Q & A with Marcus Chown

Marcus Chown, author of We Need To Talk About Kelvin (which I have just reviewed) has very foolishly kindly agreed to field questions from you, my blog readers, to be answered in a special post next week.

Marcus says:

I’d be very happy to answer questions from your readers on anything – science, the universe, writing etc. (Can’t guarantee a sensible answer, though!).

So have at it!  Post your question in the comments (with a name, please) and I will forward them on to Marcus.  Next week, drop by for the answers.   The comment trail will remain open for questions until Sunday night.

5 thoughts on “Q & A with Marcus Chown

  1. Pingback: Balls on a trampoline, alligator wrestling and forgetting your keys: Marcus Chown has the answers. « Not Enough Words

  2. Grappling with the idea of infinite universes with a finite number of histories – when physicists talk about all us having doubles, how literal is that? I understand the principle of there only being a certain number of ways to arrange protons, but does that mean that 10^10^28 away is someone who looks and acts like me, with a similar life history? Or does it just mean a similar arrangement of protons i.e. something vaguely humanoid? Equally with “everything having happened somewhere”, is that at the level of forgetting/not forgetting keys or the development of planets? That poorly-phrased question is the sound of my mind being blown!

  3. Hi Marcus! It’s fantastic that you’re offering yourself up to the masses like this.
    A question that’s perhaps a little off-kilter – if we somehow, one day, dug through the mysteries of physics and nature and pi and discovered the universal message at the heart of all creation… what would you LIKE it to be? What, in your opinion, would be the raddest hidden message of all?

    Failing that, how does it feel to know that your book has not just entertained folk around the world, but shaped the fundamental way they look at the universe and their lives?

  4. Hi Marcus!

    You’re a brave man.

    Is it possible someone will one day write a New Scientist article which does not conclude that, “more research is needed”?

    I look forward to the day someone writes something along the lines of, “Actually the sex life of the lesser spotted garden snail is kind of lame and boring, so let’s spend the next research funds on something more important.”

  5. OK. Marcus, we hear from scientists so often that “you’d have to know maths to be really able to understand the theory”. Frankly, this always seems a bit feeble. Maths is just a way of expressing reasoning. I suspect what it actually means is that many scientists are not actually able to explain the concepts they deal with but are content to leave this mystery at the heart of what they do and ‘merely’ manipulate the ideas mathematically, almost mechanically. Do you feel there is any truth in this?

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