Chemistry


Waves move through a medium, like water or air. So it seemed logical to search for a medium that light waves move through. The Michelson-Morley Experiment attempted to search for this medium, known as the “luminiferous aether”. The experiment gave a negative result, and helped set the stage for the theory of General Relativity.

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As we quickly learn with water, matter can be in distinct phases: solid, liquid, gas and plasma; it all depends on temperature. But why do different materials require different temperatures? And what’s actually happening to the atoms themselves as the material switches phases?

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Ep. 247: The Ages of Things


Posted on Jan 23, 2012 in Chemistry

This is going to be one of the “how we know what we know” kind of shows. How do scientist determine the age of things? How do we know the age of everything from stone tools, to the age of the Earth, to the age of the very Universe.

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Ep. 116: Molecules in Space


Posted on Nov 27, 2008 in Chemistry

As part of her trip to England, Pamela had a chance to sit down with Oxford astrophysicist Chris Lintott and record an episode of Astronomy Cast. From the first stars to the newest planets, molecules and the chemistry that allows them to form affects all aspects of astronomy. While most astronomers group molecules into three bins of hydrogen, helium and everything else, there are a few who do proper chemistry by studying the sometimes complex molecules that form between the stars.

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