Transcript: Shedding Light on Dark Stuff | Jun 08, 2016

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and spotted gray tie.

A caption on screen reads "Shedding light on dark stuff."

Steve says FOR ALL THE KNOWLEDGE
ABOUT THE UNIVERSE WE'VE AMASSED
SINCE ALBERT EINSTEIN PROPOSED
HIS THEORY OF GENERAL RELATIVITY
100 YEARS AGO, MUCH MORE IS
SIMPLY UNINTELLIGIBLE TO US.
FROM DARK MATTER TO DARK ENERGY,
MOST OF THE UNIVERSE IS FILLED
WITH STUFF WE HAVE YET TO
FATHOM.
DR. KATHERINE FREESE HAS MADE IT
HER LIFE'S WORK TO SHED LIGHT ON
THOSE DARK CORNERS OF THE
UNIVERSE.
SHE IS THE GEORGE E. UHLENBECK
PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, VISITING
PROFESSOR AT STOCKHOLM
UNIVERSITY, AND AUTHOR OF "THE
COSMIC COCKTAIL: THREE PARTS DARK MATTER."

A picture of the book appears on a wall screen behind Steve. The cover features a picture of the night sky and a black cocktail shake that reads "The cosmic Cocktail."

Steve continues AND DR. KATHERINE FREESE JOINS
US NOW FROM WATERLOO, ONTARIO.

Katherine is in her sixties, with long wavy blond hair. She's wearing a black blazer, a colourful silk neckerchief, and a thin pearl necklace.

Steve continues IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU ON THE
PROGRAM TONIGHT, DR. FREESE, AND
I WANT TO START BY ASKING: WHAT
PERCENTAGE OF THE UNIVERSE DO
YOU THINK IS STILL
UNINTELLIGIBLE TO US AT THIS POINT?

The caption changes to "Katherine Freese. University of Michigan."

Katherine says WELL,
THIS IS AN AMAZING STORY.
SO IF YOU TAKE EVERYTHING FROM
OUR DAILY EXPERIENCE... YOUR
BODY, THE AIR, THE WALLS, THE
CHAIR I'M SITTING ON... THROW IN
THE EARTH, ALL THE STARS AND
PLANETS.
NOW, ALL OF THAT IS MADE OF
ATOMS AND THAT PART OF THE
UNIVERSE WE UNDERSTAND.
BUT ALL OF THAT ADDS UP TO ONLY
5 percent OF THE TOTAL OF THE UNIVERSE.
SO THAT MEANS WE'RE LEFT WITH
95 percent THAT WE REALLY DON'T KNOW
EXACTLY THE NATURE, AND IT'S THE
DARK SIDE OF THE UNIVERSE... AND
THAT'S WHAT WE'RE WORKING TO TRY
TO UNDERSTAND.

The caption changes to "If cosmos was a cocktail?"

Steve says OF THE REMAINING 95 percent
THEN, WHAT DO YOU SUSPECT IT IS?

A picture shows thousands of galaxies in space.

Katherine says WELL,
THIS IS WHY I CALLED MY BOOK
"THE COSMIC COCKTAIL" BECAUSE
THE UNIVERSE IS LIKE A COCKTAIL.
SO IN ADDITION TO THE ORDINARY
STUFF THAT WE KNOW ABOUT, THEN
YOU WOULD HAVE... LET'S MAKE A
COCKTAIL, A 10-OUNCE COCKTAIL.
WELL, ALMOST 3 OUNCES OF IT
WOULD BE IN THE FORM OF DARK
MATTER AND 7 OUNCES IN THE FORM
OF DARK ENERGY, AND THEN, BY THE
WAY, YOU'D HAVE ABOUT A
MILLIONTH OF AN OUNCE IN SUPER
MASSES BLACK HOLES, SO TO MAKE A
DISTINCTION THAT SUPER MASSES
AND DARK MATTER ARE NOT THE SAME
THING, AND ALL THE ORDINARY
STUFF BARELY ADDS UP TO MUCH OF
ANYTHING.

Steve says I SUSPECT PEOPLE
HAVE A GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF
WHAT A BLACK HOLE IS.
BUT DARK MATTER AND DARK ENERGY,
NOT SO MUCH.
SO LET'S GO THROUGH THAT.
WHAT'S DARK MATTER?

