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Physical Attraction

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Physical Attraction is the show that tries to explain physics... one chat-up line at a time.

Physical Attraction is the show that tries to explain physics... one chat-up line at a time.
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Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

Physical Attraction is the show that tries to explain physics... one chat-up line at a time.

Twitter:

@physicspod

Language:

English


Episodes

TEOTWAWKI 3 - The Singularity, Part I

11/24/2017
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Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Martin Rees... all have warned about the risk from Artificial Intelligence. Centres like the Future of Humanity Institute in Oxford, and the Centre for Existential Risk at Cambridge, rate the risk from artificial intelligence as way up there on the scale of potential human apocalypses. But it won't look like killer terminator-robots. We are standing on the precipice of a future that's almost impossible to comprehend. Will it be possible to survive? In this...

Duration: 00:44:37


Rafael Alves-Batista: Resilience of Life, Astrobiology and Fine-Tuning

11/17/2017
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Joining me today is Dr Rafael Alves-Batista. Rafael is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Oxford. He received his Bachelor’s Degree and his Masters’ at the State University of Campinas in Brazil, moved to Hamburg, Germany for his PhD which he received in 2015, and then onto Oxford for his postdoctoral position. And, last year, he supervised my Masters’ project, looking into the origin of Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays: so I can attest to his genius first-hand! In this...

Duration: 00:48:17


TEOTWAWKI 4, Supervirus II: The Human Factor

11/10/2017
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Earlier this year, a couple of scientists in a laboratory did something incredible. Using nothing but the genetic code and a well-equipped lab, they raised the dead. Specifically, the extinct horsepox virus was brought back to life. The scientists said that they didn't do the experiment out of any malice for horses, but just to demonstrate that - with a few good biotech experts, a decent lab, and $100,000 - anyone would soon be able to bring viruses back from the dead. So what about...

Duration: 00:39:28


Announcing Patreon and how to Support the Show

11/3/2017
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www.patreon.com/PhysicalAttraction, that's www.patreon.com/PhysicalAttraction . If you go there, and subscribe selecting the $3/episode option, the RSS feed and access to all of the online bonus episodes will be yours. I want to make the subscription $3/bonus episode, so that you're only paying for the content I actually produce and give you rather than some neverending monthly subscription. But I will trail the bonus episodes in advance, so that you know what you're getting. The first one...

Duration: 00:04:32


TEOTWAWKI Bonus: Alien Attack (Free Episode)

11/3/2017
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Things have been very serious and very depressing on our TEOTWAWKI specials; so I thought it was about time to do a little bit of light-hearted debunking, rather than ranting about the genuine dangers of apocalypse that might await us in the future. I'll discuss why the Roswell story doesn't add up - even a little bit - what an actual alien invasion could you like; and why it's just so damn unlikely that any of these alien abduction stories are especially true. We'll even talk about...

Duration: 00:23:30


TEOTWAWKI 4, Supervirus Part I: Nature

10/27/2017
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Human beings have been facing apocalyptic circumstances for thousands of years. Our competitors, our nemesis have been pathogens like malaria, Yersinia Pestis, smallpox... every few generations, a cataclysmic plague would tear through human populations and leave entire towns uninhabited. In the modern era, with modern medicines, we may feel that - at least in the industrialized West - this horror is behind our species now. But with evolving technology and behaviours come new risks; and...

Duration: 00:31:46


Rafael Alves-Batista: Cosmic Rays and the Multiverse

10/21/2017
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Joining me today is Dr Rafael Alves-Batista. Rafael is a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Oxford. He received his Bachelor’s Degree and his Masters’ at the State University of Campinas in Brazil, moved to Hamburg, Germany for his PhD which he received in 2015, and then onto Oxford for his postdoctoral position. And, last year, he supervised my Masters’ project, looking into the origin of Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays: so I can attest to his genius first-hand! In...

Duration: 00:34:18


News: Neutron Star Merger, Yay Science!

10/16/2017
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LIGO hold a big press conference and announce the merger of Neutron Stars detected via gravitational waves and optical instruments for the first time. We now know about types of gamma ray burst, and where gold and platinum come from. Since we did an episode about the gravitational wave detections and the Nobel Prize less than a week ago, I thought it would be fun for me to breathlessly describe it based on what reading I've been able to do and give a few early thoughts. YAY SCIENCE!

Duration: 00:15:50


TEOTWAWKI 5: Peak Oil

10/14/2017
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This episode of the TEOTWAWKI specials, we're focusing on every crazed doom-prepper's favourite scenario for the end of the world - Peak Oil. Our society runs on oil and petroleum products (sadly, still). These fossil fuels are the fossilised remains of plants and animals that died millions of years ago, and they take tens of thousands of years to form. So it seems to be a perfectly reasonable assumption to make: one day, we are going to run out of fossil fuels, and we will need...

