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Big Brains

Jun 3, 2021

Why does our universe work the way it does? What are its laws? How did it start with the Big Bang‚ and how will it end?

Scientists like Prof. Dan Hooper from the University of Chicago use something called the Standard Model of Physics to explain our universe, but there’s one big problem: The model has black hole-sized gaps in it. What is dark matter? What is dark energy and why does it make up 70 percent of our universe? Where is all the anti-matter?

Hooper says it will probably take a paradigm-shifting discovery to answer these questions, and that those are a once-in-a-lifetime event. But, this year, something called the muon G-2 experiment at UChicago-affiliated Fermilab may have been just that discovery. It threatens to break the “standard model” and open a whole new kind of physics. Hooper explains it all, and responds to our previous episode with Harvard’s Avi Loeb about aliens.