope and all the NASA centers and the Cassini mission which is now at at Saturn all of this is in the one half of one percent on a tax dollar so I asked you I posed the question to you how much is the universe worth to you all right one more observation and then we're going to take your calls you've been very patient we've spoken for an hour now we've got two hours to take his to take calls and and hear from dr. Tyson first I want to show this and I'm not getting it right there are four books you have here the Pluto files death by black hole space Chronicles and origins what's special about these world books they did this and I was very impressed that your publisher yeah the publisher Norton so these four different books and they all have different covers okay very kind of Spacey covers as you as you might expect because all the books are on the universe and so I they decided to make the bindings match up into a coherent I just came in so this is the famous ring nebula if you can see Letty Griffith if you just take it I gotta get there we go but that aha so it's the ring nebula as what it's a fact it's a it's the death throes of a star our Sun will look something like that so in the center this is the remains of a star that once was and its outer layers expanded into oblivion and so now these have expanded hugely much bigger than what is the extent of our orbiting planets and so they're tons of these in the night sky that's how we know how stars died this is one way this is a non explosive death we have examples of explosive deaths and they're much than much Rati er they're much courrier it really looks like stellar guts spewed forth whereas this is rather stately and beautiful like a smoke ring so yes and I have to get all four books by which I couldn't undo well let's begin with a question via email this is from a young man named Bradley Nitin his parents both work at c-span long time Dave and April both work at c-span for a long time did you give them preference to get their question first well you know what I might have gotten an email that's directly yes and this is from April and she says my son Bradley who's 11 as a question for dr. Tyson here's a question when going to a different planet what aspect of traveling will be most important so the great question is a lot of thinking about this especially at the Johnson Space Center in Houston NASA's headquarters for sort of the manned spaceflight it's not called crewed crw crude spaceflight so they worry about food not only is there enough food but will you like the food if you get bored with the food will that affect your morale and then you're less effective doing other tasks do you need comfort food do you want exotic food international food the water supply is there enough water do you recycle the water if you recycle the water that means it collects all of your urine filters it and then you drink it back is that too freaky for you to do is that should way water is not uncommon in the universe but in space is hard to get to you got to like last soo a comment if you want to hold supply of fresh water and we don't know how to do that other things the time in a close quarters with only one or two or three other people months and months and in some cases years there's a whole psychological dimension to that can we remain emotionally stable over those times on earth people kill one another they get into fights they there many even in the film interstellar there's an astronaut fight scene which was like water that but nonetheless they showed it and of course there's two guys and astronaut students fighting on an alien planet so so there's that there's will they miss their family or their loved ones at home there's the fact that if you fly without creating artificial gravity that you are weightless the whole time are you perpetually motion sick or do you get used to it and if you get used to it are there any other factors on the body your body expects one gravity one 1g we call it which is the equivalent of Earth's surface gravity and if you go to centrifuge that you can increase the gravity with a centrifuge but through space if you can create artificial gravity good if you can't what does it like to be weightless for a year on route to your destination or longer we already know some of the answers to that you begin to lose bone density you have the bones of a frail old woman if you keep this up so we have to figure out what exercise is will will give you the kind of resistance that we live in moving against gravity I reach for this cup I have to lift it against gravity and little things that we take for granted are not something that is normal when you were in space so all of these factors have to come together and which is why you can't just send any old person into space they have to be healthy he also wanted to be competent in performing tasks and you might want to throw in a medical doctor if the crew is large enough because something might happen to you physiologically and then you need some engineers you need the combination of expertise so that the collective safety of the crew is preserved so all of this matters and there's another book I can recommend by Mary Roach it's called packing for Mars where all the little little little things you've got to keep track of we interviewed her for star talk and there's a whole section in the star talk book which you didn't you didn't bring today I went through it but it was too heavy to bring to hands in heavy debris dad's gravity I'm sorry the universe has some weight all right we got to do this in zero-g next time then you'll have no excuse they can just toss the book and it'll float into your BLAP so yeah great question Thanks and Mary Roach has been on this program you can go to book TV Norg you can watch the three hours with author Mary Roach as well well Bernie and Howard Beach New York you have been very patient you are on with Neil deGrasse Tyson thank you it's a it's a pleasure to listen to mr. Tyson I have a couple of questions first does the Big Bang violate the conservation of energy could it be that we're going to have a big crunch followed by another big bang followed by another big crunch ad infinitum and I'd love to see you run for Congress I send the Tyson sounds really good to me thank you Vernie why why have you thought about this Big Bang do you work in some kind of scientific field er just took some physics while I was in school and the the Big Bang especially is interesting because it's almost a religious question I I think that it's still possible that you can make a case for the universe to have been here all the time forever but originally there was something like a steady state theory which was abolished by the Big Bang but it doesn't seem to preclude the idea that the universe was always here and if the universe was always here well then we don't need a creator doing thank you that's Bernie and Howard beats New York okay I think I have mental record of each one of those in sequence so a a couple of things first all evidence we have ever obtained in the history of this exercise in since the beginnings of cosmology which basically came to us with Einstein and Edwin Hubble and others that gave supportive data for this and it includes a Belgian priest even by the name of George LaMotta who was generally considered the father literal and figurative father of the Big Bang itself he wrote down the equations using Einsteins new theory of gravity to show that we would have a beginning in the past so so so all data we have ever obtained is unequivocal in its conclusion that we are on a one-way expansion trip one way so so no crunch no crunch no slowdown stop and then Rica laughs not that it reca lapse is prohibited by Einstein E and gravity or by any other sense of what the universe could do we happen to be a universe where that is not the case so this is simple now given that it's only a one-way trip that means we had a beginning and the entire Big Bang description takes us from the beginning into the unlimited future so you might then ask and I'm putting these words in the question in his mouth but it gets to his other question what was around before the beginning well we don't have data for that so we don't know but we've got top people working on it and one of the ideas which actually comes naturally out of the extensions of Einstein's gravity and the extensions of quantum physics is that there may have been a multiverse and a multiverse would then pre-exists our universe we're just a bubble that came out of it among possibly infinite other bubbles so these are other universes with slightly different laws of physics manifest within them and so so just to imagine that the universe was always there not our universe because we had a beginning but maybe the multiverse was always there that's possible oh maybe the multiverse had a beginning maybe the multiverse is one expression of what a Metaverse creates look I mean if there's a Metaverse that each has bubbles of multiverses in each of multiverse creates universes ah is there anything to prevent that in principle no and that philosophical trajectory is not fundamentally different from thinking earth as if it is it oh no no we're one of eight planets get over it ah then so that it's a demotion then we say well how about the Sun Sun of course now the Sun is just one of a hundred billion other Suns in the Milky Way the Milky Way of course no it's one of a hundred billion other galaxies so we've had good precedent for recognizing that the universe is really bad at making things in one's and that may be true even for the universe itself that there could simply be multiple universes and I think that may have been two out of three of the of his questions you will keep keeping notes here there was a he asked you know and you talk about this and several of your your books and your talks is their religious aspect to the Big Bang Theory and then he have you ever considered running for office oh thank you oh so so the thing is when you use the word religion it comes with certain expectations of what it means and here in the West what most places of the world when you say religion it involves a a document of some kind a holy God holy book that prescribes what you should believe even in the absence of evidence and it then tells you about what conduct you should have in the in the in the fact of that belief system okay in science you can put forth an idea that doesn't yet have evidence but everybody's looking for evidence and if we cannot generate evidence for it then it ultimately would just simply be discarded and put on a shelf so evidence matters in this so if you want to call it a religion with evidence okay that's just a very fresh usage of the word religion in your vocabulary so I don't I don't debate words with people that's I don't I don't value time invested in debating definitions just tell me how you're using the word and I'll tell you whether what it is agrees with it if using the word religion in a way that allows evidence to define what it is people think say and do then fine it's all religion because that's what science does it finds evidence that defines and discovers the truth of the world that's just not simply how anybody else in the world is using the word religion these need to refer to some kind of spiritual elements that require faith in something being true rather than evidence for something being true political office oh I was once asked by the New York Times there was some impasse several impasses ago in Congress and they just thought they would have fun and ask people who are definitely not politicians what solutions do they have for getting things through Congress and fixing things and I think the way they asked it was but if you were president what would you do what solutions do you have so I wrote back if I were president I wouldn't be president you can find