Physics Is a Never-Ending Puzzle

  • By Greg Kestin
  • Posted 06.27.18
  • NOVA

Even as physicists uncover more and more pieces, the puzzle of the universe remains far from solved. Find out why many physicists say there will never be a "final piece" to the puzzle.

Running Time: 01:08


Physics Is a Never-Ending Puzzle

Published June 27, 2018

Onscreen: Scientists only understand 5% of the universe. We asked them if that bothered them.

Saul Perlmutter: Maybe the biggest fear of a scientist is that we'll someday get all the answers and we'll be done.

Priyamvada Natarajan: We tend to have an analogy of like a puzzle and it's not likewhen we get the final piece you see the full picture and we are done.

Joseph Lykken: What's really exciting as a scientist is that you get a little piece of the puzzle and then you start to see the other things that you can put together with that."

Melissa Franklin: It doesn't matter how close you are to knowing the answer. What's important is the slope--are you making progress?

Priyamvada Natarjan: In a way, the puzzle keeps changing. The more we learn, the puzzle kind of morphs. And so we're looking for newer pieces and new gaps that start to appear that we need to fill in.

Saul Perlmutter: I think the pleasure is all the variety of ways in which the universe surprises us and which we keep discovering something new that tells us that the world works in a way that we never imagined it could even work.



Digital Production
Peter Chang
Daniel Thomson
Production Assistance
Greg Kestin
Editorial Assistance
Julia Cort
Produced and Directed by
Kirk Wolfinger & Owen Palmquist
© WGBH Educational Foundation 2018

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