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What came first, quantum fields or the big bang? How can equation that we don’t fully understand be written at all? David Tong answers questions from the audience following his talk. Watch the talk here:
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According to our best theories of physics, the fundamental building blocks of matter are not particles, but continuous fluid-like substances known as ‘quantum fields’. David Tong explains what we know about these fields, and how they fit into our understanding of the Universe. He covers topics from the Big Bang to the latest developments in particle physics from CERN.

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  1. medovaca Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    What is a proof that the underlying nature is not discrete?

  2. Melroy van den Berg Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    how many dimensions are we in?

  3. Charles Godwin Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    It seems like the universe emerges from the vacuum. That moment would be a beginning. What if the vacuum is the continuum of being? What if the nature of Absolute Reality is to function/serve as a diversified unity (continuum of being) that actualizes as a unified diversity or Uni – verse?

  4. aby0ni Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    The humility of the lecturer is really something to behold

  5. Gabriel Dakubo Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Excellent Dave!!!

  6. Q r0n Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Please more video content from professor Tong! He possesses the rare gift of radiating enthusiasm and excitement for things that are often left hidden away behind a wall of technical words, mathematical intricacy anda seemingly impregnable stock of foreknowledge! These videos and his lecture notes are golden.

  7. Alexandru Gheorghe Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    I'd like to see more physicists talk about entanglement and Juan Maldacena's work.

  8. Ben Higgins Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Thanks for publishing this most enjoyable talk!

  9. hellodavey1902 Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    'I see no evidence whatsoever for discreteness [in nature]'. What?! That's like saying Quantam Physics exists; therefore Chemistry/The Elements do not; or Biology/Species do not!
    Reality Exists and Operates.
    We choose to describe it at different levels/from different points of observation. Sometimes in discrete entities. Sometimes in continous entities.
    Just don't conflate the description of/within one paradigm with the other… otherwise you end up in Deepak Chopra territory!
    'Anti-Chopra Matter'! Same bullshit, different setting!

  10. Charlie E Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Really Great Lecture. I loved every moment of it. About that "Dust…" – Is this a new branch of big bang scatology? If so – I'm all in.

  11. MrJohnpilchard Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    The 10th doctor is having us on

  12. Darren Stevens Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    @TheRoyalInstitute – Is it possible that the quantum fluctuations were going on in the background BEFORE the universe "existed" and after the Big Bang, in the first 380,000 years of inflation, the universe simply expanded and exposed the quantum fluctuations that already existed? This could also imply that they are not "stretched" as mentioned, but simply "being" behind the fabric of the universe. The fact our universe exists exposes the quantum fluctuations which is the background to our universe, within which it resides. Make sense?

  13. Angelina Robert Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    So is human level consciousness a Quantum Field? This would allow for ESP phenomenon like remote viewing, intuition, the ability to predict. Technical Intuition and New Thinking Allowed's Youtube channel has more information on remote viewing. Dr. Peter Fenwick neuropsychiatrist extrodinaire might be interested in your research.

  14. Qwerty Chat Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    If all there is are fields, then how do the fields interact with each other? Maybe this is an argument for a unified theory?

  15. Mr. Blue Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    i've heard of disappearance of quantum particles which smoothing out of quantum fields explains.

  16. shaun humphreys Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    i feel the block universe is a more fundamental description of reality. and QFT cannot incorporate gravity. gravity doesnt. they cant quantise gravity. why?because gravity is a geometrical phenomena-it's macroscopic not quantum. loop quantum gravity is a much better option, as it keeps general relativity completely intact, with gravity still as the warping of spacetime by mass, not as a quantum phenomena. i don't believe there are gravitons. because really gravity is not a force. so why should it have a force carrying particle? Going smaller and smaller, to the smallest size, in a reductionist way is not necessarily reality, it's just the smallest level. where did these fields come from? what are these fields made of and what generates the fields? surely particles or a force must generate a field, yet the fields when excited generate particles, depending on what field is excited. and what about M string theory? and what about the block universe model-as a macroscopic view of reality, it is more complete. Reality appears to me to be confined in a euclidean geometry of spacial and temporal dimensions. so there is a shape, a structure. which is not quantised. even with the fields, they are still then contained within a euclidean geometry of four dimensional space-time. and we have nineteen or so random constants which have particular values-why those values? and on top of those nineteen there is the gravitational constant and the cosmological constant. again why do they have the values they do? why do they obey mathematical laws? QFT is very unsatisfactory.