it's on my website you say if I were president you just Google that in my name Tyson it'll take you to the near my take into the New York Times part but I duplicated it in my website because they cut out a paragraph that there's not enough space so the full response to that question is there and it comes down to the expectation that if you run for office you somehow can change everything and I'm not convinced of that so I'm a little contrarian here in fact my views would be but the literal opposite of what a lobbyist does lobbies go straight to the politician to influence the politician in ways that serve the interest of the lobbyists and who they represent for me any elected official represents people who put them into office so as an educator what matters is not so much who the official is what matters is what is the state of enlightenment of who's doing the voting because if people for example all knew recognized and valued what science is and how and why it works they would never even dream of voting for someone who doesn't know that because that person would then not represent their full interests so I would rather educate an electorate so they can put people in office who can make scientifically informed decisions about everything they do rather than just install myself into office and lead people who don't yet have this knowledge or insight that's not what and eighty-eight thing I did the math right on this 88% of Congress stands for re-election every two years so you can convince one congressman or another but then you got to start all over again you educate the electorate we're good I go to the Bahamas elect people will take this country into the future rather than back into the cave next call for Neil deGrasse Tyson comes from David in East Hampton Massachusetts good afternoon David hi another family member of mine I was telling him that you were on TV and suggesting he might want to watch and he told me something that he heard I don't know how accurate this is or what the story is but basically he said something about something called an EM Drive that supposedly can drive a spaceship quickly and I'm just wondering is an EM Drive a real thing and if so what is it and how does it work and also I'd be interested to hear about other possible drives for spaceships for long distance travel like to Mars or even further yes that's a great question let me just give some backstory so right now our rocket ships are we're still using just little called chemical energy so you have some molecule which when you break it apart it releases energy so in chemistry we say it's exothermic as opposed to endothermic where the reaction absorbs energy and by the way we we experience this if you ever see cold packs that you buy in a drugstore where you sort of squeeze it and then the think it just gets cold well that's an endothermic reaction is sucking energy out from its environment and then you have heat packs where the opposite happens so you can get very clever with your chemistry and make this happen well rockin in his or endothermic so you squeeze the rocket and then look so it's highly exothermic what a rocket engine does so but we've had chemical fuel since since Robert Goddard back in when his experiments early 1920s or so so very little hasn't proved in our capacity to propel ourselves through space since you know for a hundred years almost now so there's been some talk about other kinds of drives the one of them is a solar sail where you can use propulsion from sunlight that you open up a huge sail relative to the size of your craft so that you get maximum sort of pressure from sunlight and that can accelerate you and accelerate you for free and with the way you move around as you attack just the way you would a sail boat you would tack into the wind or away from the wind or but fit nap but here the wind is sunlight that you're doing this with and that you can navigate the solar system it's a little slower but maybe you would ship cargo that way and then send people faster and so the future of space exploration need not be limited to chemical energy there are other drives there's a there's a plasma drive where you have very hot gas and you let very highly high-speed particles come out because the hot air gas is the faster the particles move and you let them come out and that is a very low impulse propulsion but it's very high so no you're not going to sort of accelerate very much when one particle comes out but this accumulates and you can ultimately accelerate to very high speeds doing so now so here's the problems this and the M drive and all of these frontier means of propulsion yeah you can go real fast with them instead of taking nine months to get to Mars you'll take a month okay perhaps if you want to go to visit Saturn instead of taking twenty years you'll take two years but even if you got to the speed of light near the speed of light it's not going to reach the speed of light near the speed of light you want to cross the galaxy we'll watch you do this by our time reckon you'll take you a hundred thousand years to cross they get at the speed of light so the the answer here by the way you will age much more slowly so you'll get there without much time having elapsed but we who sent you will see you take a hundred thousand of our years to do that and so this is not a realist you come back we would have all long forgotten about you that's if civilization is still here so none of these drives solve the interstellar travel problem relative to a human lifespan if we lived a million years as individuals sure who cares if it takes a thousand years to get somewhere that's one one thousandth of your life sure if it's a really interesting place what's going to so what we really need is wormholes wormholes just you open a door here and on the other side of the door on the back side you're in another part of the galaxy by the way viewers of this program probably read more books than see movies but there's a movie called Monsters Inc the animated kids film there's a lot of good adult humor in it too but so these are monsters that work at a factory these are monsters whose sole job in life is to scare little children good so of course why else would be a monster so they work in this factory and this factory makes doors doors and they have the door there's nothing on it's just a door they open the door and go through it and it is the door of a child's closet in the kids bedroom and so they emerge from the kid's closet to then scare the child then they go back through the door and they're back at the factory that's a wormhole they didn't say that in the movie but that's a wormhole that's how a wormhole would work would work would work yes and I tried to be clever at one time I would like I was in Charlotte Airport I had to go from a big plane to a little plane and I swear I want five miles in the air is probably like just a mile but it felt impossibly long and I tweet try to be clever and I say I can't wait till we have wormholes then that way all Gates can just be adjacent to one another gate 400 is just the other side of the door gate number one someone tweeted back dr. Tyson if we have wormholes then you won't need airports well ice it busted you got it so yes that's that's so not proven what wormholes it works on paper yeah but we don't know how to make one or keep one open because they'll have a tendency to want to collapse yeah we just work some science fiction that's the best place we can invoke a wormhole but until then we're going to be pretty much earthbound if we left right now it would take us nine months to get to Mars no no you can't leave right now you have to leave when Mars and Earth are properly aligned so so just to remind people if you see Mars in the sky and they start traveling to it but no no you you have to travel to where Mars will be when you get there so it's a matching of trajectories that matters here and so it's what we call the minimum energy trajectory so it's one where you burn your engines and then you shut them off then you coast to Mars until Mars pulls you into its gravitational influence and then you fall towards Mars that takes about nine months but if you run your engines the whole time which we can't do yet because we don't know how we don't have enough fuel if we have filling stations along the way you could do this you fill up burn your engines and then you're accelerating to Mars by the way that will give you gravity artificial gravity inside the ship if the ship is accelerating and then but to slow down you have to turn the ship around and then accelerate to slow down and but anyhow if you do that you get to Mars in weeks a few weeks but it'll take a boatload of fuel to do that but if fuel is cheap then why not just need filling stations Lewis San Mateo California you're on book TV with Neil deGrasse Tyson yes I'm in the Bay Area there's show with the Deepak Chopra right now but them I'm choosing a mr. Tyson instead I had a question about them okay thank you I've done what I think of when asked about human potential instead and oh actually the thwarting of the knowledge from a political forces like Clinton's right now there's a I think a woman astrophysicist in Hawaii who wants to they know exactly what they want to look for and they want to build a telescope they're the largest one in the world on the biggest mountain it would be perfect except for some American I'm sorry Native Hawaiians who consider it sacred so can't do it and so I guess thought to build in the Canaries canary islands are still dating um and I was just thinking another example would be in terms of particle physics they were supposed to be a super collider built in Texas in the late 80s and early 90s which would dwarf the UM the one that's in Europe right now the the one that's the largest one in the world and because of the success of Republicans saying that we can't build it and pay for it to get pay for wars that they can't pay for you know science so just one thing you know cuz it's just to me like at this point we probably would have figured out those matter right now maybe be on our way to understanding dark energy and even something unless you've covered a lot of topics here and we'll get it we'll get a response in a second do you work in science in any way no I wish I'm I'm unemployed but I'm not selling my Leslie we need you be i universal basic income but uh I just try to Kim to get some books in the library from lecture on Carol or Billy or some books but that sort of constant change all right Melissa thank you very much dr. Tyson anything they'd like to say to him yeah thanks for those questions and I think books have always been the great portal to to other places and other ways of thinking so happy to hear that you are so in that whatever is your life's trajectory in this moment books are giving you other things to think about and look and Sean Cal the writes great physics books there - Sean Carroll's by the way there's a think there's a science writer biologist and then there's a physicist I assume you meant - physicist when when when you mentioned Sean Carroll but you might have met the other one but I do want to the so the on Mauna Kea in Hawaii is the most perfect spot on Earth's surface to have a telescope it is at 14,000 feet above all moisture that could interfere with review between you and the universe airflow from the ocean across the mountain is what we call laminar instead of turbulent so that the images that you get through the telescopes are sharp rather than blurry so in recent years there has been resistance to adding more telescopes to the mountain top and resistance that's come about from native Native Hawaiians who who value the mountain as a sacred place and so if we're in a culture that respects cultures as much or if not more than science then you will get occasions where you want to build something