Welcome to the Titanium Physicists Podcast

My 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.

About the Physicists
Hosted by Dr. Ben Tippett
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Episode 74: Jinglebell Sweaters with Diana Goodman

So. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging works on the basis of looking at how the nuclei of atoms interact with big external magnetic fields. but all of the electrons in an atom also have little magnetic fields, so… we can do the same sort of thing to the electrons in an atom! the technique is called […]

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Episode 73: An episode with glass with Bobak Ferdowsi

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

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Episode 72: Moonquake

Okay i don’t want to alarm you but the moon is shrinking it’s getting smaller. 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 […]

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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 […]

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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!   […]

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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. 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, […]

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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 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 […]

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Episode 67: A Phonon Call

Oh man! It’s season 6! Listen. Today’s episode is bananas. 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 […]

applied-physicsastronomy-and-astrophysics

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! 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 […]

applied-physicsastronomy-and-astrophysicsparticle-physicsquantum-mechanics

Episode 65: New Ways of Looking With Elizabeth Bear

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 […]

general-relativity

Episode 64: E and N (The edges of Einstein)

Okay, so Consider something. The theory of relativity is bananas. It makes all sorts of really really hard to believe claims about the nature of reality. So why would we entertain such nonsense? because it’s “true”? nothing’s ‘true’ in science. We believe it because it’s SUPPORTED WITH EVIDENCE. so in this episode, we’re going to […]

astronomy-and-astrophysics

Episode 63: Worldbuilding with Patrick McHale

Hey so. there are planets around other stars. We know this for a fact. we can detect them in all sorts of different ways. WE CAN EVEN SEE THEM occasionally. the crazy thing is that the other planetary systems out there don’t look very much like our own! So, we’ve brought in an expert on […]

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*NONEPISODE* ben’s feelings

I Just want to take a moment to celebrate this enormous achievement. The LIGO collaboration has just announced that it has directly detected the gravitational wave signal from a pair of colliding black holes. We have already done a ton of shows on the topic (here is a list), so i’m going to leave the […]

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GRAVITATIONAL WAVES

So. before this coming thursday, ye might be interested in refreshing yourself on the topic of GRAVITATIONAL WAVES. I should probably do an episode on them OH WAIT I ALREADY DID! you will need to know four things 1. how gravitational wave interferometers (LIGO) work  2. The Laws of black hole merger.  3. The “sound” […]

astronomy-and-astrophysicsgeneral-relativity

Episode 62: Black Bells with Brent Knopf and Matt Sheehy

Take a black hole and throw something into it. it doesn’t matter what. A phone. A Neighbour. A Taco. Whatever. As it falls in, the black hole will start to emit gravitational waves. at a very specific tone. like a bell. You can tell what kind of black hole it is by the tone its […]

applied-physicsbasic-physicsquantum-mechanics

Episode 61: Levitating Trains with Erika Ensign

So I was all “hey Darren what should we do a show on.” and he was like “vortex super conductors”     i think what he probably actually said was “magnetic vortices in type 2 superconductors” but by then i wasn’t listening because those words together are awesome. How was I to know how awesome […]

astronomy-and-astrophysics

Episode 60: Meters of Interference with Ben Acker

AWWW YEAAAHHHH Apparently if you get enough short-sighted old folks together, and keep them talking: they can, as a group, see better than anyone. It sounds crazy, but our radio telescopes use it to see very very clearly. The trick called “radio interferometry”, and it’s used to see so deep into the dark, you can’t even […]

particle-physics

Episode 59: Strange Truth and Charming Beauty with Ryan North

THERE IS NOTHING STRONGER THAN THE STRONG FORCE!! IT IS THE STRONGEST FORCE THERE IS! it’s a force that’s so strong that its residue is what sticks positive charges together in a nucleus. We’re talking QUARKS! we’re talking GLUONS! we’re talking STRANGE CHARGE and the EIGHTFOLD WAY and TRUTH AND BEAUTY and QUANTUM CHROMODYNAMICS. this […]

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