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Astronomy Cast

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*Special Tuesday time! * Last show before Hiatus!**

Join +Fraser Cain  and +Pamela Gay for a live episode of Astronomy Cast. We'll record our 30-minute show, and then stick around to answer your questions about space and astronomy. 

Astronomy Cast Ep. 383: Approaches to Absolute Zero

The coldest possible theoretical temperature is Absolute Zero, this is the point at which no further energy can be extracted from a system. How are physicists working to get as close as possible to this extreme cold?
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Astronomy Cast Ep. 383: Approaches to Absolute Zero
Tue, June 30, 3:00 PM
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Guido Bibra's profile photoCosmoQuest's profile photoPamela L. Gay's profile photoGermaine VANGUARD's profile photo
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Farewell, wherever you fare, +Pamela L. Gay  and +Fraser Cain , 'til your eyries receive you at the journey's end. May the wind under your wings bear you where the Sun sails and the Moon walks (with respect to J.R.R. Tolkien).

See you in September!
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Astronomy Cast

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Join +Fraser Cain  and +Pamela Gay for a live episode of Astronomy Cast. We'll record our 30-minute show, and then stick around to answer your questions about space and astronomy. 

Ep. 381: Hollowing Asteroids in Science and Fiction

When we finally make the jump to fully colonizing the Solar System, we're going to want to use asteroids as stepping stones. We can use them as way stations, research facilities, even as spacecraft to further explore the Solar System. Today we'll talk about the science and science fiction of hollowing out asteroids.
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Astronomy Cast Ep. 381: Hollowing Asteroids in Science and Fiction
Mon, June 15, 3:00 PM
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I downloaded the episode and will watch it as I edit it for +365 Days of Astronomy Podcast. It'll be published on iTunes (where it's free, BTW) on Monday the 29th.
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Join +Fraser Cain  and +Pamela Gay for a live episode of Astronomy Cast. We'll record our 30-minute show, and then stick around to answer your questions about space and astronomy. 

Astronomy Cast Ep. 379: Fermi's Atom Splitting

When he wasn't puzzling the mystery of alien civilizations, Enrico Fermi was splitting atoms. He realized that when atoms were split, the neutrons released could go on and split other atoms, creating a chain reaction - and the most powerful weapons ever devised.
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Astronomy Cast Ep. 379: Fermi's Atom Splitting
Mon, June 1, 3:00 PM
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Even after 379 Episodes, there will still be enough ideas left for Astronomy Cast! Brilliant episode this week, looking forward to what will come next week.
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Astronomy Cast Ep. 377: Thomson finds Electron
At the end of the 19th century, physicists were finally beginning to understand the nature of matter itself, including the discovery of electrons - tiny particles of negative charge that surround the nucleus. Here's how J.J. Thompson separated the electrons from their atoms and uncovered their nature.
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Astronomy Cast Ep. 377: Thomson finds Electron
Mon, May 18, 3:00 PM
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ZEN KOANS

The Mach question towards the end of the podcast (proper motion of the universe).  Rotation against nothing, is it even conceivable. I usually file it under Sikorsky. A helicopter with a single set of blades will start to spin against itself. Technically, conservation of angular momentum. Brian Greene treats the problem extensively in 'The Fabric of the Cosmos', starting with Newton's pail of water and centrifugal forces. (Washington Irving did work that one into a slightly anti-scientific sketch. The erudite water dervish. Add corpulence.) Greene does not come up with a knock-out punch. Final verdict, Mach has been superseded by Einstein. Minority view, some dovetailing.

PARTICLE ACCELERATORS OVER THE AGES

What was the actual game changer. Why did Thomson and Rutherford succeed where all those guys with the pointed hats and flamboyant garbs did fail. It was probably the dress code (drab and gray). Apart from that, coercing atoms with bellows and fire is just so passé. A ray gun may not look like much but packs a lot more punch per square millimeter than a sledgehammer. Give me the tools. I can only come up with three basic 'gun' types: Thomson: accelerated electrons (CRT); electrons ejected out of metal by ultraviolet light (enhanced photocells); Rutherford: alpha particles (helium nuclei) emitted by radioactive substances.

HOW TO COUNT ANGELS ON AN OILDROP

The suspended oil droplets in Millikan's experiment had the courtesy to pick up some stray charge, either by friction or by 'dust inhalation'. Raindrops can do that too [the Wilson theory of lightning formation by  precipitation is most likely deprecated by now, high turnover rate in that field]. More enduring, a particular thundercloud illustration, released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Weather Department Report, June 1949, is still used widely as Internet illustration (Wikimedia Commons credit). I know it does not belong but it made me think of Mary Poppins. If the uplift was due to the umbrella, how long could one hold an arm at that angle. How long could anyone hold a weight of 1kg at the end of an outstretched arm. Probably not much merit apart as mnemonic, the M&M experiment.
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Astronomy Cast

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Join +Fraser Cain  and +Pamela Gay for a live episode of Astronomy Cast. We'll record our 30-minute show, and then stick around to answer your questions about space and astronomy. 

Astronomy Cast Ep. 374: Stern-Gerlach Experiment

In the world of quantum mechanics, particles behave in discreet ways. One breakthrough experiment was the Stern-Gerlach Experiment, performed in 1922. They passed silver atoms through a magnetic field and watched how the spin of the atoms caused the particles to deflect in a very specific way.
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Astronomy Cast Ep. 374: Stern-Gerlach Experiment
Mon, April 20, 3:00 PM
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For those of you who want to soak this info deeper into the folds of your brain-thing, then have a listen to the +365 Days of Astronomy podcast on April 27th and you can catch it all over again. Free, on iTunes (but you knew that...).
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Astronomy Cast

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Join +Fraser Cain  and +Pamela Gay for a live episode of Astronomy Cast. We'll record our 30-minute show, and then stick around to answer your questions about space and astronomy. 

