Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 16th Dec 2012

The Science Behind Broadcasting

RCA 44 Ribbon Microphone (c) LuckyLouie

How does radio reach out of the studio?  This week, we tune in explore the science and technology of broadcasting to find out how a voice hits the airwaves.  We discover the difference between AM, FM and DAB, and use basic physics to build our own microphone.  Plus, the 7000 year old cheese and the surprisingly simple solution to a box jellyfish sting.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:36 - The Basics of Broadcasting

    How can my voice reach you at home? We explore the science and the technology of radio broadcasting, to find out how a sound that originates in my throat gets captured, converted, and then beamed around the world...

  • 10:56 - Making a Microphone

    We find out how microphones capture sound by asking Naked Scientist Dave Ansell if he could build one from scratch, and to do that, he looked back into the history books...

  • 18:54 - Building a Biological Pacemaker

    Normal heart cells can be converted into specialised pacemaker cells using gene therapy, and this could pave the way to building a biological pacemaker, according to research published in the journal Nature Biotechnology...

  • 21:53 - 7000 Year Old Cheese

    This week, scientists have uncovered residues of 7,000-year-old cheese. Chemist Professor Richard Evershed from the University of Bristol is one of the authors of a paper in the journal Nature this week which describes how he and his team have made this rather milky discovery.....

  • 27:15 - Solution to box jellyfish venom

    Scientists have discovered how to block the action of the venom of the lethal box jellyfish family...

  • 31:32 - Porcupine Quills Inspire Better Needles

    Porcupine quills penetrate skin better than a hypodermic needle because of tiny backwards-facing barbs at their tips. This trick could now inspire better medical equipment such as needles and tissue adhesives...

  • 45:08 - Advantages of Digital Radio

    We’ve already heard about AM and FM, but now, there's also DAB – that's digital audio broadcast. The BBC first started broadcasting digital radio back in 1995 and now, most of their output can be found on a DAB radio. But, if FM was working, then why go digital?

  • 51:59 - Why is DAB so delayed?

    The big disadvantage of a DAB is the delay. How can we we get the timing right for digital radio?

  • 53:01 - Why do I get radio fatigue?

    Why is it that some stations become tiring to listen to after even a short period of time - e.g. I can't listen to Radio 1 for long but used to and my daughter finds no problem with the signal.

  • 55:22 - How do touch sensitive switches work?

    Hi Naked Scientists Team! I hope your fantastic show will go on next year and the decision makers from the BBC will be changing their mind. There was an intriguing thing that happened today and we couldn't explain it to ourselves. Every time you touch a touch desk lamp it goes...



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