Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 11th Mar 2012

Sensors and Sensibility

A Qantas Boeing 747-400 approaching runway 27L at London Heathrow Airport (c) Photographed by Adrian Pingstone in July 2004

Smart sensors can open a window into the environment.  In this week's Naked Scientists Podcast we find out how networks of sensors around Heathrow airport can study how planes alter the atmosphere, and how a similar network can monitor an Oxfordshire floodplain.  Plus, we find out how the tools of a surgeon are helping to keep jet engines in flying form.  In the news, we hear how gut bugs promote blood vessel growth, why fresh fruit and veg gives you a healthy hue and how scientists are analysing antimatter with microwaves...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 16:50 - Gut Bugs Promote Blood Vessel Growth

    The bacteria that live in your intestines change the way that blood vessels form inside your gut. New research identifies how this happens and offers potential new targets for treating intestinal diseases and obesity...

  • 20:43 - You are (the colour of) what you eat

    Your daily fruit and veg intake discernibly dictates the colour of your face, new research has shown.

  • 25:55 - Analysing Antimatter with Microwaves

    Scientists have taken the first steps towards interrogating anti-matter and find out more about this mysterious material...

  • 33:55 - Happiness is in your Right Hand

    How you type a word could change the way you emotionally respond to it, and words typed with mainly the right hand seem to make people happier. In fact, the layout of letters on a keyboard may even be shaping the way we use language...

  • 37:54 - Antarctic Invasion and Chimp Cops!

    Invasive plant species on the Western Antarctic Peninsula, virtual models of the human body, carbon clues to help ants find their way home and policing behaviour in chimpanzees...

  • 42:03 - The Bulging Arctic Ocean - Planet Earth Online

    British scientists recently used satellites to discover a bulging dome of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean….and it’s getting bigger. But why is it there, and could it alter our climate?

  • 47:02 - Sensing Inside a Jet Engine

    Rolls Royce engines are regularly inspected to keep them in tiptop condition and running efficiently, but to do so requires technology that can access some very tricky man-made environments...

  • 54:52 - How would I know if a meterorite was falling towards me?

    If there were a large object, say a meteorite falling straight down where I'm standing, what kind of warning would I notice? Would there be an accompanying sound that could warn people on the ground? Or would I not know until it's too late? Love the show! Daniel Spain Nash...



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My question follows on from the story in the last podcast about observing antimatter.
How do we know that all the galaxies we see in the universe are made of matter and that some of them are not made of antimatter? Is the light generated by antimatter stars different to that generated from stars made of the same matter found in our galaxy? Gravitational effects are expected to be the same. So how do we know that there is an imbalance of antimatter and matter in the observable universe? algatto, Wed, 14th Mar 2012

We know there is a matter/antimatter imbalance/asymmetry in our part of the galaxy.
If there were a matter/antimatter mixture in our galaxy, we would expect to see gamma rays from matter/antimatter annihilation until only one type is left; we don't see this, so we assume that the same imbalance exists throughout our galaxy.
If different galaxies or galaxy clusters were matter and antimatter, we would expect to see some X-Rays/gamma rays from matter/antimatter annihilation on the border of these zones. This is the subject of a current search:
The reason for the matter/antimatter asymmetry is still unclear, but some nuclear reactions are known which have a slight matter/antimatter imbalance. evan_au, Mon, 11th Jun 2012

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