Jim Gates is smart, explains physics on television frequently (tonight!)

If you hung out in a sleek, glimmering lair, you'd probably look pretty smug too. (Photo courtesy PBS)

By Quinn Kelley
For The Diamondback

We live in a strange world. Physics professor Jim Gates wants to explain it to people, one television miniseries at a time.

In addition to appearing in a series about the science of the NFL last year and a similar, unannounced series next year, Gates will be featured in The Fabric of the Cosmos, a four-part NOVA series premiering tonight that explores the obscure physics used to explain the universe. According to a press release, the four-part series will blow your mind. 

“Basically,” it says, “reality is not as it seems and we are all being deceived.”

The release goes on to list myriad topics which, if the exclamation points are any indication, are of dire importance:

* Time travel to the future!
* Teleportation!
* Duplicates of ourselves in Multiverses!
* There is no past, present or future!
* Quantum Mechanics and Entanglement and big technological advances!
* Universe as a hologram!
* The films feature incredible visuals and animation

Gates said he participates in science documentaries like The Fabric of the Cosmos because while applied science — such as the explanations in the football series — is relatively easy to grasp, it is sometimes hard for people to understand the importance of the fundamental science behind things like the “Teleportation!” and “Multiverses!” mentioned in the release. He said while the science he does may not be important for a century, making progress in even obscure fields is vital.

“I think it’s very important that scientists reach out to everyone else and explain what we do, especially with this kind of science,” Gates said.

Joe McMaster, executive producer of the series, said one of Gates’ strengths is making daunting concepts accessible and easy to understand.

“He’s just one of the greatest and most articulate explainers of physics I’ve ever met,” McMaster said.

Jayanth Banavar, dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, described Gates as “a profound thinker” and “someone who is a role model to many of us.”

Gates will be featured in three of the four episodes, including tonight’s premiere at 9 p.m. on PBS and airs every Wednesday of November.

You can also check out Campus Drive on Facebook and on Twitter at @theDBK.

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