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Physical Attraction

Science Podcasts

Physical Attraction is the show that explores topics in science, technology, and the future - from a physicist's perspective. From the birth of stars to the end of the world, from interviews with experts to meticulously-researched deep dives, we'll explore the topics that shape our world.

Physical Attraction is the show that explores topics in science, technology, and the future - from a physicist's perspective. From the birth of stars to the end of the world, from interviews with experts to meticulously-researched deep dives, we'll explore the topics that shape our world.

Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

Physical Attraction is the show that explores topics in science, technology, and the future - from a physicist's perspective. From the birth of stars to the end of the world, from interviews with experts to meticulously-researched deep dives, we'll explore the topics that shape our world.

Twitter:

@physicspod

Language:

English


Episodes

Climate 201: What Drives Global CO2 Emissions?

1/12/2021
In this episode, we discuss the Kaya decomposition - splitting CO2 emissions into CO2/energy, Energy/GDP, GDP/person, and population. We'll talk about its usefulness and limitations in tracking what drives carbon emissions.

Duration:00:46:41

Climate Conversations: How the Tech/IT Sector Should (+ Shouldn't) Address Climate Change, with Paul D Johnston

1/7/2021
I sat down with Paul Johnston (@PaulDJohnston), cloud computing expert and tech/climate scholar, to talk about how the tech sector should tackle climate change, as well as his experiences discussing climate change with businesses and helping to run a community energy company. => How should technology companies approach climate change? => Can we trust the pledges made by big tech companies?

Duration:01:28:00

Lord Martin Rees on Catastrophe, Cosmology, and the Future

12/31/2020
Sometimes in this game you get to do an interview where you genuinely can say: "the person I'm about to interview needs no introduction." This is one of those occasions. But if I were to do that, it would wreck the fun of getting to introduce the interview, and why would I deprive myself of that? So, this episode, we are interviewing Lord Martin Rees. Martin Rees is one of the foremost cosmologists and astrophysicists of our time. He was made the Astronomer Royal in 1995, has been Master of...

Duration:02:39:39

Thermonuclear Takes: Uber, Boston Dynamics, Income Inequality, Climate Change

12/21/2020
A bumper episode with a crop of interesting news stories to round out the year: -> Uber sells its self-driving car section, and Softbank sells robot company Boston Dynamics. What can we infer from these moves about the state of the tech sector? -> Reports show income inequality rising since 1975 has resulted in $47 trillion additional income accruing to the top 10%, and that trickle-down economics doesn't work as intended -> Global emissions fall by 7% this year due to the COVID-19...

Duration:01:05:33

BONUS Thermonuclear Takes: Vaccine News and Pandemic Shield

12/19/2020
It's a bonus news episode, in which I ramble on about the COVID-19 vaccines and the possibility of defending against future pandemics.

Duration:00:52:22

Climate 201: What Is A Climate Scenario? (RCP)

12/16/2020
In this episode of Climate 201, we deconstruct the jargon around climate scenarios. What's the difference between RCP2.6 and RCP8.5? What purpose do the scenarios serve? How should we think about them?

Duration:01:23:35

Subprime Attention Crisis: The Time Bomb at the Heart of the Internet, with Tim Hwang

12/9/2020
This week, taking a break from climate, we have a special guest on the show - Tim Hwang. Tim Hwang is a writer and researcher, and he's the author of Subprime Attention Crisis, a book about how online advertising may have become a bubble. He is currently a research fellow at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET) at Georgetown University. He is the former director of the Harvard-MIT Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative, $26M philanthropic fund and research effort working...

Duration:01:00:26

Climate 201: Carbon Budgets

12/3/2020
We explore what is meant by a "carbon budget", how and why we can determine how much CO2 is left to emit before we cross a given temperature threshold, as well as disputes in how to define these budgets and use them politically... and why the world isn't going to end in twelve years.

Duration:01:17:27

The Dream of a Solar Sahara

11/29/2020
In this episode, we explore the tantalising - but maybe impossible - dream of blanketing the world's deserts in solar panels to supply all of our energy needs.

Duration:00:25:27

Climate 201: Greenhouse Gases and Fungibility Questions

11/25/2020
In this Climate 201 episode, we introduce the different greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, analyse how their different lifetimes and ability to absorb radiation and warm the planet work, and discuss different ways of comparing their effects.