Duration: 00:33:01


2017 Nobel Prize Special: Gravitational Waves

10/4/2017
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As you may already know, yesterday, the Nobel Prize in Physics, 2017 was announced: it went to Kip Thorne, Barry Barish, and Rainer Weiss for their contributions towards the LIGO collaboration that detected gravitational waves. In this special episode, I'll talk a little bit about the history of the Nobel prizes, explain what they were looking for at LIGO, how they found it, and what it means. So if you ever wondered what a gravitational wave was but were too afraid to ask, hopefully,...

Duration: 00:32:14


TEOTWAWKI 6: Malthus' Revenge

9/30/2017
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The human population has been growing exponentially for a long time. It’s been continuously growing since the Black Death in the 1300s – and although wars, famines, and plagues cause occasional blips in the growth since, it’s been pretty close to exponential since the Industrial Revolution kicked off. Now Malthus was not the only one to notice this, before I get letters, but he is indisputably the one who has his name most closely associated with the concept. Malthus, among others, saw...

Duration: 00:31:33


XRiskology: Existential Risks with Phil Torres, Part I

9/24/2017
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We have a guest on the show today – Phil Torres. Phil Torres is an author, Affiliate Scholar at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, former contributor at the Future of Life Institute, and founding Director of the X-Risks Institute. He has published in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Skeptic, Free Inquiry, The Humanist, Journal of Future Studies, Bioethics, Journal of Evolution and Technology, Foresight, Erkenntnis, and Metaphilosophy, as well as popular media like Time,...

Duration: 00:35:04


TEOTWAWKI 7 - Supervolcanoes

9/15/2017
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75,000 years ago, the human race was on the brink of extinction. The cause was the Toba supervolcanic eruption, which had plunged the earth into a volcanic winter and killed all but a few thousand remaining humans. This moment was the closest we have come to extinction since our species began. Even smaller volcanic eruptions have lead to such cheerful-sounding phenomena as "The Year Without a Summer". Now, the question has to be asked: could this happen again? And how likely is it...

Duration: 00:25:16


Bonus Episode: Solar Panels + Splitting Sunbeams

9/10/2017
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Occasionally, in the world, we observe empirical laws – the laws of experiment - that seem to be spookily accurate. There’s no theoretical reason why they should be obeyed, but they just happen to describe the world remarkably well. Perhaps the best example of this, that has changed and will change the world the most, is Moore’s Law. But there's another example - one that will render every Green warrior happy to think about. The price of solar energy is dropping off a cliff. Tweet us...

Duration: 00:22:46


TEOTWAWKI 8: Cyberwarfare

9/2/2017
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We know that a great deal of our critical national infrastructure depends on complex cyber-systems; but in the fast-changing world of the internet and computer systems, it's become impossible for slow-moving legislators to catch up to the shifting goalposts. Hackers and similar groups have had major impacts on society. But most of what's been visibly done so far has been limited to what you might call petty crime; theft, extortion, exposure of secret or sensitive information. But, as...

Duration: 00:31:40


TEOTWAWKI 9: It Came From Outer Space

8/26/2017
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It's easy to forget that we are on a pale, blue dot - the one habitable place we know of in the whole, wide, Universe. Fragile. Perhaps too fragile. It's not that the Universe wants to kill us; it's just that astrophysics doesn't care too much whether a planet is inhabited, or whether the inhabitants have feelings - or not. Asteroid strikes. Impact from a giant comet. Gamma ray bursts, supernovae, and black holes. Any one of these has the potential to destroy our civilisation. But...

Duration: 00:34:46


TEOTWAWKI 10: Earthquakes

8/19/2017
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Let’s talk about earthquakes. As we know, the Earth’s crust is made up of tectonic plates – vast plates of rock that shift around due to convection and the motion of fluid in Earth’s mantle. They, roughly speaking “join together” at fault-lines. But in reality, the plates can’t slide past each other frictionlessly; what tends to happen is that they “catch” on each other, stick for a while – with pressure building, because whatever predominant force is pushing them along is building up...

Duration: 00:25:25


Get Ready for the Apocalypse

8/16/2017
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We're going to be presenting a very special series of episodes over the next few months. The end of the world. Is it going to end in fire, or ice? And is there anything we can do about it? Get ready for the apocalypse.

Duration: 00:01:32


Fermi and Drake

8/12/2017
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Are we alone in the Universe? Or are there alien civilisations out there? And if there are, where are they, and why aren't they talking to us? We'll explore the Fermi paradox, the Drake equation, and, of course... the simple fact that we're all living in a computer simulation. Don't miss it. "Hope that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space, 'cause there's bugger all down here on Earth" - The Galaxy Song, Monty Python

Duration: 00:36:29


Bonus: AI Shakespeare vs. AI Trump, call for Listener Questions

8/8/2017
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Bonus midweek edition, coming to you as close to LIVE as is humanly possible... Inspired by last week's episode, Seduced By A Robot, I downloaded a neural network and started to play around with it. See what happens when I feed it: The neural network I used was the tensorflow char-rnn - an open-source framework by Chen Liang - and I got the idea from Janelle Shane, who you can find at www.lewisandquark.tumblr.com. Also: an appeal for listener questions! I want to do a...

Duration: 00:16:25

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