A picture shows the Milky Way in the night sky, and a short computer animated clip shows a galaxy in and out.

Katherine says WHEN WE
USE THE WORD "DARK" IN DARK
MATTER, WE JUST MEAN IT DOESN'T
SHINE, IT DOESN'T GIVE OFF
LIGHT.
AS FAR AS OUR OWN GALAXY, WHAT'S
THAT MADE OF, THE MILKY WAY HAS
A VERY... A THIN PLANE, WE CALL
IT THE DISC, AND THAT'S WHERE
ALL THE STARS ARE SITTING.
SO IT'S KIND OF LIKE A PINWHEEL
AND THE SUN IS OUT ALONG ONE OF
THESE PINWHEEL ARMS BUT THAT
FLAT PIECE IS ONLY A SMALL PART
OF THE TOTAL GALAXY, SO IN FACT
THERE'S THIS GIANT SPHERICAL
REGION THAT'S ALL MADE OF DARK
MATTER.
AGAIN, IT'S STUFF THAT WE KNOW
IS THERE, IT'S MASSIVE, BUT IT
DOESN'T SHINE AND WE'RE NOT SURE
WHAT IT'S MADE OF.

Steve says IF IT DOESN'T GIVE
OFF LIGHT AND IT DOESN'T SHINE,
HOW DID WE DISCOVER IT WAS THERE
IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Two black and white pictures show men in their fifties.

Katherine says THE
AMAZING THING IS THAT WE'VE
ACTUALLY KNOWN ABOUT THIS FOR 80
YEARS AT THIS POINT.
SO THE FIRST PEOPLE TO DISCOVER
THIS WAS A MADE IN SWEDEN AND
ANOTHER WORKING AT CAL TECH.
WHEN HE LOOKED AT A CLUSTER OF
GALAXIES, HE SAW SOME OF THOSE
GALAXIES MOVING VERY, VERY
RAPIDLY, THEY'RE WHIZZING
AROUND, AND HE COULDN'T
UNDERSTAND THOSE MOTIONS BASED
ON THE STELLAR LIGHT THAT HE
KNEW ABOUT, SO HE THOUGHT, WELL,
SOMETHING ELSE IS PULLING ON
THEM TO SPEED THEM UP.
AND THAT'S CALLED GERMAN FOR
DARK MATTER.
IN ORDER FOR THINGS TO MOVE THIS
RAPIDLY, THERE HAS TO BE SOME
KIND OF NEW MATH THAT WAS NOT
UNDERSTOOD AND HE CALLED IT DARK
BECAUSE IT DOESN'T GIVE OFF
LIGHT.
THE ORIGINAL SCIENCE WAS IN THE
1930s.
BUT THEN IT REALLY TOOK ANOTHER
40 YEARS TO BE CERTAIN THAT THIS
PROBLEM REALLY EXISTED
EVERYWHERE IN THE UNIVERSE AND
THAT'S THE WORK OF VERA RUBEN.

A black and white picture shows a woman in her forties looking through a microscope.

Katherine continues SHE LOOKED AT GALAXIES
THROUGHOUT THE UNIVERSE AND
FOUND THE SAME PHENOMENON, THAT
THINGS ARE MOVING AROUND THE
CENTRE OF GALAXIES REALLY,
REALLY FAST.
IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT,
YOU HAVE TO POSIT THERE'S A NEW
KIND OF MATH THAT'S NOT GIVING
OFF LIGHT.

Steve says HOW ABOUT DARK
ENERGY, WHAT IS THAT?

Katherine says OH, BOY, DARK ENERGY.
THAT'S THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.
THAT'S 70 percent OF THE TOTAL.
AND WE'RE REALLY QUITE LOST AS
TO WHAT IT IS.
THE AMAZING THING WAS AT THE
TURN OF THE MILLENNIUM, PEOPLE
REALIZED THAT THE UNIVERSE IS
NOT JUST EXPANDING BUT IT'S
ACTUALLY ACCELERATING.
SO ON THE AVERAGE, GALAXIES ARE
MOVING APART FROM ONE ANOTHER,
BUT AS TIME GOES ON, THEY'RE
MOVING FASTER AND FASTER AWAY
FROM ONE ANOTHER, AND SO THERE'S
SOMETHING GOING ON.
WELL, IT CAN'T BE MATTER BECAUSE
MATTER IS ATTRACTIVE, IT FIELDS
GRAVITY.
IT HAS TO BE SOMETHING GIVING A
REFLECTIVE REPULSIVE FORCE.
SO THAT'S THIS BIZARRE THING WE
CALL DARK ENERGY SIMPLY BECAUSE
WE DON'T KNOW... WE REALLY DON'T
KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
SO THAT'S REALLY THE TOUGH ONE
FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS TO SOLVE.

