Telescope - Randomness

E-ELT: The European Extremely Large Telescope
It could be the size of the Royal Albert Hall’s dome, but twice as high. It will have a mirror 42 metres in diameter and cost up to 1 billion Euros to build. But just what will the Europe’s Extremely Large Telescope allow scientists to do? Quentin Cooper is joined by Professor Michael Merrifield, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham and Dr. Mark Swinbank, Institute for Computational Cosmology, University of Durham to find out.

Quentin finds out that although science likes to achieve predictable, reliable results, underneath everything we see is actually a world of randomness – where events cannot be predicted only observed and understood after they occur. We underestimate the importance of randomness in our daily lives at our peril. He is joined by Dr. Leonard Mlodinow, Computation and Neural Systems, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), whose new book is The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives (Allen Lane). Dr. Mlodinow is co-author of A Briefer History of Time with Stephen Hawking and has also been a Hollywood script writer on science fiction series like Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Release date:

Available now

26 minutes

Last on

Thu 5 Jun 2008 16:30

Inside Science

BBC Inside Science

Adam Rutherford explores the research that is transforming our world.