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Physical Attraction

219 EpisodesProduced by ThomasWebsite

The show that tries to explain issues in physics, science, and technology - from the birth of stars to the end of the world.

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Why Should We Listen to Scientists?

May 11th, 2021

16:43

Why should we listen to scientists? Well, because they're right a lot of the time. But also because - ideally - the institutions of science embody …

Machine Learning and AI vs. Climate Change

May 4th, 2021

38:03

How can machine learning and artificial intelligence help us in the fight against climate change? I explore literally dozens of ideas for possible applications of ML algorithms in this episode.

Attack of the 50ft Blockchain, with David Gerard

April 27th, 2021

1:31:01

I interviewed David Gerard, author of the cryptocurrency blog and book of the same name "Attack of the 50ft Blockchain", as well as a new book "Libra Shrugged" about Facebook's attempt to develop cryptocurrencies. We …

Thermonuclear Takes: The Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Rant

April 20th, 2021

1:28:52

I have generally held back on talking about bitcoin - because I'm super opinionated and it's one topic that generates a lot of heated discussions - but I finally let it all go in this one, lengthy rant episode. Think of …

Climate 201: Energy Efficiency IV: Jevons' Paradox, and Conclusion.

April 13th, 2021

38:39

In The Coal Question, Jevons - alongside realising that we needed a transition to renewable energy 150 years ago - posed the efficiency paradox. Using energy more efficiently motivates you to use more energy. Can energy …

Climate 201: Energy Efficiency, Part 3: Industry

April 6th, 2021

30:56

In this episode of our series on energy efficiency, we are going to talk about industrial applications - how we can improve the way that high-energy …

Thermonuclear Takes: Climate News; Global Rebound, "Net" Zero, Green Homes, Cumbrian Coal

April 4th, 2021

44:13

It's a smorgasboard of climate news as global emissions rebound, slippery definitions of Net Zero abound, the Green Homes Grant collapses, and …

Climate 201: Energy Efficiency II: Buildings

March 30th, 2021

40:08

In the second part of our series on energy efficiency and its role in combatting climate change, we talk about how buildings can be made more energy …

Thermonuclear Takes: Gamestop Post-Mortem, Way Too Late

March 26th, 2021

30:31

Sigh. Yeah I did a thing about the Gamestop, meme stocks, financial asset bubbles, and so on, if only so that these opinions don't have to rattle around in my head taking up space.

Climate 201: Energy Efficiency I: Transport

March 23rd, 2021

37:45

In this episode, we discuss the vital role of energy efficiency in reducing carbon emissions, and the potential to reduce energy consumption in …

The Glass Half-Empty: Debunking "New Optimism", with Rodrigo Aguilera: Part II

March 16th, 2021

1:20:30

This week, we have a guest on the show - Rodrigo Aguilera. Specifically, we're talking to him about his book "The Glass Half-Empty: Debunking the …

Thermonuclear Takes: Greensill Collapses and Uber in Court

March 13th, 2021

39:42

Listeners to our series on Softbank Vision Fund will be interested - albeit perhaps not surprised - to hear that one of its major investments, Greensill Capital, which we covered in the episode "The Next Financial …

The Glass Half-Empty: Debunking "New Optimism", with Rodrigo Aguilera - Part I

March 8th, 2021

1:02:30


This week, we have a guest on the show - Rodrigo Aguilera. Rodrigo is an economist - born in Mexico, lives in London, and his writing has appeared all over the place in various forms over the years. Specifically, we're …

Graphene and the world of 2-D materials

March 2nd, 2021

19:31

From the discovery of graphene to the invention of Van Der Waals heterostructures, this episode explores the potential and possibilities surrounding …

Short-Circuiting the Meaning of Life (II)

February 25th, 2021

44:45

In the concluding part of this mini-series on technological implications for being human, we discuss the idea that humans will manipulate their …

Short-Circuiting the Meaning of Life (I)

February 22nd, 2021

53:24

In this experimental, unusual, and wildly speculative episode, we'll discuss philosophy, and the implications of the imagined techno-future for the …

The Democratic Challenge of Climate Change, with Professor Rebecca Willis

February 16th, 2021

1:17:12

I sat down with Professor Rebecca Willis, author of the new book Too Hot To Handle, about the democratic challenge of climate change, how politicians …

Climate 201: Drawdown, Part III: Cookstoves, Co-benefits, and Conclusions

February 8th, 2021

30:15

On this episode, we conclude our series examining the work of Project Drawdown and its climate mitigation solutions, and discuss the additional …

The Appallingly Bad Neoclassical Economics of Climate Change, with Professor Steve Keen

February 1st, 2021

1:13:18

This episode, we have a guest on the show that I'm very excited about. Professor Steve Keen is an economist and author who has been a longstanding critic of neoclassical economics, which has included writing the …

Climate 201: Drawdown II: Fridges, Regenerative Agriculture, and Technological Sliding Doors

January 30th, 2021

40:00

In this episode of our Climate 201 series, we continue discussing the practical emissions-reduction solutions from Project Drawdown - talking about …

Debunking Economics, with Professor Steve Keen

January 26th, 2021

1:04:35

This episode, we have a guest on the show that I'm very excited about. Professor Steve Keen is an economist and author who has been a longstanding critic of neoclassical economics, which has included writing the …

Climate 201: Project Drawdown's Solutions, Part I

January 19th, 2021

36:41

In this Climate 201 episode, we look at some of the climate change mitigation solutions proposed by Project Drawdown, in an effort to be more …

Climate 201: What Drives Global CO2 Emissions?

January 12th, 2021

29:34

In this episode, we discuss the Kaya decomposition - splitting CO2 emissions into CO2/energy, Energy/GDP, GDP/person, and population. We'll talk …

Climate Conversations: How the Tech/IT Sector Should (+ Shouldn't) Address Climate Change, with Paul D Johnston

January 7th, 2021

1:05:59

I sat down with Paul Johnston (@PaulDJohnston), cloud computing expert and tech/climate scholar, to talk about how the tech sector should tackle …

Lord Martin Rees on Catastrophe, Cosmology, and the Future

January 1st, 2021

1:07:54

Sometimes in this game you get to do an interview where you genuinely can say: "the person I'm about to interview needs no introduction." This is one …

Thermonuclear Takes: Uber, Boston Dynamics, Income Inequality, Climate Change

December 21st, 2020

1:00:24

A bumper episode with a crop of interesting news stories to round out the year:

-> Uber sells its self-driving car section, and Softbank sells robot company Boston Dynamics. What can we infer from these moves about …

BONUS Thermonuclear Takes: Vaccine News and Pandemic Shield

December 19th, 2020

47:55

It's a bonus news episode, in which I ramble on about the COVID-19 vaccines and the possibility of defending against future pandemics.

