Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 16th Oct 2010

The Science of Turbulence

Wake Vortex Study at Wallops Island (c) NASA Langley Research Center (NASA-LaRC), Edited by Fir0002

It's a bumpy ride on this week's Naked Scientists, as we explore the science of turbulence.  We'll find out what turbulence is and why it needs some of the most powerful computers in the world to study it.  We'll discover how puffs of water can terminate turbulence in tubes, and how convection keeps the temperature just right in new buildings.  In the news this week, we hear about a potential new super-vaccine for TB, the comet that turned into an asteroid and the prospect of new low-cost gold-free leads for your hi fi.  Plus, in Question of the Week, we find out why some people prefer not to be backwards in travelling forwards...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:35 - New Vaccine Could Protect Against Resistant TB

    A new vaccine against tuberculosis could not only boost the effectiveness of the existing childhood BCG vaccine, but could also offer protection against multidrug resistant forms of the disease...

  • 03:28 - The Comet that Never Was

    In a case of cosmic forensics that could rival even an episode of CSI, scientists have pinpointed a moment 18 months previously when two asteroids collided...

  • 11:35 - The Rolls-Royce Science Prize

    This week, the winner of the Rolls-Royce Annual Science Prize was announced during a special ceremony held at the science museum in London. Chris Smith was there to hear who won...

  • 21:56 - Planet Earth - Plastics on the Beach

    Walk along any beach almost anywhere in the world and you'll find plastics washed up on the shore. From plastic bags to lighters, bottle tops to flip-flops. Plastics have even turned up on the coast of Antarctica! But it’s not only the visual effect of this human detritus tha...

  • 27:39 - What is Turbulence?

    When most people hear the word ‘turbulence’ they immediately think of being thrown around inside an airplane and perhaps, needing to use those little paper bags that they supply us with. But the way that it affects flights is just one aspect of a very large and a very complicat...

  • 34:35 - Terminating Turbulence in Tubes

    Turbulence occurs in fluids and one way we often transport fluids around is in pipes. Tobias Schneider from Harvard explains that in order to reduce turbulence in pipes, it helps to add some turbulence to the mix...

  • 55:36 - How can corn starch and water both flow and be firm?

    This is Steve from Thailand.  I am wondering how the properties of a corn starch and water mixture change so that it flows slowly like thick maple syrup when poured from a bowl, and if you hit a bowl of it with your fist, the impact causes it to harden. Thanks Steve Albrecht ...

  • 56:41 - If wind has zero resistance, does it make a sound?

    If wind has zero resistance, does it make a sound? Since we can't see wind, only the things it moves, I would think we could not hear wind, unless it his some kind of mater which causes turblence.

  • 58:42 - Why does moving backwards make you feel ill?

    I was on a train the other day in one of the backward-facing seats. I heard another traveler comment that when she rides for too long in these seats, she starts to feel a little ill. I've noticed that, too. And so I wondered why our brains don't seem to like moving backwards. Can...

  • Wind in a bowl - convection

    Make your own model weather system in a bowl of water.



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