Assembling the Universe from particles to brains
A workshop about particle theory with practical examples and analogies of assembly processes that culminate in extremely complex structures. It involves ancient beliefs and myths about the creation of everything the Universe, the discoveries of modern cosmology (origin of fundamental particles and the forces that bring them together stage by stage, along unimaginable lengths of time), astrophysics (stars, as assembly laboratories for heavy chemical elements). Formation of solar systems. Biology, the emergence of life, seen as complex, self-replicating chemistry. Possibilities of intelligent life elsewhere.
Aimed at both primary and secondary school teachers, as it has basic concepts that all can use, apply and expand in their classrooms and playgrounds.
What is the Universe? Where
does everything come from, including ourselves?
This workshop addresses not only ancient beliefs and myths about the nature and origin of the Universe, but also the amazing discoveries of modern astronomy, the lives of stars and the continuous formation of worlds, rich environments and sometimes (perhaps rarely?) real paradises where the complexity of the Universe becomes intelligent life.
We embrace natural sciences in a simple and accessible way. Practical demonstrations and analogies include grains of sand, pixels, artwork, bricks, microscopes and telescopes. The core demonstration uses a linear time line, where we place selected major events in the history of the Universe along lengths of time well beyond our imagination.
There are relevant issues (historical, philosophical, religious, ethical, scientific, etc) to be freely discussed by the audience at the end.