Climate 201: What Is A Climate Scenario? (RCP)

December 16th, 2020

51:34

In this episode of Climate 201, we deconstruct the jargon around climate scenarios. What's the difference between RCP2.6 and RCP8.5? What purpose do …

Subprime Attention Crisis: The Time Bomb at the Heart of the Internet, with Tim Hwang

December 10th, 2020

52:49

This week, taking a break from climate, we have a special guest on the show - Tim Hwang. Tim Hwang is a writer and researcher, and he's the author of Subprime Attention Crisis, a book about how online advertising may …

Climate 201: Carbon Budgets

December 3rd, 2020

48:02

We explore what is meant by a "carbon budget", how and why we can determine how much CO2 is left to emit before we cross a given temperature …

The Dream of a Solar Sahara

November 29th, 2020

23:30

In this episode, we explore the tantalising - but maybe impossible - dream of blanketing the world's deserts in solar panels to supply all of our …

Climate 201: Greenhouse Gases and Fungibility Questions

November 25th, 2020

38:07

In this Climate 201 episode, we introduce the different greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, analyse how their different lifetimes and ability to absorb radiation and warm the planet work, and discuss …

Softbank's Singularity with Edward Ongweso Jr. of This Machine Kills Podcast

November 19th, 2020

1:44:42

To close our series on Softbank's Vision Fund, I interviewed tech journalist and scholar Edward Ongweso Jr. of "This Machine Kills" podcast about …

Softbank's Blurry Vision VI: What We Lost In The Hype

November 11th, 2020

1:07:03

Over the course of this series, we've described how Softbank's $100bn Vision Fund promised to invest in the future and failed to deliver. In this …

Softbank's Blurry Vision V: The Next Financial Crisis?

November 5th, 2020

31:36

In this episode of our series on Softbank's Vision Fund, we talk about how their investment in fintech company Greensill Capital is potentially part of a series of investments that might create conditions for a new …

TT Stonks III: Stocks Divorced from Reality, the Great Accelerator, Future of the Show, and Listener Mailbag

October 28th, 2020

1:10:47

In this episode, we talk about why the stock market is increasingly divorced from economic reality, and the fact that COVID-19 is proving to be a great accelerator rather than a great leveller - accelerating the trends …

Softbank's Blurry Vision, IV: Identifying as a Tech Company

October 21st, 2020

28:03

We go further into Softbank's investments, including the $2bn-valued company that promised to develop an army of robots to cook and deliver pizzas and ended up just creating a round pizza box.

TT, Stonks I: FinCEN Files and the Story of Fake Tesla

October 18th, 2020

43:52

In this episode, we discuss the leaked FinCEN files - which illustrate trillions of dollars in suspicious financial flows - as well as Nikola, the …

The Button: The Threat From Nuclear Weapons and What We Can Do About It, with Tom Collina

October 14th, 2020

1:07:44


Very excited to say we have a special guest on the show today. Tom Collina has had a long and storied career in nuclear disarmament for many years, …

Modern Monetary Theory with the MMT Podcast II: What Your Economy Can Do For You

October 8th, 2020

1:43:45

Hello and welcome to this episode of Physical Attraction.

We have a special couple of guests on the show today. Listeners to our episodes about QE for the People will remember that we briefly mentioned Modern Monetary …

Modern Monetary Theory with the MMT Podcast I: Where Does Money Come From?

October 7th, 2020

50:19


We have a special couple of guests on the show today. Listeners to our episodes about QE for the People will remember that we briefly mentioned Modern Monetary Theory as a new perspective on how economics works, and …

Thermonuclear Takes: China Goes For Net Zero

September 30th, 2020

40:33

In this episode of Physical Attraction, we'll be discussing the recent announcement by China that they will aim for zero net CO2 emissions by the …

Softbank's Blurry Vision III: The Fall of WeWork

September 29th, 2020

47:54

In this episode, as part of our series on the Softbank Vision Fund and its risky investments, we're talking about the rise and fall of a real-estate company that posed as a tech company... WeWork (and how it lost …

Softbank's Blurry Vision II: Uber

September 22nd, 2020

32:46

In this, the second part of our series on the Softbank Vision Fund, we discuss Softbank's $10bn bet on ride-sharing firm Uber - which burns through …

Extremely Thermonuclear Takes: Hints of Life on Venus?

September 14th, 2020

30:15

So there's a big rumour going around that some scientists may have potentially detected a hint of evidence for phosphine gas on Venus, which they consider to be quite strong evidence of something unexplained, which may …

Climate Assembly: The World We Want to See

September 13th, 2020

54:06

This year, the UK assembled 108 citizens from across all demographics of the society and from around the country to discuss the best ways to address climate change. In September 2020, they reported back.

In this second …

Climate Assembly: What Is A Citizens' Assembly?

September 13th, 2020

32:11

In this mini-series, we'll be discussing the Climate Assembly in the UK - what happens when 100 randomly-selected ordinary citizens are given time …

Softbank's Blurry Vision, or, How To (Mostly) Burn $100bn: Part I, The Dream of Masoyoshi Son

September 9th, 2020

39:27

In this series, we'll be telling the story of the Softbank Vision Fund, the $100bn technology venture capital fund that was supposed to revolutionise …

Rage Inside The Machine: Algorithmic Bias and What It Means to be Human, with Dr Robert Smith

September 3rd, 2020

1:24:38

I’m very excited today to talk to Dr Robert Elliot Smith, who – after a thirty-year career working in AI and working with algorithms - has written one of the best books I’ve ever read about artificial intelligence and …

Statistical Mechanics and Information Entropy

August 27th, 2020

25:01

As a followup to our series on thermodynamics, the briefest of introductions to one of the most fascinating and beautiful areas of physics - …

Off-Topic: The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories in US Political Life

August 24th, 2020

52:09

Well, I asked Twitter if they wouldn't mind more off-topic content, and although the electorate was pretty tiny, they said they didn't mind.

So, …

Stewart Lansley on Universal Basic Income

August 20th, 2020

1:11:51

This episode, we talk to Stewart Lansley, who co-edited the book "It's Basic Income" and has written reports on UBI in a UK context. Where is the debate on UBI in light of COVID-19?

