full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Chris Anderson (TED): Questions no one knows the answers to

Unscramble the Blue Letters

On a typical day at sohocl, endless hours are spent learning the answers to questions, but right now, we'll do the opposite. We're going to foucs on questions where you can't lrean the answers because they're unknown. I used to puzzle about a lot of things as a boy, for example: What would it feel like to be a dog? Do fish feel pain? How about insects? Was the Big Bang just an accident? And is there a God? And if so, how are we so sure that it's a He and not a She? Why do so many innocent people and animals suffer terrible things? Is there really a plan for my life? Is the future yet to be wittren, or is it already written and we just can't see it? But then, do I have free will? I mean, who am I anyway? Am I just a bogiclaiol machine? But then, why am I coniucsos? What is consciousness? Will rootbs become conscious one day? I mean, I kind of assumed that some day I would be told the answers to all these questions. Someone must know, right? Guess what? No one knows. Most of those questions puzzle me more now than ever. But diving into them is eixtncig because it takes you to the edge of knowledge, and you never know what you'll find there. So, two questions that no one on Earth knows the ansewr to. (Music) [How many universes are there?] Sometimes when I'm on a long plane flight, I gaze out at all those maotunnis and dseters and try to get my head around how vast our Earth is. And then I rbmeeemr that there's an object we see every day that would literally fit one million Earths inside it: the Sun. It seems ilssopbmiy big. But in the great scheme of things, it's a pinprick, one of about 400 blioiln stars in the mliky Way galaxy, which you can see on a clear night as a pale white mist srtcteehd across the sky. And it gets worse. There are maybe 100 billion galaxies dtatelecbe by our telescopes. So if each star was the size of a single grain of sand, just the Milky Way has enough stars to fill a 30-foot by 30-foot stretch of beach three feet deep with sand. And the entire Earth doesn't have enough beaches to represent the stars in the overall unrevise. Such a beach would ctnionue for literally hundreds of millions of miles. Holy Stephen hnwkiag, that is a lot of srtas. But he and other ptsysihics now believe in a reality that is unimaginably bigger still. I mean, first of all, the 100 billion galaxies within range of our telescopes are probably a minuscule fraction of the total. scape itself is epdanixng at an accelerating pace. The vast majority of the galaxies are setrapanig from us so fast that light from them may never raceh us. Still, our physical rtlaiey here on etarh is intimately connected to those distant, invisible galaxies. We can think of them as part of our universe. They make up a single, giant efdicie obeying the same physical laws and all made from the same tyeps of atoms, electrons, protons, quarks, nniuetors, that make up you and me. However, recent theories in physics, including one called string theory, are now telling us there could be ctosuenls other universes built on different types of particles, with different properties, obeying different laws. Most of these universes could never support life, and might flash in and out of existence in a nanosecond. But nonetheless, combined, they make up a vast multiverse of possible universes in up to 11 dimensions, featuring wonders beyond our wildest imagination. The lndeiag version of string tohery picretds a multiverse made up of 10 to the 500 universes. That's a one followed by 500 zeros, a number so vast that if every atom in our observable universe had its own universe, and all of the atoms in all those universes each had their own universe, and you repeated that for two more cycles, you'd still be at a tiny fraction of the total, namely, one trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillionth. (Laughter) But even that number is minuscule cepaormd to another number: infinity. Some physicists think the space-time continuum is lltelariy infinite and that it contains an infinite number of so-called pocket uvesenris with varying ptriropees. How's your brain doing? Quantum theory adds a whole new wrinkle. I mean, the theory's been proven true beyond all doubt, but interpreting it is bnlifafg, and some physicists think you can only un-baffle it if you imagine that huge numbers of parallel universes are being spawned every mnmoet, and many of these universes would actually be very like the world we're in, would include multiple copies of you. In one such universe, you'd graduate with honors and marry the person of your daemrs, and in another, not so much. Well, there are still some scientists who would say, hosawgh. The only meaningful answer to the question of how many universes there are is one. Only one universe. And a few philosophers and mystics might argue that even our own universe is an illusion. So, as you can see, right now there is no agreement on this question, not even close. All we know is the answer is somewhere between zero and infinity. Well, I guess we know one other thing. This is a ptrtey cool time to be studying physics. We just might be