Big Bang

Visit with Elder Woody Morrison who shares about how it all began – from an Indigenous perspective. And we learn some of the science of the Big Bang.

ISA: Our people have always been scientists, but we didn’t call ourselves scientists, but we were and we still are scientists. We looked at the world around us and learned and gained knowledge and that’s what science means: knowledge. Here is a story about a great scientist from the Navaho and (language) nations, Dr. Fred Begay. Dr. Fred Begay was so smart and cool. He wanted to find ways to use the sun to make power here on earth, and he mixed his own culture’s knowledge with his physics knowledge to do some pretty important work. Dr. Bigay didn’t speak English until he was 10 years old and went to residential school. They taught him hardly any math or science, but he still became a scientist. Dr. Bigay really liked physics.

ISA: Physics tries to understand energy and matter and how they work together. Physicists study the universe, from the largest galaxies to the smallest particles in nature, and Dr. Begay added his own native language and culture to look at the universe and energy. After university, Dr. Begay went to Los Alamos National Laboratory. That’s where scientists figure out how to make nuclear energy by breaking atoms apart, but Fred went looking for ways to make even more energy by joining atoms together. He invented some new ways of using lasers to create really hot plasmas, which are special gases that make huge amounts of energy, like in lightning. You need that to join atoms. It’s called nuclear fusion, and one day it could safely make all the clean energy the world needs. Way to go Dr. Fred Begay!