Steve says OKAY.
I NEXT NEED YOU TO EXPLAIN TO US
TWO VERY CUTE ACRONYMS THAT I
GATHER ARE COMPETING THEORIES OF
EXPLAINING WHAT WE'VE JUST BEEN
TALKING ABOUT AND THE ACRONYMS
ARE MACHO AND WIMP.
WHAT ARE MACHO AND WIMP?

Katherine says OKAY.
SO MACHO: MASSIVE COMPACT HALO OBJECTS.
THESE WERE POPULAR... ABOUT 20
YEARS AGO PEOPLE THOUGHT THE
DARK MATTER COULD BE MADE OF,
OKAY, IT'S NOT BRIGHT STARS, BUT
WHAT IF IT'S FAINT STARS OR
PLANETARY OBJECTS OR SOMETHING
LIKE THAT?
AND SO I WAS ONE OF THE PEOPLE
THAT SHOWED THAT ACTUALLY THAT
IS NOT GOING TO SOLVE THE DARK
MATTER PROBLEM.
THERE CANNOT BE ENOUGH MACHOS
AROUND TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.
SO THEN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE
DEBATE THERE'S THE WIMPS, WEEKLY
INTERACTING MASSIVE PARTICLES.
THESE ARE EXOTIC NEW PARTICLES,
NEW IN THE SENSE THAT, WELL, WE
HAVEN'T SEEN THEM YET, BUT
THAT'S WHAT WE THINK IS THE BEST
BET FOR THE DARK MATTER AND I'VE
BEEN WORKING ON THE THEORY SIDE
AND MAKING PREDICTIONS FOR WHAT
EXPERIMENTS SHOULD SEE FOR THESE
WIMPS AND NOW THERE ARE
DETECTORS ALL OVER THE WORLD
THAT ARE WAITING TO FIND THESE
PARTICLES.
BY THE WAY, IF WIMPS ARE THE
DARK MATTER, THERE ARE A BILLION
OF THEM GOING THROUGH YOU EVERY
SECOND BUT THEY'RE NOT KNOCKING
YOU OVER.
AND THE REASON IS THAT THE ONLY
KIND OF INTERACTION THEY HAVE IS
WEAK INTERACTIONS AND THOSE
REALLY ARE WEAK INTERACTIONS AND
HENCE THE NAME WEAKLY
INTERACTING MASSIVE PARTICLES.
IN THIS DEBATE BETWEEN THE WIMPS
AND THE MACHOS, I CAN ONLY SEE
THAT WIMPS BEAT MACHOS.

Steve says ONLY THIS TIME, THOUGH.
YOU HAVE SAID, THOUGH, THAT AT
VARIOUS TIMES IN YOUR SCIENTIFIC
CAREER, YOU'VE THOUGHT, AT FIRST
IT WAS ONE POTENTIAL
EXPLANATION, THEN MAYBE ANOTHER
TIME YOU WENT FOR ANOTHER
POTENTIAL EXPLANATION.
NOW IN THE WORLD OF POLITICS,
THEY CALL THAT FLIP-FLOPPING.
WHAT DO THEY CALL IT IN THE
SCIENTIFIC WORLD?

Katherine says PROGRESS.

Steve chuckles and says BECAUSE...

The caption changes to "Katherine Freese. University of Stockholm."

Katherine says YOU KNOW
YOU HYPOTHESIZE SOMETHING AND
CHECK IN THE DATA, SO WE USE
HUBBLE TELESCOPE DATA AND OTHER
DATA AND SAY, OKAY, THOSE SMALL
FAINT STARS, THEY'RE JUST NOT
THERE.
THAT'S BAD LUCK FOR YOU.
YOU HAVE TO TRY SOMETHING
DIFFERENT.
SO THEN YOU TRY THE NEXT THING
AND WIMPS ARE REALLY
WELL-MOTIVATED ON THEORETICAL
GROUND, AND NOT ONLY THAT BUT
THERE ARE SOME HINTS OF
DETECTION IN A VARIETY OF
DIFFERENT DETECTION TECHNIQUES.
I'M REALLY HOPING WE'RE GOING TO
HAVE THIS PROBLEM RESOLVED IN
THE NEXT DECADE.
THINGS LOOK POSITIVE WE MIGHT
HAVE IT RIGHT THIS TIME.