Responsible Use of Algorithms - YouTube and Investigative Journalism

August 18th, 2020

22:10

In light of some of the recent furore surrounding a particular algorithm, I thought it might be a good time to release this episode of the show. 

Rebooting Civilization and Alien Life in the Cosmos, with Lewis Dartnell

August 11th, 2020

1:01:34

We have a guest on the show today - Professor Lewis Dartnell. Lewis is an author, presenter, and Professor of Science Communication at the University of Westminster, and has written and researched on topics as diverse …

Interview with the CEO of Nori, A CO2 Removal Startup

August 4th, 2020

54:13


This week, we have a guest on the show - Paul Gambill. Paul is the CEO of Nori, a startup that is aiming to create a marketplace for negative …

Felicity Boardman on the ethics of genetic screening and genome editing

July 28th, 2020

1:14:19

This week, we have a guest on the show - Professor Felicity Boardman, who works at the University of Warwick on the ethics of genetic screening and genome editing. Specifically, she is co-leader of the Imagined Futures …

QE For the People with Frances Coppola, Part II: Helicopter Money?

July 22nd, 2020

58:49

This week, we have a guest on the show - economics and finance writer Frances Coppola. She's the author of a book, "Quantiative Easing for the …

QE For the People with Frances Coppola, Part I - Economics 101

July 15th, 2020

1:02:24

This week, we have a guest on the show - economics and finance writer Frances Coppola. She's the author of a book, "Quantiative Easing for the …

Gravitational Waves and Science Outreach, with Brynley Pearlstone (SciCurious Podcast)

July 7th, 2020

1:05:24

Hi all. This episode, we're interviewing Brynley Pearlstone, who hosts the Scicurious podcast, which focuses on LGBTQ scientists. We talk about his scientific work on gravitational waves, and about outreach in physics …

BONUS: The Self-Indulgent Experimental Mystery Half-Hour

July 7th, 2020

34:07

In which I post cringe (unrelated prose and poetry) and lose subscriber to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of this show going on the air. 

Direct Detection of Dark Matter

June 30th, 2020

44:32

In this episode, we discuss the progress that has been made towards directly detecting Dark Matter in the form of WIMPs, and the recent anomalies observed at the Xenon1T experiment.

Enjoy!

Can COVID-19 be a tipping point for action on climate change?

June 24th, 2020

39:13

In this slightly news-y episode, we pick up on last week's episode and talk about progress that governments have made in enacting green economic …

Coronavirus and Climate Change: No Silver Lining (Unless We Want It)

June 17th, 2020

28:25

I explore the possible impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our efforts to deal with climate change.

PREVIEW: Physical Attraction Book Club, The Attention Merchants

June 10th, 2020

11:18

Hey! This is a preview of something new that we're trying out - the Physical Attraction Book Club. We'll be discussing books at a semi-regular …

Climate Change and the Coronavirus: Skeptics

June 8th, 2020

27:02

The first of two episodes on climate change and the coronavirus - parallels, similarities, and differences - in which we consider some of the similarities between "climate skeptics" and "COVID skeptics".

Also, listener …

Interview with Phil Torres (@Xriskology) Part II: Existential Risk in the time of COVID-19

June 4th, 2020

57:14

Well, the manifestation of a global catastrophic risk means that it's time for us to bring back the very first guest on this show, from back in 2017. …

Re-release: The Psychology of the End

June 1st, 2020

38:30

Episode first aired in Feb 2018 which deals with cognitive biases surrounding how we conceive of the end-times. Sadly relevant today.

Why are we so fascinated with the end of the world?
How do we think about it?
How do …

Phil Torres (@xriskology) I: Existential Risks in the time of COVID-19

May 28th, 2020

1:32:17

Well, the manifestation of a global catastrophic risk means that it's time for us to bring back the very first guest on this show, from back in 2017. …

Kit Yates on the Maths of Life and Death

May 21st, 2020

1:00:19

This week, we have a guest on the show - Kit Yates, who is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and co-director of the Centre …

Smoke and Mirrors: How Hype Obscures the Future, and How to See Past It - with Gemma Milne

May 15th, 2020

1:03:06

I'm excited today to say that we have a guest on the show - Gemma Milne, who has written a book, Smoke and Mirrors, about how technological hype …

Coronavirus Updates (May, part I): Interview with a vaccine trial participant, risk factors, "herd immunity" thresholds and serology.

May 9th, 2020

58:17

For the masochists who apparently can't get enough content about the coronavirus:

=> An interview with my friend who participated in the vaccine trials
=> Some discussion of the risk factors that are associated …

Technology, Inequality, and Catastrophic Risks: Solutions?

April 30th, 2020

32:42

N/B: This series of episodes was written before the coronavirus pandemic. I've decided the best thing to do is to present them as was and maybe have another episode reflecting on what the pandemic means for their …

BONUS: Walter Schiedel's Coronavirus Op-Ed

April 26th, 2020

8:46

Given that we are in the midst of a series on technology, inequality, and global catastrophic risks inspired by Walter Scheidel's book on these …

Coronavirus Updates - The Vaccine

April 23rd, 2020

43:43

In this, the last of our short series of coronavirus updates, I will be telling you everything I've found out about the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine - when we can expect it to be ready, the testing that needs to be …

Coronavirus Updates: Exit Strategy (For A Pandemic)

April 17th, 2020

33:40

In the latest coronavirus episode, we discuss research that has been done into the viable exit strategies from lockdown, including the idea of a contact-tracing app, and discuss some early estimates as to how effective …

Coronavirus Updates: Modelling, Uncertainties, and Antivirals

April 16th, 2020

23:45

Some further updates in the latest therapy session/ramble:

- Discussion of the various models that have been used to try to predict the impact of the coronavirus pandemic

- Discussion of scientific uncertainty (and the …

Coronavirus Updates: Estimating R0, Serology, and Bayes' Theorem

April 15th, 2020

33:41

The first of a few quick episodes where I continue going into coronavirus therapy by ranting on to you about all of the things I've learned about the current epidemic... with references to scientific papers so you can …

Technology, Inequality, and Catastrophic Risks III: How technology can fuel inequality

April 11th, 2020

23:40

N/B: This series of episodes was written before the coronavirus pandemic. I've decided the best thing to do is to present them as was and maybe have another episode reflecting on what the pandemic means for their …

Technology, Inequality, and Global Catastrophic Risks II: Does Technology Help or Harm?

