Podcasts and Vodcasts by Topic

Quantum Mechanics

The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets
October 08, 2014
We sat down with science writer Simon Singh to discuss his latest book, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, which reveals the many math-related Easter eggs hidden throughout the iconic show's 25-year history.

The History of Helium Crises
September 10, 2014
You'll often find helium in balloons, but it's also a vital gas for physics research, medical devices, and computer manufacturing. But legislation and economic pressures have had and will continue to have an enormous impact on this precious gas.

Entangled Photons Illuminate an Object Without Touching It
September 03, 2014
Scientists have capitalized on two mind-boggling quantum mechanics principles to achieve the seemingly impossible: illuminating an object using light that never interacted directly with the object.

August Physics News Roundup
August 27, 2014
Speckled asteroids, spacecraft on comets, and an atomic clock on the International Space Station roundup this month in physics news.

Comic-Con 2014
July 30, 2014
Our latest trip to Comic-Con International revealed a number of physics-inspired comic books in addition to our own Spectra series.

Voices of the Manhattan Project
July 16, 2014
Hundreds of thousands of people were connected to the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bombs. Now you can hear a few of their unique perspectives as they reflect on this hugely significant project.

42 Yoctonewtons: The Smallest Recorded Force
July 09, 2014
Physicists have recorded the smallest force yet, and they're barreling toward the theoretical limit of how sensitive measurements can be.

Trip to the Quark Zoo
June 11, 2014
With the advent of a recently discovered four-quark particle at the LHC, there may be a zoo of exotic new fundamental awaiting us in the near future.

The World's First Nuclear-Powered Civilian Ship
May 28, 2014
In the 1950's, President Dwight Eisenhower strongly promoted the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. One manifestation of this push was the NS Savannah - the first civilian nuclear-powered ship launched in 1959.

Hungry Hungry Black Holes
May 14, 2014
For the first time, astronomers will soon see the black hole at the center of our galaxy devouring part of a gas cloud.

Element 117 and the Island of Stability
May 07, 2014
Scientists have recently corroborated the existence of element 117 called Ununseptium. As scientists discover new elemenets like Ununseptium, they're also closing in on an "island" of stable, heavy elements.

The Askaryan Radio Array
April 30, 2014
Buried in frozen Antarctic ice, there's a new kind of radio array larger than Manhattan searching for elusive neutrinos.

Beating the Game of Go
March 26, 2014
Chess masters have been beaten by computers, but machines still can't beat the best Go players. Nonetheless, mathematicians are working to perfect the art and science behind this classic game.

Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn
February 12, 2014
What is nothing? Science writer Amanda Gefter explores that question and more in her latest book: Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn.

Listening to the Stars
February 05, 2014
Astronomy data can be converted into beautiful images of galaxies, stars, and distant planets. But researchers can also turn that data into sound - allowing you to experience stars in a whole new way.

Chris Hadfield Interview
January 29, 2014
Astronaut and Youtube star Chris Hadfield shares his perspective on space, science, and sparking the public's imagination.

Women in Physics
January 22, 2014
How can a degree in physics benefit young women, and how can educators shrink the gender gap in physics? Some answers to these questions have emerged at a recent conference for women in physics.

2013 Roundup
December 18, 2013
Mike and Calla wrap up the year with their favorite physics stories from 2013.

IceCube Neutrinos
December 04, 2013
Billions of neutrinos pass through us every minute, but physicists recently found 28 neutrinos so special that they got their own names.

October 23, 2013
The Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland found the Higgs Boson last year, a feat that led to a Nobel Prize earlier this month. But there's still one other collider left in the U.S.: Brookhaven Lab's RHIC.

Does Einstein Deserve More Credit?
October 02, 2013
"God does not play dice with the Universe." This famous Einstein quote displays his staunch rejection of quantum mechanics during his lifetime. But Einstein made huge, under-appreciated contributions to quantum mechanics, even though he renounced his own work.

May 29, 2013
A new particle accelerator project is bringing together enemy nations in the Middle East. Read more on this podcast's blog post

The Promise of Fusion
April 17, 2013
Physicists have promised to eventually harness the power of the sun for over fifty years, but are they any closer to their goal today?

Physics Sing-Along
April 03, 2013
This musical tradition hosted by physics professor Walter Smith prompts its physicist audience to belt out some of their favorite tunes - with a physics twist.

Freeman Dyson: Heretic, Maverick, Visionary
March 20, 2013
Explore nuclear rocket propulsion, WWII bombing strategy, and searches for extraterrestrial life as Mike digs into this fascinating physicist's life.

John McNeile Hunter
February 27, 2013
As Black History Month comes to a close, Mike unravels the story of pioneering physicist and educator John McNeile Hunter.

