Big Science: What's the Big Idea? From Resonance FM

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Big Science FM began as an experiment borne of a belief that the laws that govern the Universe are simple. Fantastical, astonishing, often unbelievable, but ultimately comprehensible to anyone who wants to understand. For an hour each week, Dr Ed Gerstner and guests explore the ideas that make the Universe tick.

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Website
http://bigscience.fm
Description
Big Science FM began as an experiment borne of a belief that the laws that govern the Universe are simple. Fantastical, astonishing, often unbelievable, but ultimately comprehensible to anyone who wants to understand. For an hour each week, Dr Ed Gerstner and guests explore the ideas that make the Universe tick.
Language
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2011-06-13 21:00
last episode published
2012-04-18 22:00
publication frequency
17.89 days
Contributors
Ed Gerstner owner   author  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
37
Rss-Feeds
Detail page
Categories
Science & Medicine Natural Sciences

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Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
18.04.2012

Big Science FM: The Mathematics of Donkey Kong

What is it about video games that makes them so addictive? Do we play these things not because they are easy but because they are hard? How hard are they? We asked MIT mathetmaticians Erik Demaine and Alan Guo.
Ed Gerstner author
21.03.2012

Big Science FM: Medicating morality

Can racism be treated with heart drugs? A recent study suggests so. Does this mean that we can alter a person's moral values with drugs? And what other possibilities are there for engineering the human condition? We ask Julian Savulescu.
Ed Gerstner author
7.03.2012

Big Science FM: Teaching relativity to your dog

Dogs were the first sentient beings to venture into space. Yet, they know surprisingly little about physics. Chad Orzel, professor of physics at Union College in upstate New York, hopes to redress this.
Ed Gerstner author
22.02.2012

Big Science FM: Drug discovery crowdsourced

There are several ways that the public can contribute to the world of scientific exploration. We talk to David Baker and Chris Eibens how the networked computer game 'Foldit' is contributing to the development of new medical drugs.
Ed Gerstner author
1.02.2012

Big Science FM: Newt's in space?

US Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich declared that if he were elected president, he would build a manned base on the Moon by 2020. Does this make him a visionary or a fantasist? We ask space guru and Royal Society Fellow, Mike Lockwood.
Ed Gerstner author
14.12.2011

Big Science FM: Have we found the Higgs, yet?

The Large Hadron Collider is working better than expected. And it's collected oodles of data. But have they found the Higgs, yet? We ask Davide Castelvecchi, who flew to Geneva to find out.
Ed Gerstner author
7.12.2011

Big Science FM: Neuroscience in the sky with diamonds

Within ten years of the first synthesis of LSD in 1938, it was being used to treat a range of psychiatric conditions, including addiction, anxiety and even headaches. It fell out of favour in the 60s. But the therapeutic use of LSD and other psychoacti...
Ed Gerstner author
30.11.2011

Big Science FM: The trouble with neutrinos

In September, physicists announced results suggesting that beams of neutrinos were travelling from Switzerland to Italy at faster than the speed of light, in flagrant violation Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity. Was Einstein wrong? And what the h...
Ed Gerstner author
16.11.2011

Big Science FM: How to build a brain

IBM's BlueGene supercomputer can carry out a similar number of operations per second as the brain of a rat. But while a rat's brain takes up a half a cubic centimetre and uses 50 milliwatts of power, BlueGene covers around 600 square feet and uses 400 ...
Ed Gerstner author
9.11.2011

Big Science FM: It's a Small World after all

In 1929, Frigyes Karinthy wrote a short story suggesting that everyone is connected to everyone else by six or seven degrees of separation. In 1967, Stanley Milgrim did an experiment proving it. And twenty years later, Duncan Watts& Steve Strogatz ...
Ed Gerstner author
12.10.2011

Big Science FM: Multiverses and the Big Bang

How did the Universe begin? What made it expand from the size of a grapefruit to billions of lightyears across in a fraction of a second after the Big Bang? And why did it stop? And is ours the only Universe? We ask cosmologists Hiranya Peiris and Matt...
Ed Gerstner author
5.10.2011

Big Science FM: Understanding the Cosmos, Part 1

2011 Nobel Prize in Physics Special. In this show, we talk supernovae, cosmic acceleration, dark energy and the history and implications of this year's physics award to Perlmutter, Schmidt, and Riess, with Professor Ofer Lahav.
Ed Gerstner author
28.09.2011

Big Science FM: History of an Ancient Sponge

Geological evidence suggests that around 650 million years ago, the Earth was covered in ice. It was believed only single-celled organisms could have survived 'Snowball Earth'. Until Adam Maloof found a fossilized sponge predating this by millions of y...
Ed Gerstner author
14.09.2011

Big Science FM: Higgs update

In this episode we discuss the intriguing results hot off the press from Cern's Large Hadron Collider with particle physicist Professor Jonathan Butterworth. Have we found the Higgs particle, yet? And if we had, what would that mean for the future of p...
Ed Gerstner author
7.09.2011

Big Science FM: Probing unconsciousness

We assume that modern medicine can distinguish between life and death. But when it comes to ‘brain death’, things aren't so clear cut. In this episode we explore unconsciousness, coma, and the bits in between with neuroscience writer, Mo Costandi.
Ed Gerstner author
31.08.2011