April 5th, 2020

34:57

N/B: This series of episodes was written before the coronavirus pandemic. I've decided the best thing to do is to present them as was and maybe have another episode reflecting on what the pandemic means for their …

Technology, Inequality, and Global Catastrophic Risks I: The Great Leveller

March 31st, 2020

39:15

N/B: This series of episodes was written before the coronavirus pandemic. I've decided the best thing to do is to present them as was and maybe have another episode reflecting on what the pandemic means for their …

Coronavirus: The Next 18 Months

March 25th, 2020

55:49

In this new episode, we do a deep dive into the Imperial College London paper that models the coronavirus epidemic in the UK and the effectiveness of …

Coronavirus: Serology, Misinformation, Uncertainty

March 25th, 2020

36:04

A quick update on some news surrounding the coronavirus, including why some of the headlines you may have read recently are unlikely to be true, some public service announcements about what you can do to help, and a …

The Coronavirus Pandemic

March 17th, 2020

1:20:39

For weeks I've been debating in my mind whether or not to do an episode on the coronavirus pandemic, since it's essentially been all I have been able to think about for the last few weeks as my friends and relatives, …

Hiatus until the New Year

December 18th, 2019

1:28

Apologies everyone... a quick note to explain why (due to illness and general exhaustion) I am putting the show on hiatus until the New Year.

Watch …

Interviewed by Richard Foster-Fletcher (Boundless AI)

November 14th, 2019

1:42:27

Hi all - something a little different this week.

I was recently interviewed by Richard Foster-Fletcher, of the Boundless AI podcast, on topics as varied as artificial intelligence, nuclear fusion, and self-driving cars.

Who Wants to Live Forever?

November 7th, 2019

25:00

On this episode of Physical Attraction, we take a massively tangential dive into wild philosophical speculation.

If I offered you the choice of …

Bonus: Google Investigates Cold Fusion?

November 2nd, 2019

15:54

A recent review paper in Nature showed some Google-backed academic research, conducted across several institutions, which investigated the claims …

Drexler and Xiaoice: Tales from AI

October 24th, 2019

35:31

In this episode, we discuss Eric Drexler's model of "Comprehensive AI Services" as an alternative route towards artificial general intelligence, and …

Fusion Conclusion: Building Cathedrals

October 12th, 2019

26:41

27 episodes, spanning a hundred years of history and many months of this show, some wonderful plasma physics, some truly amazing machines, and a …

Fusion's Dark Horses, Episode II

September 26th, 2019

38:16

In this double-header, we examine the various startups that are trying to make commercial nuclear fusion a reality. What technologies are they using? …

Nuclear Fusion: Fusion's Dark Horses, I

September 13th, 2019

35:54

In this double-header, we examine the various startups that are trying to make commercial nuclear fusion a reality. What technologies are they using? …

TT: What Can Four-Year-Olds Do that AI Can't?

September 5th, 2019

25:07

What Can Four-Year-Olds Do that AI Can't?

==> Children are the greatest learners on the planet. As machine learning comes more and more into …

Justin Ball and Jason Parisi on The Future of Fusion Energy - Part II

August 29th, 2019

1:01:18

Hello and welcome to this episode of Physical Attraction. I’ve been excited about this for a while. Today, on the show, for the first time ever, we have not one but TWO guests, who have co-written an excellent book …

Justin Ball and Jason Parisi on The Future of Fusion Energy - Part I

August 21st, 2019

55:04

Hello and welcome to this episode of Physical Attraction. I’ve been excited about this for a while. Today, on the show, for the first time ever, we have not one but TWO guests, who have co-written an excellent book …

Nuclear Fusion XXIV: Is ITER "The Way"?

August 6th, 2019

28:41

In this episode, we examine some of the chaotic politics and causes of delay to the ITER project - and the perils of trying to collaborate across …

Nuclear Fusion XXIII: ITER's Challenges

July 25th, 2019

26:26

Many would argue that the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), currently under construction, is now 'The Way' to achieving power …

Thermonuclear Takes: Tech Giants Move Into Healthcare - and Outer Space

July 18th, 2019

31:46

On this week's edition of TT,  we take a brief break from the fusion series to look at two recent news stories about giant tech companies expanding their markets: both into healthcare, and into providing internet via …

Nuclear Fusion XXII: The National Almost-Ignition Facility

July 11th, 2019

34:42

The National Ignition Facility poured the heart and soul of the first few years of their work into achieving ignition - a plasma that would heat …

Nuclear Fusion XXI: NIF-ty Business

July 4th, 2019

19:19

The National Ignition Facility is, to date, the largest inertial confinement fusion experiment ever developed - and carried with it a huge amount of hope and hype that breakeven might be reached with this new device.

Nuclear Fusion XX: Halite/Centurion and Secret Codes

June 27th, 2019

19:01

Inertial confinement fusion has a secret weapon - after all, it's just a scaled-down hydrogen bomb, which gives us hope that it might not be too …

Free Energy Scams Part II Premium Episode

June 27th, 2019

36:09

Released as a special treat/taster of what Patreon backers get.

Nuclear Fusion XIX: Cold Comfort

June 20th, 2019

50:43

In this episode, we cover one of the biggest scientific scandals in history: the tragic, tawdry tale of Fleischmann, Pons, and "Cold Fusion".

BONUS: Description of a JET Pulse

June 13th, 2019

10:23

A step by step description of an experiment run at JET, with information from the Culham Website (CCFE).

www.physicspodcast.com

@physicspod

Nuclear Fusion XVIII: From JET to ITER

June 6th, 2019

33:24

We discuss the Joint European Torus - the most successful tokamak fusion reactor to date, and the source of a great deal of our knowledge about the …

Nuclear Fusion XVII: Penthouse Fusion

May 30th, 2019

26:14

This episode, we're looking into one of the most bizarre fusion episodes in its long and storied history. Yes, it's that time a new experimental tokamak fusion reactor was funded almost entirely by pornography millions …

Nuclear Fusion XVI: The Big Three Tokamaks

May 23rd, 2019

28:45

At the start of the tokamak revolution, there was a huge proliferation of different designs for tokamaks from universities and establishments around …

Nuclear Fusion XV: The Buzzkill Episode

May 17th, 2019

24:01

Is nuclear fusion really the perfect energy source that it's sold as and cracked up to be? 

Even if we can get it working, will it live up to the …

Nuclear Fusion XIV: Simple Engineering Problems?

May 9th, 2019

22:48

What's stopping us from getting magnetic confinement fusion reactors that work? 

