PROFESSOR LISA RANDALL: Well, what we do know is that 66 million years ago a giant meteorite, 10-15km in size, came to earth and basically wiped out three quarters of the species on the planet including the dinosaurs. But the question is, what caused this big rock to come from space? But it could be that every time the solar system bobs up and down through the Milky Way, there's this extra gravitational title force from this dense disc of dark matter, mysterious matter that is not made of the stuff we're made up of, but nonetheless is matter and could be there.
And it's possible that that matter triggered very weakly-bound objects at the edge of the solar system, something called the orc cloud.
Randall, the bestselling author of Warped Passages, is an expert in both particle physics (the study of the smallest objects we know of) and cosmology (the study of the largest).
In Knocking on Heaven’s Door, she explores how we decide which scientific questions to study and how we go about answering them.
MATT WORDSWORTH, PRESENTER: Professor Lisa Randall has been dubbed America's superstar scientist, known for her radical theory of dark matter, wiping out dinosaurs and planet earth.
She cut through the male-dominated field of scientist, spending her high school years in the lab exploring her passion for cosmology and subatomic particles.
The building is shared with Algiers Cafe and Alden & Harlow Restaurant, and the theatre entrance is on the left side of the building—look for the sidewalk poster case and marquee.Tuesday 12/08/2015 Theoretical physicist Lisa Randall explains the nature of dark matter and introduces her book “Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs,” which looks at the role of dark matter in the evolution of the universe, our solar system, and life on Earth.WGBH broadcast this Thought Cast interview, and also features it on their “Science Luminaries” series, as part of “WGBH Science City.” It was also broadcast on WCAI/WNAN, public radio stations for the Cape and Islands.PROFESSOR LISA RANDALL, THEORETICAL PHYSICIST AND AUTHOR: Right, that's my hypothesis right there.MATT WORDSWORTH: So how does that kill the dinosaurs? I had not realised until I started researching for the book how much there is.