Episode 7 - Astrophysics & Exolife with Vincent Icke

When we look at the situation of the prisoners in Plato's cave, their world is only one tiny part of all there is. They think that all that exists is the shadows on the wall. They're unaware of the fire, the way upwards, and everything at the surface. Have you ever looked at the stars at night and wondered what else is out there? 
 
Our guide today, astrophycisist Vincent Icke, writes: “There is nothing special about our Sun and the planets. [...] The matter that we consist of is the most common stuff in the Universe. All those planets, stars and galaxies were created from the same kinds of matter that we find in ourselves and around us. [...] The energy required for life is radiated by every star. The deep time required for biological evolution unfolds in every place." (translated from Reisbureau Einstein, 2017)
 
About Vincent Icke:
Vincent Icke is Professor of theoretical Astrophysics at Leiden University, where he founded the Astronomy Theory Group, and Professor of Cosmology at the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. His main research interests are cosmology, the relationship between dark matter and dark energy, the formation of structure in the Universe, and radiative hydrodynamics. Vincent takes an active interest in the popularization of science, participating in hundreds of productions on radio, fielm and television. He wrote many books in Dutch and English. In this episode, we mainly discuss his two most recent books: Gravity Does Not Exist: A Puzzle For the 21st Century, about the relationship between relativity and quantum theory, and Reisbureau Einstein (Einstein’s Travel Agency) about the quest for extraterrestrial life. Vincent is also a visual artist, whose work covers a wide range of styles, media, applications and concepts. For instance, imagining what an alien spaceship might look like.
 
Sources
Vincent's artwork that we discuss at the beginning of the episode can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQQ81NmAFcj/
Vincent's website (in Dutch): https://home.strw.leidenuniv.nl/~icke/ 
Quantum Moves 2 (a game where you move quantum particles): https://www.scienceathome.org/games/quantum-moves-2/ 
 
I hope you enjoy the episode!
Mario
 
Here's how to contact me if you have any questions or comments:

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