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Podcast Profile: The Joy of Why

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40 episodes
2022 to 2024
Median: 40 minutes
Collections: Physics, Math, and AstronomyScience

Description (podcaster-provided):

“The Joy of Why” is a Quanta Magazine podcast about curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge. The mathematician and author Steven Strogatz and the cosmologist and author Janna Levin take turns interviewing leading researchers about the great scientific and mathematical questions of our time. New episodes are released every other Wednesday.
Quanta Magazine is a Pulitzer Prize–winning, editorially independent online publication launched and supported by the Simons Foundation to illuminate big ideas in science and math through public service journalism. Quanta’s reporters and editors focus on developments in mathematics, theoretical physics, theoretical computer science and the basic life sciences, emphasizing timely, accurate, in-depth and well-crafted articles for its broad discerning audience. In 2023, Steven Strogatz received a National Academies Eric and Wendy Schmidt Award for Excellence in Science Communications partly for his work on “The Joy of Why.”

Themes and summary (AI-generated based on podcaster-provided show and episode descriptions):

➤ Scientific and mathematical questions • Curiosity-driven exploration • Interviews with researchers • Nature of the universe • Mental health and psychedelics • Mathematical concepts • Modern physics insights

"The Joy of Why" is a podcast produced by Quanta Magazine that delves into the profound inquiries and complex phenomena that underpin modern science and mathematics. Co-hosted by mathematician Steven Strogatz and cosmologist Janna Levin, the podcast features interviews with leading researchers who explore a broad spectrum of intellectual curiosities.

This podcast covers a diverse array of topics, rooted primarily in the realms of theoretical physics, mathematics, and the biological sciences. Themes of curiosity and the pursuit of deeper understanding are recurrent throughout the episodes. For instance, the show frequently tackles fundamental questions about the universe, such as the nature of time, space, and gravity, and the potential existence of a multiverse. Discussions also venture into the intricate workings of the human mind and body, examining subjects like consciousness, mental health, and the mechanisms of sleep and aging.

Listeners are taken on explorations of more niche scientific phenomena as well, including the peculiarities of quantum mechanics, the enigma of high-temperature superconductors, and the unexpected mathematics behind concepts like infinity and knot theory. The podcast also highlights the practical applications of these scientific principles, such as the use of psychedelics in mental health treatment, the potential of synthetic biology to program cells, and the innovative ways math and physics can address medical challenges like arrhythmic hearts.

By delving into both groundbreaking new research and the philosophical implications of various scientific theories, "The Joy of Why" offers a comprehensive look at the ongoing efforts to answer some of the most intriguing questions in science and mathematics today. Through these deep dives, the podcast aims to illuminate the intricate tapestry of knowledge that constitutes our understanding of the natural world.

Episode Image Will AI Ever Have Common Sense?
44 minutes
Episode Image What Can Tiling Patterns Teach Us?
39 minutes
Episode Image How Is Science Even Possible?
35 minutes
Episode Image Can Psychedelics Improve Mental Health?
39 minutes
Episode Image What Happens in the Brain to Cause Depression?
33 minutes
Episode Image Will Better Superconductors Transform the World?
28 minutes
Episode Image What Does Milk Do for Babies?
34 minutes
Episode Image Can Information Escape a Black Hole?
29 minutes
Episode Image How Is Flocking Like Computing?
39 minutes
Episode Image What Is Quantum Teleportation?
30 minutes
Episode Image What Is the Nature of Time?
30 minutes
Episode Image How Did Altruism Evolve?
34 minutes
Episode Image What Makes for ‘Good’ Math?
35 minutes
Episode Image Trailer: The Joy of Why Season 3
2 minutes
Episode Image Does Nothingness Exist?
44 minutes
Episode Image Can Math and Physics Save an Arrhythmic Heart?
46 minutes
Episode Image What Can Jellyfish Teach Us About Fluid Dynamics?
43 minutes
Episode Image What Causes Giant Rogue Waves?
40 minutes
Episode Image What Is the Nature of Consciousness?
52 minutes
Episode Image Are There Reasons to Believe in a Multiverse?
48 minutes
Episode Image Is Perpetual Motion Possible at the Quantum Level?
36 minutes
Episode Image How Can Some Infinities Be Bigger Than Others?
46 minutes
Episode Image What Has the Pandemic Taught Us About Vaccines?
42 minutes
Episode Image Is There Math Beyond the Equal Sign?
49 minutes
Episode Image Can We Program Our Cells?
45 minutes
Episode Image How Will the Universe End?
43 minutes
Episode Image The Joy of Asking About Infinity, Jellyfish and the End of the Universe
2 minutes
Episode Image Why and How Do We Dream?
45 minutes
Episode Image What Is Quantum Field Theory and Why Is It Incomplete?
42 minutes
Episode Image Why Do We Get Old, and Can Aging Be Reversed?
38 minutes
Episode Image How Do Mathematicians Know Their Proofs Are Correct?
28 minutes
Episode Image Can Computers Be Mathematicians?
32 minutes
Episode Image What Is Life?
41 minutes
Episode Image How Could Life Evolve From Cyanide?
39 minutes
Episode Image Will the James Webb Space Telescope Reveal Another Earth?
49 minutes
Episode Image Where Do Space, Time and Gravity Come From?
42 minutes
Episode Image Why Is Inflammation a Dangerous Necessity?
40 minutes
Episode Image Untangling Why Knots Are Important
44 minutes
Episode Image Why Do We Die Without Sleep?
43 minutes
Episode Image Trailer: The Joy of Why
2 minutes