There’s nothing like a trip back home to visit family and friends – or attending a college reunion – to make you ponder the passage of time. And as we reported this past week on Science Today, University of California, Berkeley physicist Richard Muller has proposed a new theory about the flow of time.
“My theory postulates that space and time are so tightly linked in general relativity, that if you create more space, you’re creating more time. If the expansion of the universe, starting with the Big Bang and now coasting ahead is constantly creating more space, it must also be creating new time.”
Muller theorizes that that space between the galaxies and the newly created time is what we call ‘now’. Muller is collaborating with CalTech on this and has proposed using LIGO, an experiment that detects gravitational waves created by merging black holes, to test the theory. So we’ll stay tuned on that one. And on the subject of space, we also spoke to radiobiologist Matt Coleman of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory about his work developing a medical device that provides a comprehensive in-flight medical diagnostic system. This will help NASA in their push to better understand the long-tern effects of space travel.
“This tool we’re building, you know we think it’s going to have a huge health benefit, but it’s going to have a huge research benefit … and so getting this up into space and even on the International Space Station, it will have a huge benefit, just in the research that we can do.”
And a new curriculum for medical students at the University of California, San Francisco will help with better treatment for patients here on terra firma. Dr. Anna Chang, who helped develop Bridges, says one aspect is to help doctors better communicate with their patients – including translating medical language commonly used into something patients, families and other care providers can comprehend.
“So, starting with day one, we are asking our students to practice what the world looks like from their patients’ perspectives.”
These are just some of the University of California stories we covered this past week. Listen to these and other Science Today episodes on iTunes or Soundcloud. Thanks for listening – until next time, I’m Larissa Branin.
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