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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

Cosmology II: Starting From Nothing

6/21/2021
Everything we have been able to infer about the Universe began in total ignorance. Many early theories about how the Universe was structured were wildly incorrect - but astronomers were building up the toolkits that would later allow us to understand.

Duration:00:40:46

Cosmology, Episode I: In The Beginning

6/15/2021
When you're trying to narrate the history of the entire Universe, where do you begin? I decided to start in a radio studio in London in March 1949, when the term "Big Bang" was first coined, in the first on our series on cosmology.

Duration:00:39:24

Climate 201: Discourses of Climate Delay II

6/7/2021
Arguments surrounding climate change have become subtler. Outright denial is gradually shifting to rhetoric that supports delaying urgent action. In this review of a paper by Steinberger, Lamb et al, I run down the new "discourses of climate delay".

Duration:00:51:53

Climate 201: Discourses of Delay, p1

5/31/2021
As the climate change debate has advanced, the arguments surrounding it have become more subtle. Outright denial of the climate problem is rare - so rhetoric has shifted to delaying urgent action. In this review of a paper by Steinberger, Lamb et al, I run down the new "discourses of climate delay"

Duration:00:52:19

Why Should We Listen to Scientists?

5/10/2021
Why should we listen to scientists? Well, because they're right a lot of the time. But also because - ideally - the institutions of science embody values that everyone can agree are good in a system for working out what's true.

Duration:00:27:01

Machine Learning and AI vs. Climate Change

5/3/2021
How can machine learning and artificial intelligence help us in the fight against climate change? I explore literally dozens of ideas for possible applications of ML algorithms in this episode.

Duration:00:42:12

Attack of the 50ft Blockchain, with David Gerard

4/26/2021
I interviewed David Gerard, author of the cryptocurrency blog and book of the same name "Attack of the 50ft Blockchain", as well as a new book "Libra Shrugged" about Facebook's attempt to develop cryptocurrencies. We talked about Bitcoin, its flaws, its origins, and its future.

Duration:01:40:22

Thermonuclear Takes: The Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Rant

4/19/2021
I have generally held back on talking about bitcoin - because I'm super opinionated and it's one topic that generates a lot of heated discussions - but I finally let it all go in this one, lengthy rant episode. Think of it as therapy... and if you disagree, get in touch.

Duration:01:36:59

Climate 201: Energy Efficiency IV: Jevons' Paradox, and Conclusion.

4/12/2021
In The Coal Question, Jevons - alongside realising that we needed a transition to renewable energy 150 years ago - posed the efficiency paradox. Using energy more efficiently motivates you to use more energy. Can energy efficiency "rebound" and backfire like this in real systems? That's the question we explore in this episode.

Duration:00:41:55

Climate 201: Energy Efficiency, Part 3: Industry

4/5/2021
In this episode of our series on energy efficiency, we are going to talk about industrial applications - how we can improve the way that high-energy industries and difficult-to-decarbonise sectors use energy.

Duration:00:34:23

Thermonuclear Takes: Climate News; Global Rebound, "Net" Zero, Green Homes, Cumbrian Coal

4/3/2021
It's a smorgasboard of climate news as global emissions rebound, slippery definitions of Net Zero abound, the Green Homes Grant collapses, and there's controversy over a Cumbrian coal mine.

Duration:00:50:24

Climate 201: Energy Efficiency II: Buildings

3/29/2021
In the second part of our series on energy efficiency and its role in combatting climate change, we talk about how buildings can be made more energy efficient... and some of the factors that prevent this from happening. Thanks to Podcorn for sponsoring this episode. To find out how you can find new sponsors for your podcast, head to podcorn.com/podcasters.

Duration:01:07:12

Thermonuclear Takes: Gamestop Post-Mortem, Way Too Late

3/26/2021
Sigh. Yeah I did a thing about the Gamestop, meme stocks, financial asset bubbles, and so on, if only so that these opinions don't have to rattle around in my head taking up space.

Duration:00:34:08

Climate 201: Energy Efficiency I: Transport

3/22/2021
In this episode, we discuss the vital role of energy efficiency in reducing carbon emissions, and the potential to reduce energy consumption in transportation. Thanks to Podcorn for sponsoring this episode. To find out how you can find new sponsors for your podcast, head to podcorn.com/podcasters.

Duration:01:01:24

The Glass Half-Empty: Debunking "New Optimism", with Rodrigo Aguilera: Part II

3/15/2021
This week, we have a guest on the show - Rodrigo Aguilera. Specifically, we're talking to him about his book "The Glass Half-Empty: Debunking the Myth of Progress in the 21st Century". We shouldn't be happy with a narrow and limited definition of "progress" when we have the capacity to achieve so much more. But if we want to see things like the elimination of poverty, the application of human ingenuity and compassion and rationality and empathy towards solving the problems that exist in the...

Duration:01:38:50

Thermonuclear Takes: Greensill Collapses and Uber in Court

3/13/2021
Listeners to our series on Softbank Vision Fund will be interested - albeit perhaps not surprised - to hear that one of its major investments, Greensill Capital, which we covered in the episode "The Next Financial Crisis", has imploded dramatically. We discuss it - and a new court ruling on another Softbank darling, Uber - in this Thermonuclear Takes episode.

Duration:00:43:26

The Glass Half-Empty: Debunking "New Optimism", with Rodrigo Aguilera - Part I

3/8/2021
This week, we have a guest on the show - Rodrigo Aguilera. Rodrigo is an economist - born in Mexico, lives in London, and his writing has appeared all over the place in various forms over the years. Specifically, we're talking to him about his book "The Glass Half-Empty: Debunking the Myth of Progress in the 21st Century". Now; this may sound like a rather gloomy take to pick, but the point that he is making is essentially that we shouldn't be happy with a narrow and limited definition of...

Duration:03:06:20

Graphene and the world of 2-D materials

3/1/2021
From the discovery of graphene to the invention of Van Der Waals heterostructures, this episode explores the potential and possibilities surrounding 2D materials - and how a particular twist between layers of graphene could unlock a playground of superconductivity.

Duration:00:32:34

Short-Circuiting the Meaning of Life (II)

2/24/2021
In the concluding part of this mini-series on technological implications for being human, we discuss the idea that humans will manipulate their psychology to "short-circuit" the meaning of life - and whether there's anything wrong with doing that.

Duration:00:59:59

Short-Circuiting the Meaning of Life (I)

2/22/2021
In this experimental, unusual, and wildly speculative episode, we'll discuss philosophy, and the implications of the imagined techno-future for the unanswerable questions that have been with us since the dawn of consciousness.

Duration:01:30:21