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197 – The European XFEL

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(average: 4.30)
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The European XFEL is an x-ray free electron laser currently being built in Hamburg. In this episode we talk with Joachim Schulz about the project itself, the design and construction of the laser and the experiment hall, as well as about some of the science that is expected to be done with XFEL once it is finished.

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196 – Lasers

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(average: 4.31)
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In this episode we cover the fundamentals of lasers with our guest, Fabian Reichert, who works at the Center for Free Electron Lasers at DESY in Hamburg. We cover various ways of how laser beams are produced and what distinguishes lasers from other light sources. We also cover a few application areas of lasers as well as techniques for pulsing lasers.

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191 – String Theory

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(average: 4.63)
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String Theory is currently one of the most important theories in fundamental physics, with applications to a variety of subfields including black holes and cosmology, nuclear physics others. This episode is an introduction to the core ideas of the field, as well as to some of its applications. Our guest is Alexander Westphal of Germany’s particle physics lab DESY. He does a wonderful job of introducing the very abstract topic in a way that could be understood by non-physicists, at least to some degree.

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175 – Disordered Systems

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(average: 3.89)
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In this episode we talk with Peter Sollich of King’s College, London about disordered systems, statistical mechanics and complexity. In particular, we discuss the difference between quenched and annealing disorder, the relation to entropy, complexity and chaos, the formalisms used to tackle such systems as well as a whole lot of examples from physics and other sciences.

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135 – High-Energy Neutrinos and the IceCube Neutrino Observatory

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(average: 4.68)
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This episode covers the discovery (strictly speaking, “strong evidence”) for high-energy (astrophysical) neutrinos. The discovery was announced on 22 November 2013. In this episode we talk with DESY‘s Markus Ackermann about the the evidence for astrophysical neutrinos and why they are important. We also discuss how the the IceCube Neutrino Observatory works, which opened up this new field of astronomy. We conclude with a brief conversation about traveling to, and living at the south pole, where IceCube is located.

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