Is it really just... simple engineering problems?

www.physicspodcast.com

Nuclear Fusion XIII: Two-Faced Gods

May 2nd, 2019

24:03

The second generation of laser fusion (inertial confinement fusion) devices was built in the USA in the 1970s and 1980s - but, unfortunately, those …

Nuclear Fusion XII: Frickin' Lasers

April 24th, 2019

22:33

The invention of the laser in 1960 opened up an entirely new approach to nuclear fusion - dramatically, and drastically compressing individual pellets of fuel with lasers. 

www.physicspodcast.com
@physicspod

Nuclear Fusion XI: The Tokamak Revolution

April 12th, 2019

29:20

In the late 1960s, scientists crossed the Iron Curtain. Their mission was to investigate whether the claims of Russian scientists about their new nuclear fusion device, the tokamak, were really true. Their findings …

Kate Devlin on Turned On: Science, Sex and Robots

April 5th, 2019

59:33

Taking a break from our nuclear fusion odyssey this week, I have a very special episode for you today. This week, our guest is Dr Kate Devlin. She’s a senior lecturer in computer science who studies artificial …

Nuclear Fusion X: Doldrums and Tokamaks

March 22nd, 2019

31:45

After the first generation of nuclear fusion reactors had profound instabilities, and couldn't confine the plasma for long enough to achieve their …

Nuclear Fusion IX: A Sun of Our Own

March 15th, 2019

27:21

In 1958, to great fanfare, the ZETA experiment at Harwell announced that they had achieved thermonuclear reactions, controlled in the lab. It was …

Nuclear Fusion VIII: Kinky and Unstable

March 8th, 2019

23:55

In the early 1950s, optimism surrounding the potential for nuclear fusion in devices like the Stellarator, the pinch devices, and the magnetic mirror were frustrated by plasma instabilities. It turns out that you cannot …

Nuclear Fusion VII - Juan Step Beyond

March 1st, 2019

20:49

In 1950-1, Argentine dictator Juan Peron and German scientist Ronald Richter announced that they had cracked the secret of limitless energy from …

Thermonuclear Takes: Teenage Fusion Cloudless Skies and a new AI

February 25th, 2019

37:55

Hello, and welcome to this episode of Thermonuclear Takes - our occasional bonus episodes that deal with topics in the news when there's just TOO …

Nuclear Fusion VI: Pinches, Stellarators, Perhapsatrons

February 22nd, 2019

27:53

Building a nuclear fusion power plant is no easy feat. Fusion naturally occurs in temperatures comparable to those at the heart of the Sun - temperatures so hot as to instantly vaporise virtually any substance on Earth.

Nuclear Fusion V: Teller's Bomb [REUPLOAD]

February 15th, 2019

26:40

[Reupload with the actual, correct file this time - sorry! 

Thomas] 

 

When Teller's dream of a hydrogen, fusion bomb was eventually realised, it was another physicist, Ulam, who really came up with the winning …

Nuclear Fusion IV: Teller's Dream

February 7th, 2019

23:34

You can get too caught up in praising the beauty of science and conflating that with praising the individual. I think we should recognise and …

Announcing 100th Episode "What Is Physics" Competition, with FABULOUS PRIZES

February 5th, 2019

4:13

Physical Attraction: 100th Episode Competition

Physical Attraction is the podcast focused on physics, science and technology – and we’re about to …

Huey Long: Episode V-VI Omnibus

February 3rd, 2019

1:13:38

The good people of the United States Senate were not prepared for Huey P. Long.

Could Huey Long's personality, travelling-salesman charm, and Share …

Nuclear Fusion III: Semi-Empirical Mass Formula

January 31st, 2019

40:51

There’s a famous saying that’s attributed to the statistician Henry L Box – but it’s one of the most important sayings for thinking about physics, and science in general.

“All models are wrong, but some models are …

Nuclear Fusion II: The Gold Foil Experiment

January 25th, 2019

22:15

Our series of episodes on nuclear fusion begins with the Rutherford Gold Foil experiment, which first discovered the nucleus and changed our …

Nuclear Fusion I: Darwin vs Kelvin

January 18th, 2019

23:38

What happened when one of history's most esteemed biologists fought with one of history's most esteemed physicists about how old the Earth could be? …

Huey P Long Omnibus - From Election to Impeachment

January 8th, 2019

1:07:49

In 1928, Huey Long was riding high. He'd beaten all opposition and achieved the second step in his life-plan. Get elected to minor public office, check. Get elected to the Governorship, check. There's little doubt given …

Karin Kuhlemann on Overpopulation

January 1st, 2019

1:46:49


Hello, and welcome to this episode of Physical Attraction. In this episode, I interview Karin Kuhlemann on the subject of population.
We touched on …

Amy Westervelt on Drilled: the True Crime podcast about Climate Denial

December 13th, 2018

1:19:10

This week, we're going to be talking to Amy Westervelt, host of the new podcast - Drilled - which looks into how fossil fuel companies secretly funded fossil fuel deniers and misled the public about the science. 

Bonus: Huey P Long, Episode 1-2: The Whirlwind

December 10th, 2018

1:06:57

Imagine, for a moment, that there was a politician in the United States very unlike the others. One who was willing to promise all things to all …

Thermodynamics III: You Can't Get Out of The Game

December 7th, 2018

29:28

The laws of thermodynamics govern the flow of energy - from your coffee cup to the sparse plasma floating between stars to the formation of black …

Thermonuclear Takes: CRISPR Babies, Future of the Show

November 28th, 2018

24:01

In this episode of Physical Attraction, we'll talk about the breaking news surrounding the birth of the world's first genetically modified CRISPR baby. 

"He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who claims to have helped …

Free Energy Scams: No, Really, You Can't Break The Laws of Thermodynamics

November 22nd, 2018

33:08

"The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet …

Minisode: Kelvin and Clausius are Equivalent Statements

November 20th, 2018

4:14

A brief appendix explaining why the definitions of the Second Law of Thermodynamics really just mean the same thing.

Thermodynamics, The Second Law: You Can't Break Even

November 16th, 2018

29:58

The laws of thermodynamics govern the flow of energy - from your coffee cup to the sparse plasma floating between stars to the formation of black …

Thermodynamics, The First Law: You Can't Win

November 8th, 2018

30:36

The laws of thermodynamics govern the flow of energy - from your coffee cup to the sparse plasma floating between stars to the formation of black …

BONUS: Stalin Episode XI-XII-XIII Omnibus

November 4th, 2018

2:02:06

Towards the end of Stalin's life, he became ever more paranoid, embittered, isolated, and vengeful. As his various ministers and members of the …

Interstellar Travel: Shooting for the Stars

October 29th, 2018

23:03

The Starshot Project is one of those rare, exciting technological plans that seems to come straight out of science fiction - a plan to visit the …

Malicious Uses for Artificial Intelligence: Part II

October 25th, 2018

35:20

A recent report released at https://maliciousaireport.com/ on the potential malicious uses for artificial intelligence brings us sharply to the present. 

