title

Starts With A Bang podcast

Ethan Siegel

8
Followers
15
Plays
Starts With A Bang podcast

Starts With A Bang podcast

Ethan Siegel

8
Followers
15
Plays
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Podcast by Ethan Siegel

Latest Episodes

Starts With A Bang #52 - The Thirty Meter Telescope

The history of astronomy is a history of receding horizons. As we improve our optics, our instruments, and our observing techniques, we can reveal progressively more of the Universe than we've ever seen before. As the 2020s dawn on us, we're preparing to jump from 10 meter-class observatories, which are presently the largest in ground-based optical telescopes, to 30 meter-class ones, with approximately thrice the resolution and ten times the light-gathering power. There's a tremendous suite of cosmic stories to discover, but the only one of the 30 meter-class observatories to be built in the Northern Hemisphere is facing a tremendous controversy that's been decades in the making. What are the next steps towards building the Thirty Meter Telescope? The latest edition of the Starts With A Bang Podcast features the TMT's vice president for external relations, Dr. Gordon Squires, and you won't want to miss it! (Image credit: Thirty Meter Telescope Collaboration)

81 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Starts With A Bang #52 - The Thirty Meter Telescope

Starts With A Bang #51 - Cosmology At The Edge Of Time

Have you ever wondered what the first moments of our Universe were like? Not just going back towards the hot Big Bang, but at the very first fractions of a second that come after, during, and even before the Big Bang occurs? It was my pleasure to get to speak to Dan Hooper, astrophysicist, professor, and author of the new book At The Edge Of Time, which is my favorite popular science book of 2019. (Pick up a copy here: https://amzn.to/2XReiGG) In this fascinating hour+ conversation, we cover topics like dark matter, inflation, and what not only 21st century physics but even 30th century physics might hold. Don't miss it! (Image credit: Princeton University Press / Dan Hooper.)

68 MIN2019 DEC 14
Comments
Starts With A Bang #51 - Cosmology At The Edge Of Time

Starts With A Bang #50: The Hunt For Planet Nine And Beyond

What lies out there, in the outer Solar System, beyond the orbit of the last known planet? Up until 1992, you would have said Pluto and its moon (maybe "moons" if you were willing to speculate), but even the existence of the Kuiper belt was doubted by many. Of course, all of that changed with the discovery of many different objects, including the more-massive-than-Pluto world discovered in 2003: Eris. We quickly realized that Pluto was not unique, but one member of a distinct class of objects thoroughly different than the planets. In 2006, we created the "dwarf planet" classification for non-planetary objects that still were Pluto-like. But more recently, a compelling but controversial idea has emerged: the idea of a Planet Nine that is more massive than even Earth, but lies hundreds of times farther away that we are from the Sun. Both of these achievements, the theorizing of Planet Nine and the Pluto-killing discovery of Eris, come courtesy of the same planetary astronomer: Mike Brown. Dive into a fascinating conversation with him and me right here on the 50th edition of the Starts With A Bang podcast! (Image credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC))

77 MIN2019 NOV 15
Comments
Starts With A Bang #50: The Hunt For Planet Nine And Beyond

Starts With A Bang #49 - The LHC And The Future Of Physics

The Large Hadron Collider, located at CERN, is the most powerful particle accelerator and collider in human history, and the detectors that observe the collisional debris are the most sensitive and comprehensive ever constructed. With this powerful new tools, physicists discovered the Higgs boson earlier this decade, and continue to probe the frontiers of the known Universe. Currently undergoing upgrades, the LHC has only collected, to date, 2% of the eventual data it will wind up collecting. Meanwhile, physicists are already planning for the future, looking to build a next-generation collider capable of probing the frontiers beyond the LHC's reach. Yet many detractors, dissatisfied with the motivations for pushing these boundaries forward, are working to obstruct this tremendous, civilization-scale endeavor. My guest this month on the Starts With A Bang podcast is Dr. James Beacham, a scientist who works as a member of CERN's ATLAS collaboration. In a far-ranging discussion, we talk about the LHC and beyond as we face an uncertain but potential-filled future for particle physics. This is one discussion you won't want to miss! (Image credit: CERN / Maximilien Brice and Julien Marius Ordan)