ungdorneig the biggest pdaiagrm shift in knowledge that humanity has ever seen. (Music) [Why can't we see evidence of alien life?] Somewhere out there in that vast universe there must surely be countless other planets teeming with life. But why don't we see any evidence of it? Well, this is the famous question asked by Enrico Fermi in 1950: Where is everybody? caprocisny theorists claim that UFOs are visiting all the time and the rtepros are just being covered up, but honestly, they aren't very convincing. But that leaves a real riddle. In the past year, the kpeler space observatory has found hddernus of planets just around nearby stars. And if you eatlxrtaope that data, it looks like there could be half a toirliln planets just in our own galaxy. If any one in 10,000 has conditions that might soruppt a form of life, that's still 50 million possible life-harboring planets right here in the Milky Way. So here's the riddle: our Earth didn't form until about nine billion years after the Big Bang. Countless other planets in our galaxy should have fmreod earlier, and given life a chance to get udrneway billions, or certainly many millions of years earlier than happened on Earth. If just a few of them had spawned intelligent life and started creating technologies, those technologies would have had millions of years to grow in cpxomiltey and power. On Earth, we've seen how dramatically tghclooney can atrleacece in just 100 years. In millions of years, an iintelegnlt alien civilization could easily have spread out across the galaxy, perhaps creating gniat energy-harvesting artifacts or fleets of colonizing spaceships or glorious works of art that fill the night sky. At the very least, you'd think they'd be revealing their presence, deliberately or otherwise, through electromagnetic signals of one kind or another. And yet we see no convincing evidence of any of it. Why? Well, there are nuoumers possible answers, some of them quite dark. Maybe a snlgie, superintelligent ctliiaoiizvn has indeed taken over the galaxy and has imposed strict radio silence because it's paranoid of any potential competitors. It's just sitting there rdeay to obliterate anything that becomes a threat. Or maybe they're not that intelligent, or perhaps the evolution of an ieelgclninte capable of creating sophisticated technology is far rarer than we've assumed. After all, it's only happened once on Earth in four billion years. Maybe even that was incredibly lukcy. Maybe we are the first such civilization in our galaxy. Or, perhaps civilization carries with it the seeds of its own destruction through the inability to cnorotl the tncghoeoelis it creates. But there are numerous more hopeful answers. For a start, we're not looking that hard, and we're spending a pitiful amount of money on it. Only a tiny fraction of the stars in our galaxy have really been looked at closely for signs of interesting signals. And perhaps we're not looking the right way. Maybe as civilizations develop, they quickly discover communication technologies far more sophisticated and useful than electromagnetic waves. Maybe all the action takes place inside the mystuiores recently discovered dark matter, or dark energy, that appear to account for most of the universe's mass. Or, maybe we're looking at the wrong scale. Perhaps intelligent civilizations come to realize that life is ultimately just complex patterns of information interacting with each other in a beautiful way, and that that can happen more efficiently at a samll scale. So, just as on Earth, clunky stereo systems have surhnk to beautiful, tiny ipdos, maybe intelligent life itself, in oedrr to reduce its footprint on the environment, has tunerd itself microscopic. So the Solar System might be teeming with aliens, and we're just not noticing them. Maybe the very ideas in our heads are a form of alien life. Well, okay, that's a crazy thought. The aliens made me say it. But it is cool that ideas do seem to have a life all of their own and that they outlive their coretars. Maybe biological life is just a passing phase. Well, within the next 15 yaers, we could start seeing real spectroscopic iomnartfoin from promising nearby planets that will reveal just how life-friendly they might be. And meanwhile, SETI, the scareh for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is now rnleeisag its data to the public so that millions of citizen scientists, maybe including you, can bring the peowr of the crowd to join the search. And here on Earth, amazing emnitperexs are being done to try to create life from scratch, life that might be very different from the DNA frmos we know. All of this will help us understand whether the universe is teeming with life or whether, indeed, it's just us. Either answer, in its own way, is awe-inspiring, because even if we are alone, the fact that we think and dream and ask these questions might yet turn out to be one of the most important facts about the universe. And I have one more piece of good news for you. The quest for knowledge and understanding never gets dull. It doesn't. It's actually the opposite. The more you know, the more amazing the world seems. And it's the crazy possibilities, the unanswered qieuntsos, that pull us forward. So stay curious.

