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The FQXi podcast brings you the latest ideas in foundational physics and cosmology—and includes interviews with our members and other leading scientists. It's hosted by Zeeya Merali and Brendan Foster. You can contact us at, and follow us on twitter: @FQXi. The podcast is produced by Zeeya, and music is provided by Baltimore-based Diefenbaker.

Georgina Woodward: "John, the "time differences" at different gravitational potentials are..." in Defining the Observer

Constantinos Ragazas: "Hello Ian, and thanks for reporting on this. "Defining existence" and..." in Defining the Observer

Steve Dufourny: "I am asking me what is the most difficult,Mars or the wheels in space.Mars..." in Science Funding in an...

Pentcho Valev: "Experiments have unequivocally shown that the speed of light is not a..." in Rescuing Reality

Steve Dufourny: "It is important this correlated ecology,I saw some days ago on an article..." in Science Funding in an...

Joe Fisher: "Dear Pencho, Physics has not been killed for all physicists still only..." in Rescuing Reality

Akinbo Ojo: "Adel, - Gravitational orbits show an alternate and repetitive coming..." in Defining Existence

Akinbo Ojo: "Sorry Gary, I should have replied under this thread instead of opening..." in Defining Existence

click titles to read articles

Rescuing Reality
A "retrocausal" rewrite of physics, in which influences from the future can affect the past, could solve some quantum quandaries—saving Einstein's view of reality along the way.

Untangling Quantum Causation
Figuring out if A causes B should help to write the rulebook for quantum physics.

In Search of a Quantum Spacetime
Finding the universe's wavefunction could be the key to understanding the emergence of reality.

Collapsing Physics: Q&A with Catalina Oana Curceanu
Tests of a rival to quantum theory, taking place in the belly of the Gran Sasso d'Italia mountain, could reveal how the fuzzy subatomic realm of possibilities comes into sharp macroscopic focus.

Dropping Schrödinger's Cat Into a Black Hole
Combining gravity with the process that transforms the fuzzy uncertainty of the quantum realm into the definite classical world we see around us could lead to a theory of quantum gravity.

October 28, 2016

Complete Podcast
The FQXi May 30, 2012 Podcast features:
  • Did the Universe Have a Beginning?
  • Launching the FQXi Essay Contest
  • Quantum Words & Pictures
  • The Secret (Quantum) Science of Scents
  • Ask a Physicist: Strings & Sounds
INFO: MP3 file / 43 minutes / 41 MB
DOWNLOAD (right-click Windows, control-click Mac)
DISCUSS in the FQXi Community Forum
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Featured video in this podcast:
Individual Stories
Did the Universe Have a Beginning?
Could the multiverse, the cyclic universe, or the "cosmic egg" universe have existed infinitely into the past? If the universe had a beginning, can we detect *where* it occurred? (Extended interview with Alex Vilenkin.)
INFO: MP3 file / 17 minutes / 16 MB
DOWNLOAD (right-click Windows, control-click Mac)
Launching the FQXi Essay Contest
Tips for those planning to "Question the Foundations" in the 4th FQXi Essay Contest.
INFO: MP3 file / 3 minutes / 3 MB
DOWNLOAD (right-click Windows, control-click Mac)
Quantum Words & Pictures
Bob Coecke's quantum art could lead to a unified theory with gravity and to a new understanding of linguistics.
INFO: MP3 file / 8 minutes / 8 MB
DOWNLOAD (right-click Windows, control-click Mac)
The Secret (Quantum) Science of Scents
Sniffing out a controversial quantum model of smell. Extended interview with Luca Turin discussing his latest human and animal tests and how to engineer fragrance.
INFO: MP3 file / 16 minutes / 16 MB
DOWNLOAD (right-click Windows, control-click Mac)
Ask a Physicist: Strings & Sounds
*You* ask string theorist Joe Polchinski why extra dimensions should be interpreted as "real" & Nobel Laureate particle physicist Frank Wilczek about underwater sounds.
INFO: MP3 file / 9 minutes / 8 MB
DOWNLOAD (right-click Windows, control-click Mac)
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Recent Comments

Questioning the origins of The Universe?

The questioning starts as soon as humans use its ability to think. Human intuition driven by experience of nature is conflicted. We experience all living things have a life span, a beginning and end. In spite of short life span, the nature and society as a whole remains unchanged and unaffected by this cycle.

Forces of nature impact non-living things as well– like rivers, stones etc. The life span concept can therefore be extended to all...

Just to let you know a new edition of the podcast is now up: It’s a bit longer than usual because we’ve given some time over to discussing the essay contest launch. Those planning to “question the foundations” can pick up some tips on what the judges do and don’t want to see. (Mainly the latter.)

In this edition, cosmologist Alex Vilenkin asks whether the universe could have existed forever into the past -- without a beginning. In his extended...

This is a discussion of the FQXi Podcast from May 30, 2012

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