92 MIN2019 OCT 13
Comments
Starts With A Bang #49 - The LHC And The Future Of Physics

Starts With A Bang #48 - The Event Horizon Telescope

Earlier this year, 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration revealed the first image that directly showed the existence of an event horizon around a black hole. This image, constructed from many petabytes of data from telescopes observing the same target, simultaneously, from all across the Earth, provided a breathtaking confirmation of Einstein's relativity in a realm where it had never been tested before. But that's just one image of one black hole at one particular moment in time, and there's so much more to come from the Event Horizon Telescope. This month, we're so fortunate to sit down with EHT scientist Sara Issaoun, who takes us through the past, present, and future hopes for the Event Horizon Telescope and how it hopes to answer humanity's biggest questions about black holes. (Image credit: APEX, IRAM, G. Narayanan, J. McMahon, JCMT/JAC, S. Hostler, D. Harvey, ESO/C. Malin)

72 MIN2019 SEP 13
Comments
Starts With A Bang #48 - The Event Horizon Telescope

Starts With A Bang #47 - Ice Giants At The Solar System's Edge

What do we really know, and what mysteries are left to solve, about the outer worlds of our Solar System, and about the gas giant and ice giant worlds found throughout the Universe? Remarkably, if you had asked this same question 30 years ago, we would have had a quaint story about how planets form and why our Solar System has the planets it does, and we assumed that these rules would be extended to all solar systems in the galaxy and Universe. But with the deluge of exoplanet data, accompanied by better observations and simulations of our Solar System, that old story isn't even the half of it. I'm so lucky to get to interview Heidi Hammel for this edition of the podcast, who, as a bonus, was the lead investigator on the Hubble Space telescope when Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacted Jupiter back in 1994! Come listen to one of my favorite interviews ever today! (Image credit: NASA/Voyager 2)

87 MIN2019 AUG 7
Comments
Starts With A Bang #47 - Ice Giants At The Solar System's Edge

Starts With A Bang #46 - Experimental Particle Searches

We know that there's more to the Universe than we presently know. As successful as the Standard Model may be, it cannot describe everything we observe to be true about the Universe. Neutrinos oscillate from one flavor into another, and must have a non-zero mass, but we don't understand why or how. Dark matter has an overwhelming suite of astrophysical evidence that points towards its existence, but we have no direct evidence for the type of particle it might be. What do we do about these puzzles? We perform the best experiments we can to try and probe, identify, and constrain the novel physics that might be responsible for these unexplained phenomena. This month, I'm so pleased to chat with Doctor Laura Manenti, postdoctoral research associate at NYU Abu Dhabi and a researcher on the XENON1T and the Proto-DUNE experiments. Take a dive into the world of experimental particle physics on the latest Starts With A Bang podcast! (Image credit: Enrico Sacchetti.)

90 MIN2019 JUL 19
Comments
Starts With A Bang #46 - Experimental Particle Searches

Starts With A Bang #45 - Beyond Earth 2.0

With all the planets out there in the galaxy and Universe, it's only a matter of time and data until we find another one with life on it. (Probably.) But while most of the searches have focused on finding the next Earth, sometimes called Earth 2.0, that's very likely an overly restrictive way to look for life. Biosignatures, or more conservatively, bio-hints, might not only be plentiful on worlds very different from our own, but around Solar Systems other than our own. Earth-like worlds, in fact, might not even be the most ubiquitous places for life to arise in the Universe. I'm happy to welcome scientist Adrian Lenardic onto the Starts With A Bang podcast, and explore what just might be out there if we look for life beyond our idea of Earth 2.0! (Image credit: JPL-Caltech/NASA.)