In the TEOTWAWKI episodes on AI, we focused on "hard AI" - the …

Malicious Uses of Artificial Intelligence, Part 1

October 18th, 2018

32:32

A recent report released at https://maliciousaireport.com/ on the potential malicious uses for artificial intelligence brings us sharply to the present. 

In the TEOTWAWKI episodes on AI, we focused on "hard AI" - the …

Nobel Prize 2018 Special!

October 9th, 2018

36:13

So, as you probably already know by now, the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 was awarded to another trio: Gérard Mourou, Arthur Ashkin and Donna Strickland, “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics”. …

Superconductors: Hard to Resist

October 5th, 2018

27:06

In this episode, we'll discuss the discovery and possible applications of superconductors - these seemingly miraculous materials which have an …

Thermonuclear Takes: #ExxonKnew and Solar Road to Nowhere

September 25th, 2018

25:36

Welcome to Thermonuclear Takes, our roundup of all the news in science and technology that’s been fascinating me lately. Some of it will relate to …

Concealing A Hadron III: I'm Sparticle!

September 20th, 2018

41:47

Everything is made up of fundamental particles. You have the leptons: that’s the electron, muon, tau, and their ghostly neutrinos that help us to conserve momentum. You have the quarks, which make up all of the hadrons. …

Concealing a Hadron II: The Standard Model

September 14th, 2018

25:51

Quarks, hadrons, baryons, leptons - we explore the material particles, ponder the question of why the electron has two heavier cousins, and describe …

Autocracy Now: Stalin Omnibus Ep VIII, IX, X The Storm

September 12th, 2018

1:43:52

A triple helping of our sister podcast, as we follow Stalin's career from the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact to the Battle of Stalingrad. 

Concealing a Hadron: Particle Physics 101.1

September 7th, 2018

31:05

Can you tell your quarks from your elbow? If not, never fear, because these episodes will be your guide to particle physics, and, specifically, …

Thermonuclear Takes: Hothouse Earth and Heatwaves

September 3rd, 2018

26:11

Sometimes, a news story that relates to some of the topics we talk about on this show catches my eye. That's when you know it's time for a Thermonuclear Take!

(tl;dr, experimenting with new bonus episode format.) 

Units and Dimensional Analysis II: GI Taylor and the Bomb

August 31st, 2018

24:51

In this episode, we'll discuss how you can use dimensional analysis to measure the yield of the blast of a nuclear bomb, and weird units from banana equivalent doses to the distance at which sheep remain picturesque.


Units and Dimensional Analysis, Pt I: The Metric Revolution

August 24th, 2018

25:29

Units and Dimensional Analysis, Pt I: The Metric Revolution

No physicist would be anywhere without dimensional analysis. In this episode, we answer …

CJ Schilt (Corpus Newtonicum) on Isaac Newton, part 2

August 10th, 2018

1:16:21

So in this episode, I am fortunate enough to interview Cornelius Schilt – perhaps better known to the world by his blog title, Corpus Newtonicum, which you can go and read at Corpus Newtonicum.wordpress.com. He is a …

CJ Schilt (Corpus Newtonicum) on Isaac Newton: Part I

August 3rd, 2018

58:35

So in this episode, I am fortunate enough to interview Cornelis Schilt – perhaps better known to the world by his blog title, Corpus Newtonicum, which you can go and read at Corpus Newtonicum.wordpress.com. He is a …

BONUS: Stalin Omnibus (Episodes IV-V-VI-VII)

July 28th, 2018

2:12:21

To keep you all updated on the goings-on at my other podcast, I'm presenting a Stalin Omnibus with all of the episodes that have released since the …

Antimatter

July 27th, 2018

31:14

A primer episode on the world of antimatter. Every particle has its antiparticle equivalent - and if they ever meet, it's annihilation.

You can find us online at www.physicspodcast.com

On Twitter @physicspod
On …

Newton IV: Alchemy, Mercury, Legacy

July 19th, 2018

25:52

Alongside all of his scientific achievements, there is another fascinating side to Newton - one intimately linked with the supernatural, even the …

Newton III: The Cosmic Ballet

July 13th, 2018

35:04

In this episode, we get into the heart of Isaac Newton's scientific contribution. His laws of mechanics and gravitation fundamentally changed the way that we viewed both motion, and one of the (now four) fundamental …

Newton II: Calculus, Corpuscles, and the Plague Years

July 5th, 2018

29:57

We discuss some of Isaac Newton's most notable discoveries, from the invention of calculus (simultaneously with Leibniz) and his early grappling and …

Autocracy Now Bonus: Stalin Episode III: Taking Control

July 3rd, 2018

33:54

As Lenin's health declined, Stalin sought to outmanouver his rivals in the Bolshevik party and consolidate single-handed, dictatorial control over …

Isaac Newton, Part I : Burning Down The House

June 28th, 2018

25:59

Isaac Newton made an almost incomparable contribution to physics - practically founding the field with his famous Laws that defined the mechanics of how bodies move for centuries, and by discovering gravity when an …

How to Save the World, part II

June 17th, 2018

41:27

Should we be talking about a one-world government to head off existential threats? What about schemes to preserve human genetic information, or …

TEOTWAWKI: How To Save The World, Part 1

June 8th, 2018

49:19

So, now that I’ve thoroughly frightened us all with the terrifying visions of the apocalypse, I guess I should answer the question: what can we do to …

Future of Work, Part II - The Rant Edition

June 1st, 2018

40:32

Last episode on the Future of Work, I described the problem – artificial intelligence is going to potentially make a lot of people unemployed in the near-term future; and the range of opinions, you can kind of pick and …

Bonus: Stalin Episode II, Revolution and Civil War

May 30th, 2018

31:18

The last bonus from the Autocracy Now feed for a while - we take Stalin's career up to the Russian Revolution and Civil War.

For the rest of his …

The Future of Work (I)

May 25th, 2018

30:53

Some thoughts on the robot-job-apocalypse. Will automation render us all unemployed? How can you hope to keep yourself relevant? Should we all become …

TEOTWAWKI - The End of Everything

May 18th, 2018

23:58

If we manage to survive the Sun gradually heating up, though, there might be a bigger problem before the Sun runs out of hydrogen. See, Monty Python and the Galaxy Song have it right; our galaxy is only one of millions …

TEOTWAWKI - Utopia

May 11th, 2018

26:55

So, what happens if we manage to survive all of the catastrophic risks that we've detailed in the previous episodes?