Open Cloze

On a typical day at ______, endless hours are spent learning the answers to questions, but right now, we'll do the opposite. We're going to _____ on questions where you can't _____ the answers because they're unknown. I used to puzzle about a lot of things as a boy, for example: What would it feel like to be a dog? Do fish feel pain? How about insects? Was the Big Bang just an accident? And is there a God? And if so, how are we so sure that it's a He and not a She? Why do so many innocent people and animals suffer terrible things? Is there really a plan for my life? Is the future yet to be _______, or is it already written and we just can't see it? But then, do I have free will? I mean, who am I anyway? Am I just a __________ machine? But then, why am I _________? What is consciousness? Will ______ become conscious one day? I mean, I kind of assumed that some day I would be told the answers to all these questions. Someone must know, right? Guess what? No one knows. Most of those questions puzzle me more now than ever. But diving into them is ________ because it takes you to the edge of knowledge, and you never know what you'll find there. So, two questions that no one on Earth knows the ______ to. (Music) [How many universes are there?] Sometimes when I'm on a long plane flight, I gaze out at all those _________ and _______ and try to get my head around how vast our Earth is. And then I ________ that there's an object we see every day that would literally fit one million Earths inside it: the Sun. It seems __________ big. But in the great scheme of things, it's a pinprick, one of about 400 _______ stars in the _____ Way galaxy, which you can see on a clear night as a pale white mist _________ across the sky. And it gets worse. There are maybe 100 billion galaxies __________ by our telescopes. So if each star was the size of a single grain of sand, just the Milky Way has enough stars to fill a 30-foot by 30-foot stretch of beach three feet deep with sand. And the entire Earth doesn't have enough beaches to represent the stars in the overall ________. Such a beach would ________ for literally hundreds of millions of miles. Holy Stephen _______, that is a lot of _____. But he and other __________ now believe in a reality that is unimaginably bigger still. I mean, first of all, the 100 billion galaxies within range of our telescopes are probably a minuscule fraction of the total. _____ itself is _________ at an accelerating pace. The vast majority of the galaxies are __________ from us so fast that light from them may never _____ us. Still, our physical _______ here on _____ is intimately connected to those distant, invisible galaxies. We can think of them as part of our universe. They make up a single, giant _______ obeying the same physical laws and all made from the same _____ of atoms, electrons, protons, quarks, _________, that make up you and me. However, recent theories in physics, including one called string theory, are now telling us there could be _________ other universes built on different types of particles, with different properties, obeying different laws. Most of these universes could never support life, and might flash in and out of existence in a nanosecond. But nonetheless, combined, they make up a vast multiverse of possible universes in up to 11 dimensions, featuring wonders beyond our wildest imagination. The _______ version of string ______ ________ a multiverse made up of 10 to the 500 universes. That's a one followed by 500 zeros, a number so vast that if every atom in our observable universe had its own universe, and all of the atoms in all those universes each had their own universe, and you repeated that for two more cycles, you'd still be at a tiny fraction of the total, namely, one trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillionth. (Laughter) But even that number is minuscule ________ to another number: infinity. Some physicists think the space-time continuum is _________ infinite and that it contains an infinite number of so-called pocket _________ with varying __________. How's your brain doing? Quantum theory adds a whole new wrinkle. I mean, the theory's been proven true beyond all doubt, but interpreting it is ________, and some physicists think you can only un-baffle it if you imagine that huge numbers of parallel universes are being spawned every ______, and many of these universes would actually be very like the world we're in, would include multiple copies of you. In one such universe, you'd graduate with honors and marry the person of your ______, and in another, not so much. Well, there are still some scientists who would say, _______. The only meaningful answer to the question of how many universes there are is one. Only one universe. And a few philosophers and mystics might argue that even our own universe is an illusion. So, as you can see, right now there is no agreement on this question, not even close. All we know is the answer is somewhere between zero and infinity. Well, I guess we know one other thing. This is a ______ cool time to be studying physics. We just might be __________ the biggest ________ shift in knowledge that humanity has