  17. deltango12345 Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    I feel very lucky for getting to this video. Delicious stuff!

  18. Angelina Robert Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    With all the mass in the universe together. Would nt the universe be a massive black holes? Or would all matter become hyper compressed raw energy?

  19. arna11420 Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Does the positron have a field of its own, or does it share the field with the electron?

  20. eduard lapushchik Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Wow, best so far. Heart of Britain

  21. Martin Petrik Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    I can't believe we can understand what happened in the fracture of the second after big bang. How? Even the picture of microwave background radition is not the snapshot of what happened that time because it's just not up to date. If we could measure the same radition 100 years ago we could get different picture. Although the lecture was great, it's just me that i'm too skeptical.

  22. Elusive Eagle Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Much ado about nothing!

  23. Seppo Koivula Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    That's just amazing to see the intellectual excitemen of the David Thong. He's really encouraging young scientist. That's the way, that's the way!

  24. Mitchell Cruz Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    David, the Schrödinger equation is at best an incomplete, non relativistic description of reality and on top of that it predicts the quantization of many properties of the atom: Energy levels, angular momentum, etc… all quantized, discrete properties. There are more fundamental structures (yet to be properly described) underlying the reality of fields (and excitations): Spacetime cells, quantum gravity structures, the vacuum structure in general. It is too soon to know if these objects are discrete but based on the clues, many of us suspect they are.

  25. Robert Schlesinger Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Excellent lecture and Q & A session. I look forward to more lectures by Professor David Tong.

  26. Badron88 Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    With that computer simulation of "nothing". I'd like to know to size or volume of space being simulated.

  27. Hamal Jay Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    So a field is very simple until you "quantify" it, then it becomes more discreetly complex.

  28. Harry Schneider Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    He looks a bit like Buddy Holly

  29. David Kinsella Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Audience member: At a fundamental level is nature discreet or continuous?

    David Tong: I see no evidence whatsoever for discreetness. All the discreetness that we see in the world is something that emerges from an underlying continuum. That's certainly a correct statement about the laws of physics as we currently understand it. Now it may be as you go to a deeper level the discreetness takes over again, but I don't think so."

    Audience member: Are the quanta aspects of granularity?

    No, the quanta are emergent. So for example if you look at Schrodinger's equation. It's the equation of quantum mechanics. It's what spits out the quanta of quantum mechanics, the fact that energy levels come in discreet bits. There's nothing discreet about the Schrodinger equation, the Schrodinger equation is something to do with the smooth field-like wave function. The discreetness is something thst emerges when you solve the Schrodinger equation, it's not built into the heart of nature.

    You seem to be describing something very similar to what the ancient Hindu and Chinese non-dualists were describing through yoga and deep meditation.

  30. Daniel Maldonado Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    I think theres a simple explanation for this quantum field, it is God, it is his essence in the universe because he is everywhere, we can feel him, our electrons tremble in his presence, therefore he is what he is. The eternal essence of the universe scientist are calling "dark energy" because he is a gigantic field of energy that fills the entire universe. No one can explain that beyond the Higgs boson, the God particle there is something else and it's called "spirit" and that is what God is made of: Eternal Spirit. So don't look no more because only God can tell us everything there is to know. So seek him in spirit and truth and you will understand all.

  31. Guy Lakeman Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    great lectures and Q&A now quantum waves (gravitons) have been detected by LIGO from the big black holes crash, when is part 2 ??? 🙂

  32. Guy Lakeman Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    getting rid of time and replacing it with quantum space lattice fluctuations in a spin network now seems like the best option

  33. Guy Lakeman Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    singularities dont exist, as infinitely small would deny entropy and information

  34. Guy Lakeman Posted on July 15, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    can we now agree on the Big Blur being the best name for the zero even though zero doesn't exist as its associated with infinity ?