This is a highly-speculative …

BONUS: Autocracy Now, Stalin I: Rebel to Revolutionary

May 9th, 2018

39:20


This is a bonus episode coming out on the Physical Attraction feed. The topic is even less related to physics than usual, but since it's extra, I hope you'll forgive me.

As I mentioned a few episodes ago, this wasn't …

BONUS: Autocracy Now - Commodus

May 8th, 2018

37:32


This is a bonus episode coming out on the Physical Attraction feed. The topic is even less related to physics than usual, but since it's extra, I hope you'll forgive me.

As I mentioned a few episodes ago, this wasn't …

TEOTWAWKI Failed Predictions - Part I (Free Episode)

May 3rd, 2018

48:59

So, it won't come to any surprise to any of you to realise that - while I've researched all of the various ways the world might end - I've found an …

Startup Nectome Promises Immortality or Death: Can they deliver?

April 27th, 2018

25:04

Nectome took the tech social media world by storm when they announced, at Y Combinator, that they'd kill you for $10,000. Well, they'd kill you and preserve your brain, possibly leading to some kind of digital …

Stephen Schwartz, Atomic Analyst, on nuclear weapons: from the Cold War to Trump

April 19th, 2018

1:16:18

We have a special guest on the show today - Stephen Schwartz. Stephen is an expert on nuclear weapons; he has been studying nuclear weapons policy, …

Simon Ings on Stalin and the Scientists: Triumph and Tragedy

April 12th, 2018

1:16:22

One of the best and most enjoyable parts of hosting this show is when my favourite authors are kind enough to speak to me. I'd like to thank Simon for an excellent, enlightening, entertaining discussion: if you enjoy …

Simon Ings on Stalin and the Scientists: The Revolution.mp3

April 5th, 2018

44:54

One of the best and most enjoyable parts of hosting this show is when my favourite authors are kind enough to speak to me. I'd like to thank Simon for an excellent, enlightening, entertaining discussion: if you enjoy …

We Can Always Shoot Them Later - Stalin, Soviet Science, and the Bomb (II)

March 29th, 2018

25:19

"Leave the physicists be," said Stalin to his chief of police, Beria. "We can always shoot them later."

In this series of episodes, we'll take you …

We Can Always Shoot Them Later - Stalin, Soviet Science, and the Bomb (I)

March 22nd, 2018

32:33

"Leave the physicists be," said Stalin to his chief of police, Beria. "We can always shoot them later."

In this series of episodes, we'll take you …

Stephen Hawking: The Voice of Physics

March 18th, 2018

34:52

Physics lost a bright star last week when Stephen Hawking, world-renowned cosmologist, theoretical physicist, and science communicator, died at the …

TEOTWAWKI 1, Nuclear Weapons II: In The Shadow of the Bomb

March 15th, 2018

32:41

Vasili Arkhipov. Stanislav Petrov. Are the names familiar? They should be: these people saved the world by refusing to use nuclear weapons under …

Martin Pfeiffer (@NuclearAnthro) Interview

March 8th, 2018

50:44

We have a special guest on the show today! This one was very fun to record. Martin Pfeiffer, perhaps more notorious by his Twitter handle …

TEOTWAWKI 1 - Nuclear Weapons: A Delicate Balance

March 1st, 2018

31:58

Ten apocalypses later, we're finally here. 

It's easy to forget, living our comfortable lives, that there are hundreds of nuclear-armed missiles …

Climate Conversation with Ben Franta: Scientist, Historian, Activist (II)

February 22nd, 2018

40:11

We have a guest on the show today - Ben Franta. Ben is a scientist, science historian, science writer, and activist. He studied for a PhD at Harvard …

Climate Conversation with Ben Franta: Scientist, Historian, Activist (I)

February 14th, 2018

39:57

We have a guest on the show today - Ben Franta. Ben is a scientist, science historian, science writer, and activist. He studied for a PhD at Harvard …

TEOTWAWKI: The Psychology of the End

February 8th, 2018

37:37

Why are we so fascinated with the end of the world?
How do we think about it?
How do cognitive biases impact how we conceive of it?
How can we account for existential risks to humanity?
What is millenial thinking, and …

Climate Change - Mitigation and Controversies

January 26th, 2018

27:02

In this episode, I try to explore a little more the politics behind the simple question: why is it that virtually every other proclamation of …

Climate Change and the Ozone Layer: Lessons from Montreal

January 19th, 2018

39:02

You may remember not so long ago the hole in the ozone layer was the major scientific apocalypse story out there in the world. It could have proved …

TEOTWAWKI, Climate Change - Part II

January 12th, 2018

34:15

In this second part of the climate change episode, I will talk about what climate change is going to do to us - what the worst case scenarios are - …

TEOTWAWKI 2.2, Climate Change - Part I

January 5th, 2018

30:52

Our environment links us all: and we know that we are doing immense harm to that natural environment with our human activities. But where are the weak links? What are the potential pitfalls for the natural world, and …

TEOTWAWKI 2.1: Ecotastrophe

December 29th, 2017

51:56

Our environment links us all: and we know that we are doing immense harm to that natural environment with our human activities. But where are the weak links? What are the potential pitfalls for the natural world, and …

Stuart Armstrong - AI and the Future of Humanity

December 26th, 2017

54:17

We have a guest on the show today! His name is Stuart Armstrong, and he works at the Future of Humanity Institute that we’ve mentioned several times over the course of the TEOTWAWKI specials who are looking at …

Britt Wray on CRISPR, De-Extinction and Necrofauna

December 15th, 2017

58:25

Today on the show, our guest is Britt Wray. Britt Wray is a broadcaster, author and public speaker researching emerging science and tech. She tells stories about what she finds via podcasting, interactive documentary, …

Zach Weinersmith on Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That Will Improve and/or Ruin Everything

December 8th, 2017

1:19:40

We have a special guest on the show today: I’m excited, are you excited? It’s Zach Weinersmith. Zach is the creator of the webcomic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, which I’m sure many of you love and enjoy. He …

TEOTWAWKI: The Singularity, Part II

December 5th, 2017

46:05

Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Martin Rees... all have warned about the risk from Artificial Intelligence. Centres like the Future of Humanity Institute in Oxford, and the Centre for Existential Risk at Cambridge, rate the …