A New Higgs World
December 19, 2012
Theoretical physicist Sean Carroll talks about his new book "The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World." We'll discuss why life as we know it would not exist without the Higgs and what it's like being a popular particle in the 21st century.

The Accidental Doomsday Machine
November 14, 2012
Nobel prize winning physicist Frank Wilczek says he has suffered for science. Specifically, he once spent two and a half days at a pay phone in the middle of nowhere assuring people all over the world that a science experiment on Long Island would not destroy the Earth.

Nobel Prize: Ion Traps
October 17, 2012
This year's Physics Nobel Prize was awarded to researchers for developing ways to manipulate "very fragile quantum states." In this week's podcast, we investigate what exactly that means.

Why do Nobel Prizes Reign Supreme?
October 10, 2012
How did the Nobel Prize come to be the greatest science prize in the world? It's not an easy answer.

Heisenberg in Question
September 19, 2012
Most explanations of Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle say something about how we can never measure a quantum system without disrupting it. But new research suggests we can measure a system without disrupting it to the degree that Heisenberg predicted. Is this the end of the famous principle? Or do we just need to change the way we teach it?

Room Temperature Maser
September 12, 2012
A breakthrough 60 years in the making: room temperature masers! Masers can be used as sensors and measuring devices, or as part of an inter-planetary communication system. Today Calla talks with Dr. Mark Oxborrow of Great Britain's National Physical Laboratory about building a room temperature maser, and why physicists are good at sewing.

Operation Crossroads
September 05, 2012
In 1946 the United States tested its first atomic weapon after the end of World War II. Physicists wanted to better understand this new weapon they created, but it turned into a clash between science, spectacle and politics.

Physics in the American Century
August 15, 2012
David C Cassidy talks to Physics Buzz about his book "A Short History of Physics in the American Century," and the role physics played in making the US a world superpower in the 20th century.

Science Advisors
July 25, 2012
Even though Hollywood films aren't known for being completely scientifically accurate all of the time, the writers of some of the biggest films and TV shows have been relying on their science advisors to make the science in science fiction all the more believable.

Who is Enrico Fermi?
July 18, 2012
Physicist Enrico Fermi has his name attached to a number of monumental physics items, like Fermilab, fermions and fermium. Who was Fermi, what did he do to earn so much notoriety and the title of "universal physicist"? We'll try to find out in today's podcast.

Higgs! Special Jumbo Edition
July 13, 2012
Last week the ATLAS and CMS experiments announced that they had, i n fact, identified a new particle, which looks a lot like the coveted Higgs Boson. Today on the podcast we'll talk to some people who were at CERN when the announcement was made, we'll tell you why the identity of this particle is still up in the air, and we'll find out what's next for the particle physicists studying the new particle.

How the Hippies Saved Physics
July 04, 2012
Dr. David Kaiser, author of the book "How the Hippies Saved Physics" talks about how the culture of the 1970's influenced physics, and brought the philosophical exploration of quantum mechanics back into the mainstream.

Jim Ottaviani
June 06, 2012
Jim Ottaviani writes comic books (or graphic novels) about famous scientists including Richard Feynman, Niels Bohr, and those involved in the Manhattan Project.

Sparkly and Spooky
February 15, 2012
Physicists have entangled two diamonds, some of the most ordinary objects ever entangled. Two entangled objects share a connection such that what happens to one impacts what happens to the other. There are many analogies to explain entanglement, but in today's podcast we'll venture into some of the nitty-gritty physics to explain this peculiar and potentially powerful phenomenon.

How Certain is the Higgs?
December 28, 2011
This week on the podcast, we continue our discussion of uncertainty surrounding the Higgs. An announcement from CERN reported an "excess of particles" that could be a hint at the Higgs boson, the particle theorized to give matter mass. Reports on this subject state that the findings are a two sigma result, and a five sigma result would mean a definite discovery. But be warned! This is an oversimplification of the importance of sigma. Hear why, in this week's Physics Buzz podcast.

Higgs 2
December 28, 2011
This week on the podcast, we continue our discussion of uncertainty surrounding the Higgs. An announcement from CERN reported an "excess of particles" that could be a hint at the Higgs boson, the particle theorized to give matter mass. Reports on this subject state that the findings are a two sigma result, and a five sigma result would mean a definite discovery. But be warned! This is an oversimplification of the importance of sigma. Hear why, in this week's Physics Buzz podcast.

Uncertainty and the Higgs
December 21, 2011
Researchers at CERN have announced an excess of particles which might turn out to be the much coveted Higgs boson, the particle theorized to give matter mass. The researchers are excited about the finding, but also say it does not qualify as a discovery. But why all the uncertainty? Why isn't the answer a simple yes or no? Today on the Physics Buzz podcast Calla Cofield talks with Dr. Bob Cousins about the uncertainty surrounding the search for the Higgs boson.

