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Podcast Profile: Why This Universe?

podcast imageTwitter: @DanHooperAstro@shalmawegs (@DanHooperAstro followed by 335 accounts on physicist, mathematician, and astronomer lists)
Site: whythisuniverse.buzzsprout.com/1162613
57 episodes
2020 to present
Average episode: 28 minutes
Open in Apple PodcastsRSS

Categories: Astronomy • Physics • Two Hosts

Podcaster's summary: The biggest ideas in physics, broken down. Join theoretical physicist Dan Hooper and PhD student Shalma Wegsman as they answer your questions about dark matter, black holes, quantum mechanics, and more. Part of The University of Chicago Podcast Network.

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List Updated: 2022-Jun-29 11:52 UTC. Episodes: 57. Feedback: @TrueSciPhi.

Episodes
2022-Jun-27 • 25 minutes
49 - When the Universe Changed in an Instant
Just like water changing to ice when it freezes, there were times in the universe's early history when reality changed in almost an instant. Today we dive into these cosmological phase transitions, and speculate about the strange objects these types of instant changes can create.
2022-May-23 • 25 minutes
48 - A Wrong Picture Of Cosmology
When cosmology was still an infant science, a daring physicist wrote a theory of the beginning of time. We revisit this theory and see what value we can still glean from it today.
2022-May-09 • 34 minutes
13 - Does Quantum Mechanics Imply a Multiverse? (Rebroadcast)
Today we explore different interpretations of quantum mechanics, from Copenhagen to the many-worlds hypothesis, in an attempt to uncover what quantum reality really is. This episode is a rebroadcast of one of our early favorites.
2022-Apr-25 • 29 minutes
47 - Boltzmann Brains: Could Reality Be An Illusion?
A whirlwind of questions brings us to an odd conclusion: could reality be an illusion created by a quantum fluctuation of a brain?
2022-Apr-04 • 25 minutes
46 - The Cosmic Rays Raining Down On Us
Here on Earth, we are constantly being showered by particles from outer space called cosmic rays. What do we know about where these particles really come from?
2022-Mar-14 • 29 minutes
25 - Do Extra Dimensions Exist? (Rebroadcast)
Today we are rebroadcasting an earlier episode all about extra dimensions - How many dimensions of space are there? Could there be extra dimensions that are hidden from view?
2022-Feb-28 • 39 minutes
45 - The Wide World of Exoplanets (ft. Diana Powell)
Special guest Dr. Diana Powell gives us the lay down on the field of exoplanet research, and on how these recent discoveries may shed light on the question of extraterrestrial life.
2022-Feb-14 • 24 minutes
44 - Our Deepest Theory: Quantum Field Theory
Today we attempt to break down the basics of quantum field theory - our deepest theory of physics yet.
2022-Jan-31 • 29 minutes
43 - Is Physics the Most Fundamental Subject?
Some people like to claim that psychology is just applied biology, which is just applied chemistry, which is just applied physics, and so on. Is there any truth to this? Or is it just our egos getting the better of us?
2022-Jan-17 • 37 minutes
42 - The Signal That Could Be the Dark Matter
Dan shares one of the biggest stories of his career - his discovery of an excess of gamma rays at the center of the Milky Way. Is this a sign of dark matter, or is it something less mysterious?
2022-Jan-03 • 24 minutes
41 - The Hubble Tension: The Biggest Fight in Astronomy (ft. Wendy Freedman)
When different groups of astronomers measure the expansion rate of space, they get different answers. Who's right? Or are they both right, and new physics is afoot?
2021-Dec-20 • 20 minutes
40 - How Will JWST Change Astronomy?
Today we dive into the world's shiny new space telescope - JWST. Learn why are physicists and astronomers are so excited about it, and what new secrets of the universe it might reveal. Keep your eye out for its launch later this week!
2021-Nov-29 • 29 minutes
23 - Does Physics Allow for Free Will? (Rebroadcast)
Can free will exist in a universe described by the laws of physics? Listen to this re-broadcast of one of our favorite episodes.
2021-Nov-15 • 27 minutes
39 - Why Do Science Communication? (ft. Daniel Whiteson and Jorge Cham)
Daniel Whiteson and Jorge Cham talk to us about what science communication means to them.Listen to their podcast, Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/105-daniel-and-jorge-explain-t-29862087/Support... WTU on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-Nov-01 • 17 minutes
A Special Neutrino Update! (ft. Pedro Machado)
Today we unpack the latest neutrino results from Fermilab's MicroBoone experiment. Special guest Pedro Machado helps us understand what they mean for the future of neutrino research.
2021-Oct-18 • 35 minutes
38 - The Nobel Prize's Greatest Misses