Steve says IN TEN YEARS' TIME
IF WE DO IN FACT RESOLVE THIS BY
THE END OF THE DECADE OR A
DECADE FROM NOW, RATHER, THEN
WHAT?
WE'LL HAVE THIS KNOWLEDGE AND
THEREFORE... WHAT?

Katherine says I THINK
THE MAIN ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION
IS, SINCE ANTIQUITY, PEOPLE HAVE
LOOKED OUT AND ASKED BIG
QUESTIONS.
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
WHAT IS OUT THERE?
AND I THINK THE DESIRED ANSWER
TO THOSE QUESTIONS IS CURIOSITY,
WHY DID HUMANS SURVIVE AS A
PIECE SEES, YOU MAKE... SPECIES.
JUST ANSWERING ONE OF THE BIG
QUESTIONS OF WHAT THE UNIVERSE
IS MADE OF, OH, THAT'S ENOUGH
FOR ME.
THAT'S A VERY EXCITING PROSPECT.
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND THERE IS A
SECOND FEATURE WHICH IS WHY
GOVERNMENTS FUND US TO DO THIS
RESEARCH OTHER THAN THE PURE
INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY, AND THAT
IS THAT EVERY TIME YOU HAVE A
MAJOR DISCOVERY IN SCIENCE,
IT'LL HAVE SOME KIND OF
OFFSHOOT, SOME SERENDIPITOUS USE
THAT WE ARE NOT EVEN PREDICTING.
SO IF PEOPLE... THIS IS HOW
PROGRESS ON THE TECHNOLOGICAL
SIDE WORKS IS YOU HAVE THE
FUNDAMENTAL SCIENCE THAT
ACCIDENTALLY LEADS YOU IN A
DIRECTION YOU NEVER EXPECTED
AND, THERE YOU GO, LIFE CHANGES.

Steve says I'D LIKE SOME BETTER
UNDERSTANDING OF WHY YOU ARE A
THEORETICAL PHYSICIST TO BEGIN WITH?
WHAT WAS THE MOMENT YOU HAD
INTERACTION WITH THIS FIELD AND
THEN CONCLUDED: THIS IS FOR ME?

The caption changes to "The making of a theoretical physicist."

Katherine says THERE ARE
MANY PIECES TO THIS STORY, BUT
ONE OF THEM IS THAT I WAS
FORTUNATE IN THAT MY PARENTS
WERE SCIENTISTS, NOT JUST MY
FATHER BUT ALSO MY MOTHER.
THEY DID GROUND-BREAKING WORK IN
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY.
SO THE IDEA A WOMAN COULD BE A
SCIENTIST WAS NOT FOREIGN TO ME
AND THEY WERE VERY ENCOURAGED
WHEN I WAS INTERESTED.
SO THAT WAS A GOOD START.
THEN I ALSO WHEN I WAS 15 YEARS
OLD, I WENT TO SUMMER SCHOOL AT
THE PHILLIPS EXETER ACADEMY IN
NEW HAMPSHIRE AND LEARNED A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT RELATIVITY,
JUST ENOUGH TO THINK, OH, MY
GOD, THIS WORK OF EINSTEIN IS
INTERESTING.
I HAVE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS.
THAT GOT ME GOING AND GOT ME
WANTING TO STUDY THIS WHEN I GOT
TO COLLEGE.
THOSE TWO PIECES WERE IMPORTANT.

