1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

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1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#1  Postby LIFE » May 03, 2010 1:40 am

There's going to be a series of email interviews, this being the first.

Anything you'd like to ask Mr. Neil deGrasse Tyson?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOzkEwaMnaE[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-uZZ7RdL5E[/youtube]

Once we have accumulated enough questions I'll make sure to forward them and post the answers here.

Try to ask relevant and original stuff on astronomy, cosmology etc.
We don't want to hear for the 20th time why Pluto isn't a planet anymore, do we? :dopey:

I guess 2 weeks (starting now) shall be enough time to think of something?

Shoot :cheers:
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"If you think education is expensive, try the cost of ignorance" - Derek Bok
"Words that make questions may not be questions at all" - Neil deGrasse Tyson
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#2  Postby j.mills » May 03, 2010 3:00 am

Presumably the expansion of the universe imposes a continuous stretching force on matter. (And because we now know the expansion is accelerating, that force must be increasing.) The known physical forces must pull against this, maintaining atoms and macroscopic objects at their present size. Does this have any energy consequences? Is work done, entropy increased, the energy content of the universe altered by this process?

Expansion also reduces the frequency, and therefore the energy, of radiation in intergalactic space: light, CMB, etc. Presumably this is an energy loss for the universe.

And expansion also means that the gravitational potential energy between distant objects is increased, without (it seems) a corresponding decrease in kinetic energy. So that would seem to increase the energy in the universe.

Are those effects real? What are their relative magnitudes? What is the nett effect and does it have any interesting implications?
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#3  Postby Crocodile Gandhi » May 03, 2010 5:05 am

I would be interested in hearing his thoughts on the current direction that the US space program is taking and what direction he thinks it should be going in.
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#4  Postby Onyx8 » May 03, 2010 5:07 am

I'm just bookmarking because there doesn't seem to be way to do that without posting yet...
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#5  Postby Kytescall » May 03, 2010 8:10 am

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!








... I can't think of anything! :(
... for doubt and secrecy are the lure of lures, and no horror can be more terrible than the daily torture of the commonplace. ~ H.P. Lovecraft, Ex Oblivione

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. ~ Carl Sagan, Cosmos
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#6  Postby mikey » May 03, 2010 12:05 pm

If you were stuck on a deserted island what would be your top five(ish) books you'd want there with you?
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#7  Postby natselrox » May 03, 2010 12:07 pm

His remarks on Stephen Hawking's latest comments on aliens.
When in perplexity, read on.

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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#8  Postby Keyser Soze » May 03, 2010 12:33 pm

His thoughts on Dark Energy and Dark Matter... what is currently being done to detect them, and what is the latest hypothesis for how they interact with the 'known' physical universe.
"...it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." (Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1871)
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#9  Postby trubble76 » May 03, 2010 12:49 pm

When was the last time something made you speechless? What was it, and why did it gobsmack you?

If there's one discovery above all others that you'd like to see made before your time is up, what would it be?
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#10  Postby james1v » May 03, 2010 12:57 pm

I have one, but need to think about the wording. :think:
"When humans yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon". Thomas Paine.
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#11  Postby Matt H » May 03, 2010 4:27 pm

What is your favourite cheese?
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#12  Postby Mazille » May 03, 2010 4:32 pm

Would you like to join us on the life boat? :D

(Seriously. Once he's here, we can pick his brain as much as we want.)
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#13  Postby THWOTH » May 03, 2010 6:24 pm

What is the single most important thing to bear in mind when doing science?
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#14  Postby Calilasseia » May 03, 2010 7:25 pm

My question for Neil deGrasse Tyson would be:

Have you encountered Neil Turok's ekpyrotic cosmology, and if so, do you consider it to be a reasonable model?
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#15  Postby locutus7 » May 03, 2010 7:53 pm

Is there strong support for the hypotheis that the sun, and many other stars, are not hot enough at their cores to cause the fusion of hydrogen on a long-term basis, and thus quantum tunneling of protons past the Coulomb barrier (the proton's electrostatic repelling charge) is the only palusible explanation.

In other words, tunneling causes sufficient (albeit statistically small) protons to appear within the 2.5 femtometer distance from the protons' centers and therefore permitting the attractive nuclear force to overcome the Coulomb Law repulsion and fuse the two protons, thus giving aid to the otherwise insufficent heat-induced fusion reactions.

Or is it just a supposition without evidence?

And if indeed quantum tunneling of protons is essential to the fusion reactions of some stars, is it also implicated in the very beginning of the universe, when protons and electrons were the only particles bouncing around?
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#16  Postby rEvolutionist » May 03, 2010 10:56 pm

Does he think it is time we revisited the Geocentric model?
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#17  Postby Berceuse » May 03, 2010 11:01 pm

Do you have any advice to aspiring astrophysicists?
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#18  Postby tetters » May 03, 2010 11:51 pm

Is he in the process of writing any new books? Thoroughly enjoyed Origins and Death by a Black Hole.
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#19  Postby byofrcs » May 04, 2010 12:29 am

If you could have space in a 1U CubeSat then what would you put into it ?
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Re: 1st interview: Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

#20  Postby THWOTH » May 04, 2010 1:02 am

Do you have a pet idea or hypothesis you would like to research but for which you know you will most likely never get funding? :D

And on a related issue:

Do you see any conflict between what might be considered 'safely fundable' research and 'less safe but necessary' research? And;
Do you think there is an unhealthy inclination among funding bodies to only back scientific winners, and do you think this unduly impacts on the role or scope of science in society at large?
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