A dispatch from my colleague Dennis Overbye:
As fans of the late, great "Seinfeld," know, there is a lot to say about nothing.
At the World Science Festival Thursday night, four physicists spent nearly two hours under the jocular and irreverent grilling radio broadcaster John Hockenberry, cohost of "The Takeaway," and barely scratched the surface of the void that is the background or perhaps the platform of all our experience. They did in the end offer an answer to the question that has plagued philosophers and scientists: Why is there something rather than nothing at all?
"Nothing is unstable," Frank Wilczek, a physicist and Nobel laureate from MIT, finally said to a general murmur of agreement of his colleagues on stage, John Barrow of Cambridge University in England, Paul Davies of Arizona State and George Ellis of the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
Given a chance, nature will make nothingness boil with activity. http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/