Steve says I'VE ALSO HEARD YOU
SAY YOU ARE A THEORIST BY TEMPERAMENT.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Katherine says EXPERIMENTAL GROUPS NOWADAYS ARE
GIGANTIC, AND THAT DOESN'T WORK
FOR ME.
I NEED TO GO INTO A ROOM, CLOSE
THE DOOR, AND DO SOME THINKING.
I TRIED OUT, I STARTED OUT AS AN
EXPERIMENTAL PHYSICIST AND
REALIZED IT WASN'T WORKING FOR ME.
SO I SWITCHED TO SOMETHING AS
FAR AS MY PERSONALITY SUITS ME
BETTER.
I'M NOT SAYING ALL I DO IS SIT
IN A ROOM AND CLOSE THE DOOR
BECAUSE A LOT OF THE FUN IS WHEN
WE COLLABORATE.
WE SIT AROUND A TABLE, A FEW OF
US, TWO OR THREE OF US, MY
FRIENDS, AND IT'S A LOT OF FUN
AND WE THROW IDEAS OUT THERE AND
YOU WRITE ON THE BACK OF AN
ENVELOPE OR USUALLY A NAPKIN,
YOU TRY OUT THE SIMPLE
MATHEMATICS, WILL THIS IDEA WORK
OR NOT, AND 99 percent OF THE TIME IT
DOESN'T.
ONCE IN A WHILE YOU HAVE AN IDEA
AND SAY, OKAY, LET'S PURSUE THIS
MORE.
THEN YOU GO BACK INTO YOUR ROOM
AND DO SOME THINKING AND WORKING
ON YOUR OWN AND YOU GET BACK
TOGETHER AND YOU MOVE FORWARD
AND SEE, WELL, IS THIS WORKING?
DOES IT MATCH NATURE OR NOT?
USUALLY AT THIS STAGE IT
DOESN'T.
EVERY NOW AND THEN IT DOES, AND
WHOO HOO, LET'S GO, LET'S SOLVE
THE MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE.
THAT'S WHAT I'M HOPING IS GOING
TO HAPPEN WITH THE WORK I DID IN
DARK MATTER WITH MY FRIENDS 25
YEARS AGO, I HATE TO ADMIT IT,
AND I'M HOPING THAT THAT LEADS
TO DISCOVERY.

Steve says I GATHER, THOUGH,
THERE WAS A MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE
MANY YEARS AGO WHERE YOU WERE AT
A BIT OF A FORK IN THE ROAD.
IT COULD HAVE BEEN ACTING FOR
YOU OR IT COULD HAVE BEEN
SCIENCE.
AND SCIENCE WON OUT.
HOW COME?

Katherine says THIS IS
WHEN I WAS A... I WAS A GRADUATE
STUDENT WORKING ON AN EXPERIMENT
AT THE PARTICLE ACCELERATOR
OUTSIDE OF CHICAGO AND I THOUGHT
I WANT TO GET INTO THE CITY AND
I THOUGHT I'M GOING TO TAKE AN
ACTING CLASS.
UNFORTUNATELY FOR THAT PLAN, THE
ACTING CLASSES HAD ALREADY
STARTED.
BUT THE BIZARRE THING IS THAT
THIS WAS OCTOBER AND THERE'S
ONLY ONE UNIVERSITY THAT I KNOW
OF THAT ACTUALLY STARTS IN
OCTOBER AND THAT'S THE
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO AND I
DISCOVERED THIS COSMOLOGY CLASS
I COULD TAKE.
SO A COUPLE TIMES A WEEK I DROVE
IN VERY EARLY AND THOSE WHO KNOW
ME KNOW THAT DOING ANYTHING VERY
EARLY IS NOT MY STYLE.
BUT I GOT SO TURNED ON BY THIS
CLASS THAT I ENDED UP ACTUALLY
SWITCHING TO BECOME A Ph.D.
STUDENT OF THE MAN TEACHING THE
CLASS, DAVID SCHRAM.
SO IT WAS A FORK IN THE ROAD
DEPENDING ON WHAT CLASSES WERE
OFFERED.

Steve says GOTCHA.
A BIT OF A DELICATE QUESTION
HERE BUT SINCE YOU RAISED THE
ISSUE OF GENDER A FEW MOMENTS
AGO, I DO WANT TO PURSUE THAT
JUST A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE WE
KNOW, OF COURSE, THAT THE
NUMBERS OF WOMEN INVOLVED IN THE
SCIENCES IN THE PAST CERTAINLY
HAS BEEN SMALLER THAN THE NUMBER
OF MEN INVOLVED, AND YOU HAVE
WRITTEN THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED
HOW TO DEFLECT MALE ADVANCES
FROM A TIME THAT YOU WERE A BAR
HOSTESS IN TOKYO.
AND I GUESS I'M WONDERING
WHETHER THESE SKILLS ARE
NECESSARY IN THE WORLD OF SCIENCE.