75 MIN2019 JUN 14
Comments
Starts With A Bang #45 - Beyond Earth 2.0

Starts With A Bang #44 - The Expanding Universe

One of the biggest conundrums in the Universe surrounds the question of how quickly the Universe is expanding. Questions like what is the Universe made of, how old is it, what is it's ultimate fate, etc., absolutely depend on this. For generations, we argued over the details of this, seeming to have finally reached a consensus in 2001 with the Hubble Key Project's results: 72 km/s/Mpc, with an uncertainty of about 10%. But the modern results, as of 2019, seem to depend on how you measure it. Some teams are consistently getting 67 km/s/Mpc, while others get 73-74 km/s/Mpc, with uncertainties that don't overlap. This may not be a controversy, but rather a clue, and Nobel Prizewinner and co-discoverer of dark energy Adam Riess joins me on this special edition of the Starts With A Bang podcast. Don't miss it! (Image credit: NASA / GSFC)

61 MIN2019 MAY 3
Comments
Starts With A Bang #44 - The Expanding Universe

Starts With A Bang #43 - Gravitational Microlensing

When we think about finding planets in the Universe, we typically look for ways to detect them as they orbit their parents stars, either affecting their star's position or velocity, or blocking or reflecting a certain portion of their light. But what about the planets that are too small to be detected that way? What about the planets whose effects are imperceptible? And what about the rogue planets: the ones that no longer (or perhaps never did) orbit a star of their own? Well, they're not doomed to be invisible! In fact, we can measure and characterize them extremely well, through the power of gravitational microlensing. This isn't some pipe dream of science fiction that may someday come to fruition; it's real, current science that expects a tremendous explosion of planetary discoveries with WFIRST's launch in the mid-2020s. Come find out what the future of this fascinating scientific field holds as we launch into a tremendous conversation with researcher Savannah Jacklin, as we explore the microlensing Universe! (Image credit: NASA's Exoplanet Science Institute / JPL-Caltech / IPAC)

69 MIN2019 APR 9
Comments
Starts With A Bang #43 - Gravitational Microlensing

Latest Episodes

Starts With A Bang #52 - The Thirty Meter Telescope

The history of astronomy is a history of receding horizons. As we improve our optics, our instruments, and our observing techniques, we can reveal progressively more of the Universe than we've ever seen before. As the 2020s dawn on us, we're preparing to jump from 10 meter-class observatories, which are presently the largest in ground-based optical telescopes, to 30 meter-class ones, with approximately thrice the resolution and ten times the light-gathering power. There's a tremendous suite of cosmic stories to discover, but the only one of the 30 meter-class observatories to be built in the Northern Hemisphere is facing a tremendous controversy that's been decades in the making. What are the next steps towards building the Thirty Meter Telescope? The latest edition of the Starts With A Bang Podcast features the TMT's vice president for external relations, Dr. Gordon Squires, and you won't want to miss it! (Image credit: Thirty Meter Telescope Collaboration)

81 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Starts With A Bang #52 - The Thirty Meter Telescope

Starts With A Bang #51 - Cosmology At The Edge Of Time

Have you ever wondered what the first moments of our Universe were like? Not just going back towards the hot Big Bang, but at the very first fractions of a second that come after, during, and even before the Big Bang occurs? It was my pleasure to get to speak to Dan Hooper, astrophysicist, professor, and author of the new book At The Edge Of Time, which is my favorite popular science book of 2019. (Pick up a copy here: https://amzn.to/2XReiGG) In this fascinating hour+ conversation, we cover topics like dark matter, inflation, and what not only 21st century physics but even 30th century physics might hold. Don't miss it! (Image credit: Princeton University Press / Dan Hooper.)