Astronomy Cast Ep. 372: Millikan Oil Drop

In 1909 Robert Millikan devised an ingenious experiment to figure out the charge of an electron using a drop of oil. Let's talk about this Nobel Prize winning experiment
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Astronomy Cast Ep. 372: Millikan Oil Drop
Mon, March 30, 3:00 PM
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+Nancy Graziano
My theory (based on the Linux protocol), high-res content is fetched directly from the local YouTube 'storehouse'. Requests for opening the Q&A App are routed differently. Could be something else. I can get the app started, just not the elegant one click affair it is reputed to be.  Some restarts may be required. Everything worked like a charm until the low res option was switched off  (end of last year). O2 subscriber.
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Astronomy Cast

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**This week and next, we're at a special Tuesday time!**

Join +Fraser Cain  and +Pamela Gay for a live episode of Astronomy Cast. We'll record our 30-minute show, and then stick around to answer your questions about space and astronomy. 

Ep. 382: Degenerate Matter

In some of the most extreme objects in the Universe, white dwarfs and neutron stars, matter gets strange, transforming into a material that physicists call “degenerate matter”. Let’s learn what it is, how it forms.
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Astronomy Cast Ep. 382: Degenerate Matter
Tue, June 23, 3:00 PM
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I could not find the bio of S. Chandrasekhar by Mukherjee. Will a link be in the show notes?
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Astronomy Cast

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Join +Fraser Cain  and +Pamela Gay for a live episode of Astronomy Cast. We'll record our 30-minute show, and then stick around to answer your questions about space and astronomy. 

Astronomers rely on the optics of their instruments, and there are some basic limits that you just can't avoid. Whatever we look at is distorted by the optics, in fact, a basic property of light means that we'll never get perfect optics. Here's why we can't "magnify and enhance" forever.
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Astronomy Cast Ep. 380: The Limits of Optics
Mon, June 8, 3:00 PM
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Optics and what they do  !!!  Oh yeah babe !!!
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Astronomy Cast

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Join +Fraser Cain  and +Pamela Gay for a live episode of Astronomy Cast. We'll record our 30-minute show, and then stick around to answer your questions about space and astronomy. 

Astronomy Cast Ep. 378: Rutherford and Atoms
Physicists knew the interior of the atom contained protons, neutrons and electrons, but they didn't understand exactly how they were organized. It took Ernest Rutherford to uncover our modern understanding.
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Astronomy Cast Ep. 378: Rutherford and Atoms
Mon, May 25, 3:00 PM
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You can craft a proton beam and hit a beryllium target to make in a neutron beam. Did Fermi that or was a later method?
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Video is now here! https://youtu.be/T-b9uVPcQMo

Join +Fraser Cain  and special guest Morgan Rehnberg for a live Hangoutathon episode  of Astronomy Cast. We'll record our 30-minute show, and then stick around to answer your questions about space and astronomy. 

Astronomy Cast Ep. 375: The Search For Life in the Solar System

With the discovery of water ice in so many locations in the Solar System, scientists are hopeful in the search for life on other worlds. Guest Morgan Rehnberg returns to Astronomy Cast to explain the best places we should be looking for life.
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You can now find the video, edited out of the Hangoutathon, on YouTube here - https://youtu.be/T-b9uVPcQMo
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Rescheduled for Tuesday.

Join +Fraser Cain  and +Pamela Gay for a live episode of Astronomy Cast. We'll record our 30-minute show, and then stick around to answer your questions about space and astronomy. 

Astronomy Cast Ep. 376: Miller-Urey Experiment

Evolution explains how life adapts and evolves over eons. But how did life originate? Chemists Miller and Urey put the raw chemicals of life into a solution, applied an electric charge, and created amino acids - the building blocks of life.
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Astronomy Cast Ep. 376: Miller-Urey Experiment
Tue, May 5, 3:00 PM
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NPR story on analyzing samples from 50's found in 2008
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95814155

still looking for the radiolab podcast mentioned
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Join +Fraser Cain  and +Pamela Gay for a live episode of Astronomy Cast. We'll record our 30-minute show, and then stick around to answer your questions about space and astronomy. 

Astronomy Cast Ep. 373: Becquerel Experiment (Radiation)

Antoine Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity completely by accident when he exposed a chunk of uranium to a photographic plate. This opened up a whole new field of research to uncover the source of the mysterious energy.
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Astronomy Cast Ep. 373: Becquerel Experiment (Radiation)
Mon, April 6, 3:00 PM
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Guido Bibra's profile photoPamela L. Gay's profile photoCosmoQuest's profile photoAna Victoria Lagos (Anatonia)'s profile photo
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Raised question, what would have happened had Becquerel ignored intuition and not developed the unexposed plates in his drawer. An old Gamow book (The Birth and Dead of the Sun) sheds some light on this - I apologize for the poor choice of words. Becquerel apparently did ignore intuition and used the first set of radiation exposed plates for unrelated purposes (family snapshots who knows) only to discover that the they were spoiled.  (Haunted by ghost and wormholes, the curse of double exposures). The picture with the famous iron key, interposed between the uranium bisulphate and the plate, is from a second set, where he tried to figure out what had actually happened.
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