Lisa Randall


American Theoretical Physicist, Expert on Particle Physics and Cosmology,Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science on the Physics Faculty of Harvard University

Author Quotes

A brane is a distinct region of spacetime that extends through only a (possibly multidimensional) slice of space. The word membrane motivated the choice of the word brane because membranes, like branes, are layers that either surround or run through a substance.

Creativity is essential to particle physics, cosmology, and to mathematics, and to other fields of science, just as it is to its more widely acknowledged beneficiaries - the arts and humanities.

I do try to do high-impact work, and I try to think of ideas people haven't thought about that have broad implications, but I don't restrict myself to that. I try to work on things that I find interesting.

If you are a responsible scientist, you are going to present your new results in a paper, and maybe if, over time, things are established, and it's prime time for the public to hear about it, then you include it in a book.

Naively, special relativity would therefore tell us that those particles should be able to travel forwards and backwards in time as well. But so far as we know, neither particles nor anything else we are aware of can actually travel backwards in time. What happens instead is that oppositely charged antiparticles replace the reverse-time-traveling particles. Antiparticles reproduce the effects the reverse-time-traveling particles would have so that even without them, quantum field theory?s predictions are compatible with special relativity.

Science certainly is not the static statement of universal laws we all hear about in elementary school. Nor is it a set of arbitrary rules. Science is an evolving body of knowledge. Many of the ideas we are currently investigating will prove to be wrong or incomplete. Scientific descriptions certainly change as we cross the boundaries that circumscribe what we know and venture into more remote territory where we can glimpse hints of the deeper truths beyond.

The best science frequently combines an awareness of broad and significant problems with focus on an apparently small issue or detail that someone very much wants to solve or understand. Sometimes these little problems or inconsistencies turn out to be the clues to big advances.

The young Sun?s energy output was probably about 70 percent of what it is today. With the Sun?s initially lower luminosity, even the water that did form wouldn?t have been in a liquid phase without some other explanation?a quandary known as The Faint Sun Paradox.

What makes me different as a scientist is that I'm kind of imaginative. The ideas just happen.

A musical, like most religions, provides the audience or followers with a sense of belonging. Religious services, on the other hand, with their staged performances, invigorating songs, popular wisdom and shared experience, are almost a form of community theater.

Despite my resistance to hyperbole, the LHC belongs to a world that can only be described with superlatives. It is not merely large: the LHC is the biggest machine ever built. It is not merely cold: the 1.9 kelvin (1.9 degrees Celsius above absolute zero) temperature necessary for the LHC?s supercomputing magnets to operate is the coldest extended region that we know of in the universe?even colder than outer space. The magnetic field is not merely big: the superconducting dipole magnets generating a magnetic field more than 100,000 times stronger than the Earth?s are the strongest magnets in industrial production ever made. And the extremes don?t end there. The vacuum inside the proton-containing tubes, a 10 trillionth of an atmosphere, is the most complete vacuum over the largest region ever produced. The energy of the collisions are the highest ever generated on Earth, allowing us to study the interactions that occurred in the early universe the furthest back in time.

I don't necessarily make much art myself, but after I wrote 'Warped Passages,' I was fortunate to get involved a little in the art world. I got invited to write a libretto for what we called a projective opera, and I also got invited to curate an art exhibit.

If you keep telling girls they're less good at science, that will probably be self-fulfilling. But there are quite a lot of women who are good at it.

Neuroscience is exciting. Understanding how thoughts work, how connections are made, how the memory works, how we process information, how information is stored - it's all fascinating.

Science is a combination of theory and experiment and the two together are how you make progress.

The ceremonial key to the city of Padua is engraved with a quote from Galileo that is also on display at the physics department of the university...'I deem it of more value to find out a truth about however light a matter than to engage in long disputes about the greatest questions without achieving any truth.

There are a lot of mysteries about quantum mechanics, but they mostly arise in very detailed measurements in controlled settings.

Whatever has been found?the Higgs boson, the particular implementation of the Higgs mechanism that seems simplest or something more elaborate?it is almost certainly something very new. The interest from the public and press has been very gratifying, indicating a thirst for knowledge and scientific advances that humanity to a large extent shares. After all, this discovery is part of the story of the universe?s evolution as its initial symmetry was broken, particles acquired masses, atoms were formed, structure, and then us.

A space of a particular dimension is a space requiring a particular number of quantities to specify a point.

Early in the twentieth century, the physicist Lord Rutherford, best known for his landmark discovery of the atomic nucleus, famously pronounced, All science is either physics or stamp collecting.

I don't think about a theory of everything when I do my research. And even if we knew the ultimate underlying theory, how are you going to explain the fact that we're sitting here? Solving string theory won't tell us how humanity was born.

If you look through the shelves of science books, you'll find row after row of books written by men. This can be terribly off-putting for women.

Nonetheless, in all cases matter tells spacetime how to curve, and spacetime tells matter how to move.

Science is not religion. We're not going to be able to answer the why questions. But when you put together all of what we know about the universe, it fits together amazingly well.

The continuously habitable zone, which is the region that could have supported liquid water over the lifetime of the planet. According to current climate models, the continuous habitable zone is a more restricted region within fifteen percent of the Earth-Sun distance.

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American Theoretical Physicist, Expert on Particle Physics and Cosmology,Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of Science on the Physics Faculty of Harvard University