Katherine says I HAVE
THOUGHT ABOUT THIS AND I REALIZE
THAT I'M THE FIRST GENERATION OF
WOMEN THAT HAS GOTTEN PAID TO DO
SCIENCE, TO DO, IN MY CASE,
THEORETICAL PHYSICS.
BECAUSE THE PREVIOUS GENERATION
THEY HAD TO DO IT FOR FREE.

A picture shows a monument surrounded by water.

Katherine continues NOBODY WAS GOING TO HIRE THEM AT
A UNIVERSITY ON THE WHOLE.
SO I'M PRETTY LUCKY THAT I WAS
IN THAT SITUATION.
BUT I ALSO LIKE TO THINK THAT
SINCE THAT TIME, IN THE LAST 25
YEARS, THAT THE WORLD HAS
IMPROVED, THAT THE PHYSICS WORLD
HAS BECOME MORE ACCEPTING OF
WOMEN, AND SO... ARE THERE STILL
THESE ISSUES?
YES, BUT THEY'RE GETTING BETTER.
SO I JUST REMEMBER WALKING INTO
THE PARTICLE ACCELERATOR I
TALKED ABOUT, THERE'S A GIANT
CAFETERIA AND THOUSANDS OF MEN
SITTING THERE AND I WOULD WALK
IN AND ALL THE HEADS WOULD TURN.
IT WAS TERRIFYING AS A STUDENT.
THEY'RE JUDGING ME, ET CETERA.
NOW THE NUMBERS ARE DIFFERENT.
WHAT I'M TOLD STUDIES SHOW ONCE
YOU GET UP TO MAYBE 25 PERCENT
WOMEN, THE WHOLE CULTURE OF THE
FIELD CHANGES AND A LOT OF THAT
JOCKEYING... MEN WHEN THEY'RE
TOGETHER, ESPECIALLY IF THEY'RE
INSECURE STUDENTS, THEY TEND TO
BRAG A LOT AND JOCKEY FOR
POSITION.
IF YOU CAN REMOVE SOME OF THAT,
JUST BY HAVING WOMEN AROUND,
PEOPLE BEHAVE IN A MORE NATURAL
WAY.
50 PERCENT OF THE SPECIES ARE
FEMALE.
AS SOON AS YOU HAVE MORE WOMEN
AROUND, I THINK THE BEHAVIOUR
BECOMES MORE AND MORE MUTED AND
MORE NORMAL AND THE SAME GOES
THEN, I HOPE, FOR THE NEGATIVE
ATTENTION IN THE FORM OF PEOPLE
BEING TOO INTERESTED IN YOU.
I'M HOPING THAT IS ALSO TONING
DOWN.

Steve says GIVE US A SENSE OF
WHAT YOUR LIFE IS LIKE RIGHT NOW
THOUGH. FOR EXAMPLE WHEN YOU GO
TO A CONFERENCE OR WHEN YOU STEP
INTO A LAB, IS IT STILL...
YOU'RE IN THE MINORITY EVERYTIME
I PRESUME. IS THAT FAIR TO SAY?

Katherine says YEAH, BUT
THE NUMBERS HAVE GOTTEN BETTER,
THE NUMBERS HAVE GOTTEN MUCH BETTER.

Steve says WHAT DO THE NUMBERS
LOOK LIKE NOW?

Katherine says GOING TO A
FACULTY MEETING IS NOT AWKWARD -
IT'S NOT AWKWARD ANYMORE, I JUST
SAY WHAT I THINK. YOU KNOW, I'M
ALSO A SENIOR PERSON IN THE
FIELD, SO PEOPLE RECOGNIZE ME...
I'M KNOWN AND SO I CAN SAY WHAT
I THINK ANYHOW. BUT I THINK IN
GENERAL, I THINK THINGS ARE
GETTING BETTER IN THAT REGARD.
SO MY ADVICE TO YOUNG WOMEN IS
FOR GOD SAKE IF YOU HAVE THE
PASSION TO DO THIS...AND I THINK
A LOT OF PEOPLE...PEOPLE IN
GENERAL ARE IN INTERESTED IN
SCIENCE, IT'S A VERY EXCITING
SUBJECT - WHAT IS THE UNIVERSE
MADE OF AND WHAT IS OUT THERE.
AND SO IF YOU HAVE THIS PASSION,
THEN SEE THROUGH ALL OF THIS. IF
THERE'S NEGATIVITY, SEE THROUGH
IT, KEEP GOING. STAY POSITIVE.