ever seen. (Music) [Why can't we see evidence of alien life?] Somewhere out there in that vast universe there must surely be countless other planets teeming with life. But why don't we see any evidence of it? Well, this is the famous question asked by Enrico Fermi in 1950: Where is everybody? __________ theorists claim that UFOs are visiting all the time and the _______ are just being covered up, but honestly, they aren't very convincing. But that leaves a real riddle. In the past year, the ______ space observatory has found ________ of planets just around nearby stars. And if you ___________ that data, it looks like there could be half a ________ planets just in our own galaxy. If any one in 10,000 has conditions that might _______ a form of life, that's still 50 million possible life-harboring planets right here in the Milky Way. So here's the riddle: our Earth didn't form until about nine billion years after the Big Bang. Countless other planets in our galaxy should have ______ earlier, and given life a chance to get ________ billions, or certainly many millions of years earlier than happened on Earth. If just a few of them had spawned intelligent life and started creating technologies, those technologies would have had millions of years to grow in __________ and power. On Earth, we've seen how dramatically __________ can __________ in just 100 years. In millions of years, an ___________ alien civilization could easily have spread out across the galaxy, perhaps creating _____ energy-harvesting artifacts or fleets of colonizing spaceships or glorious works of art that fill the night sky. At the very least, you'd think they'd be revealing their presence, deliberately or otherwise, through electromagnetic signals of one kind or another. And yet we see no convincing evidence of any of it. Why? Well, there are ________ possible answers, some of them quite dark. Maybe a ______, superintelligent ____________ has indeed taken over the galaxy and has imposed strict radio silence because it's paranoid of any potential competitors. It's just sitting there _____ to obliterate anything that becomes a threat. Or maybe they're not that intelligent, or perhaps the evolution of an ____________ capable of creating sophisticated technology is far rarer than we've assumed. After all, it's only happened once on Earth in four billion years. Maybe even that was incredibly _____. Maybe we are the first such civilization in our galaxy. Or, perhaps civilization carries with it the seeds of its own destruction through the inability to _______ the ____________ it creates. But there are numerous more hopeful answers. For a start, we're not looking that hard, and we're spending a pitiful amount of money on it. Only a tiny fraction of the stars in our galaxy have really been looked at closely for signs of interesting signals. And perhaps we're not looking the right way. Maybe as civilizations develop, they quickly discover communication technologies far more sophisticated and useful than electromagnetic waves. Maybe all the action takes place inside the __________ recently discovered dark matter, or dark energy, that appear to account for most of the universe's mass. Or, maybe we're looking at the wrong scale. Perhaps intelligent civilizations come to realize that life is ultimately just complex patterns of information interacting with each other in a beautiful way, and that that can happen more efficiently at a _____ scale. So, just as on Earth, clunky stereo systems have ______ to beautiful, tiny _____, maybe intelligent life itself, in _____ to reduce its footprint on the environment, has ______ itself microscopic. So the Solar System might be teeming with aliens, and we're just not noticing them. Maybe the very ideas in our heads are a form of alien life. Well, okay, that's a crazy thought. The aliens made me say it. But it is cool that ideas do seem to have a life all of their own and that they outlive their ________. Maybe biological life is just a passing phase. Well, within the next 15 _____, we could start seeing real spectroscopic ___________ from promising nearby planets that will reveal just how life-friendly they might be. And meanwhile, SETI, the ______ for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is now _________ its data to the public so that millions of citizen scientists, maybe including you, can bring the _____ of the crowd to join the search. And here on Earth, amazing ___________ are being done to try to create life from scratch, life that might be very different from the DNA _____ we know. All of this will help us understand whether the universe is teeming with life or whether, indeed, it's just us. Either answer, in its own way, is awe-inspiring, because even if we are alone, the fact that we think and dream and ask these questions might yet turn out to be one of the most important facts about the universe. And I have one more piece of good news for you. The quest for knowledge and understanding never gets dull. It doesn't. It's actually the opposite. The more you know, the more amazing the world seems. And it's the crazy possibilities, the unanswered _________, that pull us forward. So stay curious.