Duration:00:41:56

Softbank's Singularity with Edward Ongweso Jr. of This Machine Kills Podcast

11/19/2020
To close our series on Softbank's Vision Fund, I interviewed tech journalist and scholar Edward Ongweso Jr. of "This Machine Kills" podcast about Softbank, the corrosive nature of VC on the tech sector and our society, and the Vision that Masoyoshi Son really dreams of... along with whether it will all fall apart, and how we can build a society that uses technological innovations in a less destructive way.

Duration:02:19:32

Softbank's Blurry Vision VI: What We Lost In The Hype

11/11/2020
Over the course of this series, we've described how Softbank's $100bn Vision Fund promised to invest in the future and failed to deliver. In this episode, we ask: why should we care? We discuss the wider landscape of technology and innovation, and question why it can't deliver the things we really need.

Duration:01:49:07

Softbank's Blurry Vision V: The Next Financial Crisis?

11/5/2020
In this episode of our series on Softbank's Vision Fund, we talk about how their investment in fintech company Greensill Capital is potentially part of a series of investments that might create conditions for a new financial crisis, much like that seen in 2008-9.

Duration:00:33:33

TT Stonks III: Stocks Divorced from Reality, the Great Accelerator, Future of the Show, and Listener Mailbag

10/28/2020
In this episode, we talk about why the stock market is increasingly divorced from economic reality, and the fact that COVID-19 is proving to be a great accelerator rather than a great leveller - accelerating the trends towards income and wealth inequality that we have seen over the last 30-40 years, as well as internationally. We also discuss where the show is going in the future, and respond to listener emails.

Duration:01:59:19

Thermonuclear Takes - Pandemic Profiteers, and Coronavirus Update

10/24/2020
NEW EPISODE, and we'll be talking about the companies that have made a killing off the coronavirus - some of them in some rather sketchy ways - and a status update on the pandemic as a whole compared to when last spoke about it.

Duration:01:50:13

Softbank's Blurry Vision, IV: Identifying as a Tech Company

10/21/2020
We go further into Softbank's investments, including the $2bn-valued company that promised to develop an army of robots to cook and deliver pizzas and ended up just creating a round pizza box.

Duration:00:44:02

TT, Stonks I: FinCEN Files and the Story of Fake Tesla

10/18/2020
In this episode, we discuss the leaked FinCEN files - which illustrate trillions of dollars in suspicious financial flows - as well as Nikola, the wannabe Tesla whose "hydrogen truck" was actually just rolling down a gentle slope.

Duration:01:12:03

The Button: The Threat From Nuclear Weapons and What We Can Do About It, with Tom Collina

10/14/2020
Very excited to say we have a special guest on the show today. Tom Collina has had a long and storied career in nuclear disarmament for many years, in the Director of Policy at the Plougshares Fund, a non-profit foundation dedicated to trying to prevent the spread and use of nuclear weapons. With former Secretary of Defence Bill Perry, he has just written a book called "The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman To Trump", which is about the past, present, and...

Duration:01:55:01

Modern Monetary Theory with the MMT Podcast II: What Your Economy Can Do For You

10/8/2020
Hello and welcome to this episode of Physical Attraction. We have a special couple of guests on the show today. Listeners to our episodes about QE for the People will remember that we briefly mentioned Modern Monetary Theory as a new perspective on how economics works, and I'd talked about getting some MMT speakers on the show to explore that in more detail. I was lucky enough to get the hosts of the MMT Podcast, Patricia Pino and Christian Reilly, who have interviewed many of the founding...

Duration:04:11:31

Modern Monetary Theory with the MMT Podcast I: Where Does Money Come From?

10/7/2020
We have a special couple of guests on the show today. Listeners to our episodes about QE for the People will remember that we briefly mentioned Modern Monetary Theory as a new perspective on how economics works, and I'd talked about getting some MMT speakers on the show to explore that in more detail. I was lucky enough to get the hosts of the MMT Podcast, Patricia Pino and Christian Reilly, who have interviewed many of the founding scholars and most active economists in MMT as part of that...

Duration:02:03:02