Seemingly Unsolvable Mysteries
November 30, 2011
For over 40 years after superconductivity was discovered, scientists wondered if they would ever find the theory behind it. Then suddenly, this seemingly unsolvable mystery was cracked wide open. Leon N Cooper, one of the physicists who won the Nobel Prize for the theory of superconductivity gave a talk emphasizing that we not give up on seemingly unsolvable questions too quickly, and cited many other examples of "unsolvable" mysteries that physics has managed to illuminate.

Too Small to See
November 23, 2011
It's been 100 years since Ernest Rutherford and his lab associates fired helium atoms -- stripped of their electrons -- at a thin sheet of gold, and were shocked to see the atoms bounce back. Rutherford said the results were akin to a bullet bouncing off tissue paper. He realized he'd been given a clue about the structure of the atom -- an object too small to see with light -- and a glimpse into the quantum world.

Faster than Light
September 28, 2011
Last week, a group of physicists announced that they had detected neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light. Whether the results are accurate or not will have to wait for results from other experiments. In the mean time Calla Cofield gives a little background on just how much nature is willing to bend the "faster than light" rule.

August 31, 2011
The Superconducting Supercollider was going to be the biggest, most powerful particle accelerator in the world. After major budget overruns and delays, Congress pulled the plug and all that's left today are a bunch of derelict buildings south of Dallas Texas. Where did things go wrong?

Ettore Majorana
August 24, 2011
In 1938, physicist Ettore Majorana boarded a boat for Naples and was never heard from again. Did one of the great geniuses of modern physics choose to end his own life? Or did he have a reason for vanishing? In this edition of the podcast we'll explore a little bit of Ettore's life, his contributions to physics, and his unsolved exit.

Summer of Science
August 10, 2011
Science writer Lizzie Wade and photographer Nick Russell drove 15,000 miles visiting physics labs across the country during their Summer of Science.

July 29, 2011
From a Richard Feynman comic book to cosmic dung, physics and Comic-Con intersect in some unusual places.

Quantum Man
June 29, 2011
Richard Feynman is one of the most dynamic and ebullient larger-than-life characters in modern physics. Mike Lucibella sat down with physicist and author Lawrence Krauss to talk about his new biography Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science.

June 03, 2011
When one hears the words "particle accelerators," it conjures up the image of giant atom smashers, but really those are the ones that capture the imagination of the press. Mike takes a look at some of the other particle accelerators and how they can be as vital to research as a test tube or a microscope.

Neutrinos for Peace
May 25, 2011
Neutrino scientists are helping to prevent nuclear proliferation.

APS April Meeting
May 18, 2011
Calla and Mike team up to discuss the APS Physics Meeting. Join Calla and Mike as they search for planets, discuss the Higgs Boson and how this research reflects on current science issues.

May 06, 2011
At the bottom of the world in the frozen Antarctic ice fields Physicists, like Spencer Klein of Berkeley Lab, are looking for evidence of one of the most exotic fundamental particles in the Universe, the Neutrino.

How Fast Can Santa Travel?
December 15, 2010
How fast would Santa have to move to be able to deliver all those presents in one night? He may not be traveling fast at all, but rather very slowly.

Exotic Particles
December 01, 2010
"Particles going through my body, cosmic rays! That sounds unbelievable; what are these particles flying through the air and how can go they go right through me?" Podcaster, Mike Lucibella asks this and many other questions to try make the unbelievable believable.

Maxwell's Demon is back
June 19, 2009
Researchers are tricking atoms and fooling entropy with lasers. Although their experiments don't actually violate the laws of thermodynamics, they have applications to quantum computing and gravity mapping.

Dr. Chris Monroe on Quantum Superposition
May 19, 2009
The Physics Buzz team takes a trip over to the University of Maryland to visit Dr. Chris Monroe, the leading quantum teleportation physicist. Dr. Monroe uses the strange phenomenon of quantum entanglement, which Einstein called "spooky action at a distance" to instantaneously transport information between two atoms. In this podcast, we get to the heart of this matter and try to understand the curious concept of quantum superposition.

New Years Resolutions Part 3
January 23, 2009
In this podcast we describe some of the major experiments and concepts that physicists hope to resolve this year. This is part 3 of 3.

New Years Physics Resolutions Part 2
January 23, 2009
In this podcast we describe some of the major experiments and concepts that physicists hope to resolve this year. This is part 2 of 3.

New Years Physics Resolutions Part 1
January 23, 2009
In this podcast we describe some of the major experiments and concepts that physicists hope to resolve this year. This is part 1 of 3.

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