It's Elemental

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 - 16:00

We hold some basic truths about the universe to be – well, if not self-evident – than reassuringly consistent.  Without them, the cosmos might be rhomboid-shaped, our bodies would suddenly fly apart, and we’d have to peel lead balloons off the ceiling.  The laws of physics are not capricious, but seem to yearn for an inner beauty that scientists describe as symmetry.  Nobel laureate Leon Lederman talks about why the universe is mostly symmetric, but not entirely, and an evolutionary psychologist explains that Fermi’s Paradox arises because the aliens are too busy playing Tomb Raider to get in touch.  Also, making the basics transparent: can we make an invisibility cloak?


  • Leon Lederman, Physicst, Director Emeritus of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
  • Geoffrey Miller   Evolutionary Psychologist at the University of New Mexico
  • David R. Smith   Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Duke University