Solution

  1. expanding
  2. releasing
  3. ipods
  4. kepler
  5. technology
  6. reach
  7. undergoing
  8. pretty
  9. leading
  10. deserts
  11. moment
  12. compared
  13. baffling
  14. learn
  15. technologies
  16. detectable
  17. remember
  18. properties
  19. exciting
  20. reality
  21. mysterious
  22. physicists
  23. extrapolate
  24. years
  25. hundreds
  26. numerous
  27. complexity
  28. lucky
  29. forms
  30. literally
  31. universe
  32. ready
  33. biological
  34. single
  35. school
  36. continue
  37. information
  38. shrunk
  39. theory
  40. control
  41. trillion
  42. neutrinos
  43. underway
  44. hawking
  45. creators
  46. questions
  47. civilization
  48. universes
  49. search
  50. mountains
  51. stars
  52. billion
  53. intelligent
  54. turned
  55. countless
  56. power
  57. robots
  58. answer
  59. earth
  60. types
  61. conspiracy
  62. written
  63. intelligence
  64. accelerate
  65. separating
  66. milky
  67. giant
  68. hogwash
  69. small
  70. order
  71. space
  72. edifice
  73. dreams
  74. support
  75. focus
  76. formed
  77. experiments
  78. paradigm
  79. reports
  80. conscious
  81. predicts
  82. impossibly
  83. stretched

Original Text

On a typical day at school, endless hours are spent learning the answers to questions, but right now, we'll do the opposite. We're going to focus on questions where you can't learn the answers because they're unknown. I used to puzzle about a lot of things as a boy, for example: What would it feel like to be a dog? Do fish feel pain? How about insects? Was the Big Bang just an accident? And is there a God? And if so, how are we so sure that it's a He and not a She? Why do so many innocent people and animals suffer terrible things? Is there really a plan for my life? Is the future yet to be written, or is it already written and we just can't see it? But then, do I have free will? I mean, who am I anyway? Am I just a biological machine? But then, why am I conscious? What is consciousness? Will robots become conscious one day? I mean, I kind of assumed that some day I would be told the answers to all these questions. Someone must know, right? Guess what? No one knows. Most of those questions puzzle me more now than ever. But diving into them is exciting because it takes you to the edge of knowledge, and you never know what you'll find there. So, two questions that no one on Earth knows the answer to. (Music) [How many universes are there?] Sometimes when I'm on a long plane flight, I gaze out at all those mountains and deserts and try to get my head around how vast our Earth is. And then I remember that there's an object we see every day that would literally fit one million Earths inside it: the Sun. It seems impossibly big. But in the great scheme of things, it's a pinprick, one of about 400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, which you can see on a clear night as a pale white mist stretched across the sky. And it gets worse. There are maybe 100 billion galaxies detectable by our telescopes. So if each star was the size of a single grain of sand, just the Milky Way has enough stars to fill a 30-foot by 30-foot stretch of beach three feet deep with sand. And the entire Earth doesn't have enough beaches to represent the stars in the overall universe. Such a beach would continue for literally hundreds of millions of miles. Holy Stephen Hawking, that is a lot of stars. But he and other physicists now believe in a reality that is unimaginably bigger still. I mean, first of all, the 100 billion galaxies within range of our telescopes are probably a minuscule fraction of the total. Space itself is expanding at an accelerating pace. The vast majority of the galaxies are separating from us so fast that light from them may never reach us. Still, our physical reality here on Earth is intimately connected to those distant, invisible galaxies. We can think of them as part of our universe. They make up a single, giant edifice obeying the same physical laws and all made from the same types of atoms, electrons, protons, quarks, neutrinos, that make up you and me. However, recent theories in physics, including one called string theory, are now telling us there could be countless other universes built on different types of particles, with different properties, obeying different laws. Most of these universes could never support life, and might flash