In this episode of Startalk Radio, theoretical physicist Brian Greene joins the show for a cosmic queries episode. Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, they discuss various topics including the plank length, string theory, black holes, and the concept of singularity. Brian Greene, a professor of physics and math at Columbia University, shares his expertise and insights into these complex subjects.

- Brian Greene is a professor of physics and math at Columbia University and author of several books on physics.
- Brian Green has dual appointments in the physics and math departments at Columbia University.
- Brian Green prefers books with equations over books with lots of words.
- The panelists joke about Brian only speaking in equations.

- Fluency in a programming language can lead to dreaming in that language.
- Lucid dreaming is when you become aware that you’re dreaming.
- The architecture of a building can be a clue that you’re dreaming.
- Anxiety-driven dreams are common and can be influenced by personal insecurities.

- Quantum mechanics and singularity are complex topics in physics.
- Singularity refers to any point where mathematics breaks down.
- The concept of singularity in black holes is still not fully understood and requires further research.
- Equations are used to understand black holes, but they have limitations.

- Lines of longitude on Earth separate time zones, but at the North Pole, all time zones meet and the question of what time it is becomes meaningless.
- Singularity in black holes is a result of human invention and bad choices of coordinate systems, similar to the problem with lines of longitude at the North Pole.
- According to Einstein’s special relativity, the faster something goes, the slower time elapses, and at the speed of light, no time would be elapsing for a photon.
- The idea of predestination has little to do with how time elapses at different speeds and more to do with how the universe evolves according to laws that humans cannot control.

- String theory proposes that fundamental particles are comprised of strings vibrating at different frequencies.
- The purpose of the string idea is to help people understand the theory in more simple terms.
- Theorists use observation, experiment, and real tension in existing understanding to drive their ideas, not just mathematical aesthetics.
- String theory is one language for describing the unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics, but there are other languages as well.

- The next major breakthrough could be a more refined understanding of the big bang and cosmology.
- Inflationary cosmology is the most refined version of cosmology, but there are competitors now and our view may change.
- There are unresolved questions in quantum mechanics that may cause us to rethink the foundations of quantum theory.
- Theoretical physics could grind to a halt without new data from observation and experiment.

Brian Greene, a professor of physics and math at Columbia University, shares his passion for equations and their role in understanding the universe. He discusses the importance of dual appointments in both physics and math departments, highlighting the interconnectedness of these disciplines.

The panelists delve into the fascinating topic of dreaming and consciousness. They explore how fluency in a programming language can influence dreams and discuss the concept of lucid dreaming. The architecture of a building can serve as a clue to determine if one is dreaming, and anxiety-driven dreams are influenced by personal insecurities.

Quantum mechanics and singularity are complex subjects in physics. The panelists discuss the concept of singularity, which refers to points where mathematics breaks down. They highlight the ongoing research and limitations in understanding the concept of singularity in black holes.

Theoretical physics and cosmology present intriguing ideas about time and the universe. The panelists explore how lines of longitude and the North Pole can provide insights into the concept of singularity. They discuss the implications of Einstein’s special relativity and the idea of predestination in relation to the evolution of the universe.

String theory offers a unique perspective on the unification of general relativity and quantum mechanics. The panelists explain how fundamental particles can be understood as strings vibrating at different frequencies. They emphasize the role of observation, experiment, and tension in driving theoretical ideas.

The panelists discuss the potential breakthroughs in understanding the big bang and cosmology. They highlight the evolving nature of cosmology, with inflationary cosmology being the current refined version. Unresolved questions in quantum mechanics may lead to reevaluating the foundations of quantum theory, emphasizing the importance of new data from observation and experiment.

Through engaging conversations with Brian Greene, this episode of Startalk Radio provides insights into the fascinating world of theoretical physics, cosmology, and the mysteries of the universe. Listeners gain a deeper understanding of complex concepts such as singularity, quantum mechanics, and the unification of fundamental forces.