Science Podcasts

Naked Scientists episode

Tue, 7th Jan 2014

Why don't microwaves spark off themselves?

A microwave (c) Dave Ansell

The Naked Scientists tackle your questions, from how hail storms come about to why the Mediterranean Sea has such small tides. And why do people often favour walking on one particular side of the road?

Plus, we look at what science might hit the headlines in 2014, from China's ambitions for manned spaceflight, to new graphene-based electronics.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:57 - How can I make fireworks different colours?

    We made gunpowder at our sixth form using the standard recipe with potassium , charcoal and sulphur. We wanted to try and change the colour of the flame by using different metal salts, strontium, copper and magnesium nitrates, but these didn't burn. I was wondering if you...

  • 03:25 - Can light age?

    I had a dream about the use of old light to solve the disappearance of a woman. is possible?

  • 06:25 - Graphene in mass market manufacturing

    Graphene looks set to enter mass market manufacturing in 2014...

  • 10:04 - Why do people walk on the left or right?

    As a local guy, I'm disabled and use a mobility scooter to get around a lot and crossing Christs Piece and New Square especially, in Cambridge, the vast majority of people seem to walk on the right hand side of the paved area. I was in town a few days ago and it was much quieter ...

  • 13:04 - Why do trolley wheels rattle?

    To keep fit, I deliver weekend newspapers. So I've got a trolley for doing that. The trolley in question has got no suspension, but it does have fairly broad wheels to take a load. Now, I've noticed that when the trolley is empty, if I'm putting it along the path, it's actually ...

  • 17:08 - How fast does gravity propagate?

    Hi If you could instantly switch off the sun's gravity, how long would it take for the earth to revert to a galaxy centered orbit? During the 8 miniutes that the zero gravity wave travels to earth does the effect of the sun's gravity gradually diminish or will it be instant...

  • 21:40 - How much was understood in ancient India?

    I got a film, “Under Siege”, a Steven Seagal film. Basically, they mentioned – well, this is just a check of veracity of the statement with you obviously. Well, they mentioned how physicists understood the mechanisms of nuclear technology after they had perused ancient Indian t...

  • 25:01 - Why don't microwaves spark off themselves?

    The inner walls of a microwave oven are made of metal; so why does the oven explode when another piece of metal is placed inside it?

  • 26:57 - The Rosetta Mission

    In 2014, the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft will make the first soft landing on a comet.

  • 33:50 - Why is there no liquid form of carbon?

    Just wondering why there is no liquid form of carbon? I can't think of any other element which doesn't have a liquid form. Is that the case? Cheers and thanks for your wonderful podcasts, Peter.

  • 36:30 - Robotic Telesales

    Are commercial companies using robots to sell you products? And how realistic are they?

  • 44:50 - Why are there two high tides a day?

    If the tides are caused by the gravity of the moon, why is there a high tide on the side of the Earth furthest from the moon as well as on the closest side? Peter Conway

  • Scheme of an atom (c) Emichan @ Wikipedia

    56:40 - Do electrons perpetually spin around atoms?

    Hi Chris, always wondered how come an electron seems to "perpetually" spin around a nucleus? What forces are involved and how come friction doesn't play a part etc etc? with thanks john from greensborough, Victoria Australia

  • China's latest move in the space-race

    China has the world’s most ambitious space programme, and 2014 will see the nation take some important steps forward...



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