technological that conflicts with a a religious or cultural or spiritual or sociological value and so you don't and then you build it somewhere else this happens so so these are choices a country makes what was manifest here is that if there's a telescope that was going to be in Hawaiian is now in the Canary Islands which is Spain and we were going to have a particle accelerator but then the next particle accelerator to do what ours was going to do because it got as budget zero is now in Switzerland it simply means we will lose the leadership in those areas and others to come as long as that continues that's just the reality of this and the interesting one of the many interesting things about science is that it is science is not a national thing in effect it's not it's not anybody's national thing these are objective truths being explored in the objective universe so if the United States doesn't do it that doesn't mean no one else will other nations will rise up for example the largest telescope in the world today which focuses on radio tell us it used what used to be the artists ebo telescope in Puerto Rico largest dish in the world in fact many movie scenes are filmed including several important ones from Carl Sagan's film contact now the largest radio telescope in the world is in China so that if aliens who are sending signals to us and we have to find it out of the din of cosmic radio noise the Chinese will be the first to communicate with aliens not the Americans and so this will just continue it's one of the signs that the United States is sort of fading on the world technological state there are many but these are part of them if you do not think science matters then in the future you will be buying products innovated elsewhere and your economic health and stability you could still be a functioning country but you're not gonna be leading the world in anything that will be shaping tomorrow's civilization Steve Anaheim California please go ahead Steve Anaheim one more time right I apologize dr. Tyson Steve is not there but he brought up Carl Sagan what's what was your relationship with him how did you get to know it wasn't you know I think the press occasionally overstates what the relationship was I met him when I was 17 just an anonymous high school kid but what was remarkable about that that he was already famous though he had not yet done cosmos but he was already famous had been on Johnny Carson The Tonight Show multiple times cover stories in Parade magazine he was already well-known and I'd applied to Cornell where he was on the faculty and unknown to me that admissions office sent my application to him to get his comment in reaction my application was dripping with the universe at the time because I'd known since age 9 that this is what I wanted to do he then sent me a personal letter inviting me to tour the campus and visit the lab so that I can make an informed decision of where I would attend and uh so yeah I said yes so I got on the bus went from New York City up to Ithaca New York this was in December in the winter was cold and he indeed met me outside the building took me to the lab showed me the lab reached behind him I never forget this we didn't even have to look grabbed the book off the shelf was one of his books and signed it to me I just thought wow that's badass you don't mean have to work and whatever your hand lands that's a book that you've written and I have I still have that book it was his book the cosmic connection and it says to Neal future astronomer carl and so then at the end of the day he drives me back to the bus station it begins to snow not an uncommon thing in ithaca new york i would later learn and then he says hmm here's my home phone if the bus can't get through just call you can spend the night with my family and I'm thinking I'm just like nobody from nowhere and I I remember distinctly thinking if I'm ever remotely as famous as Carl Sagan then I will have a duty and obligation to treat students with this level of kindness and generosity that he had exhibited with me and I didn't ultimately attend Cornell but that was an indelible moment in terms of how to behave in the presence of others who have ambitions on tracks that you have laid or tracks that you are on so there after I attended one of his talks he gave a couple of public talks he blurbed my second book I don't know if you have it here that no you don't need to have a hand up no not universe downtown at once he called I came out in 1994 so I wrote a letter to me I don't know if you remember me I was a kid who did this but even if not is my foot but it was my second book um and so he read it wrote a blurb and said Oh on page 17 I think you have a typo is this and not that so that's how you knew he actually did go through the whole book so but that was it until his widow and drill who was one of the co-authors of the original cosmos woman with huge talent in her own right you know deeply insightful in fact for me I would say she's one of the most enlightened people I've ever met just in terms of you ask her question and she'll say something hey I never thought hey hey that's good that's yeah keep talking obviously here and listen did you just talk for the next hour and and when you meet someone like that it's that's a special thing and so I was invited by the estate that basically to host the follow-on cosmos to the original and she continued to co-author that with a colleague of mine Steve Souter who also co-author the original cosmos would call so the two of them re-- teamed up for this project and but other than that I mean I had a few encounters with with Carl maybe five but we weren't like beer drinking buddies and hung out at each other's houses it wasn't that relationship and nor was it a mentorship which you would presume you get that with persistent one-on-one exchanges it was more and let me pose a different question do you actually have to be close to someone for them to serve as a mentor and I don't think you do you just have to be aware of the examples that they set and and what place they occupy in society and if you're observant and if they are successful at that then just simply being aware and if you're receptive to it simply being aware and receptive can in its own way have them serve as a mentor so I can think of it as a mentor but if you use the word it gives a different impression than what people would be expecting of the word how many day jobs do you have right now ya know I claim only one day job everything else was a night job so I'm a director of New York City's Hayden Planetarium there's another Hayden Planetarium in Boston by the way which is sort of buried within the Boston Museum of Science so it doesn't have its own sort of storefront in the name Hayden it's at Saint Hayden money the Hayden foundation well we were the fifth planetarium in the United States but not defense as famous as Hayden became in New York it was the fifth planetarium after Los Angeles Pittsburgh Chicago was the first and there's another one I keep forgetting and then came us so but all that happened very quickly like within 10 years or so back in the 1920s and 30s between 1930 and 1935 five planetariums went on and so so Haim was alive when we gave us the money but then the foundation it was a financier so the foundation existed and then they're still active today they give monies to programs that help kids after school boost's they're sort of interest in what it is to learn so so yeah so I'm director the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History but also I mean I enjoy writing and a perfect day for me is when the phone doesn't ring there's nothing in my inbox and I can just write I also want to get back to the lab not something I've been in much lately the proverbial lab so for me it would be at the computer reducing data from telescopes theorizing things that can be tested just being a full up scientist again I greatly missed that it's now a very small fraction of the time I invest in a week but I have have a possibly delusional ambition that I'm visible enough so other people want to do exactly what I do and then they rise up and then all the media starts focusing on them and then I can sort of back away and unnoticed and then I go to the Bahamas and recover and then I sneak into the lab and no.8 no one even knows I'm missing I'm just gone and all these other people on the landscape of science communication that's my ideal future and then I'll you'll never see me again that's however delusional that plan is I think about that all the time so there's that there's I also when I'm invited I give public talks although I can't honor all and to take out about 200 a month that's obviously an impossible number so I need severe triage Whittle sat down between zero and four and ideally we snip them together so that it's a rapid succession then I'd go back home so there's that there's the universe flinches I get a call from the press so I'm a servant of the public's appetite for knowledge of the universe and science so and I live in New York City as where we are right now so so it's which is a major news gathering center we you know CNN although that I think the real headquarters are in Atlanta they got a huge building here in New York ABC CBS NBC all very close to the Hayden Planetarium it's just a car ride and also some of the may you know the the comedic talk shows the The Daily Show and they're all here as well so there people fly in and stay overnight to appear on those shows and I just I'm home for dinner you know I say honey I'll be home in 20 minutes we finished taping and so that's a lot of time and effort more than you might think because you'd like to see me on for the five minutes in an evening news interview for example but there's the pre call and and you got to get there an hour early and then you got to go into makeup but I got to change and look presentable and then so it takes out it's like bites out of the day so what I don't have that many other people might have are long stretches of hours with nothing comes in and there's a different kind of thinking a different kind of creativity that will manifest when you have long stretches where you're not tugged in 20 different directions there's an old saying which I agree entirely it goes if you want to be more creative become less productive and how do we define productivity I did with 50 emails today and I cooked the dinner and I went shopping and I did it look how productive I am yeah but did you create anything did you have a new idea did you invent something have you reflected on reality if you have you had you know there's a whole other thing that the human brain does when given the opportunity so I try to carve swathes of time in the week for just that purpose who is honey if you're saying honey I'll be home for dinner oh I don't actually say honey but that's that's the the trope so my wife I would we we bought Alice yes we both like we're both foodies I would say not crazy foodie foodies but we're we're we're in the door in the front door but not in the middle maybe we care about our ingredients and what we now the food tastes and one of my great regrets is when we finally perfected a dish it means we can no longer order it at a restaurant because we make it better than they do and going to a restaurant is then no longer special and so I make it really I if I say so myself I make a really excellent rack of lamb that I can no longer order the restaurant because it's not as good as mine and so that takes that off the list and my roast chicken is pretty good too so I don't order chicken and restaurants anymore unless it's some very fancy dish where the chicken is just incidental to how fancy it is and then you see the artisan ring of the chef so we will go to a restaurant it's like slightly more expensive than it should be just to see if something rises up in