Podcasts and Vodcasts by Topic

Electricity & Magnetism

Bird Compasses
March 11, 2015
Birds have an amazing, innate ability to sense where magnetic north lies, and scientists think they're closer than ever to understanding the secrets of their natural compass.

Supernova Neutrinos
March 04, 2015
Using particle detectors across the world, physicists are tracking neutrinos emitted from supernovae to better track and understand exploding stars.

The Physics Behind the Silver Screen
February 25, 2015
Explore the physics that makes film projection possible in all of its various forms.

Paleomagnetism 101
January 14, 2015
What can Earth's magnetic field teach us about our planet's past?

The Ig Nobel Prizes 2014
September 24, 2014
The Ig Nobel Prizes reward the best research that first makes you laugh then makes you think. This year, we interviewed the winners who had research topics ranging from the the alignment of dogs with the Earth's magnetic field when they poo to the correlation between cat bites and depression in humans.

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.

July News Roundup
July 23, 2014
The blackest material ever invented, solar-powered spacecraft, and the crushing environments inside gas giants round up this month in physics news.

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.

Gauss' Missing Brain
November 20, 2013
The great mathematician's brain was mislabeled 150 years ago, leading to a modern day mystery that raises questions about the nature of genius.

Rescue Radar from Dolphin Clicks
November 06, 2013
Can dolphin sonar out-perform man-made sonar? Physicist Tim Leighton has a hunch that it can, and his pursuit of this question helped him create a new take on traditional radar technology.

Thorium Nuclear Power
October 30, 2013
Mike explores the pros and cons of a new kind of nuclear reactor: thorium molten salt reactors.

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.

The Mystery of the Moving Magnetic Field
September 25, 2013
In the 18th century, navigators and scientists noticed that near the equator, the earth's magnetic field is shifting in a westerly direction. 300 years later, we may finally understand why.

Van Allen Belts
August 07, 2013
You may think space is empty, but just outside Earth's atmosphere lies an area teeming with activity.

Fibonacci in Nature
July 03, 2013
Calla investigates several surprising instances of math in nature, from rabbit breeding to plant DNA.

<strong>Read more on this podcast's <a href="http://physicsbuzz.physicscentral.com/2013/07/podcast-fibonacci-patterns-in-nature.html">blog post</a></strong>

The Mad Scientist vs. Superman
June 26, 2013
The latest Superman movie, Man of Steel,  lacks a mad scientist villain typical of the franchise. So has media portrayal of scientists changed over the past few decades? Mike investigates.

<strong>Read more on this podcast's <a href="http://physicsbuzz.physicscentral.com/2013/06/podcast-mad-scientist-vs-superman.html">blog post</a></strong>

Picasso's Mysterious Paint
February 13, 2013
An art historian and physicist recently teamed up to unravel a mystery surrounding one of Picasso's avant-garde painting methods.

Animal Compass
August 22, 2012
Fish do it; birds do it; humans do it; even bacteria do it. They all
detect the Earth's magnetic field. We actually know very little about
the ways that many organisms detect the Earth's magnetic field. Humans use
compasses, and in some cases, other organisms may take a similar

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.

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.

Snakes and Bombs
March 14, 2012
Calla and Mike pay a visit to the APS March Meeting to learn about scientists studying slithering snakes and to discuss how magnetic fields are leading to better bomb detection.

February 29, 2012
You can never bring the temperature down to absolute zero, but the quest to get as close as possible to the coldest of the cold has spurred other discoveries such as superconductivity.

Independence Day
July 20, 2011
Physics is part of America's history. In fact, one of its Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, is also one of America's most well known physicists. Find out if Franklin really did fly a kite in a lightning storm and what turkeys have to do with scientific progress, this week on the Physics Buzz Podcast.

Magnetic Pulse
July 13, 2011
New research by physicists at the University of Philadelphia shows that magnets can reduce the viscosity, or the thickness, of blood. High viscosity can cause heart attack and stroke, so the new results suggest that magnets could one day contribute to treating high blood viscosity.

Magnetic Plants
May 11, 2011
Are plants magnetic? Scientists at the University of Berkeley have recently tried to find out.

Magnetic Sponge
February 09, 2011
Engineers at Duke and Harvard Universities are working on a new technology that could eventually administer medical drugs to patients
via a very small sponge that squishes up under the force of a magnetic

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 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.

Reconnecting Lightning
October 16, 2008
Bolts of lightning often resemble the forked, branches of trees. However, researchers have figured out the conditions that allow for spark branches to reconnect, overcoming the electrostatic repulsion that usually causes them to separate.

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