October 24, 2019 9:00 pm
How does gravity work? Will artificial intelligence enslave the human race? Why are planets shaped liked spheres? Can you answer these questions in 30 seconds or less? On this week’s episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-host Chuck Nice, and astrophysicist and StarTalk geek-in-chief Charles Liu, PhD, are answering fan-submitted Cosmic Queries as fast as they can.
You may be asking – why? Well, this week we’re also celebrating the release of Charles’ new book, written with co-authors Karen Masters and Sevil Salur, titled 30-Second Universe: 50 most significant ideas, theories, principles and events that sum up… everything. From the Higgs particle to quarks to the multiverse this book covers everything you need to know in no time at all. So, we thought, why not do the same on StarTalk?
We start by exploring the mass and shape of planets. You’ll learn about Ceres, the largest asteroid in our solar system (now classified as a dwarf planet). Find out how the forces of gravity shape planets. We discuss the shape of the Earth and the array of surfaces you can find in such a small window of the Earth’s crust. Sound longer than a 30-second answer? Yeah, we got a bit carried away with the first question.
Find out which haircut is the best for Zero-G. We chat about the show The Expanse and its accurate depiction of the forces of gravity. What would you ask an all-powerful super computer? Our trio try and decide as quickly as they can. We reflect on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Charles tells us about Isaac Asimov’s short story The Last Question (I read this after listening to this episode and also highly recommend it).
You’ll learn how Charles’ fell in love with comic books. Discover more about the expansion of the universe. Lastly, you’ll investigate how space and time are related, undiscovered laws of physics, and the shape of galaxies. All that, plus, Neil and Charles try to come up with the single most mind-blowing fact they can share about the universe in under 30 seconds.
Please join us tomorrow night for Cosmic Queries – The 30-Second Universe, with Charles Liu 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 a StarTalk+ Patron or 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!
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