Is it possible to define the biological, chemical and physical functions that separate cells, plants and even humans from inanimate objects? In his new book, Paul Nurse, Nobel prize winner and director of the Francis Crick Institute, addresses a question that has long plagued both philosophers and scientists – what does it really mean to be alive? Speaking to Madeleine Finlay, Paul delves into why it’s important to understand the underlying principles of life, the role of science in society, and what life might look like on other planets
Tagged with “physics” (48)
For tens of thousands of years our ancestors understood the world through myths, and the pace of change was glacial. The rise of scientific understanding transformed the world within a few centuries. Why? Physicist David Deutsch proposes a subtle answer.
In this episode, Priya Natarajan, professor of astronomy and physics at Yale University, speaks with Steven Strogatz about her lifelong fascinations, including black holes, mapping the universe and early personal computers.
014: The Woman Redefining Possible Through Ballet and Physics- Dr. Merritt Moore - The Impossible Network
A world-class ballet dancer, a Ph.D. in Quantum Optics, a participant in the BBC Astronaut training series ‘Have You Got What It Takes’, featured in the book ‘Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls’ and listed in Forbes 30 under 30, and all by the age of thirty; these some of the not so small accomplishments in the impossible journey of Dr. Merritt Moore.
LA born, of a Korean mother and American father, Merritt’s upbringing equipped her with the curiosity, problem-solving skills, and the unconventional mindset to defy conventions that dictate the impossibility of being world class in Ballet and Quantum Physics at the same time
I hope you enjoy this conversational collision of art and science with Dr. Merritt Moore.
New findings are fueling an old suspicion that fundamental particles and forces spring from strange eight-part numbers called “octonions.”
At the heart of the Milky Way, there’s a supermassive black hole that feeds off a spinning disk of hot gas, sucking up anything that ventures too close — even light. We can’t see it, but its event horizon casts a shadow, and an image of that shadow could help answer some important questions about the universe. Scientists used to think that making such an image would require a telescope the size of Earth — until Katie Bouman and a team of astronomers came up with a clever alternative. Bouman explains how we can take a picture of the ultimate dark using the Event Horizon Telescope.
Tom Sutcliffe with Sir Robert Lechler, Jo Dunkley, Bernie Bulkin and Elizabeth Pisani.
There is nothing new for chemistry to discover, says Bernie Bulkin. In Solving Chemistry: A Scientist’s Journey, the former Head of Science at BP argues that an unprecedented event has happened: a branch of science has made all the major discoveries it is likely to make. He tells Tom Sutcliffe what this means for chemistry - and for science more broadly.
Medicine is in the midst of ‘a biomedical revolution’ says Professor Sir Robert Lechler. His own field of kidney transplants has been transformed by our new understanding of the immune system. He has helped to curate Spare Parts, an exhibition at the Science Gallery that poses the question: how many transplants could we have before we were no longer ourselves?
Elizabeth Pisani has watched interest in different diseases rise and fall. As an epidemiologist she charts the impact that press attention and public grants have on medical research, with some becoming fashionable while in others treatments lag behind. And she warns that scientists too often fail to take account of the human context when delivering medicines.
Astrophysicist Jo Dunkley assesses our understanding of the universe in a concise new guide. But the universe is 85% dark matter - and we still know very little about this. She draws attention to the brilliant female scientists who contributed to breakthroughs in physics, but whose contributions have been forgotten along the way.
More or less everything you know about time is wrong. This is no single time, but every one of you lives within your own time. Time passes at a different speed for each one of you. There is even no ‘now’ that you share with the person next to you. And the past only exists in your mind created by your memories.
The Order of Time presented at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. 30 April 2018
Melvyn Bragg examines the attempt to reconcile Quantum Theory and classical physics.
Melvyn Bragg examines the physics of reality. When Quantum Mechanics was developed in the early 20th century reality changed forever. In the quantum world particles could be in two places at once, they disappeared for no reason and reappeared in unpredictable locations, they even acted differently according to whether we were watching them. It was so shocking that Erwin Schrodinger, one of the founders of Quantum Theory, said "I don’t like it and I’m sorry I ever had anything to do with it." He even developed an experiment with a cat to show how absurd it was. Quantum Theory was absurd, it disagreed with the classical physics of Newton and Einstein and it clashed with our experience of the everyday world. Footballs do not disappear without reason, cats do not split into two and shoes do not act differently when we are not looking at them. Or do they? Eighty years later we are still debating whether the absurd might actually be true. But why are features of quantum physics not seen in our experience of everyday reality? Can the classical and quantum worlds be reconciled, and why should reality make sense to us? With Roger Penrose, Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics, Oxford University; Fay Dowker, Lecturer in Theoretical Physics, Queen Mary, University of London; Tony Sudbery, Professor of Mathematics, University of York.
Wanda Diaz Merced studies the light emitted by gamma-ray bursts, the most energetic events in the universe. When she lost her sight and was left without a way to do her science, she had a revelatory insight: the light curves she could no longer see could be translated into sound. Through sonification, she regained mastery over her work, and now she’s advocating for a more inclusive scientific community. "Science is for everyone," she says. "It has to be available to everyone, because we are all natural explorers."
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