Watch “Why the Universe is quite disappointing really – Introduction” on YouTube

8 Responses to “Watch “Why the Universe is quite disappointing really – Introduction” on YouTube”

  1. “’s not that spectacular, and lots of things about it are really disappointingly mediocre.”

    Loved this, Peter. Maynooth has clearly infused you with that wonderfully morose Irish spirit.: “Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy that sustained him through temporary periods of joy.”

    I’m sure you recognise the source of the quote.

  2. Phillip Helbig Says:

    “They’re really not that impressive”.

    Cormac will fill in the details, but someone once told Fred Hoyle during a talk “You’d look pretty simple, too, Fred, at a distance of ten parsecs”. 🙂

  3. Phillip Helbig Says:

    “Why the Universe is quite disappointing”

    The more comprehensible the Universe becomes the more pointless it seems.

    —Steven Weinberg

  4. Lazy old stars eh! Excellent introduction to your lecture series. I can see you presenting a BBC2 series set in a disused Open University studio, the occasional diagram and rostrum camera sequence to liven things up. No CGI allowed.

  5. Is it not a bit like climate vs weather? I don’t find it that strange that we can model the universe as a whole, but find it much more difficult to describe on smaller scales

    • Phillip Helbig Says:

      To some extent that is the case. To me, one of the biggest questions in LCDM at the moment is whether simulations will get the details of galaxies correct without just adjusting the parameters until they match observations, which could be done with a completely non-physical model. Related to this is the question whether such simulations will robustly predict some phenomenon which is then later confirmed by observation. (There have been many predictions which have not been confirmed, though the question is why they haven’t been—-are they not there or have we, for various reasons, just not seen them yet).

      The MOND paradigm is amazingly successful at making predictions which have been confirmed with just one free parameter, the value of which hasn’t changed in decades. Any theory has to explain MOND phenomenology, whether the underlying explanation is some extension to MOND (it is clear that MOND itself is not the last word and at best some sort of effective approximation) or LambdaCDM in some guise or something else.

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