the menu that that we observe so yes we care about food and wine and well I also go to the theater often I love a good corny musical a good dramatic play and we have the luxury to be able to do that as residents of New York City as well of course she's a PhD in math yeah she has a PhD in mathematical physics actually Richard Springdale Arkansas you have been very patient you are on with astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson on book TV hello uh gosh it's a pleasure to speak with you sir my question is in around the 4th century BC there was a great named Hipparchus he discovered something called precession now for all those climate alarmists out there and I don't want to be political I want to be scientific would you please explain precession and the effect it has on this planet sure so parkus thank you for the question Hipparcos was a brilliant I mean I just I just imagine what he'd be discovering today if he sort of woke up in the 21st century world and you show him all these tools we have of science and of course he had hardly any tools yet is just a brilliant brain of his and so he so here's procession is we have our earth and well the multiple processions anything that rotates or revolves will generally process a procession is if you have like sort of an elliptical orbit an oval orbit around the Sun and here's the planet sort of repeating that over time the shape of that oval will turn even though the planet is continually orbiting the shape will move around the center object that it's turning so that would be the precession of your orbit Earth spins on our axis and we point off in one direction the direction where the North Pole is with it with Polaris is the North Star however we not we don't we're not fixed in space doing that we actually wobbled and we execute one full wobble in 26,000 years okay so for example 13,000 years from now our axis will not be pointing towards the North Star it will be pointing towards a different object over here if there even happens to be one so this is the procession of Earth's rotation and the way this manifests is on the night sky we call it what's called the precession of the equinoxes so earth's equator projected onto the sky actually drifts across the constellations over 26,000 years so what this means is the first point of Aries as an astrologer will tell you which says the Sun is entering the constellation Aries on March 21st that is the declaration of the first point of Aries and beginning March 21st if you're born in the next 30 days the astrologer will say you are Aries because the Sun is in front of the stars or that constellation in the day people didn't know about distance so they said the Sun was moving through the constellation but of course the Sun is right in front of us plus the Sun is not really moving at all it's not going around but they didn't know this back when they laid all this out a asserting that the universe is controlling your life so this first point of Aries actually drifts and it's been about 2,000 years since this was laid out and the first point of Aries was identified and so if you now look at maps and ask what is the Sun doing when it is when it's March 21st it is not entering Aries it is an entire constellation shifted from that because 2,000 years is about 1/12 of 26,000 years a little less it's a whole constellation off so when you go to your horoscope if you do this and you say I'm a Libra or I'm a Scorpio I'm a this and it tells you what you should be thinking or doing the name of your astrological sign actually has no correspondence to what's going on in today's sky it is a holdover from what people used to think 2,000 years ago and is a free country read your horoscope if you want I'm not even going to stop you go right ahead I'm just I would expect that people voting for people in charge would know that you don't put someone who thinks the universe of influencing their life in charge of other people who know that it isn't from your most recent book astrophysics for people in a hurry quote some of the water you just drank pass through the kidneys of Socrates Genghis Khan and Joan of Arc got a question if you could expound explanation oh I'm trying to in that part of the book I try to make sure in in astrophysics for people in a hurry it's not a very big book but if there's a lot in there and I wanted to make sure every 10 pages or so there was something they were to blow your mind that was weak Oz mcclee true but you got to go what in fact I have to reread that just to fully absorb the significance of it so here's the point in this cup of water there's there's water in here there's water in here there are more water molecules in this cup of water then there are cups of water in all the world's oceans that's how small molecules are so what that means is if I take this and toss it out there's enough molecules in what I tossed to enter every other possible cup of water any one draws from the world's water supply there's enough to scatter to every possible cup of water in the world so if I drink this it comes back out of my body in some way or another any one of a half-dozen ways so that re-enters the environment goes to clouds it goes to the stream goes to the oceans and give it enough time it mixes completely so Socrates drank a glass of water it is a certainty it's essentially a certainty that some molecules that pass through his kidney within that glass that you just drank and this is a statement of the connectivity of life and the community of our existence with one another the interdependence of what it is we do and how it is we behave it's not only that by the same reasoning there are more molecules of air in every breath you draw then there are breaths of air in all the Earth's atmosphere so by the same calculation every breath you take contains molecules that pass through the lungs molecules of nitrogen not the oxygen because that mixes back with the trees but certainly the nitrogen well most of the nitrogen because there's a nitrogen cycle as well but molecules would scatter quickly and easily throughout the atmosphere some of those molecules pass the lungs of whatever your favorite historical character Jesus it would have passed through their lungs and so you want to think of us as separate and distinct from one another or not connected to the world but we are and for me when I think of those fascinating ways is there something that you studied or learn that you just can't get your arms around yet Oh tons look up that you just can't quite accept but there's some things that you I never expect to get my arms around either because they're too big or they're too weird and often when you say I got my arms around this it implies that oh now that makes sense but as I lead off the book commenting that the universe is under no obligation to make sense to any of us I don't have as a requirement that I can one day put my arms around it I can just recognize that it's there and accept it even if it just sounds completely weird and so what you accept it because the evidence shows that it's true not because you have faith or because you want it to be true because you need it to be true it's because observation and experiment verified observation and experiment has demonstrated the truth in that statement dr. Tyson you tweet at Neil Tyson is your Twitter handle several million followers here is a tweet you sent out on March 11 2016 I occasionally wonder whether the entire universe is nothing more than a snow globe on the living room mantel of an alien is that a late-night 2 meter so yeah occasionally you wonder that that's all we you know the universe is all we know it's our entire existence and look at what we do - I don't know if this is still a thing to do when you have ant farms you ever have an ant farm and a little bit of sand here and there's a vessel in there little tubes they're the ants just doing their thing and I don't know if they're happy or sad or they're thinking about it but do they know they're in an ant farm do they have self-awareness does they have any idea do bees know that you're about to steal all their honey they have a world where they are pollen are pollinating plants and coming back and making honey do they have any idea that we created that world for them when it's a bee farm any idea at all so we get to do this because we are smarter than they are so we can outsmart them and create an environment which in which we think they are happy and therefore they do what it is they want so we outsmart our pets okay we we feed them and continue to feed them that keeps them there and we provide for them but there's like we do things that because we're smarter than they are they don't know the difference right so could it be that everything we know and love in this world is just for the entertainment of an alien is that that's so hard a thought to imagine I know you don't want to think that we want to think we are we have free will we want to think that we we're in charge but are we so yes that I don't remember what time of day I think tweets our date stamped and time stamps but I don't remember when I might have goes to that well this is an email from Michael Nuttall in Gainesville Florida got a question for Neil Tyson are we alone why are there why are there any evidence about UFOs why is how he phrased it so well any evidence about UFOs why is there so so this sounds like are we alone on earth rather than are we alone in the universe the we're not likely alone in the universe if you look at how common the ingredients of life are how common it is hydrogen and oxygen and nitrogen and carbon we're made of this stuff that's the foundations of organic chemistry carbon-based life this stuff is everywhere we look in the universe and so whatever happened on earth it's not likely to be rare or unique because carbon chemistry on which life is based is the most formal kind of chemistry there is and carbon is abundant across the universe so if there's life somewhere else it's probably based on carbon that's not a that's not a it is it's an fascinating bias but it's not an unjustified bias and so the universe has been around fourteen billion years plenty of time to evolve all manner of creatures out there particularly microorganisms we have no reason to not think of microorganisms as aliens they don't have to have built a ship there's just a lien life on another planet now have we been visited that's a different question than whether we assert that there's life elsewhere in the universe but we have people looking for life in the universe as well as not only any kind of life but intelligent life it would try to be clever about how we conduct those experiments on earth what the UFO community puts forth as evidence is weak on a level that in any scientific circle would be kicked out of the lab room you have things like eyewitness testimony this I'm sorry this is not working okay no I don't if you walk into a conference and say this is true because I saw it you'll get laughed off this just we're not saying you didn't see it we're simply saying that you cannot present that as evidence for something that you want all okay so so eyewitness testimony is not something that's valued in scientific circles I don't care what it is you're looking at and especially if it's something that would be truly extraordinary like visitation by aliens I need more than your eyewitness testimony I don't trust your eyewitness testimony if you told me the moon rose yesterday okay I I need better data than that I probably would trust that because it's not extraordinary but on that level but as your claim gets more and more extraordinary the less the less confidence I'm going to place in your data taking system that involves your eyes and brain it is why in science we invent methods and tools of measurement to replace our senses because we know how feeble they are how