Top Physicist Tackles Seven Cosmic Questions in VR Event

Theoretical physicist Sean Carroll explained everything from why the universe exists to whether free will is merely an illusion.
Sean Carroll's VR avatar
Sean Carroll's VR avatarNBC News
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Why does the universe exist? How did life get its start? Is free will real—or merely an illusion?

Questions like these defy easy answers. But Sean Carroll, one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists, doesn’t let that stop him. The Caltech professor has written an entire book on imponderables entitled “The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself.”

And he was a guest on MACH in VR, a new virtual reality series being produced by NBC News MACH in collaboration with AltspaceVR.

Entitled “7 Big Questions about the Cosmos,” the one-hour event took place in Altspace VR at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on June 29. Carroll was interviewed by NBC News MACH’s editorial director, David Freeman. The discussion was followed by a question-and-answer session that gave audience members a chance to pose their own questions to Carroll.

The event was free of charge, and everyone was invited to attend (please RSVP here). It took place in AltspaceVR, a leading VR app. Audience members joined in with a VR headset (HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Google Daydream, or Samsung Gear VR). Those without headsets attended in mobile view mode with a compatible Android phone or in 2D mode on a Mac or PC, as well as via a YouTube live-stream (see below).

More MACH in VR events will be added in the weeks ahead.