PBS_SpaceTime

Life on Europa?9m33s

Life on Europa?

The Hubble Telescope found more evidence of vast plumes of water bursting through the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. What does this tell us about the potential for life on Europa?

The Race to a Habitable Exoplanet - Time Warp Challenge5m12s

The Race to a Habitable Exoplanet - Time Warp Challenge

You’ve discovered a habitable exoplanet, but so has an an evil interplanetary mining corporation. Can you get to the planet before they strip it bare and leave it unsuitable for life? You’re going to need a ship, the Lorentz Transformation and the Wait Equation. Hang on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Did Life on Earth Come from Space?14m21s

Did Life on Earth Come from Space?

How did life on Earth get started? Did life on Earth originate on another planet? Either Mars, or in a distant solar system? Could Earth life have spread to have seeded life elsewhere? Let’s see what modern science has to say about the plausibility of panspermia.

Will A New Neutrino Change The Standard Model?10m36s

Will A New Neutrino Change The Standard Model?

Since the discovery of the Higgs boson, physicists have searched and searched for any hint of new particles. That search has been fruitless. Until, perhaps, now. Today on Space Time Journal Club we’ll look at a paper that reports a compelling hint of a new particle outside the standard model: the sterile neutrino.

Quantum Invariance & The Origin of The Standard Model11m10s

Quantum Invariance & The Origin of The Standard Model

Our laws of physics are equations of motion, along with some associated constants. We’ve talked about the symmetries of these equations, and how they lead us to conserved quantities. But this is just the tip of the theoretical iceberg - sometimes investigating the symmetries of these equations predicts entirely new physics. The standard model of particle physics is a remarkable example.

The Misunderstood Nature of Entropy10m58s

The Misunderstood Nature of Entropy

Entropy is surely one of the most intriguing and misunderstood concepts in all of physics. The entropy of the universe must always increase – so says the second law of thermodynamics. It’s a law that seems emergent from deeper laws – it’s statistical in nature – and yet may ultimately be more fundamental and unavoidable than any other law of physics.

Reversing Entropy with Maxwell's Demon11m36s

Reversing Entropy with Maxwell's Demon

The second law of thermodynamics – the law that entropy must, on average, increase – has been interpreted as the inevitability of the decay of structure. This is … misleading. Structure can develop in one region even as the entropy of the universe rises. Ultimately, entropy is a measure of the availability of free energy – of energy that isn’t hopelessly mixed in thermal equilibrium.

How Close To The Sun Can Humanity Get?8m51s

How Close To The Sun Can Humanity Get?

The Sun: an entity worshipped as a god throughout time and across cultures. The source of all life and sustenance for our little blue space rock, and also a force of unthinkable destructive power. But soon humanity will reach out its collective hand and come closer to touching the Sun than we ever have before with the launch of the Parker Solar Probe.

Quantum Theory's Most Incredible Prediction12m36s

Quantum Theory's Most Incredible Prediction

Quantum field theory is notoriously complicated, built from mind-bendingly abstract mathematics. But are the underlying rules of reality really so far from human intuition? Or are physicists just showing off? For better or worse, the physicists are definitely on the right track. We know this because the predictions of quantum field theory stand up to experimental test time and time again.

How Will the Universe End?12m37s

How Will the Universe End?

We live in an unusual age – the age when the stars still shine. We should count ourselves lucky – nearly all of future history will be dark. But events will still unfold in that long, cooling darkness, and civilizations may endure. So how will the universe and its far-future denizens spend eternity?

How Much Information is in the Universe?9m28s

How Much Information is in the Universe?

Billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars, each with … rather a lot of particles in them. And then there's dark matter, black holes, planets, and the particles and radiation in between the stars and galaxies. But… is the universe actually made of stuff? An increasing number of physicists view the universe – view reality as informational at its most fundamental level.