In honor of Nobel prize season, we remember some people whose important work in the past has been overlooked by the Nobel committee.Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-Oct-04 • 24 minutes
37 - How Neutrinos Might Be Hinting at Dark Matter
The neutrino's non-zero mass is an anomaly, but one that leads to a promising new dark matter candidate - the sterile neutrino. Could this be it?Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-Sep-20 • 21 minutes
36 - The Neutrino's Quantum Superpower
Today we discuss neutrino oscillations - their ability to transform between different types – and the quantum mechanics that makes it possible. Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-Sep-06 • 32 minutes
35 - The Chaos Underlying Everything (ft. David Grier)
Learn about the chaotic motion that underlies even the most ordered structures, including life.Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-Aug-23 • 29 minutes
34 - Should Beauty Guide Physicists?
Some physics theories are admired for being beautiful, but does that mean they are more likely to be true? Or could chasing beauty lead us astray?Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-Aug-09 • 34 minutes
33 - Our Love Affair With Supersymmetry
Hear why supersymmetry was special enough to win over physicists hearts, and why faith in it might be dying out.
2021-Jul-26 • 24 minutes
32 - The Mystery of the Higgs Boson's Mass
Today we explore one of the biggest and most frustrating open problems of particle physics - the hierarchy problem.Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-Jul-12 • 27 minutes
31 - If You Give an Astronomer a Neutrino
Learn how astronomers are using invisible particles to see what we've never seen before!Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-Jun-28 • 32 minutes
30 - The Oldest Picture of the Universe
Learn about the oldest light in the universe - the cosmic microwave background - and how it became a treasure trove of cosmological insight.Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-Jun-14 • 33 minutes
29 - How the Big Bang Won the Debate About the Beginning of Time
Hear what proved to physicists that the universe started with the Big Bang - and the one person who was never convinced.Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-May-31 • 24 minutes
28 - How Emmy Noether Changed Physics Forever
Learn how a profound mathematical theorem relating symmetries to conservation laws is deeply woven into the physics of the universe.Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-May-10 • 31 minutes
12 - The Fight Between Modified Gravity and Dark Matter
A rerun of one of our favorite episodes ever. Some physicists have considered the possibility that dark matter might not exist - and that instead, it's our theories of gravity which are wrong. Today we take a deep dive into these theories of modified gravity.Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-Apr-26 • 17 minutes
3 - What in the World is Anti-Matter?
A re-post of one of our favorite early episodes. Learn how special relativity and quantum mechanics come together to make an odd prediction about matter.Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-Apr-12 • 34 minutes
27 - What Does the Muon g-2 Result Mean for Physics?
Get our introduction to the measurement that might prove the Standard Model wrong!Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-Mar-29 • 27 minutes
26 - Did Inflation Rip Apart the Early Universe?
The Big Bang theory leaves us with some open questions, and the theory of inflation might have the answers.Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/whythisuniverse
2021-Mar-15 • 28 minutes
25 - Could Extra Dimensions Exist?
How many dimensions of space are there? Could there be extra dimensions that are hidden from view?
2021-Mar-01 • 29 minutes
24 - Breaking Down the Standard Model
Take a deep dive into (a contender) for the most successful theory of physics ever!
2021-Feb-15 • 28 minutes
23 - Does Physics Allow for Free Will?
Can free will exist in a universe described by the laws of physics?
2021-Feb-01 • 20 minutes
22 - The Particle That Might Do It All (Axions!)
Today we talk about the theoretical particle at the forefront of current research. Learn how axions might explain not one but *two* open problems in physics!
2021-Jan-18 • 29 minutes
21 - The Quantum Mechanics of Black Holes
Here's what happens when we introduce quantum mechanics to one of the weirdest objects in the universe. Hint - things get hairy.
2021-Jan-04 • 30 minutes
20 - Everything To Do About Black Holes
Today we talk about black holes - from their early history to their role in the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics.
2020-Dec-21 • 30 minutes
19 - Why Does Science Work?
