Welcome to the Titanium Physicists Podcast

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Ben Tippett_0142My name is Dr. Ben Tippett, and I have some people I would like you to meet. Over the course of my travels, I have collected a team of the world’s smartest, most clear thinking, and well spoken physicists and astronomers.

I call them my Titanium Physicists!

Every episode, I bring together two of my physicists with some of the most fun and interesting people I have ever met, and we have a conversation about a wizard-level physics topic.  It’s fun, and fascinating, and entirely unique.

If there is a specific physics topic you are interested in learning more about, have a look through our “Topics” section. The blog below will feature our most recent episodes as they are posted.

Episode 73: An episode with glass with Bobak Ferdowsi

Finally, a little glass from the titanium physicists podcast.
this episode is fascinating!!

hold onto your glass

hold onto your glass

the deal with glass is that it’s not a crystal.
i’m sure you’ve heard that before but what does it mean?
the answer is amazing.

materials science is amazing!!!

our guest today is Bobak Ferdowsi, the handsomest man at NASA. You can follow him on twitter right here, and his webpage is here,  but if you keep following him you might end up wandering around a distant planet for the rest of your life.

Our physicists are Dr. Jessica Rimsza, a materials physicist currently at Sandia National Labs; and Dr. Jane Cook, a materials physicist who is the chief scientist at the Corning Museum of Glass.

Physicists:Dr. Meg Rosenburg, Dr. Briony Horgan

Intro Music: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 

Exit Music: John Vanderslice 

Episode 72: Moonquake

Okay

i don’t want to alarm you but the moon is shrinking

it’s getting smaller.6eV3W2q

and smaller

and smaller.

and as it shrinks, its surface SHAKES.

and we’ve known for years.

The unchanging moon, sitting in the sky since the dawn of time? It is a figment of our collective imagination.

Today’s guest is an expert on Imaginary Worlds! Indeed, Eric Molinsky hosts a podcast by that very name!

To help me through all of this, I have recruited two notable planetary physicists! Meg Rosenburg and Briony Horgan. oh man this episode rocks.

Physicists:Dr. Meg Rosenburg, Dr. Briony Horgan

Intro Music: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 

Exit Music: John Vanderslice 

Episode 71: NeutriYES or NeutriNO

Okay, i’m going to be straight with you: i couldn’t think of a good pun for this episode. I’ve been working on it for so long, I just published it with the best name i could think. I’m sorry i’ve let you down.

BUT THIS EPISODE WILL NOT LET YOU DOWN BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING.

beams of neutrinos!

remember neutrinos? the little particles that nothing can touch?

well we make beams of them.

why? how?

these are great questions.

to ask them, i’ve invited WILL SMITH. Will is a science and technology journalist par excellence.One of the founders of the tested.com websites, his current project is to start the world’s first virtual reality TV talk show: The Foo show!

Physicists:Dr. Ken Clark and Dr. Tia Michelli

Intro Music: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 

Exit Music: John Vanderslice 

 

 

Episode 70: Muon, Science cat, Muon

Muons are very small fundamental particles that are much heavier than they should be. their name is pronounced “mew-on” btws.

anyway, they fall apart pretty quickly, but they rain down on us from the upper

atmosphere at almost the speed of light. It’s magical, and fascinating and pretty useful. They cascade down from spaaace!

 

Our Guest this time is Sarah Gailey, the author of “River of Teeth” a story about hippos versus cowboys!!  She also wrote a ton of awesome essays about harry potter and you can also follower her on twitter.

 

Physicists:Dr.Ryan Martin and Diana Cowern (host of Physics girl youtube videos!!!)

Intro Music: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 

Exit Music: John Vanderslice 

Episode 69: Super Hyper Fire Hose Bucket Challenge

There is a mystery.

in the center of our galaxy is an ENORMOUS black hole.
MILLIONS OF TIMES the mass of the sun.

Stars orbiting the black hole, 4 million times heavier than the sun, at the center of our galaxy

Stars orbiting the black hole, 4 million times heavier than the sun, at the center of our galaxy

so large that it throws enormous stars around like they were pebbles thrown by an elephant. not a human, human’s aren’t heavy enough. an elephant.

but that’s not the mystery.

you know, these are the most powerful things in the universe, and as gas pours into them they are capable of producing light powerful enough to outshine entire galaxies… and we’re not even quite sure how all of that business with the plasma and the gas and the magnetic fields and the spiralling in works.

and that’s a mystery, but it’s not THE mystery.

see… in order for them to reach their ENORMOUS SIZE would, as normal physics would have it, take LONGER THAN THE AGE OF THE UNIVERSE. hahaha! what a wonderful thing to discover!

Today our guest is a person I’ve wanted to meet for years: The founder of the Skepchick website, Rebecca Watson. Here is her Twitter, here is her Youtube channel, and here is her Patreon page.

Physicists:Dr. Katie Mack and Hannalore Gerling-Dunsmore

Intro Music: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 

Exit Music: John Vanderslice 

Episode 68: The Shadow of Creation

Okay, lets get the spelling over first:
“The Sunyaev–Zel’dovich Effect.

The idea is that the photons we see from the cosmic microwave

This is the Picture of Temperatures/Densities in the Cosmic Microwave Background. It was taken by the WMAP satellite!

This is the Picture of Temperatures/Densities in the Cosmic Microwave Background. It was taken by the WMAP satellite!

background will backlight everything that we can see. Most things don’t really interact with these cold photons… but some things can. The hot gasses surrounding giant clusters of galaxies.

and so, we can see the shadows of these things in the cosmic microwave background pattern!

OH MAN OH MAN!

The guest is Ted Leo, the dude who made the intro to our show!!

Physicists: Danica Marsden and Michael Zemcov

Intro Music: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 

Exit Music: John Vanderslice 

Episode 67: A Phonon Call

Oh man! It’s season 6!

Listen. Today’s episode is bananas.

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it’s about a type of thing called a “quasiparticle:” a phenomena that acts like a particle.
Today we’re talking about Phonons: quantized vibrations in a crystal.

that’s right. vibrations in a crystal are mathematically particles.

Absolutely bananas.

Today’s guests are Megan and Anthony Leon from Hawaii!!!

Physicists: Fiona Burnell, Darren Peets

Intro Music: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 

Exit Music: John Vanderslice 

Episode 66: Life on Mars with Zach Weinersmith

apparently it’s not unreasonable that we should expect to find signs of life on mars. It’s a totally serious and interesting field of astrophysics!Martian_face_viking_cropped

We invite Zach Weinersmith to converse with Dr. Briony Horgan and Dr. Catherine Neish, and we talk about all of the crazy things we know about mars.

listen after the end to hear a bananas conversation about mars probes!!

Physicists: Briony Horgan, Catherine Neish

Intro Music: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 

Exit Music: John Vanderslice 

 

Episode 65: New Ways of Looking With Elizabeth Bear

a ccd is a thing inside a camera

hey.
how does a digital camera work?
no, not all the lenses. lenses are baby things.
how do you take the light, and turn it into digital signals?

we’re talking: CCDs,CMOS cameras, MKIDs, and superconducting bolometers!

it’s a wild day on the titanium physicists podcast! we’re talking about how LIGHT SENSING INSTRUMENTS WORK!

Our guest this time is Elizabeth Bear, award winning speculative fiction author.

Physicists: Danica Marsden and Suresh Sivanandam

Intro Music: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 

Exit Music: John Vanderslice 

Transcript: Ep_65_New_Ways_Of_Looking