About The Physicists

Ben Tippett

Ben is a Theoretical Physicist and Mathematician. He got his PhD from the math department at the University of New Brunswick. He sometimes contributes to the science… sort of podcast as the on call canadian. In his spare time he likes to write papers about superhero physics or zombies. In his spare spare time he does research on black holes and gravity and stuff.


He is currently a Math and Physics instructor at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus.



David Tsang

Dave is a genius! He got his PhD from Cornell and is now at Caltech. He works on relativistic astrophysics, but I’m pretty sure that he can do anything he wants. His hobbies are being smarter, more fun and friendlier than anyone else. maybe I should ask him to write his own writeup.

Episodes: 1,2,3,4,6,9,10, 25, 29, 40, 4753


Jocelyn Read

Jocelyn Read is a super smart lady. She got her PhD from the university of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She studies general relativity, and is a specialist in neutron stars.


Episodes: 1,2,3,4,6,8,9,10,16,20, 25, 27, 29,36, 39, 43, 47



Catherine Neish

Catherine Neish is one of the most fascinating astrophysicists I know. She got her PhD the University of arizona in Planetary science.  She’s currently at  the John’s Hopkins University  applied physics laboratory. In her spare time she almost becomes a canadian astronaut.


Episodes: 5, 28, 40,6366




Charles “Charlie” Barnhart 

Charlie Barnhart is one smart dude.  He got his Phd at the University of California Santa Cruz. He’s currently a postdoc at stanford working for global climate and energy project. charlie is also on the hit science podcast “science sort of…

Episodes: 5,35




Rupinder Brar

Rupinder is one of the friendliest people I know. He’s so good at making science fun, that in 2010 he won TVO’s lecturer of the year award. He got his PhD  at Queen’s University. He’s currently a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ontario.

Episode: 7, 33,54, 60





 Joanna Woo

Joanna Woo (or “Jo” as I often call her. I wonder if she minds?) is one of the cleverest astronomers I know. We did our undergraduate together at UBC, and she’s currently finishing her PhD in Astrophysics at the
Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem .

Episode: 7


 Fiona Burnell
Fiona is one of the smartest people I know. She’s the kind of person who learns to play the cello because it’s fun and cool looking. She knows so much theoretical physics that It makes you feel like you don’t really need to know as much as you did before. Knowing Fiona is like owning an encyclopedia!  We did our undergraduate together at UBC, And then she went to Princeton to do a PhD. She’s Currently at Oxford.

Episode: 8, 16,18, 48, 51




Ken Clark

Ken Clark is an old friend of mine, and if memory serves, one of the first actual experimentalists we’ve had on the show. He used to work on WIMP detectors, but he’s currently at Penn state working on ICE CUBE.

Episode: 11, 13,20, 21,30,32,38, 44, 4956, 59





Amanda Bauer

Amanda Bauer Is a Super Scientist and astronomer who currently works in australia. She Blogs and tweets under the name “astropixie”. She Is a super-cool astronomer with a gift for explaining things.

Episode: 11, 22, 32,34, 54



Sean Moran

Sean Moran Is a Genius Astronomer who got his Phd at Caltech. He’s  currently a postdoc at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore. He’s an observational astronomer who looks at galaxy evolution. My sister introduced us. They met at Harvard. I think it’s a type of cheese, right? the really fatty one? Anyway! who meets someone else eating cheese?

Episode: 12, 14, 19, 50




Laura Hainline

Laura Hainline. got her PhD in astronomy at Caltech as well, and she’s currently working as a postdoc at the United States Naval Academy. She studies accretion disks around black holes. Either way, I guess you could stretch out a bad pun and call what she does “Naval Gazing”. Wokka Wokka.

Episode: 12, 14, 19,2650




Laura Gladstone

usually I put portraits in these shots, but this picture is SO COOLLaura Gladstone is a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “But she’s not a Doctor, Ben!” Shutup. 2 points:  1. she is awesome. this isn’t called the titanium Doctors show. are you some kind of elitist?  2. she has gone to ANTARCTICA to work on the WORLDS BIGGEST MAN MADE ANYTHING! that’s 2 things I have never dared to hope to do. So yes. she is better that almost everyone i’ve ever met. She Studies Neutrino Oscillations.

Episode: 13


Michael Zemcov
Mike Zemcov is an experimental cosmologist. He did his Undergrad degree with me at UBC. We once went on a car trip to California, and he did most of the driving because I am bad with standard transmissions. He is a very nice man and also a genius.

Anyway, after that he went to get a PhD from Cardiff University in Wales, and right now he’s at Caltech.

Mike is on Episode 15,26,31, 41, 4558


 Vicky Scowcroft 

Vicky Scowcroft is an Astrophysicist. She measures how fast the universe is expanding. She got her PhD from Liverpool John  Moores.

I have not adventured with her, but she’s Dave’s friend, and any friend of dave is a friend of mine!

Also, she has a knitting video podcast! it’s called One Starry Knit.

