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Gravity - From Newton to Einstein, Dark Matter to Supermassive Black Holes - 20/02/12

posted 20.02.12 at 3:51pm

This week we're talking about Gravity! Travelling from the basics with Newton and his apples onto more complicated stuff with Einstein and black holes, gravitational lensing and even how you can measure the acceleration due to gravity in Student Science!

Sir Isaac NewtonSir Isaac Newton
In the 17th Century Sir Isaac Newton published Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, laying the foundations for most of classical mechanics, the sort of thing taught at GCSE and A-level these days…

He also described gravity as a force that attracts things that have mass, supposedly it all started when he was watching an apple fall from a tree but whether that is true or not he did come up with the three laws of motion and he described universal gravitation.

One of his most famous formulas is:

where F is the force, G is the gravitational constant, m1 and m2 are masses and r is the distance between the two masses. Frazer Pearce tells us a little more about G:

This formula was used for many years and helped explain the orbits of the planets around the Sun and can even calculate your weight on the moon!

Artificial Intelligence - Julie Greensmith - 13/02/12

posted 12.02.12 at 9:21pm

Since the ancient Greeks, we have always dreamt of making machines, which can think and behave like human beings. Whilst this used to be the realm of mythology and fiction, in the past 50 years we have finally started to turn this dream into a reality.

Artificial IntelligenceArtificial Intelligence

This week on The Science Show, we speak to Dr. Julie Greensmith from the Computer Science department at the University of Nottingham about her research in artificial intelligence.

Her research is in two exciting areas - artificial immune systems (which includes application areas such as computer security and biosensing), and the way in which people experience thrill on roller coasters and extreme rides.

Carl and George will also be in the studio, discussing artificial intelligence in films, and how close these interpretations are to real life.

Finally, we'll be discussing the Bucking Bronco over in computer science... which you can control with your mind and your breathing apparently!

We want a go!

A dendritic cellA dendritic cell

Solar Cells - Libby Gibson - 06/02/12

posted 06.02.12 at 4:10pm

Solar PanelsSolar Panels

Today on The URN Science Show we are going all green and environmentally friendly and we're chatting to Libby Gibson, a chemist from the University of Nottingham about solar cells.

Libby's research is on Dye-sensitized solar cells. These are a cheap, chemistry-based way of converting sunlight into electricity. It's an exciting time in the field and new efficiency records are being broken all the time.

The other exciting part of our work is that we can adapt the device to perform photocatalysis - i.e. drive chemical reactions with light. For energy, we're aiming to produce hydrogen from water that we can use in fuel cells, or replace steam-reforming of methane (a large contribution to CO2 emissions) for ammonia.

Whiskey in the Student Science LabWhiskey in the Student Science Lab

We've also got an interview from the people behind the TED series of lectures. They are coming to Nottingham soon, so tune in to hear how you can get hold of tickets for those.

The show today will be hosted by the resident chemist on The Science Show's production team; Grace. We will also be visiting the student science lab to investigate how to generate your very own whiskey cloud using only a plastic bottle and a pump.

Nottingham Sky Watch LIVE - 30/01/12

posted 29.01.12 at 7:14pm

Jupiter and its MoonsJupiter and its MoonsMonday the 30th January is a first for The Science Show and for URN. We are doing a live observation night, from the roof of the physics building at the University of Nottingham.

We'll be looking at Jupiter's moons with our resident expert, Markus Hammonds, to discuss the possibility of life in our Solar System. We'll also be looking out for the Orion nebula, where stars are forming from the dust that resides there.

Orion NebulaOrion Nebula
As well as all this live coverage, we'll also be in the studio answering any astronomy questions you may have, and explaining the astrophysics behind what we are looking at.

Keep up with the blog, as we'll be posting pictures here as we take them with the telescope!

Here's hoping there's no cloud...

Dave is looking cold...Dave is looking cold...

It's a bit chilly up here in the telescope, but we're having fun!

Celestron Astromaster 130EQCelestron Astromaster 130EQ

Ph.D or Job? What next? - James Clewett - 23/01/12

posted 23.01.12 at 4:45pm

It's that time of year that if you are in the final year of your degree, you may be considering your options for next year. Job? Ph.D? Traveling?

Although sleeping for an entire year in your bed at your parent's house sounds tempting, it's probably best to go and do something worthwhile with your time.

Today on The Science Show, we are talking to Ph.D student James Clewett about how to make those life changing decisions. In his career, James has worked in software engineering, banking, academic research (solid choices for science graduates) and many more careers along the way (including the porn industry believe it or not...), so he knows exactly how to break into the different industries and what advice to give people starting in their chosen careers.

If you are at all unsure about what steps to take next, tune into the show from 6-7pm and send in your questions to James.

We'll also be talking about what we believe to be the best apps on the market at the moment, so send us in you opinions about this too and let us know if there's anything you think we've forgotten.

Remember to follow us @urnscienceshow too!

George, Emma, Dan, James and CarlGeorge, Emma, Dan, James and Carl