Physicist Brian Schmidt made a bet with his colleague Sean Carroll, betting that we wouldn’t know the value of the cosmological density parameter within 20 years. Brian lost the bet by figuring it out himself, which earned him a Nobel prize.

Upgrading the Public Lecture Experience

Apologies for the extended radio silence here at the blog. (Originally typed “radio science,” which I suppose is an encouraging sign from my subconscious.) My time and attention has been taken up by an interesting phenomenon known as “real work.” I have four papers in almost-submittable rough draft form, another three projects bubbling along nicely, and one project in the “this result can’t be right because if it is right it would be really interesting and important and that never happens but hey you never know” stage. Feels good to be concentrating on research after a year with too much book writing, traveling, workshop organizing, etc.

Speaking of traveling, I spent last week in Australia, partly in Sydney and partly in Canberra. This… Continue Reading (4 minute read)

10 thoughts on “Physicist Brian Schmidt made a bet with his colleague Sean Carroll, betting that we wouldn’t know the value of the cosmological density parameter within 20 years. Brian lost the bet by figuring it out himself, which earned him a Nobel prize.”

  1. Wyndblayde

    There are worse ways to lose a bet.

  2. ToneThugsNHarmony

    I feel like the only people who would even know to make that bet would be the only ones that would be able to figure it out.

  3. EZlikeSunMorn123

    Not to be confused by the cosmetological density parameter which appears to have no bounds.

  4. weirdgroovynerd

    Pfft, the answer is *10-27 kg m-3*.

    They shoulda just googled it.

  5. New_Insect_Overlords

    Unfortunately, the wager was one Nobel prize…

  6. total_insertion

    When you know you’re about to lose a bet you’re too broke to afford, and you need to win Nobel Prize money to pay up.

  7. LimitedLicense

    Classic hedge. If it’s not discovered, he wins his bet. If he discovers it, he wins a Nobel. Good result either way.

  8. Cxilando_Vilandas

    “WOOHOO!!!!!! Oh wait I lost the bet…D’OH!!!!!”

  9. randCN

    pretty interesting dude. when our lab needed some samples of grapes for an experiment, he gave us some from his winery

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