Steve says GOOD. LET ME PICK UP
ON THIS NOTION ABOUT WHAT'S OUT
THERE IN THE UNIVERSE.
A HUNDRED YEARS AGO, ALBERT
EINSTEIN SAID THAT THE UNIVERSE
WAS STATIONARY, DIDN'T EXPAND,
DIDN'T CONTRACT.
EARLIER IN OUR CONVERSATION, YOU
SAID THAT'S NOT THE CASE.
ARE WE 100 PERCENT CERTAIN TODAY
THAT THAT'S NOT TRUE?

The caption changes to "Expanding universe."

A picture shows an observatory atop a forested hill.

Katherine says OH, YEAH.
THAT'S BEEN... MEASUREMENTS OF
THAT WERE DONE IN 1929.
SO EDWIN HUBBLE WAS LOOKING
THROUGH THE TELESCOPES IN THE
ANGELES MOUNTAINS IN CALIFORNIA,
WHICH BY THE WAY THOSE
MOUNTAINS, I HAD A SABBATICAL AT
CAL TECH, AND LOOKING AT THESE
MOUNTAINS EVERY DAY, UNTIL I
TRIED TO CLIMB THEM, I DIDN'T
GET IT.
THEY'RE AS HIGH AS THE ROCKIES.
ON TOP OF THOSE THERE'S AN
OBSERVATORY AND WHAT HE DID WAS
LOOK AT GALAXIES AND THERE ARE
ATOMS THAT EMIT LIGHT IN THOSE
GALAXIES, BUT THE WAVES, BY THE
TIME THEY GOT TO US, WERE
STRETCHED.
SO HE COULD MAKE THOSE
MEASUREMENTS AND SAY, WAIT A
MINUTE, THESE ATOMS ARE LOOKING
FUNNY.
IT'S AS THOUGH YOU DREW A WAVE
ON THE SURFACE OF THE BALLOON
AND AS YOU BLEW UP THE BALLOON,
THE WAVE STRETCHES.
HE CAME TO THE CONCLUSION: WELL,
THE UNIVERSE MUST BE EXPANDING
TO EXPLAIN THESE MEASUREMENTS.
THE FACT THAT THE UNIVERSE WAS
EXPANDING WAS ACTUALLY SETTLED
IN 1929 AND EVEN AT THAT TIME
EINSTEIN CONCEDED, OKAY, THE
UNIVERSE IS NOT STATIC.
AS USUAL, YOU CAN THEORIZE YOUR
FAVOURITE VIEW OF THE UNIVERSE
BUT NATURE IS NATURE AND YOU
HAVE TO... OBSERVATIONS WIN.
THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, THE
UNIVERSE IS EXPANDING.

Steve says WELL LET ME PURSUE
THAT METAPHOR OF THE BALLOON
AGAIN. IF IT'S CONSTANTLY
EXPANDING, DO WE WORRY AT SOME
POINT DOWN THE ROAD THIS BALLOON...THIS UNIVERSE IS GOING TO POP?

Katherine says WELL OUR
UNIVERSE... WE'RE NOT LIVING ON
THE SURFACE OF A BALLOON SO IN
FACT OUR... IT'S LIKE TAKE A
CUBE AND TAKE EACH SIDE OUT TO
INFINITY. SO UP AND DOWN TAKE
THAT TO INFINITY. LEFT AND RIGHT
AND SO ON. AND SO IN THREE
DIMENSIONS, IT'S THIS INFINITE
UNIVERSE AND THINGS ARE MOVING
APART FROM ONE ANOTHER AND THEY
WILL JUST KEEP DOING THAT. NOW,
AS FAR AS THE INFINITE FUTURE,
OF COURSE WE DON'T REALLY KNOW
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN...I MEAN
IT'S POSSIBLE THAT THIS
EXPANDING CUBE FOR SOME REASON
WILL START RE-CONTRACTING. WE
DON'T HAVE ANY EVIDENCE FOR THAT
NOW, WE DON'T THINK THAT'S
WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. THAT
SORT OF GOES COUNTER TO EVERY
THING WE KNOW ABOUT THE
UNIVERSE. BUT THE IDEA OF A POPPING BALLOON -
THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Steve says IN OUR LAST MINUTE
OR SO HERE, I DO NEED TO ASK YOU
THE THING I ASK EVERY
THEORETICAL PHYSICIST WHO COMES
ON THIS PROGRAM: DO YOU THINK WE
ARE ALONE IN THIS UNIVERSE?

