Too Big To Prove
(Repeat) Celebrations are in order for the physicists who won the 2017 Nobel Prize, for the detection of gravitational waves. But the road to Stockholm was not easy. Unfolding over a century, it went from doubtful theory to daring experiments and even disrepute. 100 years is a major lag between a theory and its confirmation, and new ideas in physics may take even longer to prove.
Why it may be your great, great grandchildren who witness the confirmation of string theory. Plus, the exciting insights that gravitational waves provide into the phenomena of our universe, beginning with black holes.
And, physics has evolved - shouldn’t its rewards? A case for why the Nobel committee should honor collaborative groups rather than individuals, and the scientific breakthroughs it’s missed.
Roland Pease - BBC reporter, producer, and host of “Science in Action.”
David Gross - Theoretical physicist, string theorist, University of California, Santa Barbara, Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, winner, 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Originally aired October 16, 2017