Big Science FM: Green car tech

In recent shows we've been talking about technologies for generating energy. In this episode we look at the flip side with Ralph Clague who's working on green car technologies that use the energy we've got more efficiently.
Ed Gerstner author
17.08.2011

Big Science FM: Alternative nuclear power

Conventional nuclear fission won't solve the world's energy problems. Thankfully, it's not the only nuclear game in town. Tonight we explore an alternative nuclear tech, in accelerator-driven subcritical nuclear reactors fueled with thorium. With Dr Hy...
Ed Gerstner author
3.08.2011

Big Science FM: Update on Fukushima

Five months after the nuclear disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiich power plant, the crisis has all but slipped off the front pages. But the crisis continues. Nature reporter, Geoff Brumfiel gives us status update.
Ed Gerstner author
20.07.2011

Big Science FM: Of Mice and Flies

How do you make a fly with the same genes you use to make a mouse? It's complicated. But that's what Big Science is all about.
Ed Gerstner author
13.07.2011

Big Science FM: Anaesthesia, What's Your Poison?

From alcohol to ether and beyond, in this episode we explore the science of anaesthesiology with clinical anaesthetist, Dr Katie Grant.
Ed Gerstner author
29.06.2011

Big Science FM: The History of Mathematics

This week we take a rollercoaster ride through the history of maths. From the four Greek 'mathematics' - geometry, astronomy, arithmetic and music. To fierce opposition to arabic numerals from European accountants. And the disaster that was Isaac Newto...
Ed Gerstner author
22.06.2011

Big Science FM: Nanotechnology, What's the Big Idea?

What so big about nanotechnology? Does it represent a brave new world, or a means to hype more of the same. We ask nanotech guru Tim Harper.
Ed Gerstner author
15.06.2011

Big Science FM: Truth, Gödel and Science Fundamentalism

Science is all about truth, right? So anything that is true can be determined by science, right? Probably not.
Ed Gerstner author
16.03.2011

Big Science FM: Fukushima Meltdown

In the light of events at the Fukushima nuclear plant following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, we discuss nuclear power and the implications of the unfolding situation.
Ed Gerstner author
16.02.2011

Big Science FM: What does life know?

This week we start with the question, what does DNA know about the Universe? But, as usual, we don't stay on topic for long, instead segueing into a much more interesting discussion of Sarah Palin, fruit flies and cancer.
Ed Gerstner author
9.02.2011

Big Science FM: Proteins, the building blocks of life, pt 2

There's more to life than DNA... much more. This week we continue our exploration of proteins, the true building blocks of life. How are they made? And what exactly do they do?
Ed Gerstner author
2.02.2011

Big Science FM: Proteins, the building blocks of life, pt 1

This week we go beyond DNA to the real workhorses of life, proteins. How are they made? What do they do? And how do they interact to build a hedgehog?
Ed Gerstner author
26.01.2011

Big Science FM: DNA, Blueprint of life? pt 2

This week we continue to ask whether it's meaningful to describe DNA as the blueprint of life. And if the blueprint isn't in DNA where the hell is it?
Ed Gerstner author
19.01.2011

Big Science FM: DNA, Blueprint of life? pt 1

This week we talk DNA, with Nature's biological sciences editor, Tanguy Chouard. Is it really a blueprint? If not, why not?
Ed Gerstner author
17.11.2010

Big Science FM: Plasma - the fourth state of matter

Everyone knows about the three states of matter, solids, liquids and gases. But few know about the fourth, plasmas. They're all around us, from neon signs to TVs. And they could provide us with an unlimited source of energy. Eventually.
Ed Gerstner author
15.09.2010

Big Science FM: Antimatter - Fantasy to Reality

By the end of the first quarter of the 20th century, physicists increasingly realized that quantum mechanics provided a powerful means of describing the behaviour of subatomic particles. But until that point it only described slow moving particles. Whe...
Ed Gerstner author
8.09.2010

Big Science FM: What IS a Higgs boson, anyway?

So what the hell is a hadron, and why are they colliding large ones to find a Higgs botswain?
Ed Gerstner author
4.08.2010

Big Science FM: Everything is Waves, pt 2

Quantum mechanics is by far and away the most accurate and successful theory that has ever been devised. It’s also the most bizarre. This week, Big Science continues to explore how the particle theory of light built to describe the light emitted by hot...
Ed Gerstner author
28.07.2010

Big Science FM: Everything is Waves, pt 1

Quantum mechanics is by far and away the most accurate and successful theory that has ever been devised. It’s also the most bizarre. This week, Big Science explores how the particle theory of light built to describe the light emitted by hot things lead...
Ed Gerstner author
21.07.2010

Big Science FM: Everything is Bits

To a casual observer, the Universe looks likes *really* complex. It isn't. In this show we'll discuss how just a handful of building blocks and the idea of beauty (or, rather, symmetry) produces diversity and complexity in the world around us. From ato...
Ed Gerstner author
14.07.2010

Big Science FM: Everything is Light, pt 1

Wouldn't it be nice if the laws of physics where same everywhere in the Universe, regardless of how fast you were travelling? In this episode Big Science explores the consequences of the laws of electricity and magnetism being the same is all frames of...
Ed Gerstner author
14.07.2010

Big Science FM: Everything is Light, pt 2

This week, we continue on from the previous week, to discuss the implications of the fact that the laws of electricity and magnetism, and therefore the speed of light, are always the same regardless of how fast you are travelling. We’re talking the equ...
Ed Gerstner author