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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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The New Physics

The Big Idea for Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Standard Model of physics is the best description of the subatomic world that we know.

However, a crack in the model’s edifice appeared when it was discovered that neutrinos - elusive, morphing particles - have very small mass. This discovery offers a way to explore "new physics," and not just on the theoretical level. 

In today's lesson, Ray Jayawardhana, an astrophysicist at the University of Toronto, explores the applications of this field of research. It is said that whenever anything cool happens in the universe, neutrinos are usually involved. A gigantic supernova explosion would qualify as a cool cosmic event. Neutrinos, which travel at nearly the speed of light, would bring this information to us.

Jayawardhana and other physicists are hoping to catch a glimpse of a supernova explosion in our galaxy. Nobody knows exactly when this might occur, but thanks to the development of massive neutrino detectors, we would have an "unprecedented peek at the action."


  1. 1 Waiting for a Supernova
    Big Think Editors Big Think TV
  2. 2 What If Einstein Is Wrong?
    Michio Kaku
  3. 3 Cosmic Secrets of the Supernova
    Robert Kirshner
  4. 4 A Supernova Could Nuke Us
    Edward Sion

The New Physics

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