non-representational they are of reality psychologists have known as ever since they have been psychology in science we've known it ever since we've seen the effects of this influence data okay so now now you take a picture or something that you don't understand that's better than eyes all right now you have pictures or video that's better okay so what is well it's unidentified right that's what they use stands for unidentified we don't know what it is it's a mystery okay good what do you only do about it okay so my point here is if you've seen a UFO do you just remind yourself with a U stands for unidentified once you say I just saw a UFO it really should just be a period at the end of that sentence but what typically happens is people keep talking and they say I don't know what it is therefore it must have been an intelligent alien visiting from outer space coming to earth to observe us but wait a minute you just said you didn't know what it is because it was unidentified now you're telling me what it must be the fact that you not admitted that you did not know what you were looking at we Clues all the rest of this sentence that just came out of your mouth okay I'm not going to stop you from trying to find the aliens I'd love to meet some aliens but I have such low confidence in your claims that they're aliens that I will not be investing any of my time but I'm glad you are go right ahead and the day you find an alien I need something better than your video camera showing that it's unidentified and I need something better than your eyewitness testimony ideally in fact bring the alien alright you're good to go I'm not going to stop you from doing that a B everybody has a video camera today everybody where are the flooded YouTube postings of people's experiences inside of flying saucers shaking hands with the aliens where is that we have video of extremely rare phenomena now because everybody has a video camera we have video of buses tumbling in tornadoes there was a day where you wouldn't say oh my god said Buster's about to tumble let me go home and get my shoulder mounted video camera so I can film this no you're getting your ass out of there when you see this happen everybody has a video camera so you we have rare surveillance footage of things okay if you've been abducted and you had an encounter with an alien give me some good video of it and get some other people to get video over to then we've got we're good I got it but as long as it's unidentified to you um I don't have I made myself clear and I've done this and by the way I have very high experience looking at the night sky and the day sky okay and knowing what can happen in the night sky and in the day sky I have seen things which without this extra background that I have I would have easily reported as a UFO to the police department I know this but because I've studied phenomenon of the sky I could identify it here are clouds that build above mountaintops that take circular form that a very high altitude if the amount is high the cloud is even higher you're called orographic clouds and some summer called lenticular clouds but these clouds are very high up they can have perfectly cylindrical shape now watch what happens the Sun sets you at the bottom of the mountain the Sun sets for you it hasn't yet set for those high altitudes because they can see beyond your horizon so the Sun is still there for them it gets dark for you and the cloud is lit by sunset colors orange red and it's vibrant and it's circular and it looks for all the world like the mothership just came and docked over the mountaintop if you are susceptible to wanting this to be true then that for all the world is the mothership where as to me it's a cloud that forms naturally over mountaintops when hot air goes up and cools abruptly and water condenses out of it so and then that people say this is a good eye witness this person is a brigadier general is the person who's the eye witness human that's all that matters you're no less to set no more susceptible though less susceptible than anybody else I don't care what your title is I don't care if you're a military pilot it doesn't matter I don't care you're human you got to do better than that oh and if you get abducted I tell this to people if you get abducted and it poking you poking your gonads as of course all aliens do we've been told telly telly Hey look over there and there's snap something off the off the shelf okay just do that okay and then go back to the then we then when they let you out you pull it you say look what I've stolen from this from the alien spacecraft an alien coaster or an ashtray we can then take this to the lab and see if it is of alien manufacture okay and if the alien came here on a spaceship from across the gaps of space anything you pull off the shelf is going to be interesting still waiting for that to happen every guest we have on in-depth we ask who are they reading what are some of their career influences things like this these are the answers that we got from Neil deGrasse Tyson [Music] [Music] Oh Oh [Music] this is Henrietta Leavitt who was looking at we're going to get to these magnificent images who was looking at images taken from South America because the whole sky had to be covered there was a second observatory built in Peru to photograph the stars of the southern hemisphere and she was looking at images of the Magellanic Clouds and she discovered a couple thousand variable stars and made a fundamental discovery about the pattern of variation that the stars that took the longest time to go through their cycles tended to be the brightest stars and she figured all of the stars she was looking at were roughly the same distance away so the ones that look bright a really were brighter and that observation led to the first usable yardstick for measuring what we would call now galactic distances and intergalactic distances in space and her work enabled the size of the Milky Way to be determined and maybe getting ahead of the slides here but also where I'll figure out this that the Milky Way was not the only galaxy in the universe that the universe in fact consisted of multiple galaxies galaxies so it would be fair to say that at that time they weren't sure if the universe was maybe just a few hundred thousand light years across and maybe that was it that was it the shape of the universe like this led to us looking at you know what geometry of globular clusters and spiral galaxies and then to place ourselves within that geometry you can watch this and other programs online at book TV org here's a look at some books being published this week former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice examines global struggles for independence in democracy Pulitzer prize-winning author David Garrow explores the pre presidential life of Barack Obama in rising star Pat Buchanan former speechwriter and senior advisor to President Richard Nixon offers an inside look at the Nixon administration in Nixon's White House wars journalist Thomas olifant and Curtis Wilkie were called john f kennedy's presidential campaign in the road to camelot also being published this week university of pittsburgh british history professor Holger hook looks at the war crimes committed by the british and continental armies during the Revolutionary War in scars of independence Eva Dylan reports on her father's career as an American intelligence officer and his relationship with the CIA's top Soviet double agent in spies in the family Sally Motte Freeman shares the story of two u.s. naval man's efforts to find their youngest brother who is listed as missing in action in the Philippines during World War two in the Jersey brothers and Rachel Pearson a resident physician offers her thoughts on the American health care system through her own experiences in no apparent distress look for these titles in bookstores is coming week and watch for many of the authors in the near future on book TV on c-span too dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson we asked you your favorite books your influences and what you're currently reading we just showed that to our audience but you sent us extra notes instead of just titles you you gave some explanations including on the day you were born you say is one of your favorite books by Deborah Fraser look children's books yeah it's a book that if I knew how to write a children's book it's a book that I would have written but I didn't have I don't have that talent that she did it's a it's a very simple and beautiful account of all the things that are going on in nature in any given day of the year but you get to read it to the to a child it's a way for a child to be exposed to all the things that nature does in this world what earth does is a planet in orbit around the Sun what a whale is doing in the ocean what the Arctic Terns are doing what so it's a it's a walk through nature as so it's not that has nothing to do with the Baker or the politician or those are other things that are happening on the day you were born but nature is using nature is the is the is what the person to whom is the child to whom you're reading a story it is being exposed and so I just think it's beautiful and I even like I get misty-eyed when I read it just it's just so beautiful its nature brought to life for someone who can't read yet on the day you were born the book you're currently reading science and humanism by Erwin Schroedinger you call it a mid-century assessment of the role and value of science in guiding the progress of civilization yeah I'd like reading through the history of how people thought especially as it may have been influenced by the the politics or culture of the time nineteen fifty is sort of the dawn of the Cold War and it's because obviously it's before the wall went up but it's still we're feeling the aftermath of the Second World War the divide of the world the world's powers and this is a scientist who was around and lived through it made seminal contributions to quantum physics and decided to write a little bit for the public and that's not that's not his first book for the but he had several books that he's written for the public one of them is just what his life and he's talking about how physics manifests in biology and these are short books but a friend of mine gave it to me I saw it on a shelf so I didn't know if showed and you wrote this I say you want to borrow it so that happens to be right on my bookshelf at this moment 202 is the area code if you want to participate in our conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson this afternoon 7 4 8 8200 if you live in the east and central time zone seven four eight eight two zero one for those of you in the mountain in Pacific time zones will also cycle through our social media addresses so that you can contact us that way if you can't get through on the phone lines we've got about 50 minutes left with our guest this afternoon and Heather in Jacksonville Florida you have been very patient please go ahead hi there good afternoon Eric an honor to speak with you I have a question about your education I just finished my bachelor's degree a little under two weeks ago in communication and I'm trying to figure out you are a graduate degree thank you a little figure out Chris knew that this degree or should I go back and it'll for you too because I actually like engineering physics so how did you figure out if you wanted to pursue an advanced degree and how in the world did you end up paying for it and yes I am taking books okay well so this is a great questions so so advanced degrees in especially in academic subjects as opposed to medical doctor law school that sort of thing when I think of it academic subjects I think you have to really really love the subject all right whereas in medical school you don't have to love medical school to know that at the