Episode 92: How Computers Work Part II - Silicon and Transistors

• January 10th, 2018

In this second episode in the series, I explain binary digital coding to motivate a discussion of the operation of transistors. Beginning with an examination of the properties of semiconductors and why they are useful for constructing transistors, I then examine how MOSFET transistors are constructed by combining pMOS and nMOS semiconductors.

Share | Download(Loading)

Episode 91: How Computers Work Part I - What is a Computer?

• December 30th, 2017

We begin our series discussing how computers work with an overview of the theory of computation, including a discussion of Turing machines and Turing completeness, and a brief history of early analog and digital computers. I also provide an introduction to the key components of a modern computer, and review the different levels in the hierarchy of computer organisation.

Share | Download(Loading)

Episode 90: Climate Systems

• December 1st, 2017

An analysis of the major factors influencing climactic variation over Earth's surface, including a discussion of the effect of differential heating at different latitudes, the impact of continentality and sea breezes, the causes of monsoons, the coriolis effect, atmospheric circulation cells, the jet streams, and thermohaline circulation currents in Earth's oceans. Recommended pre-listening is Episode 88: Cartography and Earths Seasons, and Episode 89: The Atmosphere.

Share | Download(Loading)

Episode 89: The Atmosphere

• November 23rd, 2017

An overview of the composition and layers of the Earth's atmosphere, including a discussion of the exosphere, thermosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, and troposphere. I also discuss the ozone layer and ozone depletion, the Karman line which marks the boundary of space, and the ionosphere. Recommended pre-listening is Episode 42: Gases and Gas Laws.

Share | Download(Loading)

Episode 88: Cartography and Earths Seasons

• September 30th, 2017

A discussion of the shape of the Earth and the difficulties and conventions involved in describing a three-dimensional surface on a two-dimensional map, including an overview of some of the major map projections and their various limitations. This leads in to an overview of Earth's axial tilt and variation in solar insolation by latitude as an explanation for the seasonal variation in weather across the planet. Recommended pre-listening is Episode 87: The Geography of Planet Earth.

Share | Download(Loading)

Episode 87: The Geography of Planet Earth

• August 27th, 2017

An overview of some of the key geographic features of planet Earth, including a discussion of the concept and classification of continents, the major mountain ranges and major river basins around the planet. I also discuss the major world biomes, their major climactic and botanical features, and their relative locations across the Earth.

Share | Download(Loading)

Episode 86: The Evidence for Evolution

• August 13th, 2017

An outline of the various lines of evidence in favour of the theory of evolution by natural selection, including a discussion of natural and artificial examples of natural selection in action, as well as a review of the evidence from the fossil record, comparative anatomy, biogeography, and molecular evidence. Recommended pre-listening is Episode 21: Introduction to Evolution.

Share | Download(Loading)

Episode 85: Introduction to Quantum Field Theory

• July 30th, 2017

A discussion of some of the major conceptual aspects of Quantum Field Theory, including the concept of a quantum field, classical field theory, harmonic oscillators, second quantisation, interacting theories, and the relationship of QFT to other branches of physics. Recommended pre-listening is Episodes 83 and 84, Advanced Quantum Mechanics parts I and II.

Share | Download(Loading)

Episode 84: Advanced Quantum Mechanics Part II

• July 7th, 2017

Continuing on from the previous episode, here I discuss some more advanced topics in Quantum Mechanics, including Noether’s theorem, the particle statistics of Bosons and Fermions, perturbation theory, and the EPR paradox. Recommended Pre-listening is Episode 83: Advanced Quantum Mechanics Part I.

Share | Download(Loading)

Episode 83: Advanced Quantum Mechanics Part 1

• June 26th, 2017

An examination of some more advanced concepts of quantum mechanics, focusing on describing Dirac's bra-ket formulation of quantum theory. I discuss the formulation of quantum mechanics in terms of vectors in Hilbert spaces, Hermitian operators as corresponding to observables, orthogonality of eigenstates, incompatible observables, and Schrodinger's equation. Recommeded pre-listening is Episode 14: Principles of Quantum Mechanics.

Share | Download(Loading)

« Older episodes · Newer episodes »