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Science

Physics World Stories Podcast

Physics World

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Physics is full of captivating stories, from ongoing endeavours to explain the cosmos to ingenious innovations that shape the world around us. In the Physics World Stories podcast, Andrew Glester talks to the people behind some of the most intriguing...Show More
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50th anniversary of Apollo 11 – hidden stories

53:06 | Jun 26th

The Physics World Stories podcast investigates some of the lesser known stories from the Apollo era
The story behind the first ever black hole image

36:24 | May 22nd

Physics World Stories explores this feat of science and engineering and the EHT’s prospects for further breakthroughs
The future of the Internet

38:35 | Apr 23rd

Emerging technologies shaping our connected world
Physics World 30th anniversary podcast series – 30 years of the World Wide Web

1:00:15 | Mar 12th

Fifth episode in mini-series revisits the birth of the Web and the challenges it now faces
Physics World 30th anniversary podcast series – high-temperature superconductivity

30:40 | Feb 27th

Fourth episode in mini-series tracks the hype, frustration and renewed hope for this field
Physics World 30th anniversary podcast series – fusion energy

48:34 | Jan 22nd

Third episode in mini-series explores the prospects for fusion as a viable energy source
Physics World Book of the Year 2018

1:05:25 | Dec 17th, 2018

Tune in to the December Physics World Stories podcast to hear from the winner of our 2018 Book of the Year award, as well as catch up with previous winners
Physics World 30th anniversary podcast series – particle physics

43:11 | Oct 23rd, 2018

First episode in mini-series explores the future of particle physics
Communicating science at music festivals

49:38 | Sep 18th, 2018

Talks, plays, poetry and many more innovative approaches
Driving in the future

29:19 | Aug 17th, 2018

How we might wean ourselves off high-carbon transport
A quantum leap for industry

44:56 | Jul 24th, 2018

Exploring the emerging technologies based on quantum physics
Doing business in space

34:35 | Jun 18th, 2018

Asteroid mining, Brexit impacts and the UK’s first spaceport
Learning from the ozone solution

0:00 | May 21st, 2018

Nobel laureate Mario Molina and Lorraine Whitmarsh discuss climate politics
Plant-inspired innovations

15:54 | Apr 18th, 2018

From tackling oil spills with lotus leaves to mangrove-inspired coastal defences
Artificial intelligence: is there anything to fear?

29:33 | Mar 21st, 2018

Polymath Nathan Myhrvold on why he disagreed with his friend Stephen Hawking
Falcon Heavy and Humanity Star: trailblazers or space junk?

32:30 | Mar 15th, 2018

Recent private space launches have provoked public awe but also a few dissenting voices
Physics in 2018

28:58 | Jan 23rd, 2018

Physics World journalists discuss what excites them about the year ahead
Book of the Year 2017

36:20 | Dec 13th, 2017

Matin Durrani and Tushna Commissariat discuss the themes and trends that surround some of the best popular-physics books of 2017, before announcing the winner of our annual book award
Book of the Year 2017

36:20 | Dec 13th, 2017

Physics World book experts Matin Durrani and Tushna Commissariat discuss the themes and trends that surround some of the best popular-physics books of 2017, before announcing the winner of our annual book award
Exploring the cosmos with gravitational waves

38:29 | Nov 9th, 2017

Recent discoveries usher in a new era of multimessenger astronomy
Exploring the cosmos with gravitational waves

38:28 | Nov 9th, 2017

Recent discoveries usher in a new era of multimessenger astronomy
Illuminating a radio icon

30:50 | Oct 10th, 2017

How the historic Lovell telescope was transformed into a multimedia art installation
Illuminating a radio icon

30:49 | Oct 10th, 2017

How the historic Lovell telescope was transformed into a multimedia art installation
How science gets women wrong

44:38 | Sep 21st, 2017

Exploring the gender issues raised in Angela Saini's book Inferior.
How science gets women wrong

44:38 | Sep 21st, 2017

Exploring the gender issues raised in Angela Saini’s book Inferior
Science-themed comedy, are you having a laugh?

35:26 | Aug 30th, 2017

Performers describe the opportunities and challenges of making science funny.
Science-themed comedy: are you having a laugh?