end you want to be a medical doctor because you have friends who are medical doctors and no and or an attorney to enter academic graduate school you have to really really love it because you're not going to get much money and at the while you're in school and when you get out of school you're not going to get much money and the rewards are the act of pursuing previously undiscovered truths in any field could be English literature or history or art or if it's academic and in my in the sciences so and because also things will not always go as you want them and in the sciences for example you could be in a lab and you design the experiment and nothing works well you don't get the result you expected and you don't get a result worth publishing you have to start again and it's two years of your life if all of what I just said is a chore if you're saying no I don't want to be in that situation then no stay away but if in your life you have learned to love the questions themselves without regard to whether you asking a question in a designing experiment to answer leads to an answer then this is that life so I it's a and by the way as an academic if you get a faculty position or in some case you can be hired by corporations it's a decent living you're not going to be the wealthiest person on the block but you'll have a car in a house and a family and all you know there no there no unhappy academics for the absence of money ok so there's that part you say how do I pay for it well in my field we also worked as a teaching assistant which participates in the teaching Enterprise that the school undergoes so that was worth a salary not very much money many people have roommates but that's a flow of money after that it's still not all that much but 20 but it's more and if you went into debt in college what you're doing what you love then we're talking about the happiness of your life here so so what if you're in debt that's a kind of contrary in view that most people have the content to most people but my point is if you get to do what you love and that and some debt becomes associated with it then you pay down the debt the debt takes you ten years like so what 15 years so what we all willingly walk into 30-year mortgages when we buy a house supposed to nope you're going into debt don't buy a house you're going into debt but though so how do we justify it we say well the real estate value will be higher at the end so this is an investment that's what we tell ourselves and for a lot of the time that's true they're obviously important exceptions to that especially in 2008 but all right let's look at your education as an investment we are now investing in your enlightenment and your future happiness shouldn't that be worth at least carrying some debts such as the kind of debt you'd be carrying in a home mortgage so I I was never afraid of death debt and I was in debt from college and some in graduate school like I said I got some payment in graduate school so I didn't pay off my college debt for when would it have been fifteen years later and that's my salary kept going up and I'm not talking about a lot of money I'm just talking about going up from a student money to like regular person money all of a sudden the debt that I've accumulated so many years earlier looked smaller and smaller it's because I was wielding more and more money and so oh they need $1,000 I've never paying $10 a month to start off paying that debt I got my first job I could pay $50 a month then I could pay $100 a month and so yeah I'm I was investing in myself and my future so that's my answer and as they say if you pick a subject to study that you're in love with then you'll never be working for the rest of your life you'll just be having fun Neil deGrasse Tyson's 2000 book the sky is not the limit essentially is autobiography in many ways a memoir memoir Harvard University of Texas and Columbia and I think the favorite sentence in that book let's read it for our viewers to set one's genitals on fire seem more like the absence of a creative solution to money problems rather than a need to dance was that a question look if you want to expound on that that would be fine everyone could just move on not explain um yes so in high school in college I was I was very athletic in high school I was captain of my school's wrestling team and in college I I continued to wrestle I also rode but my first love was wrestling and I also was a performing member of two different dance companies and because I also liked not only being strong and limber but also graceful flexible and graceful and dance is that if it's nothing else and so I just enjoyed what it could do and be for my body and in graduate school I continued to wrestle and row and dance when I really shouldn't have been I mean I should have been I should have never left the lab but I continued this I started graduate school in Texas where I met my wife who the woman who would be my wife and but before all of that I had my fellow dancers and they here my money problems and they said oh why don't you dance with us we after hours we danced at this strip club for women and and I was like really buff at the time and I could do a full split I could do things that a stripper might do under all of those situations that they described so I said wow you know because I was really struggling it wasn't I probably would not have struggled as much I know I would not have struggled as much if I'd had a roommate but I wanted to live alone I'd spent four years in college with a roommate so that increased my expenses and so a house so they invited me down just to check it out and I saw them come out within his bestest line jock strap that had been set on to fire had been ignited and they were shaking their hips to the Jerry Lee Lewis has great balls of fire so in that instant I said maybe I should be a math tutor I am embarrassed that that solution did not occur to me earlier because of course I can tutor math I am a major to physics we know math and physics so and ever and a math tutor is method you need that anywhere everybody needs a math tutor right so so from then on I I tutored math for some a few dollars an hour and that was fine and it it may enable me to make my ends meet Neil deGrasse Tyson is our guest and Chris is calling in from Goldsboro North Carolina Chris you're on book TV thank you it was great seeing you earlier today on am joy as well with dr. Tyson oh thank you thank you as well see it was great I always try to catch moments where you're on TV um about there both of these are live so I went from that studio God in the car came here and now I'm in this to do so okay I know I knew you was in New York because you had to go from one player instead of I was just like okay he went that way awfully quick oh no actually I could have a wormhole but don't tell anybody all right fine fine they say I had things too so my first question is was what I've seen on how to get on the series on the Science Channel called how the universe works um it was it was one of those segments dealing with black holes my question is all was a feature that they discussed that that was a possibility and involved the speed of matter excelling faster than right within this region of the black hole because of the force of gravity my question relates to if these conditions were met outside of a black hole and say Francis it happened near a planet or a solar system will be the aftermath or the effects of such a event occur today thank you Chris yes so if I understand your question you're talking about somehow accelerating mass to the speed of light or then beyond the speed of light and what effect would that have on its environment I think that was the question so first of all yeah and whether that's feasible I'm Kaila there is no known way experimentally and theoretically to accelerate a material body to the speed of light and beyond it you can get close to it but you're not reaching the speed of light and that's just it so we joke that the speed of light is not just a good idea it's the law and it's not a matter of we haven't invented a way to do it yet which was the case with the the sound barrier okay now consider that anyone who said will never go faster than sound ever well except that the tip of a bullwhip that cracked that you hear it's moving faster than sound not only that we had guns at the time with a bullet emerge from the barrel faster than sound so for anyone to say man will never go faster than sound they just did no no just because you don't know how doesn't mean we never will okay it is different with regard to light this is not an engineering limit it is a physical limit of nature and like I said we've never seen it we've tried and it's never worked and theoretically it's not possible okay now that doesn't prevent something I'm going to take the question beyond that step that doesn't prevent something from existing faster than light we've hypothesized about such objects you can't pass through the speed of light but you can exist on the other side of this and if you do then you move backwards through time and and we hypothesize a particle that does this we call it the tachyon from the Greek root a Chios meaning fast so a tachometer is also a word that draws from that route so so that would be really cool if tachyons existed in this world people have proposed experiments for how to detect them and we've never found them so just because it's okay in the equation doesn't mean Nature has to abide by that possibility so the fun part about tachyons is let's say that I see that you you're walking down the corridor and you slip on a banana peel and fall and I say oh let me prevent that because I can send him a text to warn him about the banana peel okay so before he gets there because the Tachyon will go back in time and reach you so I send a message and I say watch out for the banana peel and I send off the text ten seconds before you get to the banana peel you get a text and what do you do when you get a text you reach in your pocket you pull out your smartphone you start reading it while you are weaving my text that says watch out for the banana peel you slip on the banana peel but you would have you would not have slipped on it if I did distract you with the text that told you to look out for the banana peel you would have just been walking down the corridor so that's an interesting case where the act of trying to interfere with the past created the very thing you try to interfere with and so there's still a lot more thinking we need to do on the frontier of time-travel but that's an example of something where an event may always be happening exactly that way there's nothing you can do to change it because the act of trying to change it created the event that you tried to change Klein Observatory tweets in just saw on book TV Neil Tyson lifts agnes clerk as an influencer she chronicled the rise of astrophysics in a remarkable set of books yes so Agnes clerk I have I think most of her books uh well I made to say many of her books she wrote in the nineteenth century which was a golden age of astronomical discovery we don't think of it that way because we have much bigger telescopes today and you know relativity and quantum physics all those are 20th century discoveries but the 19th century if you are around at the time you would have been celebrating how far science has come just keep in mind if there's more science going on than ever before that's a golden age for you never mind what happens later in that moment you feel like you're at the top of I have I have a book not of hers but someone else's from 1890 that said I wrote a book on the Sun in 1895 we've just learned so much about the Sun I had to I have to have a new edition and just celebrating this like a little bit of five years of discovery so what she did was chronicle cosmic discovery not only historically