Show: Future Talk

Episode: 0029 Future Talk - Mysteries of the Universe

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Episode Description:

This episode looks at one of the most mysterious forces in the universe, gravitation. Host Martin Wasserman interviews two Stanford scientists who are attempting to prove Einstein's theory that gravity is not a force at all, but the result of the curvature of space, which occurs in the presence of large bodies such as stars and planets. Particularly, they are looking to prove the existence of gravity waves, thought to occur when violent events such as collisions between stars send ripples through the fabric of space-time.

Brian Lantz is a senior research scientist with a Ph.D. in physics from M.I.T. for his work with laser interferometers, a key component of gravity wave experiments which operate on the assumption that gravity waves can expand or compress space itself, and these compressions can be detected by sufficiently sensitive instruments. He's one of the top scientists at Project LIGO, which stands for Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory. The current observatory has two perpendicular laser tubes each four kilometers long.

Riccardo Bassiri has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Glasgow, Scotland and is visiting Stanford as an Entrepreneurial Fellow as part of a collaboration between six Scottish universities, Stanford, Caltech, and several industrial partners. His work focuses on the very precise optical devices needed to make the laser interferometers work.

The show includes some fascinating video from the National Science Foundation which sponsors Project LIGO, a live demonstration of some of the equipment used in the research, and a discussion of how the research is leading to advances in lasers, optics and noise dampening systems that have practical applications in other areas as well, regardless of whether gravity waves are found.

Episode Short Description: N/A

Downloads of This Episode:

[SD File Downloads]: 104

[HD File Downloads]: 0

[Total File Downloads]: 104


SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 0029 Future Talk - Mysteries of the Universe.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:28:53

File Size of SD Episode Video: 1,367,521,280 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 12:53

HD (High Definition) File

This episode has not been uploaded by the producer in HD format and is not available for download.

If you wish to have HD format, you can private message a request to the show's producer at Martin Wasserman.