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Mario LivioDescribe your latest project.
In my scientific work I am currently interested primarily in two topics: 1) Dark energy; and, 2) Extrasolar planets. Here is a brief description of these topics. Since 1998 we know that the expansion of our universe is speeding up, propelled by some mysterious "dark energy." Understanding the nature of this dark energy is perhaps the most important problem physics is facing today. I am involved in studies that attempt to determine whether this dark energy is constant, or varying in time. Until 1995 we did not know of a single planet outside the solar system, but now we have discovered about 150 planets around other stars. I am doing research on the formation and evolution of such extrasolar planetary systems.
In my work as an author, I have started the research for my new book, entitled Is God A Mathematician? This book will explore the almost unresonable power of mathematics to explain physical reality. Theories based on mathematics are used not only to describe the workings of the cosmos, but to inaugurate revolutions in fields ranging from economics to evolutionary biology. Why? Does mathematics have an existence that is entirely independent of the human mind, or does it exist only inside our brains? Do humans discover or invent mathematics?
What inspires you to sit down and write?
Chess or video games?
Describe your favorite childhood teacher and how that teacher influenced you.
What are some of the things you'd like your computer to do that it cannot now do?
Which country do you believe currently leads the world in science and technology? In ten years?