From an aspiring astrophysicist; What was it that made you choose to become an astrophysicist? Did you ever think about going down a different path in physics, and if so, what? Thanks for doing this AMA:)
Oh for sure. I started college as a philosophy major interested in art. I never finished high school so I never had physics or even calculus in high school. I secretly always wanted to be a writer too. And I struggled in graduate school to cut out all other interests but physics. I'm relieved and grateful that now I can integrate writing and culture into my life as an astrophysicist. I'm also director of sciences at an art center in Brooklyn, Pioneer Works.
Hi Dr Levin! I’m curious.. we often phrase the question, “What happened before the Big Bang,” but this presupposes that there was a time before the creation of the universe. If the Big Bang was the birth of space as well as time, does it even make sense to talk about a time or event prior to there being any time at all? And what would that be like, having no time? How did things change or events like the Big Bang happen if there is nothing discerning one moment from the next?
Huge fan by the way! I love it every time you get to host StarTalk All Stars. Keep bringing the science of the universe down to Earth! Thanks!
Thank you! Great to hear.
Yes, it's fair to say that the question isn't meaningful. Sometimes people pose the analogy that it's like asking what's north of the north pole. But it might be that the big bang is more like a plume off a larger spacetime that caught fire in some sense, burst out and created our bubble, which is the only part of the universe we can see.