Vicky  is on Episode 15, 33, 41, 46, 53



Brian Sullivan

Brian got his phd from dartmouth college in hanover. He studies Plasma physics where he wrote his phd on magnetic reconnection.  He’s currently the physics instructor at the maine school of science and math.

I met him through my wife Bethany, who went to the same highschool as his wife Bethany. That School was the Maine School of Science and math. You might think that I’m making up details by repeating proper nouns in reverse order… but this is not the case.

Brian is on Episode 17, 48

Jennifer Garst

 It’s Jennifer Garst! Jennifer is a master’s student at the university of Memphis, where she studies the coronal heating problem. The deal is, as I understand it, that the corona of the sun is way hotter than it should be. I don’t know if they’ve tried putting a cold lime in it… That is, as I understand it, how frat boys deal with their coronal heating problems.

I met her through Jocelyn! so… If you want more info about Jennifer Garst, go bug Jocelyn.

Jennifer is on Episode 17

Darren Peets

Darren Peets is a remarkable guy. I met him when he was a grad student at UBC and I was an undergrad. He was the guy who lived in the computer lab who knew all the unix commands. but he also did other amazing things like: ran a fire hydrant in several elections and singlehandedly killed an attempt to put a high-rise condominium complex in the middle of campus down wind from the chemistry chimneys (he was the only one who noticed).

Darren has more fun than everyone combined. maybe if you are lucky, when you die, you will be reincarnated as Darren Peets.

He’s an expert on superconductors and studies magnet stuff as a postdoc at the Max Planck institute.

Darren is on Episode 1861

Tia Miceli

I met Tia when I was Trolling around the PhD comic’s 2 minute thesis contest looking for a particle physicist who is good at talking. maybe you should go vote for her.

She is a PhD candidate at UC Davis, and she studies Z decay. One day she will be rich and famous… surely.

Episode:  21, 23, 24,30,31,38, 4952, 5559



Zach Weinersmith

 Zach Weinersmith Is one of those crazy smart guys you meet from time to time. apparently he looks like Ron Weasley and he’s married to Kelly Weinersmith. He’s superfamous for his webcomic  Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and our sister podcast: The Weekly Weinersmith. As Is apparent from the topics of his comics, he has finished a good part of a physics degree, and I was so impressed by the questions he asked in episode 9, I decided to try him on an episode about some cool classical phenomena.

He Appears In Episode:  22 

Henry Reich

How many people can you list who have brought Millions of people to love physics? don’t name me. Most people I know only listen to my show to be polite. So… Carl Sagan… and Maybe Isaa azimov… Stephen Hawking sold about 10 million books, but how many of them were actually read? So…

Your list should have the name of Henry Reich on it. M-M-m-MILLIONS of people love his work. he makes little videos explaining physics bit-by-bit, and puts them on youtube. 35 million videos have been watched. here’s his facebook page.   This guy has explainy chops!

He appears on episode: 23

Matt Buckley

Dr. Matthew Buckley is Very smart.

He’s Dave’s friend, and decided to come on the show with 2 hours notice. He’s rather brave.  He’s a Particle Theorist and quite clever.

Here is His webpage.

He appears on Episode 24

Miles Steininger

Miles is an old friend of mine from UBC. He’s currently a patent clerk. Everyone was jealous when he became a patent clerk (that’s what Einstein was. jeez.) We used to have lots of fun. DID YOU KNOW that his spine is too stiff to properly get put in the boston crab? YOU DO NOW!

He only wants to talk about information theory on the show.

He appears on episode 27, 42

Sebastien Besse

Okay so I was like. “Catherine, what do you want to do a show about?” and she was like “Lunar swirls”. so i was like “uhh, find me a good expert but he has to be cool.  and she was like “Dr. Sebastien Besse!”. Good work everyone.

He appears on episode 28


James Silvester

James Silvester, or “Big Jim Silvers” as I have always called him, is a legend. I met him back at Queen’s university where he quickly became everyone’s favourite person because of his quick wit and friendly nature. He is a podcaster as well! HIs Astrarium Podcast is really quite wonderful. 

Jim appears on episode 34, 46


Omair Taibah

Omair Appears on episode 37

Katherine Brown

Katherine Appears on Episode 37, 42, 56

Andrew Steiner

Ander Appears on Episode 39

Katie Mack

Katie appears on episode 43, 45, 5864

Kiri Nichol

Kiri appears on episode 44

Abby Shockley 

Abby appears on episode 5155, 61

Ryan Martin

Ryan appears on episode 52

Nicole Prent

Nicole appears on episode 57

Jaqueline Townsend

Jaqueline appears on episode 57

Sabrina Stierwalt

Sabrina appears on episode 60

Chiara Mingarelli

Chiara appears on episode 62

Leo Stein

Leo appears on episode 62, 64

Brian Jackson

Brian appears on episode 63

Danica Marsden

Danica appears on episode 65

Suresh Sivanandam

Suresh appears on episode 65

Briony Horgan

Briony Appears on episode 66