Something massive, with roughly 1,000 times the area of Earth, is blocking the light coming from a distant star known as KIC 8462852, and nobody is quite sure what it is. As astronomer Tabetha Boyajian investigated this perplexing celestial object, a colleague suggested something unusual: Could it be an alien-built megastructure? Such an extraordinary idea would require extraordinary evidence. In this talk, Boyajian gives us a look at how scientists search for and test hypotheses when faced with the unknown.
Tagged with “universe” (16)
By cernpodcast ⋅ July 3, 2007 ⋅
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John Barrowman was invited to visit CERN on 2nd April, to take part in a podcast.
He was accompanied by Scott, his in laws Sterling and Shelagh Gill and his manager Gavin Barker, and they were the guests of Dr Brian Cox.
The Large Hadron collider (LHC) at CERN is the largest scientific experiment ever attempted. The 27km-long machine can recreate the conditions that were present in the Universe less than a billionth of a second after the Big Bang, and it can do this 40 million times a second.
These mini-Big Bangs are surrounded by giant detectors, two of which are ATLAS and ALICE (the other two are called CMS and LHC-B). ATLAS is a general purpose detector – essentially a 7000 tonne, 20m high and 40m long digital camera, that takes pictures of the mini Big Bangs and looks for new particles and phenomena that would have been around in the Universe in those very early times.
ALICE is tuned to do something slightly different – it uses a detector which includes the wonderfully named Time Projection Chamber to look for a quark-gluon plasma, the strange state of matter that we believe filled the Universe in these very early times. The Quark-Gluon plasma is a kind of soup, out of which the normal matter that makes up our bodies, and all the stars and planets we see today, are made.
It was a new and very different experience for John.
For more on John Barrowman, please visit his official website.
Don’t miss the video of John at CERN.
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Thanks for these podcasts! Great stuff!
Posted by Mikael | July 24, 2007, 7:49 pm
Wow, john in Geneva. That’s amazing…
and i missed him, that’s horrible !!!
Posted by bertrand | March 17, 2008, 3:14 pm
John shows himself to be an intelligent, quick witted and astute person.
He shows an understanding of basic principles.
Posted by David | April 17, 2008, 6:24 am
Fantastic. Can’t wait for the rest of the podcasts.
Brian Cox is an inspiration and a personal hero.
Hurrah for CERN and the LHC!
Posted by Sonny | October 14, 2009, 3:31 pm
In science fiction it’s easy to hop into your spaceship and blast off for other stars. But the true distances between stars, and the limits of relativity make interstellar travel almost impossible with our current technology. What would it really take to travel from star to star, exploring the galaxy?
Legendary scientist David Deutsch puts theoretical physics on the back burner to discuss a more urgent matter: the survival of our species. The first step toward solving global warming, he says, is to admit that we have a problem.
Is intelligent life trying to communicate with us from space? Professor Paul Davies explores the potential and limits of research into the origin and evolution of life, and the search for life beyond Earth. Has ET maybe visited our planet ages ago and left us a message? At the Australian National University, Paul Davies discussed his latest book The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone in the Universe?
A discussion about science, society, and the universe with Stephen Colbert, who is out of character, at the Kimberley Academy in Montclair, New Jersey.
Quantum computing genius and Oxford don David Deutsch is a thinker of such scale and audaciousness he can take your breath away. His bottom line is simple and breathtaking all at once.
It’s this: human beings are the most important entities in the universe. Or as Deutsch might have it, in the “multiverse.” For eons, little changed on this planet, he says. Progress was a joke. But once we got the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution, our powers of inquiry and discovery became infinite. Without limit.
Black Holes seem to have bad press that is largely undeserved. This lecture with professor Ian Morison explains what Black Holes are, and how we can discover them even through they can’t be seen.
This program was recorded in collaboration with Gresham College, on October 27, 2010.
Gresham Professor of Astronomy Ian Morison made his first telescope at the age of 12 with lenses given to him by his optician. Having studied Physics, Maths and Astronomy at Oxford, he became a radio astronomer at the Jodrell Bank Observatory and teaches Astronomy and Cosmology at the University of Manchester.
Over 25 years he has also taught Observational Astronomy to many hundreds of adult students in the North West of England. An active amateur optical astronomer, he is a council member and past president of the Society for Popular Astronomy in the United Kingdom.
At Jodrell Bank he was a designer of the 217 KM MERLIN array and has coordinated the Project Phoenix SETI Observations using the Lovell Radio Telescope. He contributes astronomy articles and reviews for New Scientist and Astronomy Now, and produces a monthly sky guide on the Observatory’s website.
Physicist Stephen Hawking got the world’s attention a long time ago. The brilliant scientist, trapped in wheel chair and Lou Gehrig’s disease, whose mind encompassed the cosmos.
In “A Brief History of Time”, Hawking laid out what we knew of the universe in compelling imagery and metaphor.
Now he’s back, with physicist Leonard Mlodinow, for a cosmic update. Not one universe out there, but many, they say. And no need now for God to explain the origin of everything. Science, they say, will do it.
It’s famously called the Final Frontier, and thanks to rapidly developing technology we now know more about the outer reaches of our galaxy than ever. But that leaves unknowns.
Does the universe have any limits? Are there any other earth-like planets out there? And the big one, are we alone?
Addressing the University of Melbourne recently, Britain’s Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees, reports on the latest research.
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