StarTalk Podcast: Cosmic Queries – Cosmic Conundrums with Neil deGrasse Tyson

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice are answering your fan-submitted questions on everything from discovering extraterrestrial life to traveling through dimensions. Anything that you’ve cosmically wondered about, we are ready to answer.

To start, Neil and Chuck ponder where they would pilot the USS Enterprise if they were sitting in the Captain’s chair. You’ll learn why Neil would take a tour of his own “backyard” before setting off anywhere else. We investigate how time works as you move closer and further from the edge of the universe. Neil tells us how to kill a black hole, and the answer may surprise you.

We discuss dark matter. You’ll hear why dark matter should really be called dark gravity. You’ll explore how we study dark matter even though it doesn’t interact electromagnetically. Then, we investigate the Higgs boson, the Higgs field, and the Large Hadron Collider. Neil shares a helpful metaphor to understand the Higgs boson that involves a Hollywood party, Chuck, and Beyoncé.

Neil and Chuck debate which is more likely to happen – extraterrestrial contact or the ability to travel through the dimensions. You’ll learn more about higher dimensions and how they interact with the reality of other dimensions. We investigate the possibility of complex organisms existing in the liquid masses of our solar system, like on Enceladus or Europa. Neil gives us a lesson in thermodynamics in order to explain how life survives.

Lastly, you’ll explore Low Earth orbit. Discover why people who live along the equator would weigh less than people living elsewhere. All that, plus, Neil explains how fast the Earth would have to be rotating for you to float.

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About StarTalk:
Science meets pop culture on StarTalk! Astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, his comic co-hosts, guest celebrities & scientists discuss astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. Keep Looking Up!

Originally aired May 4, 2020

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