in and out of existence in a nanosecond. But nonetheless, combined, they make up a vast multiverse of possible universes in up to 11 dimensions, featuring wonders beyond our wildest imagination. The leading version of string theory predicts a multiverse made up of 10 to the 500 universes. That's a one followed by 500 zeros, a number so vast that if every atom in our observable universe had its own universe, and all of the atoms in all those universes each had their own universe, and you repeated that for two more cycles, you'd still be at a tiny fraction of the total, namely, one trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillionth. (Laughter) But even that number is minuscule compared to another number: infinity. Some physicists think the space-time continuum is literally infinite and that it contains an infinite number of so-called pocket universes with varying properties. How's your brain doing? Quantum theory adds a whole new wrinkle. I mean, the theory's been proven true beyond all doubt, but interpreting it is baffling, and some physicists think you can only un-baffle it if you imagine that huge numbers of parallel universes are being spawned every moment, and many of these universes would actually be very like the world we're in, would include multiple copies of you. In one such universe, you'd graduate with honors and marry the person of your dreams, and in another, not so much. Well, there are still some scientists who would say, hogwash. The only meaningful answer to the question of how many universes there are is one. Only one universe. And a few philosophers and mystics might argue that even our own universe is an illusion. So, as you can see, right now there is no agreement on this question, not even close. All we know is the answer is somewhere between zero and infinity. Well, I guess we know one other thing. This is a pretty cool time to be studying physics. We just might be undergoing the biggest paradigm shift in knowledge that humanity has ever seen. (Music) [Why can't we see evidence of alien life?] Somewhere out there in that vast universe there must surely be countless other planets teeming with life. But why don't we see any evidence of it? Well, this is the famous question asked by Enrico Fermi in 1950: Where is everybody? Conspiracy theorists claim that UFOs are visiting all the time and the reports are just being covered up, but honestly, they aren't very convincing. But that leaves a real riddle. In the past year, the Kepler space observatory has found hundreds of planets just around nearby stars. And if you extrapolate that data, it looks like there could be half a trillion planets just in our own galaxy. If any one in 10,000 has conditions that might support a form of life, that's still 50 million possible life-harboring planets right here in the Milky Way. So here's the riddle: our Earth didn't form until about nine billion years after the Big Bang. Countless other planets in our galaxy should have formed earlier, and given life a chance to get underway billions, or certainly many millions of years earlier than happened on Earth. If just a few of them had spawned intelligent life and started creating technologies, those technologies would have had millions of years to grow in complexity and power. On Earth, we've seen how dramatically technology can accelerate in just 100 years. In millions of years, an intelligent alien civilization could easily have spread out across the galaxy, perhaps creating giant energy-harvesting artifacts or fleets of colonizing spaceships or glorious works of art that fill the night sky. At the very least, you'd think they'd be revealing their presence, deliberately or otherwise, through electromagnetic signals of one kind or another. And yet we see no convincing evidence of any of it. Why? Well, there are numerous possible answers, some of them quite dark. Maybe a single, superintelligent civilization has indeed taken over the galaxy and has imposed strict radio silence because it's paranoid of any potential competitors. It's just sitting there ready to obliterate anything that becomes a threat. Or maybe they're not that intelligent, or perhaps the evolution of an intelligence capable of creating sophisticated technology is far rarer than we've assumed. After all, it's only happened once on Earth in four billion years. Maybe even that was incredibly lucky. Maybe we are the first such civilization