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285 – Superconductivity



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(average: 4.77)
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Superconductivity, the ability of a material to carry electrical current with zero resistance, is a surprising property of nature, which man has been able to exploit in many ways, in particular, for high-performance magnets. Those are used in magnetic resonance imagers, but also in colliders and fusion reactors. In this episode we discuss the basics of superconductivity and its uses with Pierre Bauer, a superconductor engineer at ITER.

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283 – The Perlan Project



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(average: 4.42)
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The Perlan Project aims to fly gliders into the stratosphere by exploiting mountain waves in order to better understand those waves and to explore the edge of what gliders can do. In fact, last September, they broke the world altitude record for gliders. In this episode we chat about the project, the airplane and the flying with engineer Lars Bensch and pilot Jim Payne.

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279 – Microgravity Research at ZARM Drop Tower



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(average: 4.71)
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During our tour NorthWest 2017 I visited the drop tower at Uni Bremen’s ZARM and talked with Martin Castillo, the head of material science at the facility. We discussed the basics of microgravity research, the technical aspects of the tower, how to set up experiments, and also about his particular work in material science.

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277 – Life and Work on HMS Enterprise



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(average: 4.73)
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In December 2017 I had the opportunity to spend a few days on board the Royal Navy’s HMS Enterprise on her trip from Limassol, Cyprus to Valetta, Malta. HMS Enterprise is a survey ship, her primary task is to map the sea floor using sonar and feed the data into civilian and military maps. In this detailed episode, we chat about the ship, its mission, the survey equipment, the technical aspects of the propulsion and systems, plus about life on board a ship and nautical issues in general.

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276 – Linguistics, Conlangers and Game Of Thrones’ Dothraki

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(average: 4.50)
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Conlangers are people who design human languages, either just for fun or for use in works of fiction, often TV series or movies. My guest, David Peterson, has designed several languages, including the the Dothraki language featured prominently in Game Of Thrones. In this episode we use Dothraki (and English, and a bit of German) to introduce the basics of linguistics, i.e., the science behind natural (and in this case, designed) languages. We also discuss a few specific of Dothraki, and how it gets used in Game Of Thrones.

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