35:26 | Aug 30th, 2017

Performers describe the opportunities and challenges of making science funny
Music and science: a harmonious or discordant duo?

28:01 | Jul 17th, 2017

The fascinating things, and the limits, of what science can tell us about music.
Music and science: a harmonious or discordant duo?

28:02 | Jul 17th, 2017

The fascinating things, and the limits, of what science can tell us about music
How politicians misuse and mangle science

31:13 | Jun 15th, 2017

Exploring the issues behind Dave Levitan's timely new book Not a Scientist.
How politicians misuse and mangle science

31:13 | Jun 15th, 2017

Exploring the issues behind Dave Levitan’s timely new book Not a Scientist
Bees and their magnetic superpower

27:10 | May 11th, 2017

In Physics World's latest podcast we find out how bees use internal compasses to find their way.
Bees and their magnetic superpower

27:10 | May 11th, 2017

How bees use internal compasses to find their way
Exploring the worlds of TRAPPIST-1

29:55 | Apr 6th, 2017

In Physics World's latest podcast we investigate what we know so far about the recently discovered Earth-like planets around TRAPPIST-1.
Exploring the worlds of TRAPPIST-1

29:55 | Apr 6th, 2017

What we know so far about the recently discovered Earth-like planets
Tracking neutrinos in virtual reality

24:38 | Mar 7th, 2017

In Physics World's latest podcast we investigate a VR app that lets you explore the inner workings of the MicroBooNE neutrino detector.
Tracking neutrinos in virtual reality

24:39 | Mar 7th, 2017

VR app lets you explore the inner workings of the MicroBooNE neutrino detector
Nuclear diamonds: the ultimate long-life battery?

29:59 | Feb 9th, 2017

Physics World's latest podcast looks at research into storing nuclear waste in diamonds to create a new kind of power supply.
Book of the Year 2016

24:30 | Dec 14th, 2016

Well written, novel and scientifically interesting for physicists: these are the criteria we use to select the Physics World Book of the Year. In this podcast, you will hear us talk about four of the books on our 10-strong shortlist and announce our ...Show More
Book of the Year 2016

24:30 | Dec 14th, 2016

Physics World book experts Tushna Commissariat and Margaret Harris discuss a few of the best popular-physics books of 2016 and announce the winner of the magazine’s annual book award
Doing physics by ear

21:25 | Nov 24th, 2016

Aqil Sajjad recently finished his postdoc at Harvard University in the US, where he does particle physics research. But unlike most particle physicists, he does physics by ear. That is because Sajjad lost his sight in both eyes when he was a teenager...Show More
Doing physics by ear

21:24 | Nov 24th, 2016

Hear what it's like to do particle physics without sight
Recipe for success with topological materials

07:35 | Oct 25th, 2016

In 2015 Zhong Fang and Hongming Weng were part of a team to predict and confirm that tantalum arsenide is a Weyl semimetal. These exotic materials contain the first evidence for the existence of Weyl fermions, massless particles predicted in 1929 as ...Show More
Recipe for success with topological materials

07:35 | Oct 25th, 2016

Hamish Johnston visits Beijing on a hunt for the elusive Weyl fermions
Still not even wrong

19:09 | Sep 23rd, 2016

Back in the early 2000s, it seemed like string theory was the only game in town when it came to unifying the fundamental forces of nature. But some researchers believed that the theory was already at a dead end. One such person was mathematical physi...Show More
Still not even wrong

19:09 | Sep 23rd, 2016

Ten years after his infamous anti-string-theory book, Peter Woit thinks the subject is more tangled than ever
The monk and the multiverse

13:22 | Aug 23rd, 2016

A journey into the remarkable mind of the 13th-century monk, scholar and proto-cosmologist Robert Grosseteste
The monk and the multiverse

13:22 | Aug 23rd, 2016

Nearly eight centuries ago, an English monk called Robert Grosseteste wrote an astonishing series of treatises about light, colour, sound and other scientific topics. In this podcast, you'll hear from scientists and historians who are re-examining th...Show More
Bringing Native American voices back to life

22:21 | Jul 22nd, 2016

Recordings of songs and speech restored using technology from particle physics
Bringing Native American voices back to life

