Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 20th Mar 2011

Beyond the Universe - Multiverses and More

Calabi–Yau manifold. (c) Lunch @ wikipedia

This week, we find out what lies beyond the limits of our Universe as we discuss multiverses, higher dimensions, string theory and supersymmetry. We find out how these ideas develop from basic principles and how the LHC can help to confirm, or refute, their existence.  In the news, how quartz creates mountain ranges, progesterone excites sperm, and why birds can't help but fly into things.  Plus, Meera and Dave find out how to engineer electrons to travel close to the speed of light, and Simon Singh explains how to discover the distance to a far away star.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 02:02 - How Quartz Sculpts Continents

    The mineral quartz might hold the key to why continental plates consistently deform in certain regions, a puzzle that’s remained hard to answer despite revolutions in our understanding of plate tectonics...

  • 04:39 - MESSENGER Orbits Mercury

    This week, news that MESSENGER has become the first space probe ever to be placed into orbit around the planet Mercury has been widely reported. This marks a historic milestone in our exploration of the Solar System, thirty years after the Voyager probes returned superb images o...

  • 08:10 - How Progesterone Excites Sperm

    Also this week, a pair of papers in the journal Nature have shed some light on how human sperm cells react to the presence of progesterone, and this could lead to a whole new type of contraceptive...

  • 14:14 - Why Birds Crash

    Our human eyes may have blinkered us to the way other species see the world, and understanding how birds see could help to reduce the number of fatal collisions with manmade objects such as wind turbines, power cables and even buildings. Now, writing in the journal Ibis, Graham...

  • 17:50 - Would a Mars probe in the Sahara desert detect human civilisation?

    If we fired a scientific probe, similar to what we would send to Mars for example, into the middle of the sahara desert, if we just analysed the data coming from it, how much of our modern civilisation would we be able to detect with the sensors on the probe? Vince Mills

  • 20:41 - Planet Earth - Carbon Capture and Storage

    One of the most promising technologies for tackling rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is known as ‘Carbon Capture and Storage’. The idea here is that you pump carbon dioxide from power stations into a rock, rather than into the atmosphere. But you do need to have ...

  • 26:03 - Beyond Our Universe

    Brian Greene, author of "The Hidden Reality" explains the possibility and probability of there being more than one Universe....

  • 34:49 - Supersymmetry and the LHC

    Any hypothesis on multiverses will remain just that, a hypothesis, until experimental physicists can find observations to support or refute these ideas. Dr Chris Lester joins us to discuss his work on the LHC ATLAS detector...

  • 40:39 - Naked Engineering - Synchrotrons

    Meera and Dave have been out to the Diamond synchrotron, an electron accelerator, based in Didcot, Oxfordshire where head of engineering Jim Kay gave them a tour of the facility to see just how electrons can be made to move close to the speed of light using a combination of vacu...

  • 48:02 - How much progress will we make if we discover the Higgs boson?

    How much progress will be made in science if we find out that the Higgs boson really exists?

  • 49:44 - Could heavier elements be formed in a massive enough star?

    Given that the heaviest elements are forged during a supernova event, is it theoretically possible that there could be heavier naturally occurring elements that we don't know about if there was a star massive enough to forge them? 

  • 51:36 - Where would extra dimensions reside?

    Dear Naked Scientists, While having a look at string theory, I came across the possibility of there being more than 3 dimensions, in some versions of the theory there are 11, in some 26, etc. For a while now I have been trying to contemplate on how these dimensions would fit ...

  • 52:32 - How can you determine the distance to a star?

    Hi Dr. Chris Your Podcast, naked astronomy, ask the naked scientist are all very interesting and excellent for science hungry people like us. Great companion during my daily walk. My question is on astronomy and very simple. When you look at distant object like stars, th...

 

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