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Ep. 392: The Standard Model - Intro

Humans, cars and planets are made of molecules. And molecules are made of atoms. Atoms are made of protons, neutrons and electrons. What are they made of? This is the standard model of particle physics, which explains how everything is put together and the forces that mediate all those particles.

Ep. 391: Entrophy

Have you ever been doing thermodynamics in a closed system and noticed that there’s a finite number of ways that things can be arranged, and they tend towards disorder? Of course you have, we all have. That’s entropy. And here in our Universe, entropy is on the rise. Show More Summary

Ep. 390: Occam’s Razor and the Problem with Probabilities

I’m not saying it’s aliens, but it’s aliens. Actually, it’s almost certainly not aliens, or a wormhole, or a multiverse. When scientists discover something unusual, they make guesses about what’s happening. But Occam’s Razor encourages us to consider the probabilities of different events before making any concrete predictions.

Ep. 388: Megastructures

This week astronomers announced an unusual transit signal from another star. Although it’s most likely a natural phenomenon, one remote possibility is that this is some kind of alien megastructure. Freeman Dyson and others have considered this idea for decades. Today we’ll talk about the kinds of structures that aliens might want to build.

When media gets drunk on absurdity and tries to tell us we’re the ones who sound drunk

Recent claims about Australian English turn out to be unsupported and extremely questionable according to a range of national experts we surveyed. Their responses, only some of which are provided below, make us question whether The Age was irresponsible in publishing them in the first place and sparking their viral and international dissemination.

Ep. 387: Water on Mars… Again

Have you heard the big news? NASA has reported that Mark Watney is alive and well on the surface of Mars. No, wait, they’ve reported that there’s water on Mars. Didn’t they already report this? Today we’ll update you on the latest discovery and what this means for the search for life on Mars.

Ep. 386: Orbiting Observers

The atmosphere keeps us alive and breathing, but it really sucks for astronomy. Fortunately, humanity has built and launched space telescopes that get above the pesky atmosphere, where the skies are really clear. Let’s take a look at the past, current and future of orbital observation.

5 Ways to Reduce or Stop Racing Thoughts that Stall Sleep

I can’t forget to bring that paperwork with me tomorrow! I can’t forget to pay that bill! I need to call the bank! I can’t believe she said that to me. What did he mean by that? What am I going to do about that […]

Ep. 385: Rovers on the Run

Taking pictures of distant worlds is great and all, but the best science happens with boots on the ground. Or in this case... wheels. This week we'll talk all about robotic rovers and the places they rove.

Ep. 383: Approaches to Absolute Zero

The coldest possible theoretical temperature is Absolute Zero, this is the point at which no further energy can be extracted from a system. How are physicists working to get as close as possible to this extreme cold?

Ep. 384: Escaping Probes

The gravity of the Earth is a tough thing to escape, but breaking free from the gravity of the Sun is on a whole other level. But humans have achieved this amazing accomplishment, and right now there are several spacecraft leaving the Solar System and never coming back.

Coin Dealers: Harken Ye to the ACCG

Wayne G. Sayles ('FBI Warns Dealers and Collectors' FBI seeks cooperation of trade ACCG August 29, 2015) refers to the recent warning on the FBI web site alerting art collectors and dealers to be especially careful in the trading of antiquities from the Near East. Show More Summary

Ep. 382: Degenerate Matter

n some of the most extreme objects in the Universe, white dwarfs and neutron stars, matter gets strange, transforming into a material that physicists call “degenerate matter”. Let’s learn what it is, how it forms.

Ep. 381: Hollowing Asteroids in Science and Fiction

When we finally make the jump to fully colonizing the Solar System, we're going to want to use asteroids as stepping stones. We can use them as way stations, research facilities, even as spacecraft to further explore the Solar System. Today we'll talk about the science and science fiction of hollowing out asteroids.

Episode Two: Breaking Bad Habits

This is Episode Two of PsychCrunch, the new podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this episode we speak to psycholgy researchers in the field of habit change to see if their findings can provide real-life tips for people hoping to break bad habits or form new healthy ones. Show More Summary

Ep. 380: The Limits of Optics

Astronomers rely on the optics of their instruments, and there are some basic limits that you just can’t avoid. Whatever we look at is distorted by the optics, in fact, a basic property of light means that we’ll never get perfect optics. Here’s why we can’t “magnify and enhance” forever.

Ep. 379: Fermi's Atom Splitting

When he wasn’t puzzling the mystery of alien civilizations, Enrico Fermi was splitting atoms. He realized that when atoms were split, the neutrons released could go on and split other atoms, creating a chain reaction – and the most powerful weapons ever devised.

9 Ways to Practice Self-Compassion When You Have Depression

When you’re struggling with depression, the last thing you want to do is be self-compassionate. But this is precisely what can help. Self-compassion is “the capacity to find the wisdom and dignity in one’s experience (particularly suffering), and to respond to it in an appropriately […]

Ep. 378: Rutherford and Atoms

Physicists knew the interior of the atom contained protons, neutrons and electrons, but they didn’t understand exactly how they were organized. It took Ernest Rutherford to uncover our modern understanding.

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