Does science get us closer to understanding what the universe is actually like, or is it just a useful tool to build technology with? Today we get philosophical and talk through this deep question!
2020-Nov-30 • 37 minutes
18 - Could a Hyper-Advanced Civilization Resist Dark Energy?
If life in the universe survives into the far future, it will eventually come face to face with the accelerating expansion of the universe caused by dark energy. Could a hyper-advanced civilization find a way to fight it?
2020-Nov-23 • 102 minutes
The State of The Universe #81 - Dr. Daniel Whiteson - The Standard Model and Its Many Quirks!
Today our feed is getting taken over by Brendan Drachler to bring you an episode of his show, The State of the Universe!Science moves at an impossibly fast pace. It will leave you wondering, what is the state of the universe? Wonder no more! Learn from researchers working at the cutting edge of scientific advancement about everything from the robot takeover to the big bang only on The State of The Universe podcast.Listen to the State of the Universe everywhere where podcasts are available. https://podcasts....
2020-Nov-16 • 25 minutes
17 - Why Haven't We Met Aliens?
Are there other intelligent civilizations out there, or are we alone here on Earth? And what have we done to try to find them?
2020-Nov-02 • 26 minutes
16 - Where Is Life in the Universe?
What does it takes for a planet to support life? How different could extraterrestrial life be from what we see on Earth?
2020-Oct-19 • 25 minutes
15 - What are Grand Unified Theories?
These theories aim to explain all of the fundamental forces (except gravity) in one neat package. How does it work?
2020-Oct-12 • 26 minutes
14 - Why Does Time Move in One Direction?
What in the laws of physics differentiates between past and future? Is there a physical reason that time always moves forward?
2020-Oct-05 • 30 minutes
13 - Does Quantum Mechanics Imply a Multiverse?
Today we explore different interpretations of quantum mechanics, from Copenhagen to the many-worlds hypothesis, in an attempt to uncover what quantum reality really is.
2020-Sep-28 • 31 minutes
12 - Please Stop Emailing Dan About MOND
Some physicists have considered the possibility that dark matter might not exist - and that instead, it's our theories of gravity which are wrong. Today we take a deep dive into these theories of modified gravity.
2020-Sep-21 • 27 minutes
11 - Discovery Alert! Let's Talk About Gravitational Waves
You may have heard of the new gravitational wave discovery of September 2020. Here's everything you need to know to understand what this detection means for physics!
2020-Sep-14 • 28 minutes
10 - What is Dark Energy?
Get introduced to one of the most mysterious characters in physics.
2020-Sep-07 • 23 minutes
9 - Is Space Expanding?
Here's how a heated debate about whether our Milky Way galaxy is the entire universe led to the discovery of expanding space.
2020-Aug-31 • 23 minutes
8 - Is Space Flat or Curved?
Learn how the geometry of space defies our intuition, and why it gave Einstein so much anxiety.
2020-Aug-24 • 24 minutes
7 - Could Black Holes Be the Dark Matter?
Dark matter has eluded physicists for years - all we know is that it's some kind of matter that doesn't interact with light. Does that sound like a black hole to you?
2020-Aug-17 • 29 minutes
6 - Your Tour Through Quantum Weirdness
Entanglement, wave-particle duality, and uncertainty - here's a breakdown of the weirdest and wildest things about quantum mechanics.
2020-Aug-10 • 28 minutes
5 - How Dan Lost a Bet With Dark Matter
We revisit some of Dan's early predictions about dark matter, and talk about the biggest dark matter ideas and experiments of the last decade.
2020-Aug-03 • 26 minutes
4 - Where Did the Antimatter Go?
Every time a particle of matter is made, a particle of antimatter is also made. So it seems like all matter ever created should have annihilated with antimatter, leaving behind an empty universe. But then... why is our universe filled with matter?
2020-Jul-26 • 16 minutes
3 - What in the World Is Antimatter?
Learn how special relativity and quantum mechanics come together to make an odd prediction about matter.
2020-Jul-20 • 32 minutes
2 - What's It Like to Discover Quantum Mechanics?
Quantum mechanics revolutionized our understanding of the universe. But have you ever wondered how it was first discovered? What's it like to live through such a dramatic scientific moment?
2020-Jul-13 • 21 minutes
1 - Why Are We So Sure About Dark Matter?
Dark matter sounds as mysterious as it is - an invisible form of matter that permeates our universe that physicists have not yet been able to detect! And yet, most physicists are extremely confident that it exists. Learn why!
2020-Jul-13 • 5 minutes
0 - Welcome to Why This Universe!
Learn more about the co-hosts, what this podcast is all about, and why we are making it!