22:22 | Jul 22nd, 2016

A team at the University of California, Berkeley is using methods from particle physics to digitize historic audio recordings. A technique known as IRENE is used to scan the surfaces of the cylinders to create high-resolution images. Software is then...Show More
Out of this world cuisine

15:30 | Jun 28th, 2016

g-ASTRONOMY merges cosmology with fine dining
Out of this world cuisine

15:31 | Jun 28th, 2016

g-ASTRONOMY is a collaboration between the Imperial College London astrophysicist Roberto Trotta and chef Jozef Youssef, who have embarked on a mission to break down the preconceptions about their respective disciplines. The result is a show called ...Show More
Art McDonald explains why neutrinos continue to amaze physicists

10:53 | May 25th, 2016

First detected 60 years ago, neutrinos provide a window to physics beyond the Standard Model
Art McDonald explains why neutrinos continue to amaze physicists

10:53 | May 25th, 2016

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the direct detection of the neutrino and to celebrate, Physics World caught up with Art McDonald. In this podcast, McDonald explains how his measurement of neutrino oscillation shattered the Standard Model of p...Show More
Physics for all ‒ building a more inclusive discipline

28:16 | Apr 20th, 2016

For the first time, Physics World magazine has devoted an entire issue to looking at ways of making physics a more “inclusive” discipline. This generated a lot of reaction, ranging from e-mails and letters to comments on the website, in person and on...Show More
Physics for all – building a more inclusive discipline

28:17 | Apr 20th, 2016

Feedback and reaction to the March 2016 issue of the magazine on diversity in physics
How to succeed at networking in science

11:14 | Mar 30th, 2016

Make the most of your next conference with these tips from networking experts
How to succeed at networking in science

11:14 | Mar 30th, 2016

For many scientists, networking does not come naturally. We explain what networking really is and convince novices to give it their best shot, while also suggesting a few hints to help more experienced networkers make the most of their next conferenc...Show More
Mary, Queen of Scottish banknotes

19:37 | Feb 23rd, 2016

The life and legacy of Mary Somerville, who will appear on the new RBS £10
Mary, Queen of Scottish banknotes

19:38 | Feb 23rd, 2016

To learn about Somerville's academic achievements and personal life, we visit Oxford University's Somerville College and meet current principal Alice Prochaska, who describes Somerville's formative years and how her influence lives on at the college ...Show More
Rocking the status quo in science

18:40 | Jan 27th, 2016

The working lives of scientists and musicians are more similar than you might think
Rocking the status quo in science

18:41 | Jan 27th, 2016

In recent years, the music community has attempted to counter the traditional cultural message by running rock ‘n’ roll camps for more diverse audiences. Could science borrow some of the formats from these camps to also challenge its status quo?
Book of the Year 2015

27:37 | Dec 15th, 2015

Physics World editor Matin Durrani and reviews editor Margaret Harris discuss some of the year's best popular-physics books and select a winner from a strong shortlist
Book of the Year 2015

27:37 | Dec 15th, 2015

It's been another fine year for physics books, which makes it tough to pick just one as Physics World's Book of the Year 2015. Listen to hear the choice of this year's finest popular-physics book.
Is there life on Mars?

15:55 | Nov 17th, 2015

Lewis Dartnell discusses the search for life on Mars and what forms it might take
Is there life on Mars?

15:55 | Nov 17th, 2015

By examining the micro-organisms that can survive in some of the most extreme conditions here on Earth, astrobiologists hope to gain an understanding of the type of life that could survive in a place like Mars.
The rise of neutron scattering

14:20 | Oct 21st, 2015

Michael Banks visits the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source to find out how the lab is looking to attract more users from industry
The rise of neutron scattering

14:20 | Oct 21st, 2015

Having previously been the preserve of researchers studying superconductivity and magnetism, neutron scattering is now opening up new areas such as investigating archaeological artefacts or studying stars.
Why information grows

11:22 | Sep 22nd, 2015

César Hidalgo explains why information can help us to understand economics
Why information grows