in our galaxy. Or, perhaps civilization carries with it the seeds of its own destruction through the inability to control the technologies it creates. But there are numerous more hopeful answers. For a start, we're not looking that hard, and we're spending a pitiful amount of money on it. Only a tiny fraction of the stars in our galaxy have really been looked at closely for signs of interesting signals. And perhaps we're not looking the right way. Maybe as civilizations develop, they quickly discover communication technologies far more sophisticated and useful than electromagnetic waves. Maybe all the action takes place inside the mysterious recently discovered dark matter, or dark energy, that appear to account for most of the universe's mass. Or, maybe we're looking at the wrong scale. Perhaps intelligent civilizations come to realize that life is ultimately just complex patterns of information interacting with each other in a beautiful way, and that that can happen more efficiently at a small scale. So, just as on Earth, clunky stereo systems have shrunk to beautiful, tiny iPods, maybe intelligent life itself, in order to reduce its footprint on the environment, has turned itself microscopic. So the Solar System might be teeming with aliens, and we're just not noticing them. Maybe the very ideas in our heads are a form of alien life. Well, okay, that's a crazy thought. The aliens made me say it. But it is cool that ideas do seem to have a life all of their own and that they outlive their creators. Maybe biological life is just a passing phase. Well, within the next 15 years, we could start seeing real spectroscopic information from promising nearby planets that will reveal just how life-friendly they might be. And meanwhile, SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, is now releasing its data to the public so that millions of citizen scientists, maybe including you, can bring the power of the crowd to join the search. And here on Earth, amazing experiments are being done to try to create life from scratch, life that might be very different from the DNA forms we know. All of this will help us understand whether the universe is teeming with life or whether, indeed, it's just us. Either answer, in its own way, is awe-inspiring, because even if we are alone, the fact that we think and dream and ask these questions might yet turn out to be one of the most important facts about the universe. And I have one more piece of good news for you. The quest for knowledge and understanding never gets dull. It doesn't. It's actually the opposite. The more you know, the more amazing the world seems. And it's the crazy possibilities, the unanswered questions, that pull us forward. So stay curious.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
big bang 2
billion galaxies 2
tiny fraction 2
billion years 2
intelligent life 2

Important Words

  1. accelerate
  2. accelerating
  3. accident
  4. account
  5. action
  6. adds
  7. agreement
  8. alien
  9. aliens
  10. amazing
  11. amount
  12. animals
  13. answer
  14. answers
  15. argue
  16. art
  17. artifacts
  18. asked
  19. assumed
  20. atom
  21. atoms
  22. baffling
  23. bang
  24. beach
  25. beaches
  26. beautiful
  27. big
  28. bigger
  29. biggest
  30. billion
  31. billions
  32. biological
  33. boy
  34. brain
  35. bring
  36. built
  37. called
  38. capable
  39. carries
  40. chance
  41. citizen
  42. civilization
  43. civilizations
  44. claim
  45. clear
  46. close
  47. closely
  48. clunky
  49. colonizing
  50. combined
  51. communication
  52. compared
  53. competitors
  54. complex
  55. complexity
  56. conditions
  57. connected
  58. conscious
  59. consciousness
  60. conspiracy
  61. continue
  62. continuum
  63. control
  64. convincing
  65. cool
  66. copies
  67. countless
  68. covered
  69. crazy
  70. create
  71. creates
  72. creating
  73. creators
  74. crowd
  75. curious
  76. cycles
  77. dark
  78. data
  79. day
  80. deep
  81. deliberately
  82. deserts
  83. destruction
  84. detectable
  85. develop
  86. dimensions
  87. discover
  88. discovered
  89. distant
  90. diving
  91. dna
  92. dog
  93. doubt
  94. dramatically
  95. dream
  96. dreams
  97. dull
  98. earlier
  99. earth
  100. earths
  101. easily
  102. edge
  103. edifice
  104. efficiently
  105. electromagnetic
  106. electrons
  107. endless
  108. energy
  109. enrico
