Doctor Jack’s Soapbox Seminars

What if the cataclysmic Tunguska explosion of 1908 was caused, not by a meteor or a comet, but by a microscopic black hole? … Well, like as not, you already know that story — the one told by Bill DeSmedt in his award-winning novel/podcast Singularity. What you may not know, though, is the story behind the story: the science behind Singularity. Surprisingly (or maybe not), you can learn a lot about primordial black holes and the Tunguska Event and black hole radiation and the Big Bang on the pages of Singularity. And you don’t have to take our word for it: some world-class physicists think so too: “Bill got the vast majority of the physics right, which is highly unusual — especially in a book that is such a good read.” — Kip Thorne, Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, California Institute of Technology and author of Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy “Singularity is an uncommonly good science thriller, quite free of the poetic license some writers take with the laws of nature in order to put together the yarn.” — Jacob D. Bekenstein, Professor of Theoretical Physics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem and discoverer of black-hole entropy “As a specialist in black hole astrophysics, I would have to say that this is one of the most creative uses of primordial black-hole theory in science fiction.” — Scott A. Hughes, Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Now, for the first time, the real-life counterpart of Singularity’s resident cosmologist, Doctor Jack Adler, steps up to explain what it is all these scientists are raving about, in his “Soapbox Seminars” — an informal look at the hard-core science behind the novel. PS: Doctor Jack’s got about fifteen or so of these seminars planned out so far, but that’s subject to change — and you could change it. If you’ve got a question about the science behind Singularity, send it to Jack at Jack will incorporate some of your questions into upcoming Seminars, and the all-time best question will win a hardcover copy of Singularity, signed by the author, Bill DeSmedt.

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Author ID: jenkoul Category: Non-Fiction (Science) Family Friendly: N/A More-Info Webpage: ISBN: [leave blank]
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2017-11-23 16:16
last episode published
2008-12-14 19:49
publication frequency
9.88 days
John C. Adler, Ph.D., as told to Bill DeSmedt author  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Science & Medicine Natural Sciences



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Seminar 18 -- The Vurdalak Conjecture

The Tunguska Mystery -- it's a wrap!

Seminar 17 -- What're the Odds of That?!?

The Tunguska impactor as magnetically-charged primordial black hole -- million-to-one longshot, or ... even money?

Seminar 16 -- Black Monopoles?!?

Magnetically-charged black holes as the final missing piece of the Tunguska mystery?

Seminar 15 -- Hot Enough for You?

Black holes exploding with the force of a thousand all-out nuclear wars??? Jack’s kidding, right?

Seminar 14 -- From Russia With Love

How a Mission to Moscow and a tip from Kip (Thorne, that is) finally turned Stephen Hawking's head around as regards black hole thermodynamics.

Seminar 13 -- Hot Potato

What Stephen Hawking didn't want you to know about black-hole entropy. (With special thanks to Jacob Bekenstein, for sharing his reminiscences.)

Seminar 12 -- Can't Win, Can't Break Even ...

Can't Get Out of the Game. Black holes meet the Heat Death of the Universe!

Seminar 11 -- Where Do Baby Black Holes Come From?

Not from under a cabbage leaf, that's for sure!

Seminar 10 -- Before the Beginning

What does it really take to make a universe, anyway?

Seminar 09 -- Just Say "No" to Naked Singularities

Why one Global Causality Violation can ruin your whole day.

Seminar 08 -- Beyond the Black Horizon

What’s really inside a black hole? Take the Cook's Tour with Doctor Jack.

Seminar 07 -- A Black Hole Primer

A star dies; a black hole is born.

Seminar 06 -- Jackson and Ryan Bite the Dust

In which the Jackson-Ryan hypothesis crashes, burns, gets shoveled over with dirt -- all for want of an "exit event."

Seminar 05 -- Two Good Ol' Boys name of Jackson and Ryan

The inside story of how the the Jackson-Ryan black-hole collision theory of the Tunguska Event came to be. Special thanks to Albert A. Jackson, IV and Michael P. Ryan, Jr. for sharing their reminiscences of the Vurdalak Conjectures genesis -- in person...

Seminar 04 -- The Lake Cheko "Crater" -- Hoax or Fraud?

Swim along with Doctor Jack as he plumbs the murky depths of the latest "solution" to the Tunguska mystery.

Seminar 03 -- Ockham's Razor vs. the Great Faerie Conspiracy

A listener's casual remark shunts Doctor Jack onto a major meditation about the meaning of "not multiplying causes beyond necessity." (Want to derail Jack's carefully laid-out curriculum even more? Submit your own question to: doctorjacksoapboxseminars...

Seminar 02 -- Star Wars

Was it a comet, or a meteorite ... or something else entirely? A hundred years' worth of Tunguska speculation, and Tunguska controversy, at a glance.

Seminar 01 -- Honey, I Lost the Crater!

The mystery of the 1908 Tunguska Event -- a hundred years old today, and still no solution in sight?