11:22 | Sep 22nd, 2015

Discover why César Hidalgo thinks economies are networks of individuals and people, and what is important is how know-how spreads from one place to another and also why that knowledge sometimes fails to spread.
Inside the particle pyramid

16:42 | Aug 25th, 2015

Using muons to hunt for hidden burial chambers inside Mexico's Pyramid of the Sun
Inside the particle pyramid

16:42 | Aug 25th, 2015

Physics World journalists James Dacey and Matin Durrani were the final visitors to a particle-physics detector located in a tunnel beneath Mexico's Pyramid of the Sun. They reveal how physicists have been using muons to hunt for hidden burial chamber...Show More
Searching for life on other planets

11:45 | Jul 22nd, 2015

Sara Seager is keen to use the next generation of telescopes to look for evidence of extraterrestrial life
Searching for life on other planets

11:45 | Jul 22nd, 2015

Does life exist on other planets? People have been asking that question ever since humanity first realized that there are other worlds beyond the Earth. In this podcast, Sara Seager explains how scientists will use the next generation of telescopes t...Show More
Going beyond 'shut up and calculate'

12:51 | Jun 24th, 2015

Science journalist Amanda Gefter talks about her quest to understand what modern physics has to say about the ultimate nature of reality
Going beyond 'shut up and calculate'

12:51 | Jun 24th, 2015

Science journalist Amanda Gefter talks about her quest to understand what modern physics has to say about the ultimate nature of reality
How to fund physics using the wisdom of crowds

09:18 | May 19th, 2015

Mark Jackson explains why small private donations should pay for research projects
How to fund physics using the wisdom of crowds

09:18 | May 19th, 2015

Do you have a burning desire to fund physics research? Or perhaps you are a physicist who has grown weary of making endless applications for government-funded research grants and is looking for new sources of money. Mark Jackson explains why he creat...Show More
The masters of antimatter

21:03 | Apr 21st, 2015

A look inside CERN's Antimatter Factory and a day in the life of an antimatter tamer
The masters of antimatter

21:03 | Apr 21st, 2015

Thanks to huge advances over the past decade, scientists are now at the point where they can stably create and trap antimatter atoms for long periods of time. This will finally allow them to probe the cataclysmic stuff in the hope of deciphering exac...Show More
A quantum sense of smell

11:08 | Mar 24th, 2015

Why does an orange smell like an orange? The answer may have a quantum connection
A quantum sense of smell

11:08 | Mar 24th, 2015

What unites this pair of scientists is their interest in quantum biology: a new and growing field where practitioners seek to understand how quantum-mechanical processes affect biological systems such as the human nose.
An adjustable vision for the world

11:44 | Feb 24th, 2015

Josh Silver on how his adjustable glasses can bring clear vision to billions in the developing world
An adjustable vision for the world

11:44 | Feb 24th, 2015

For huge numbers of people in the developing world, access to eye-care professionals is scarce. Josh Silver talks about a new type of glasses he has invented where the wearer can set their own prescription.
The ever-expanding Zooniverse

15:16 | Jan 20th, 2015

Chris Lintott is co-founder of the Zooniverse, a Web initiative that enables the general public to play a role in a diverse range of science projects. He talks about the evolving nature of citizen science.
The ever-expanding Zooniverse

15:15 | Jan 20th, 2015

Chris Lintott discusses the evolving nature of citizen science
Book of the Year 2014

22:07 | Dec 16th, 2014

Which book received the highest honours in our list of the year's best popular-physics titles?
Book of the Year 2014

22:06 | Dec 16th, 2014

Books on a wide range of topics, from acoustic physics and astronomy to quantum theory and volcanology, made the shortlist for Physics World’s 2014 Book of the Year. Listen to find out which came out on top.
We need to talk about quantum mechanics

16:51 | Nov 19th, 2014

Join a motley crew of physicists and science journalists at a quantum boot camp
We need to talk about quantum mechanics

16:51 | Nov 19th, 2014

An intensive crash course brought together a host of scientists with journalists from all over the world to get to grips with how to interestingly and accurately "talk quantum" to a global audience.
A theorist's bucket list

10:57 | Oct 22nd, 2014

S James Gates Jr talks about the physics discoveries he would like to see happen in his lifetime
A theorist's bucket list

