Episode 02: INTERSTELLAR
If you’re using the player above to listen to this episode, click here to open this page in a new browser window so you can visit the links below without losing your place.
In this episode, Steve tries to measure distant stars with his thumb, Matt talks black holes & plot holes and Helen plays some of her favourite space sounds. Plus a song from Helen that may provide useful information for your future interstellar travel needs.
01:01 – Steve’s bit
12:24 – Helen’s bit
25:40 – Matt’s bit
39:53 – Helen’s song
If you’d like inbox updates about this podcast and our plans for future live shows, join our mailing list. If you’re into merch, DVDs, downloads or books check out the Spoken Nerd Shop. If songs are your thing, Helen has created a free album on Bandcamp with all the tracks from Series 1.
Corrections and clarifications first:
- 12:09 – Helen uses the phrase “standing on the shoulders of giants” which – as Lynda Goldenberg rightly points out – not actually a complement, but rather a heinous insult used by Isaac Newton to describe Robert Hooke. We’ll pull this apart properly in a future episode.
- 20:49 – Anaesthetists @brisgasdoc and @mjtb1987 have confirmed that they use the blood oxygen level tone all day, every day with their patients. This paper is an interesting investigation into attention and sonification in the operating room, and does mentions how surgical colleagues prefer to keep the oximeter volume down low.
Here’s a heap of unnecessary detail from this episode:
- More about the awesome Henrietta Swan Leavitt.
- How astronomers use parallax to measure the distance to stars.
- How the Earth-Sun distance was measured during an 18th Century Transit of Venus
- The complete Cosmic Distance Ladder.
- A visualisation of the LIGO chirp pattern detected in 2015.
- “I heard Gravitational Waves before they were detected!”
- Steve explaining gravitational waves – as also seen in our latest comedy special “You Can’t Polish A Nerd”.
- A bonus explanation of when black holes go faster than light.
- Those creepy noises detected around comet 67P.
- The thing that Interstellar got right: the first accurate visual rendering of a black hole in a Hollywood movie.
- More of Helen’s favourite space sounds:
- Like free stuff? Get all of the songs from this series as downloads for zero pounds from Helen’s Bandcamp page.
Thanks for listening!
This podcast is sponsored by Brilliant.org, a website full of maths, science, and engineering problem-solving courses. We love what they do, and we love that they support us! The first 200 listeners who subscribe on the link brilliant.org/apoud will get 20% off an annual subscription, which gives you access to the full archive of Daily Challenges and every single course.