Archive | Cosmology

Ep. 78: What is the Shape of the Universe?

Some of the biggest questions in the universe depend on its shape. Is it curved? Is it flat? Is it open? Those may not make that much sense to you, but in fact it’s very important for astronomers. So which is it? How do we know? How did we figure it out? Why does it […]




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Ep. 77: Where is the Centre of the Universe?

There are some people – I’m not naming names – who think the universe revolves around them. In fact, for most of humankind, everybody thought that. It’s only been in the last few hundred years that scientists finally puzzled out that the Earth isn’t the centre of the universe at all. That begs the question: […]




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Ep. 73: Questions Show #8

We’ve been so crazy following our own whims through the universe that we’ve neglected your questions. That ends today. It’s time to dig deep into our overflowing email box to retrieve the puzzling questions our listeners have sent in. Episode 73: Questions Show #8 (16.8MB)




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Ep. 71: Gravitational Waves

When he put together his theories of relativity, Einstein made a series of predictions. Some were confirmed just a few years later, but scientists are still working to confirm others. And one of the most fascinating is the concept of gravitational waves. As massive objects move in space, they send out ripples across the Universe […]




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Ep. 58: Inflation

We interrupt this tour through the solar system to bring you a special show to deal with one of our most complicated subjects: the big bang. Specifically, how it’s possible that the universe could have expanded faster than the speed of light. The theory is called the inflationary theory, and the evidence is mounting to […]




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Ep. 45: The Important Numbers in the Universe

This week we wanted to give you a basic physics lesson. This isn’t easy physics, this is a lesson on the basic numbers of the Universe. Each of these numbers define a key aspect of our Universe. If they had different values, the Universe would be a changed place, and life here on Earth would […]




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Ep. 28: What is the universe expanding into?

Come on, admit it, you’ve had this question. If the Universe is expanding from the Big Bang, what is it expanding into? What’s outside the Universe? Ask any astronomer and you’ll get an unsatisfying answer. We give you the same unsatisfying answer, but really explain it, so your unsatisfaction doesn’t haunt you any more. Episode […]




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Ep. 26: The Largest Structures in the Universe

This week we continue the story of galaxy formation, learning how groups of galaxies come together to form the biggest structures around – galaxy superclusters. And when you look at the Universe at this scale, environment is everything.   Episode 26: The Largest Structures in the Universe (15 MB) 




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Ep. 11: A Universe of Dark Energy

The discovery of dark energy was one of the biggest surprises in astronomy. Instead of a nice, predictable expanding Universe, acted on only by gravity, astronomers turned up a mysterious repulsive force accelerating the expansion of the Universe. Fraser and Pamela explain the evidence for a dark energy, and a few possible theories for what […]




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Ep. 9: Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity

It’s all relative. How many times have you heard that? Well, when you’re traveling close to the speed of light, everything really is relative; especially the passage of time. This week, Fraser and Pamela give you the skinny on Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. After listening to a few thought experiments, you too should be […]




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