Phil Torres, XRiskology Interview, Part 2: Superintelligence

December 1st, 2017

38:37

This is the much-anticipated second part of the Phil Torres Tapes! We have a guest on the show today – Phil Torres. Phil Torres is an author, …

TEOTWAWKI 3 - The Singularity, Part I

November 24th, 2017

40:48

Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Martin Rees... all have warned about the risk from Artificial Intelligence. Centres like the Future of Humanity Institute in Oxford, and the Centre for Existential Risk at Cambridge, rate the …

Rafael Alves-Batista: Resilience of Life, Astrobiology and Fine-Tuning

November 17th, 2017

50:46

Joining me today is Dr Rafael Alves-Batista. Rafael is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Oxford. He received his Bachelor’s Degree and his Masters’ at the State University of Campinas in Brazil, …

TEOTWAWKI 4, Supervirus II: The Human Factor

November 10th, 2017

35:43

Earlier this year, a couple of scientists in a laboratory did something incredible. Using nothing but the genetic code and a well-equipped lab, they raised the dead. 

Specifically, the extinct horsepox virus was …

Announcing Patreon and how to Support the Show

November 3rd, 2017

4:39


www.patreon.com/PhysicalAttraction, that's www.patreon.com/PhysicalAttraction . If you go there, and subscribe selecting the $3/episode option, the RSS feed and access to all of the online bonus episodes will be yours. …

TEOTWAWKI Bonus: Alien Attack (Free Episode)

November 3rd, 2017

24:05

Things have been very serious and very depressing on our TEOTWAWKI specials; so I thought it was about time to do a little bit of light-hearted debunking, rather than ranting about the genuine dangers of apocalypse that …

TEOTWAWKI 4, Supervirus Part I: Nature

October 27th, 2017

32:59

Human beings have been facing apocalyptic circumstances for thousands of years. Our competitors, our nemesis have been pathogens like malaria, Yersinia Pestis, smallpox... every few generations, a cataclysmic plague …

Rafael Alves-Batista: Cosmic Rays and the Multiverse

October 21st, 2017

39:38

Joining me today is Dr Rafael Alves-Batista. Rafael is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Oxford. He received his Bachelor’s Degree and his Masters’ at the State University of Campinas in Brazil, …

News: Neutron Star Merger, Yay Science!

October 16th, 2017

16:10

LIGO hold a big press conference and announce the merger of Neutron Stars detected via gravitational waves and optical instruments for the first …

TEOTWAWKI 5: Peak Oil

October 14th, 2017

29:31

This episode of the TEOTWAWKI specials, we're focusing on every crazed doom-prepper's favourite scenario for the end of the world - Peak Oil.

Our …

2017 Nobel Prize Special: Gravitational Waves

October 4th, 2017

32:50

As you may already know, yesterday, the Nobel Prize in Physics, 2017 was announced: it went to Kip Thorne, Barry Barish, and Rainer Weiss for their …

TEOTWAWKI 6: Malthus' Revenge

September 30th, 2017

28:16

The human population has been growing exponentially for a long time. It’s been continuously growing since the Black Death in the 1300s – and although …

XRiskology: Existential Risks with Phil Torres, Part I

September 24th, 2017

47:05

We have a guest on the show today – Phil Torres. Phil Torres is an author, Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, …

TEOTWAWKI 7 - Supervolcanoes

September 15th, 2017

22:32

75,000 years ago, the human race was on the brink of extinction.

The cause was the Toba supervolcanic eruption, which had plunged the earth into a …

Bonus Episode: Solar Panels + Splitting Sunbeams

September 10th, 2017

20:45

Occasionally, in the world, we observe empirical laws – the laws of experiment - that seem to be spookily accurate. There’s no theoretical reason why …

TEOTWAWKI 8: Cyberwarfare

September 2nd, 2017

27:40

We know that a great deal of our critical national infrastructure depends on complex cyber-systems; but in the fast-changing world of the internet and computer systems, it's become impossible for slow-moving legislators …

TEOTWAWKI 9: It Came From Outer Space

August 26th, 2017

31:13

It's easy to forget that we are on a pale, blue dot - the one habitable place we know of in the whole, wide, Universe. Fragile. Perhaps too fragile.

TEOTWAWKI 10: Earthquakes

August 19th, 2017

25:25

Let’s talk about earthquakes. As we know, the Earth’s crust is made up of tectonic plates – vast plates of rock that shift around due to convection and the motion of fluid in Earth’s mantle. They, roughly speaking “join …

Get Ready for the Apocalypse

August 16th, 2017

1:30

We're going to be presenting a very special series of episodes over the next few months.

The end of the world. Is it going to end in fire, or ice? And is there anything we can do about it?

Get ready for the apocalypse.

Fermi and Drake

August 12th, 2017

32:24

Are we alone in the Universe? Or are there alien civilisations out there?
And if there are, where are they, and why aren't they talking to us?

We'll explore the Fermi paradox, the Drake equation, and, of course... the …

Bonus: AI Shakespeare vs. AI Trump, call for Listener Questions

August 8th, 2017

15:43

Bonus midweek edition, coming to you as close to LIVE as is humanly possible...

Inspired by last week's episode, Seduced By A Robot, I downloaded a neural network and started to play around with it. See what happens …

Seduced By A Robot

August 5th, 2017

31:08

OK Computer, seduce me.

What happens when Japanese scientists try to programme an AI to give love advice?
Are we going to be able to talk to robots in our lifetimes and have them say anything that makes an earthly lick …

Unusually Hot: The Radiation Episode

July 29th, 2017

23:26

What is radiation, and why won't it give you superpowers?

How can we shield future generations from nuclear waste?

What's the Oh-My-God particle? And, most crucially of all, how many bananas does it take to crush a …

Good Vibrations

July 22nd, 2017

19:24

Can you really explain a huge chunk of what we know about physics with a single equation? What does this equation look like, and how does it behave? …

Physics Gets Hot and Heavy II

July 15th, 2017

19:41

Physics gets hot and heavy, part two. This episode we'll be looking at what happens to stars after they join the main sequence - one of the most …

Physics Gets Hot and Heavy I

July 8th, 2017

23:09

Our inaugural episode! Explaining physics, one chat-up line at a time. This episode, I'm going to explain some of my motivations behind creating the show, and then we're going to be looking at how stars are born, how …

Physical Attraction: Trailer

June 28th, 2017

0:58

The show that explains physics, one chat-up line at a time. Coming soon to an internet near you.

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