July 11, 2019 9:01 pm

Class Is in Session! Neil deGrasse Tyson, Matt Kirshen, and Charles Liu Answer Your Summer School Questions

Sometimes you gotta do it. Your work wasn’t up to snuff during the regular school year so you have to take a class or two during the summer. It sucks, I know. But imagine this – what if your teacher was a world-renowned astrophysicist, a very funny British guy, and StarTalk’s Geek-in-Chief? It would make summer school a little better, right?

LassenNPS’ photo of the Milky Way over Lassen Peak.

Does anybody smell raspberries? Shown: The Milky Way over Lassen Peak. Credit: LassenNPS.

On this Cosmic Queries episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-host Matt Kirshen, and astrophysicist Charles Liu answer fan-submitted questions on some of your favorite scientific subjects. We start with the basics – is math an invention or a discovery? It could be argued either way but Charles tells us why it’s a little bit of both. This spurs Neil to explain why we need a word to describe when something is both.

Next, we look at the Big Bang. Are there any other theories besides the Big Bang that explain how all the mass in the universe was once only a micron wide? You’ll learn how we still don’t fully understand what happened. Neil tells us why scientists would always rather have a cleaner, simpler answer. You’ll also learn why we aren’t expanding with the universe even while we’re a part of the universe.

Discover more about the laws of physics. Find out why physics books are always much smaller than accounting books or other textbooks of that nature. Get details on why a punctured balloon flies around chaotically instead of in a straight line. You’ll also get the low down on neutrinos and a fascinating solar neutrino experiment involving South Dakota, cleaning fluids, a former gold mine, and flashes of light.

Pluto rears its head once again as a fan ponders if a settlement, ignoring the cold issue, could survive on Pluto’s surface. Uncover why the center of the Milky Way smells like raspberries. Lastly, you’ll hear why the Earth is falling into the Sun…but not really. All that, plus, Neil and Charles give some tips on how an everyday astrophysics student can become great science professor.

Please join us tomorrow night for Cosmic Queries – Summer School at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
-Ian Mullen