Episode 21: Things Fall Apart with Dan Jankowski

Today’s topic is particle decay. It turns out that particles occasionally turn into piles of other particles at random. It seems like a superficial topic, if you are a jerk, but many fundamental things are at play!

Speaking of Playing, this week’s guest  is my old friend Dan Jankowski. One christmas, he sent me a Hanna Montana activity book. these things do not get forgotten, dan. THERE ARE MEMORIES WHICH DO NOT DECAY!

Also, we have a Store. I’m not going to lie, this podcast doesn’t cost all that much per month. but it does cost something. So I’ve started selling RAD T-Shirts (thanks, chelsea anderson!). If you wear them around, maybe people ask why you look so smart and then you can tell them about my titanium physicists.

Physicists: Ken Clark, Tia Miceli

Intro Music: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 

Exit Music: John Vanderslice 

Transcript: Ep_21_Things_Fall_Apart

4 thoughts on “Episode 21: Things Fall Apart with Dan Jankowski

  1. “Well, we’re physicists, we want to be masters of the universe, we want to be clairvoyant.” You rock Tia! Thanks for making this :)

  2. I love your podcasts, but find myself in the awkward position of needing to correct your comments about carbon-14 dating. I recently finished reading a fascinating book called Nature’s Clocks by Doug Macdougall, and carbon-14 dating is, of course, discussed extensively. (Along with zircons, which are even cooler!)
    Carbon-14 is created by cosmic rays in the earth’s upper atmosphere, but they are actually created from nitrogen atoms, not carbon atoms.
    The other inaccuracy is that the formation of carbon-14 is not constant, it depends on the strength of solar radiation which varies over time. A graph comparing c-14 levels and age isn’t a straight line, it’s a sloping sawtooth (with comparatively shallow teeth.) the calibration is done using dendrochronology — tree ring dating, another fascinating topic.
    Minor quibbles, perhaps. Anyhow I love your podcasts, aside from the relative paucity of northwest beers. Keep up the good work!

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