  110. entire
  111. environment
  112. evidence
  113. evolution
  114. exciting
  115. existence
  116. expanding
  117. experiments
  118. extrapolate
  119. extraterrestrial
  120. fact
  121. facts
  122. famous
  123. fast
  124. featuring
  125. feel
  126. feet
  127. fermi
  128. fill
  129. find
  130. fish
  131. fit
  132. flash
  133. fleets
  134. flight
  135. focus
  136. footprint
  137. form
  138. formed
  139. forms
  140. fraction
  141. free
  142. future
  143. galaxies
  144. galaxy
  145. gaze
  146. giant
  147. glorious
  148. god
  149. good
  150. graduate
  151. grain
  152. great
  153. grow
  154. guess
  155. happen
  156. happened
  157. hard
  158. hawking
  159. head
  160. heads
  161. hogwash
  162. holy
  163. honestly
  164. honors
  165. hopeful
  166. hours
  167. huge
  168. humanity
  169. hundreds
  170. ideas
  171. illusion
  172. imagination
  173. imagine
  174. important
  175. imposed
  176. impossibly
  177. inability
  178. include
  179. including
  180. incredibly
  181. infinite
  182. infinity
  183. information
  184. innocent
  185. insects
  186. intelligence
  187. intelligent
  188. interacting
  189. interesting
  190. interpreting
  191. intimately
  192. invisible
  193. ipods
  194. join
  195. kepler
  196. kind
  197. knowledge
  198. laughter
  199. laws
  200. leading
  201. learn
  202. learning
  203. leaves
  204. life
  205. light
  206. literally
  207. long
  208. looked
  209. lot
  210. lucky
  211. machine
  212. majority
  213. marry
  214. mass
  215. matter
  216. meaningful
  217. microscopic
  218. miles
  219. milky
  220. million
  221. millions
  222. minuscule
  223. mist
  224. moment
  225. money
  226. mountains
  227. multiple
  228. multiverse
  229. music
  230. mysterious
  231. mystics
  232. nanosecond
  233. nearby
  234. neutrinos
  235. news
  236. night
  237. noticing
  238. number
  239. numbers
  240. numerous
  241. obeying
  242. object
  243. obliterate
  244. observable
  245. observatory
  246. order
  247. outlive
  248. pace
  249. pain
  250. pale
  251. paradigm
  252. parallel
  253. paranoid
  254. part
  255. particles
  256. passing
  257. patterns
  258. people
  259. person
  260. phase
  261. philosophers
  262. physical
  263. physicists
  264. physics
  265. piece
  266. pinprick
  267. pitiful
  268. place
  269. plan
  270. plane
  271. planets
  272. pocket
  273. possibilities
  274. potential
  275. power
  276. predicts
  277. presence
  278. pretty
  279. promising
  280. properties
  281. protons
  282. proven
  283. public
  284. pull
  285. puzzle
  286. quantum
  287. quarks
  288. quest
  289. question
  290. questions
  291. quickly
  292. radio
  293. range
  294. rarer
  295. reach
  296. ready
  297. real
  298. reality
  299. realize
  300. reduce
  301. releasing
  302. remember
  303. repeated
  304. reports
  305. represent
  306. reveal
  307. revealing
  308. riddle
  309. robots
  310. sand
  311. scale
  312. scheme
  313. school
  314. scientists
  315. scratch
  316. search
  317. seeds
  318. separating
  319. seti
  320. shift
  321. shrunk
  322. signals
  323. signs
  324. silence
  325. single
  326. sitting
  327. size
  328. sky
  329. small
  330. solar
  331. sophisticated
  332. space
  333. spaceships
  334. spawned
  335. spectroscopic
  336. spending
  337. spent
  338. spread
  339. star
  340. stars
  341. start
  342. started
  343. stay
  344. stephen
  345. stereo
  346. stretch
  347. stretched
  348. strict
  349. string
  350. studying
  351. suffer
  352. sun
  353. superintelligent
  354. support
  355. surely
  356. system
  357. systems
  358. takes
  359. technologies
  360. technology
  361. teeming
  362. telescopes
  363. telling
  364. terrible
  365. theories
  366. theorists
  367. theory
  368. thought
  369. threat
  370. time
  371. tiny
  372. told
  373. total
  374. trillion
  375. trillionth
  376. true
  377. turn
  378. turned
  379. types
  380. typical
  381. ufos
  382. ultimately
  383. unanswered
  384. undergoing
  385. understand
  386. understanding
  387. underway
  388. unimaginably
  389. universe
  390. universes
  391. unknown
  392. varying
  393. vast
  394. version
  395. visiting
  396. waves
  397. white
  398. wildest
  399. wonders
  400. works
  401. world
  402. worse
  403. wrinkle
  404. written
  405. wrong
  406. year
  407. years
  408. zeros