The caption changes to "Is there anyone out there?"

Katherine says WE ARE
DEFINITELY NOT ALONE IN THIS
UNIVERSE OR THIS GALAXY.
IN THE LAST 5 TO 10 YEARS, OH,
IT'S JUST BEEN MIND BOGGLING.
THE NUMBER OF NEW PLANETS THAT
HAVE BEEN DISCOVERED, NOBODY
EXPECTED THAT.
IT APPEARS THAT EVERY SINGLE
STAR HAS A PLANETARY SYSTEM
AROUND IT.
SO THINK ABOUT THAT.
THERE'S PLANETS EVERYWHERE AND
SOME OF THEM HAVE GOT TO HAVE
SIMILAR... WELL, THEY CALL IT
THE GOLDILOCKS ZONE, YOU CAN'T
BE TOO CLOSE OR TOO FAR AWAY
FROM THE STAR AND THAT ALLOWS
YOU TO HAVE WATER AND AN
ATMOSPHERE AND SO ON.
I'M SURE NOT TOO FAR FROM US
COMPARED TO THE INFINITE SUN
UNIVERSE, SOMEWHERE INSIDE OUR
GALAXY THERE IS DEFINITELY LIFE.
IN FACT THERE MIGHT HAVE BEEN
LIFE ON MARS, NOT INTELLIGENT
LIFE, BUT THERE'S WATER ON MARS,
PROBABLY ORGANIC MATERIALS, SO
LIFE HAS BEEN CLOSER THAN
ANYBODY WOULD HAVE THOUGHT A
DECADE AGO.
YEAH, WE'RE NOT ALONE IN THE
UNIVERSE.

Steve says NOT ALONE IN TERMS
OF LIFE.
HOW ABOUT IN TERMS OF
INTELLIGENT LIFE?

Katherine says OKAY.
I WOULD EVEN GO WITH, NO, WE'RE
NOT ALONE AS FAR AS INTELLIGENT LIFE.
I DON'T SEE WHY IT WOULDN'T HAVE
FORMED IN ONE OF THESE OTHER
PLANETARY SYSTEMS, THESE OTHER
SOLAR SYSTEMS.
PEOPLE ASK, OKAY, WHY HAVEN'T WE
HEARD FROM THEM?
I WOULD SAY IF THEY'RE LESS
ADVANCED THAN WE ARE, THEY
COULDN'T HAVE GOTTEN HERE YET.
IF THEY'RE MORE ADVANCED THAN WE
ARE AND THEY CAME BY CHANCE PAST
OUR PLANET, WHY SHOULD THEY BE
INTERESTED?
I WALK BY ANT COLONIES ALL THE
TIME AND I'M REALLY NOT
INTERESTED IN THEM SO I JUST
IGNORE THEM.
OR MAYBE WITH ANY BAD LUCK IF A
KID CAME ALONG WOULD STEP ON
THAT ANT COLONY AND SQUISH THEM.
LET'S HOPE THEY DON'T PAY
ATTENTION TO US BECAUSE I DON'T
WANT THEM TO COME AND JUST
DESTROY US FOR THE HELL OF IT.
I THINK INTELLIGENT LIFE IS OUT
THERE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Wodek Szemberg, @wodekszemberg"

Steve says GOOD TO KNOW.
YOU KNOW WHAT, DR. FREESE, IT'S
SO GOOD OF YOU TO SPEND TIME
WITH US ON TVO TONIGHT.
ONE OF THE THINGS I LOVE ABOUT
THE PROGRAM IS I LEARN SOMETHING
NEW EVERY DAY AND YOU SURE
TAUGHT THIS STUDENT A LOT IN OUR
PAST 25 MINUTES ON TVO TONIGHT.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEING WITH US.

Katherine says THANKS SO
MUCH FOR THE INTERVIEW.
IT WAS GREAT TO TALK TO YOU.

Watch: Shedding Light on Dark Stuff