10:57 | Oct 22nd, 2014

S James Gates Jr keeps a list of the physics discoveries he would like to see happen before, as he puts it, he "shuffles off this mortal coil". He talks about the items on his "theorist's bucket list" and in particular about supersymmetry, a concept ...Show More
The sound man

14:19 | Sep 24th, 2014

Acoustical physicist Trevor Cox is on a mission to experience, record and explain some of the world's most unusual, and fascinating, sonic landscapes. In this podcast, he talks about some of the sonic wonders he has encountered on this journey, from ...Show More
The sound man

14:19 | Sep 24th, 2014

Join acoustical physicist Trevor Cox on his "scientific odyssey of sound"
The wonderful world of ultrasound

12:50 | Aug 26th, 2014

From levitating tiny balls to safeguarding bridges, ultrasound has more applications than you might think
The wonderful world of ultrasound

12:50 | Aug 26th, 2014

In this podcast, Hamish Johnston, editor of physicsworld.com, visits the lab of “professor of ultrasonics” Bruce Drinkwater at the University of Bristol to find out about the nature of ultrasound, its real-world applications and some intriguing devel...Show More
Sean Carroll's guide to making better science movies

09:07 | Jul 25th, 2014

Cosmologist Sean Carroll discusses his other life as a science adviser to Hollywood
Sean Carroll's guide to making better science movies

09:07 | Jul 25th, 2014

If you've ever wondered why there are so many bad science-fiction films, you're not alone. But Sean Carroll is one of the few physicists who's actually trying to do something about it, by helping Hollywood producers in his role as science adviser.
The story of neutrinos

10:03 | Jun 23rd, 2014

Shy but significant, neutrinos may hold the key to some of the biggest questions in modern physics. In this podcast, astronomer Ray Jayawardhana tells the story of how these tiny, nearly massless particles were discovered and explains what their stil...Show More
The story of neutrinos

10:03 | Jun 23rd, 2014

Astronomer Ray Jayawardhana explains what these "pathologically shy" particles could tell us about the universe
Keeping a telescopic eye on the Soviets

12:23 | May 23rd, 2014

How Jodrell Bank Observatory became entangled in the Space Race
Keeping a telescopic eye on the Soviets

12:23 | May 23rd, 2014

Find out how iconic astronomy centre Jodrell Bank Observatory in the north of England became embroiled in the political events of the Space Race. Jodrell astronomers tell stories from the time, including the intriguing tale of what the Soviets were u...Show More
Building better atomic clocks

09:14 | Apr 28th, 2014

How reliable is your wristwatch? Would it be out by just one second if it was still ticking 13 billion years from now? That is the sort of reliability that could soon be achieved by the next-generation of optical clocks that is being developed in met...Show More
Building better atomic clocks

09:14 | Apr 28th, 2014

Two keepers of atomic time at the National Physical Laboratory look to the future
Plutonium's toxic legacy

12:25 | Mar 24th, 2014

How do you release two Chernobyls' worth of radioactivity into the environment with hardly a whisper of complaint for more than 40 years? In this podcast, Kate Brown ‒ author of "Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and Ame...Show More
Plutonium’s toxic legacy

12:25 | Mar 24th, 2014

Exploring the hidden histories of the American and Soviet "atomic cities" with Kate Brown, author of Plutopia
Book of the Year 2013

14:27 | Dec 17th, 2013

Find out which book tops our list of the year's best popular-physics titles
Book of the Year 2013

14:26 | Dec 17th, 2013

Books about the Higgs boson, alien life and “The Simpsons” rub shoulders with some weighty scientific biographies in the 2013 shortlist for Physics World's Book of the Year. But which of the 10 shortlisted books will claim the award?
Lee Smolin on the nature of time

09:45 | Sep 23rd, 2013

Lee Smolin, a researcher at Canada’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and author of the book Time Unborn, thinks that time is real. In fact, as he discusses in this books podcast, time is so real that everything – even the supposedly timel...Show More
Lee Smolin on the nature of time

09:46 | Sep 23rd, 2013

Author and researcher Lee Smolin discusses the reality of time and its impact on the supposedly timeless laws of physics
Learning to adapt: an interview with Joshua Miele

