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Astrophysicist Looks at the World through the Rear View Mirror

Astrophysicist Dave Goldberg asks a basic question - in a world of matter and anti-matter - why are we here?

Dr. Dave Goldberg's newest book, The Universe in the Rearview Mirror, explores symmetry in our existence.

Goldberg studies – and teaches cosmology – at Drexel University in Philadelphia. But when he’s not teaching undergraduates, he’s trying to make this material comprehensible to everyone. Goldberg is the author of the recent book, The Universe in the Rearview Mirror: How Hidden Symmetries Shape Reality.

Matter and Anti-Matter

Goldber says it is through a little imperfection that we are here.

Anti-matter has been the main character of many science fiction stories. The lethal potential of anti-matter meeting matter is nerve-wrecking. Goldberg says that we create anti-matter whenever we create matter.

“If we always create them in equal quantities and we always destroy them in equal quantities, then why haven’t they canceled each other out since the first few seconds after the Big Bang?” asks Goldberg. “Why are we left? Why is there matter at all?”

Goldberg explains that we are still here because anti-matter and matter aren't perfectly symmetrical. An extremely small imperfection is keeping us alive.

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Author Dr. Dave Goldberg, professor of physics at Drexel University.


Goldberg says that physics does not have a sense of time, no forwards and no backwards, no future or past. If one were to watch a movie backwards, it may look funny but there is nothing wrong physiologically with what is shown. The lack of time as a factor in physics also breaking symmetry because things become more complicated as time passes, creating a shift between the two parties.

Goldberg’s book, The Universe in the Rear View Mirror, is published by Dutton Adult and is now available for purchase. He is a professor  and director of undergraduate physics at Drexel University.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.