68 MIN2019 DEC 14
Comments
Starts With A Bang #51 - Cosmology At The Edge Of Time

Starts With A Bang #50: The Hunt For Planet Nine And Beyond

What lies out there, in the outer Solar System, beyond the orbit of the last known planet? Up until 1992, you would have said Pluto and its moon (maybe "moons" if you were willing to speculate), but even the existence of the Kuiper belt was doubted by many. Of course, all of that changed with the discovery of many different objects, including the more-massive-than-Pluto world discovered in 2003: Eris. We quickly realized that Pluto was not unique, but one member of a distinct class of objects thoroughly different than the planets. In 2006, we created the "dwarf planet" classification for non-planetary objects that still were Pluto-like. But more recently, a compelling but controversial idea has emerged: the idea of a Planet Nine that is more massive than even Earth, but lies hundreds of times farther away that we are from the Sun. Both of these achievements, the theorizing of Planet Nine and the Pluto-killing discovery of Eris, come courtesy of the same planetary astronomer: Mike Brown. Dive into a fascinating conversation with him and me right here on the 50th edition of the Starts With A Bang podcast! (Image credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC))

77 MIN2019 NOV 15
Comments
Starts With A Bang #50: The Hunt For Planet Nine And Beyond

Starts With A Bang #49 - The LHC And The Future Of Physics

The Large Hadron Collider, located at CERN, is the most powerful particle accelerator and collider in human history, and the detectors that observe the collisional debris are the most sensitive and comprehensive ever constructed. With this powerful new tools, physicists discovered the Higgs boson earlier this decade, and continue to probe the frontiers of the known Universe. Currently undergoing upgrades, the LHC has only collected, to date, 2% of the eventual data it will wind up collecting. Meanwhile, physicists are already planning for the future, looking to build a next-generation collider capable of probing the frontiers beyond the LHC's reach. Yet many detractors, dissatisfied with the motivations for pushing these boundaries forward, are working to obstruct this tremendous, civilization-scale endeavor. My guest this month on the Starts With A Bang podcast is Dr. James Beacham, a scientist who works as a member of CERN's ATLAS collaboration. In a far-ranging discussion, we talk about the LHC and beyond as we face an uncertain but potential-filled future for particle physics. This is one discussion you won't want to miss! (Image credit: CERN / Maximilien Brice and Julien Marius Ordan)

92 MIN2019 OCT 13
Comments
Starts With A Bang #49 - The LHC And The Future Of Physics

Starts With A Bang #48 - The Event Horizon Telescope

Earlier this year, 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration revealed the first image that directly showed the existence of an event horizon around a black hole. This image, constructed from many petabytes of data from telescopes observing the same target, simultaneously, from all across the Earth, provided a breathtaking confirmation of Einstein's relativity in a realm where it had never been tested before. But that's just one image of one black hole at one particular moment in time, and there's so much more to come from the Event Horizon Telescope. This month, we're so fortunate to sit down with EHT scientist Sara Issaoun, who takes us through the past, present, and future hopes for the Event Horizon Telescope and how it hopes to answer humanity's biggest questions about black holes. (Image credit: APEX, IRAM, G. Narayanan, J. McMahon, JCMT/JAC, S. Hostler, D. Harvey, ESO/C. Malin)

72 MIN2019 SEP 13
Comments
Starts With A Bang #48 - The Event Horizon Telescope

Starts With A Bang #47 - Ice Giants At The Solar System's Edge

What do we really know, and what mysteries are left to solve, about the outer worlds of our Solar System, and about the gas giant and ice giant worlds found throughout the Universe? Remarkably, if you had asked this same question 30 years ago, we would have had a quaint story about how planets form and why our Solar System has the planets it does, and we assumed that these rules would be extended to all solar systems in the galaxy and Universe. But with the deluge of exoplanet data, accompanied by better observations and simulations of our Solar System, that old story isn't even the half of it. I'm so lucky to get to interview Heidi Hammel for this edition of the podcast, who, as a bonus, was the lead investigator on the Hubble Space telescope when Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacted Jupiter back in 1994! Come listen to one of my favorite interviews ever today! (Image credit: NASA/Voyager 2)