09:30 | Jul 22nd, 2013

Joshua Miele develops adaptive devices for people who are blind. In this podcast he talks about the barriers that blind science students must overcome to access the information they need and the tools that his research group develops to help them suc...Show More
Learning to adapt: an interview with Joshua Miele

09:30 | Jul 22nd, 2013

Physicist-turned-adaptive-devices-researcher Joshua Miele talks about the barriers that blind science students face in their studies
The enigmatic life of J Robert Oppenheimer

13:26 | Jun 24th, 2013

Ray Monk is a philosopher at the University of Southampton in the UK, and in the podcast you will hear him discuss the efforts he made to get to grips with Oppenheimer's physics, including his theoretical work on mesons and the gravitational collapse...Show More
The enigmatic life of J Robert Oppenheimer

13:26 | Jun 24th, 2013

Learn more about this pivotal figure in the history of modern physics from his biographer Ray Monk
Quantum computing: Challenges, triumphs and applications

12:33 | Mar 21st, 2013

Quantum computing is a hot topic in physics right now, as researchers worldwide race to create more complex and reliable quantum-logic devices. In this podcast, Hamish Johnston speaks to leading experts in the field and finds out how quantum mechanic...Show More
Quantum computing: challenges, triumphs and applications

12:33 | Mar 21st, 2013

Leading experts explain how quantum mechanics could be harnessed to revolutionize computing
Book of the year 2012

13:41 | Dec 18th, 2012

Books about biophysics, the BP oil spill and some funky quantum hippies all made it onto Physics World's shortlist for the 2012 Book of the Year. But which of the 10 outstanding candidates has snagged the top honours?
Book of the Year 2012

13:42 | Dec 18th, 2012

Find out which book tops our list of the year's best popular-physics titles
India's physics rebels

16:00 | Dec 5th, 2012

A short audio documentary about the students in India who have rejected the allure of engineering to follow their hearts into fundamental science
India's physics rebels

16:00 | Dec 5th, 2012

For school-leavers in India with a flair for maths and science there is usually only one sensible choice: get an engineering degree, which will almost guarantee a well-paid job in industry. In sharp contrast, natural-science degrees such as physics h...Show More
Mavericks, outsiders and cranks

19:55 | Oct 15th, 2012

In a world where mainstream physics includes ideas such as “multiple worlds” and “dark particles", can we always distinguish between science that is crazy enough to be true and science that is just plain crazy? In this podcast we talk to two authors ...Show More
Mavericks, outsiders and cranks

19:56 | Oct 15th, 2012

In this podcast, Physics World's books team explores the boundary between true science and crazy science
Physics in fiction

12:27 | Aug 30th, 2012

A podcast reviewing four recent fiction books that put physics and physicists at the centre of the action.
Physics in fiction

12:28 | Aug 30th, 2012

Physics World's books-podcast team reviews four recent fiction books that put physics and physicists at the centre of the action
Going where the beam is good

12:05 | Jul 25th, 2012

A podcast about science careers, the end of the Tevatron, and why particle physicists are like surfer dudes
Going where the beam is good

12:04 | Jul 25th, 2012

A podcast about science careers, the end of the Tevatron, and why particle physicists are like surfer dudes.
Quantum mechanics in popular-science books

16:20 | Apr 11th, 2012

Physics World's podcast team discusses the enduring appeal of quantum mechanics
Quantum mechanics in popular-science books

16:19 | Apr 11th, 2012

Physics World’s podcast team discusses the enduring appeal of quantum mechanics in popular-science writing.
Top 10 books of 2011

21:10 | Dec 14th, 2011

Listen now to the latest in a new series of Physics World podcasts
Top 10 books of 2011

21:10 | Dec 14th, 2011

Physics World editors pick the best popular-physics books of the year and interview the winning author.
Women in science: a books special

16:37 | Oct 14th, 2011

Listen now to the first in a new series of Physics World podcasts
Women in Science: a books special

16:37 | Oct 14th, 2011

Women in Science books special. Physics World editors review the latest popular-science books, including an exclusive interview with Julie Des Jardins, author of The Madame Curie Complex.