from the ancients to the present but she has a book she was a popularizer of then modern astronomy this before astronomy became today what we think of as astrophysics and some of my books are kind of doing just that I have a book called the Pluto files chronicling the demotion of Pluto if she were alive today I think she would have written that book so it's a I was delighted to learn that there were people who cared enough about science to then learn about it and then share it with people who have an interest in science who would not otherwise be doing that work themselves so that she's in math we say she's an existence proof that this is an interesting and useful thing to do Agnes clerk it was probably pronounced Clark but it's spelled CLE RK z ke yeah Clark and you familiar with Klein Observatory no I'm not actually okay your book but if you have a dome and it's also if you call it an observatory it's an observatory thanks so I'm delighted to know there's an observatory I don't know about that the more that the merrier yeah in 2007 you wrote the book death by black hole and you quote a gentleman named Lord Kelvin who in 1901 said there is nothing new to be discovered in physics now yeah that was a boneheaded thing to say and he had a certain arrogance to him us sort of physicists arrogance we're sort of in physics you there's no real understanding of chemistry without physics and there's no real understanding of biology without chemistry so physics I think is justifiably considered the anchoring subject of all the sciences so and that's a justifiable claim the question is whether gets to your ego as a physicist and in his case that's one of many examples where he's just kind of saying things that that he really had no business saying and 1901 within four years special relativity would be discovered by Albert Einstein but eight years after that ten years after that general theory of relativity would be discovered four years after that all of quantum physics would come down the down the pipe so so yeah that's got to be the most embarrassing statement ever uttered by any scientist ever who's otherwise respected and famous scientist and the Kelvin temperature scale was named after him by the way the sky is not the limit came out in 2000 and dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson wrote that the 20th century ended without us knowing the composition of 90% of the matter in the universe yeah so we have finer tunes numbers on that so there's it's about 85% of so let me say it's not that we don't know what 85% of the matter is we don't know what 85% of the gravity is that's a strictly accurate statement we look around the universe and we see stars and planets moving we add up all the gravity that should be making that happen we get 15% that includes everything we can think of and dream up and know of black holes quite a gas clouds stars moons planets all of this added up is 15% of what is driving this the gravity of the universe add to that there's something that we call dark energy which is responsible for the acceleration of the universe and the number is even higher so I can say with some precision 95% of everything that is driving the universe today which includes what we call dark matter which I referenced in that quote and what we call dark energy those combined we can measure their existence but we know nothing about them they are driving 95% of what is going on in this universe and each of those gets a full chapter in astrophysics for people in a hurry I'm not going to let you get by unless you hear no and and the loving if respecting if not loving how we came to discover the greatest mysteries in my field dark matter and dark energy and astrophysics for people in a hurry is his latest book jess is calling in from anaheim california go ahead Jess we're listening hello hello hey it's I just wanna say it's a great pleasure to talk to you I'm a huge kind of reward but on my question on you you've talked about this issue with long distance space travel the the importance of psychology and the importance of gravity and so my background psychology I was just curious thinking about things like the synaptic gap and stuff like that with gravity because everything that we've ever done every experiment every idea we've ever had has had the effect of gravity on us so if you were in a zero gravity environment for a long time or say we populate as a planet and evolve from there well there's a different gravity will that affect the transmission of electrical and chemical signals in the brain that's an excellent question and I can say it's not lie and experiments show that the answer is in fact no for most things that matter so consider the following when you're standing up when you're standing up and you have false right and you're you're hungry or your love you hate whatever normal sort of psycho-emotional thoughts and gravity is pointing downwards so now you just lay down now gravity is pointing out of the side of your head you have all those same thoughts you you're you know it's somehow your brain capacity is not deeply altered by this okay so now you're still in a 1g environment but the G is not pointing in a completely different direction so you look at the physiologically your veins why does blood circulate at all does it require gravity well not really your blood circulates standing it circulates horizontally it circulates at any angle in between because your your vessels pump on their own so why should we think zero G notice on everything will just stop not only that electromagnetic forces are 10 to the power of 40 times more powerful than gravitational forces so all electrical synaptic phenomenon going on in your brain doesn't give a rat's ass about gravity it is functioning completely independent of it now chemically you have chemic skem estreet on in a liquid let's say well if the microbes are just floating around they're kind of neutrally buoyant they don't care about gravity either they're floating in the water suspended in the water so so so that's a favorite living and the chemistry of molecules doesn't care either so it's why any of this works at all under these very different conditions now if you're in low gravity and you grow up in low gravity that can affect your kilcher of course there's things everything weighs less than it would on earth now we bring you to earth that could be bad you'll be you'll be a weakling person here on earth unless you lifted weights to get up to this what here's what you do on Mars you counterweight everything to weigh as much for you on Mars as it would on earth then when you come to earth everything weighs the same as you remember that's the kind of thing you'd have to do in fact the movie that came out a few months ago the space between us is about the first child ever born on Mars and the child is raised there and he wants to come back to earth and they explore the medical problems he has but among them none of them is is capacity for thought this is a first marquis Filippo is another longtime c-span employee with two sons and this is first time you know they don't send them in for the politicians the kids they just send them in for you but jack is 14 years old drew is 12 years old great age and according to mark they've been having a week long debate about mass that even took place for a half-hour in the grocery store jack 14 wants to know that since there is matter and antimatter is there anti-mass since there is the existence of mass drew wants to know what mass there was at the Big Bang and what triggered it which we've covered a little bit but right great question so it's not obvious on first pass that antimatter shouldn't have anti mass I mean think about it it has anti everything else is the opposite charge and in quantum physics it has the opposite of other certain quantum features that are not familiar in our everyday lives but particles live with this like spin and angular momentum this sort of thing there's but the simplest thing to ask is if an anti particle has anti mass can that mean would that mean should that mean that it has anti-gravity and this is an implicit consequence of the question does it have anti mass it turns out no it doesn't have anti mass so nor does it have anti-gravity and the equations of gravity are such that it doesn't matter what your mass is made of it will attract you no matter what because your mass actually drops out in the equations and all that matters is how far away you are for me to determine how much I'm going to attract you to me so no there is no negative mass in the original equations when they were first seen it showed up as an as a negative mass and the big question is how do we interpret this and it got interpreted as having negative properties in all these other regimes opposite properties justifying the term antimatter now where did all this come from matter and energy are interchangeable we did all the energy of the universe come from it's a frontier of cosmic research we got top people working on it but otherwise we don't we don't know for sure and like we said earlier it may be embedded as part of a multiverse but then you ask where the multiverse come from so one of these that are talking so Wilson so we don't know we don't know but we know that it exists and we're describing it ever since it came into existence have you visited CERN no I've not visited it's on my bucket list though just I just like the largest machine in the world is the this the European Center for Nuclear Research and I think that's how you parse out that acronym they've got the largest particle accelerator in the world the Large Hadron Collider that's what discovered the famous god particle now one or two years ago so so yeah it's on my list Georg Eagle Colorado please go ahead with your question or comment an orange ice in Colorado yeah dr. Doug mutation here promoter - it's a pleasure to talk to you I have a question there's always been interesting to me can we ever harness gravity and use it for propulsion mmm if there's that's a great question if there is and you're right that's been on people's minds forever if there's a way to do it we have yet to figure it out and let me flesh out that question and imagine that we have some suitcase where we can harness the force of gravity or control the force of gravity so that we can either increase it or reduce it so there's still people to this day who think that NASA has a room where you go in and you're floating and that's the zero gravity room but that's not the case the closest we have to that is what we call the neutral buoyancy tank which is NASA YZ for a big swimming pool and astronauts working on the Hubble telescope and practicing spacewalks do it submerged in that swimming pool it's in Houston Texas Russia has a counterpart to it in there for the Space Center as well so because think if you can turn off gravity right below the launch pad of a rocket then that fuel with the rocket is using oh my gosh the acceleration it would give you if you went away from zero jeans and from 1g for example so no we just have not figured out how to control gravity and network in that way it's always as far as you know been associated with a concentration of mass or energy January 29th a tweet from Neil deGrasse Tyson seems the world goes batshit crazy every few decades just long enough to forget the last time the world went batshit crazy yeah people reacted heavily to that what I you know I know what do I mean by that you know what the first world war it's like oh my gosh what is this what we call civilization we're gassing we're digging trenches and wholesale slaughter of other human beings and then you know a few decades later the Second World War 50 million people die fact you can run the numbers on this a thousand people per hour were killed in the Second World War a thousand per hour and you look today and