or login with

Universal University

  1. The Most Astounding Fact - Neil deGrasse Tyson
      Flip
    • What is the most astounding fact of science according to Tyson?
      1. That the atoms that make us once came from the core of stars in the universe.
      Flip
    • How did the atoms get from those stars to us?
      1. The stars went supernova, exploded, and spread their elements across the cosmos.
      Flip
    • What do you see when you look up at night?
      1. Everything that makes up our bodies. We are in the stars.
      Flip
  2. Neil deGrasse Tyson: My Man, Sir Isaac Newton
      Flip
    • Who is the greatest physicist in history?
      1. Isaac Newton
      Flip
    • What did Isaac Newton do?
      1. Discovered the laws of optics, figured out that light was composed of different colors, the laws of motion, and the universal law of gravitation.
      Flip
    • What was Isaac Newton's most important invention?
      1. Integral and differential calculus.
      Flip
  3. Cosmic Quandaries with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
      Flip
    • What happened to Pluto?
      1. In 2006, the science community convened and reclassified all planets. Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet.
      Flip
    • How many moons in the solar system are bigger than Pluto?
      1. 6
      Flip
    • What is the biggest difference between our current classification of planets and how the planets were previously classified?
      1. Planets are now classified by their makeup and behaviors, as opposed to simply enumerating the planets. It is a group of families.
      Flip
    • Why is Pluto "our" planet?
      1. It was discovered by an American.
      Flip
    • What detail did Tyson correct in James Cameron's Titanic?
      1. The night sky at the end of the movie. With the date, time, longitude and latitude as known quantities for that night, we can perfectly recreate that sky (and any other historical sky) with CGI.
      Flip
    • Where does 85% of the mass in the universe come from?
      1. Sources unknown, one of which is called Dark Matter.
      Flip
    • What is Dark Matter?
      1. A place holder term from a major gravitational source in our Universe.
      Flip
    • What is Tyson's favorite hypothesis on Dark Matter?
      1. The multi-verse theory's gravitational laws can account for this gravitational anomaly. The gravity from a universe in close proximity to ours in a multi-verse would permeate into ours and account for Dark Matter.
      Flip
    • How much of the matter and energy in the universe do we fully understand?
      1. 4%
      Flip
    • What is Dark Energy?
      1. Dark Energy is a pressure in the universe that is accelerating the expansion of the universe. The name is a place holder, much like Dark Matter.
      Flip
    • What is a black hole?
      1. A 3-D hole in space-time.
      Flip
    • What is at the center of a black hole?
      1. The singularity. This is the point where physics must divide by 0. Dividing by 0 is impossible, and therefore we don't know much about the singularities at the centers of black holes.
      Flip
    • What is the event horizon?
      1. The point in space where nothing can escape the gravitational pull of a Black Hole.
      Flip
    • What happens when two black holes collide?
      1. The distortion of space and time would allow for backwards time travel, until the black holes consume each other and create a black hole twice the size.
      Flip
    • Does Neil deGrasse Tyson believe in UFOs?
      1. Not as defined by mainstream society.
      Flip
    • What is the lowest form of evidence in science?
      1. Eyewitness (ear-witness) testimony.
      Flip
    • Why does Tyson not quite believe that we have been visited by extra-terrestrials?
      1. The evidence provided thus far for visitation is not up to par with science's standards of evidence.
      Flip
    • What can string theory do?
      1. It is essentially the theory of everything. It unifies the science of the large (general relativity) and the science of the small (quantum mechanics).
      Flip
    • Are black holes important to the universe's composition?
      1. Not really. Based on what we know of the universe, if black holes didn't exist, things would essentially be the same.
      Flip
    • What is the shape of the universe?
      1. In the euclidean sense, the universe is saddle shaped. In the context of what we can see from Earth, the universe is spherical.
      Flip
    • Enjoy Tyson's closing thoughts!
      1. We are the universe, we are not alone, and we are woefully ill-equipped to deal with that.
      Flip
  4. Neil Degrasse Tyson: "If you're scientifically literate the world looks very different to you"
      Flip
    • What is science literacy?
      1. The ability to critically think and learn about the environment around you.
      Flip
    • What is the main purpose of science?
      1. The main purpose of science is to understand the world around you and be able to act upon that world.
      Flip
  5. We Stopped Dreaming
      Flip
    • Which is greater, the TARP bailout, or the entire combined historical budget of NASA?
      1. TARP is greater.
      Flip
  6. The Poetry of Science: Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson