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Contact: Catherine Zandonella
Princeton University

Small Numbers, Astronomical Reach

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Caption: We live in a world of very small things (atoms) and very large things (stars, galaxies). How can the same laws of nature describe such different objects? Two people who have given the matter some thought are Adam Burrows and Jeremiah Ostriker, both professors of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University.

Their new paper, "Astronomical reach of fundamental physics," published Jan. 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explains how fundamental physical laws can describe objects that are as small as an atom or as massive as a galaxy. This exercise illustrates the unifying power of physics and the profound connections between the small and the large in the cosmos we inhabit. The fundamental laws of nature, the researchers say, have amazing consequences.

Professors Ostriker and Burrows spoke with interviewer Catherine Zandonella of the Office of the Dean for Research at Princeton University.

Listen to the interview in this podcast or read the transcript at http://www.princeton.edu/research/news/podcasts/archive/?id=12102.

Credit: Princeton University

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