87 MIN2019 AUG 7
Comments
Starts With A Bang #47 - Ice Giants At The Solar System's Edge

Starts With A Bang #46 - Experimental Particle Searches

We know that there's more to the Universe than we presently know. As successful as the Standard Model may be, it cannot describe everything we observe to be true about the Universe. Neutrinos oscillate from one flavor into another, and must have a non-zero mass, but we don't understand why or how. Dark matter has an overwhelming suite of astrophysical evidence that points towards its existence, but we have no direct evidence for the type of particle it might be. What do we do about these puzzles? We perform the best experiments we can to try and probe, identify, and constrain the novel physics that might be responsible for these unexplained phenomena. This month, I'm so pleased to chat with Doctor Laura Manenti, postdoctoral research associate at NYU Abu Dhabi and a researcher on the XENON1T and the Proto-DUNE experiments. Take a dive into the world of experimental particle physics on the latest Starts With A Bang podcast! (Image credit: Enrico Sacchetti.)

90 MIN2019 JUL 19
Comments
Starts With A Bang #46 - Experimental Particle Searches

Starts With A Bang #45 - Beyond Earth 2.0

With all the planets out there in the galaxy and Universe, it's only a matter of time and data until we find another one with life on it. (Probably.) But while most of the searches have focused on finding the next Earth, sometimes called Earth 2.0, that's very likely an overly restrictive way to look for life. Biosignatures, or more conservatively, bio-hints, might not only be plentiful on worlds very different from our own, but around Solar Systems other than our own. Earth-like worlds, in fact, might not even be the most ubiquitous places for life to arise in the Universe. I'm happy to welcome scientist Adrian Lenardic onto the Starts With A Bang podcast, and explore what just might be out there if we look for life beyond our idea of Earth 2.0! (Image credit: JPL-Caltech/NASA.)

75 MIN2019 JUN 14
Comments
Starts With A Bang #45 - Beyond Earth 2.0

Starts With A Bang #44 - The Expanding Universe

One of the biggest conundrums in the Universe surrounds the question of how quickly the Universe is expanding. Questions like what is the Universe made of, how old is it, what is it's ultimate fate, etc., absolutely depend on this. For generations, we argued over the details of this, seeming to have finally reached a consensus in 2001 with the Hubble Key Project's results: 72 km/s/Mpc, with an uncertainty of about 10%. But the modern results, as of 2019, seem to depend on how you measure it. Some teams are consistently getting 67 km/s/Mpc, while others get 73-74 km/s/Mpc, with uncertainties that don't overlap. This may not be a controversy, but rather a clue, and Nobel Prizewinner and co-discoverer of dark energy Adam Riess joins me on this special edition of the Starts With A Bang podcast. Don't miss it! (Image credit: NASA / GSFC)

61 MIN2019 MAY 3
Comments
Starts With A Bang #44 - The Expanding Universe

Starts With A Bang #43 - Gravitational Microlensing

When we think about finding planets in the Universe, we typically look for ways to detect them as they orbit their parents stars, either affecting their star's position or velocity, or blocking or reflecting a certain portion of their light. But what about the planets that are too small to be detected that way? What about the planets whose effects are imperceptible? And what about the rogue planets: the ones that no longer (or perhaps never did) orbit a star of their own? Well, they're not doomed to be invisible! In fact, we can measure and characterize them extremely well, through the power of gravitational microlensing. This isn't some pipe dream of science fiction that may someday come to fruition; it's real, current science that expects a tremendous explosion of planetary discoveries with WFIRST's launch in the mid-2020s. Come find out what the future of this fascinating scientific field holds as we launch into a tremendous conversation with researcher Savannah Jacklin, as we explore the microlensing Universe! (Image credit: NASA's Exoplanet Science Institute / JPL-Caltech / IPAC)

69 MIN2019 APR 9
Comments
Starts With A Bang #43 - Gravitational Microlensing
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