there's like a maybe there's a terrorist attack and a dozen people are dead its headline news of the last several days I'm glad it's headline news but that tells me how far we've come when a thousand people dying per day in the during the Second World War was not itself news it was old land has taken more battle we've won the battle or we we conquered this one it is if the terms are not how many people died the terms are what political gain have we have we put into play so what happens after that you know a few years after that and there's like Vietnam and you go further back and then there's like civil war and the slavery and I don't know I just felt compelled to reflect on this wondering whether the natural urge is to sink back into some crazy behavior and then we have to react to how crazy that is and slowly build ourselves out of it just taking long enough to slip back into it once again so yeah for me it was a very it was a sad tweet but I want people to reflect on what has happened before so that because we can look at the old day what they didn't know what they were crazy thinking this how could they think this way what were they thinking well ask yourself in 20 years what they'll be saying about us I do lot of the reading of the history of science in the history of culture it books printed in the day so you feel what they're feeling not just a recounting but look at the words they're using and how they we look back at the temperance movement and the banishing of alcohol and so how did today that crazy how could they have done that I if you read op eds of the day and newspapers and magazines and articles in the Atlantic Monthly and then it is filled with accounts of families that were torn apart by the drunken husband who comes home and and and and what Costas is to society you just see the build-up it's there and if you are alive back then you there's no reason to think you would have said no you shouldn't do this this is stupid you just watch the wave go take everybody with it culminating in an amendment a constitutional amendment we don't have an Equal Rights Amendment who had an amendment banishing the production sale and consumption of alcohol outside of church religious ceremonies and so what will people in twenty years be reading about today to say what were you guys thinking once it's obvious can't you please flew the tree the forest for the trees I wonder so I think about this all the time hence the tweet any significance to the fact that it went out January 29th a week after the inaugural um I'm sure there was something that week that was just people just reacting I mean um it wasn't so much the election but there's the election plus the reaction to the election plus the what he says about the election and I mean the inauguration and and I think it's just the total conduct of everybody just at odds with one another at war with one another and killing one another saying things that you can't imagine in a civilized world you would say to one another I was really just reacting to that you've worked on commissions for the past two presidents correct I was on two White House commissions under President Bush and President George W Bush and under Obama we had met several times but I was not on a formal Advisory Committee to him and right now under well towards the end of Obama and now into the Trump administration I serve on a board of the Pentagon so I have these occasional tours of duty when I'm called into Washington I'm delighted to serve at just as a citizen if I have expertise and insight that can help governance I would be irresponsible to decline such an invitation so and of course it's unpaid it's not they reimburse you no food and whatever but it's otherwise unpaid and so it's my civic duty because they'll never pick me for for a jury duty I'm o for three on that one so the least I can do is help the federal government make decisions when and where they need to just a couple minutes left with Neil deGrasse Tyson Thomas and Tiffin Ohio you might be the last caller go ahead hi Neil I really appreciate your passion for science and you're sharing it with us I have perhaps a simple question in failure analysis and forensic analysis you can often point to the center of an explosion now the Big Bang is sort of like an explosion can astronomers point to the center of that Big Bang and what would they get from looking in that direction and looking from other directions thank you yeah it's a great thank you that's a great question so the Big Bang explosion so it's one thing to speak of an explosion of like a fireworks display or a bomb forensic ly and then analogize it to the Big Bang but there's a limit to where those analogies can take you and there's a point where they fail so because the Big Bang isn't is an explosion not only in space but in time it's a four dimensional explosion there is a center to that explosion but you don't have access to it the center to that explosion was 14 billion years ago when everything that exists today was in the same place at the same time so you'd have to so if you think of we go back you might have heard of this analogy to the surface of a balloon where we lose one dimension just so we can describe it we lose one real dimension so we can describe it among ourselves in ways our human brain is wired to see it so imagine our universe as the surface of a balloon and you draw a little spiral galaxies' on it and as you inflate the balloon the distance between all galaxies grows that's precisely what's going on in our universe but it grows not because the galaxies are separating from one another within the space it's because the space itself is stretching and this is as prescribed by Einstein's general theory of relativity and our experiments bear this out so here is the universe now at this size but yesterday it was a little smaller yesterday it was a little smaller so if you want to ask where is the center of this surface that's like asking where is the center of the surface of the earth the question actually has no meaning you know to not ask that because there isn't it doesn't it's the wrong question given the geometry of what's going on so but I can say I can ask a different question not where is the center of this universe the surface of the sphere I can ask when is the center of that universe and the when is 14 billion years ago so the timeline in a sense is this vectors pointing straight out from the center through the surface of the universe that we live in and as the bulb as a balloon gets smaller and smaller you're going back and back in time damn that is the center of that explosion 14 billion years ago let's fit Adrian and Memphis in hi Adrian hello I'm in seventh grade I saw you in Memphis and we'll meet you in st. Louis my question is about black holes I want to know what is in black holes why it is there and how do you know it great question and you should sound like you're in college by the way but you're in seventh grade okay that's it is hope for the world so a black hole so I guess if you're if you're in seventh grade you would have been maybe four years old when I published the book death by black hole so in there there's a whole discussion about black holes and also how how they can kill you but what we know is if you're standing on the surface of the earth and you want to escape earth unlike what your grandma told you what goes up must come down that's just false it's true for most things but there's a speed with which you can toss something so that it never comes back ever to earth and we give a word for that in physics we call it the escape velocity for Earth and for Earth that speed is seven miles per second seven miles per second and when the astronauts went to the moon they had to travel nearly that speed so that they wouldn't just fall back to earth when they lit their engines and then turn them off they need to have enough speed to get to the point where the moon can then pull them in away from the earth so they traveled like six point eight miles per second but any it's about seven miles per second you can imagine if Earth's gravity were stronger you would need a higher escape velocity to leave and never come back that would make sense the Sun has a higher escape velocity than Earth does it has a stronger gravity at its surface well let's continue this exercise did something John Michell did a national astronomer from way back like a centuries ago he said suppose I had a star that has such high gravity that light traveling at the speed of light is insufficient to escape if that were the case the star would just darken and contain all the light that it wanted to generate and he called this a Dark Star hypothesis all right and so this it turns out to do the calculation correctly requires Einstein's equations not classical equations of Newton which he used because Einstein's equations to get the correct right answer but when you do this you have what we call a black hole and we we have examples of black hole in the galaxy no you can't see them directly because there's no light coming from them as you would suspect sometimes you can see distortion of the fabric of space and time in their vicinity so the star field behind them gets distorted they uh make a left instead of going straight in because you don't want to get sucked into the black hole drawn into its gravity but the most common way we find black holes is when they beat they fly stars and gas clouds that come near them and it spirals down gets hotter and hotter and hotter and before it enters it radiates brightly in ultraviolet and x-rays we have x-ray telescopes as powerful as the Hubble Space Telescope you've never heard of them because it doesn't take the pretty pictures that Hubble done does we have x-ray telescopes in space that finds and maps these black holes across the galaxy so that when the day we finally go space traveling you know what to avoid dr. Tyson you have one minute to answer this question from your 2012 book space chronicles Friday April 13th 2029 Oh what's going to happen so it is a closed approach of an asteroid called Apophis this is an asteroid we've discovered its orbit crosses Earth's orbit and sometimes it crosses very closely and in fact April 13 2029 this asteroid which is the size of the Rose Bowl will come so close to Earth that it will dip between our orbiting communication satellites and us now those are fightin words that's you know these ones that go twice the earth-moon distance four times that are we call them close close calls but they're not will just wave as it goes this one your cut you're invading our space and it turns out that this asteroid will not have a trajectory that will then hit us in 2036 there's a periodicity where we are in the same place as it in our orbit and so the big worry was at that time will it actually hit us and the orbital calculations are good enough now to say that no it will not hit us on either of those two days but there will be a close approach and it will be banner headlines when it does well Jeffrey Dunham wonders whether Earth's inhabitants should either be worried or not worried about errant asteroids yes one of several ways we will most assuredly go extinct is it that we discover too late and hack and too late to do anything about it reminds me of this comic it may have been in The New Yorker there's one dinosaur lazily leaning on a rock and the other one comes up to and it says I'm saying now is the time to build an asteroid defense system at big dinosaurs just laying there all lazy to just kicking back in their Jurassic laziness so no I it's yes we should have a defense system in place at all times and we don't Neil deGrasse Tyson has been our guest for the past three hours his most recent book is called astrophysics for people in a hurry this is book TV on c-span too literature review nursing dissertation topic School of American Ballet.