A conversation about everything in the universe

This seems like something of a cheat of the process: Sean Carroll and Jennifer Ouellette do a bloggingheads episode together…over the telephone. What, they can’t just do the conversation in the same room with a single camera?

At least we finally find out what the universe is made of.


  1. Nick Gotts says

    Shame about the damage to the LHC – they’re saying two months delay, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that turns out to be optimistic :-(. Perhaps it’s our guardian angel, preventing the evil scientists from destroying the universe – but more probably, not.

  2. Benjamin Franklin says

    Helium leak – a likely story.

    Sounds to me like some collider geeks just wanted to suck up some helium so they could talk like hobbits.

    Guardian of the ring, my eye!

  3. says

    Aside from the fact that we have no self-control, :) there was too much cross-talk trying to have the conversation in the same room with the two separate camera format favored by Blogging Heads TV….

  4. says

    This is totally OT, but I was reminded of it by the title (everything in the universe; yeah, I know, it’s a stretch). But what does everyone think of Eoin Colfer writing a sixth H2G2 book, and more specifically of what might happen to the nontheistic bent of the series?

  5. The Swiss says

    Carroll gives a very clear explanation of the quantum-theoretical view of things (or… fields, as it turns out!). I will be redirecting inquiring friends to this link!

  6. The Swiss says

    Carroll gives a very clear explanation of the quantum-theoretical view of things (or… fields, as it turns out).

    So the universe is space-time, with a bunch of numbers attached to each point (giving the value of the electromagnetic, gravitational and other fields). At least, until the new findings at Cern will blow up the whole picture and put theoretical physicists back to work…

  7. Gregory Kusnick says

    Carroll: “Fields are real, they’re what the Universe is made of.”

    Right on. It always bugs me when otherwise smart people says things like “atoms are mostly empty space”. (Dawkins has been guilty of this in several of his books.) That space is empty only if you ignore the fields that permeate it. And if we’re ignoring fields, then why “mostly empty”? What are we supposed to imagine the non-empty parts are made of? Or maybe it’s just the electromagnetic field we’re meant to treat as insubstantial. But why? Unlike nuclear forces, we can feel electromagnetic forces directly, with our own muscles. They’re what keep your feet from falling through the floor. You can’t get any solider than that.

    The whole “empty space” canard just makes no sense no matter how you slice it, and I can’t figure why anybody would buy into it in the first place.

  8. says

    This is off-topic but your last large pop-up picture has rolled off the front page. You or Scienceblogs are posting them with scrollbars=no, so all I can see is the upper left corner. I don’t care when it’s hate mail; but the only way to see your Galapagos pictures is to save them to my own computer. Then I can scroll around that image. Please fix.

    Thank you.

  9. Arnosium Upinarum says


    just about covers it all.

    in such excruciating DETAIL too.

    [a brief synopsis of an actual, witnessed response]:


    a DESCRIPTION of mathematical DESCRIPTIONS of fields that DESCRIBE


    [swats again at that pesky configuration of fields colloquially known as a “housefly”…dang! missed again!]



    Wonder what FRAMES it ALL?

    [offered: “nothing, what else?”]


    [SWAT – dang! missed again!]


    Maybe lipstick can wear a pig?

  10. David C. says

    I just had a conversation this morning with a really wacked up christian.She said everyone has an aura,whatever that is.She believes in the eucharist which I told her it’s just a wafer or a piece of bread,but she thinks it represents magic man.She said she believes in guardian angels.She said death has no purpose .I told her death is a part of life.We all have to die some day.She said she believes in heaven.Oh and yes she’s a christian.She said I’m too negative and that I don’t get it.She said those presbyterians left all the good stuff out of the bible.She says Christopher Hitchens arguments fall apart.This woman is one strange christian.Is it any wonder these people shouldn’t be put away in the nut house.