The Lockheed F-35 Lightning II is going to be more or less what the F-16 and F-18 are today: the backbone of the US and NATO land and sea-based air forces. It is a multi-role fighter, and one of its versions has the capability to take off with a very short roll and land vertically. Tucker “Cinco” Hamilton is a test pilot who has flown all three versions of the jet. In this episode we talk about flying this fifth-gen fighter and about some aspects of the testing program.
In light of the current situation, we have decided to record a couple of episodes that cover some of the relevant background in terms of biology, medicine and healthcare. In this first episode we discuss emergency care and intensive care with a special focus on ventilation. We discuss these topics in general, and also specifically to COVID-19. Our guest, Kimon and Junad, are both practicing doctors and have practical experience with these topics.
A major component of particle accelerators like the LHC are the actual accelerators; the current approach relies on radio frequency cavities. However, their acceleration gradient, measured in Volts per meter, is limited. This means that future accelerators, especially linear ones, will become longer and longer to reach the desired energies. A new approach to particle acceleration relies on plasma wakefields, this technology can deliver orders of magnitude more acceleration per distance. AWAKE is a proof of concept experiment at CERN that uses proton beams to produce the wake field. In this episode we chat with Edda Gschwendtner, the leader of this project.
Over the last two years, Markus wrote a book about some of the repeated topic covered on omega tau: SOFIA, Enterprise, Aerospace, Gravitational Waves, Telescopes, Models and Particle Physics. The book, called Once You Start Asking is now available as an ebook, with the softcover edition forthcoming. In this episode, Nora and Markus discuss the book and its history.
Six years ago, in episode 150, Jochen Liske of ESO told us about the Extremely Large Telescope that is currently being built in Chile. This episode is a continuation (which is why this is a kind of bonus episode labelled as 150.5) in which Thomas Pfrommer tells us about how to control the optical path of this monster telescope: the 39 meter, 798-segment main mirror, plus the four additional mirrors involved in bringing the light to a stable and sharp focus. I recorded this episode mainly to fill in some “gaps” I needed for the book chapter on telescopes.