XIAOYU TANG’s photo of a table tennis player hitting a ball.
XIAOYU TANG’s photo of a table tennis player hitting a ball.

Cosmic Queries: Jiggle Wiggle Waggle Walk with Charles Liu

XIAOYU TANG, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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About This Episode

Do swimmers need less oxygen? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice answer patron questions about athletics and science with Geek-in-Chief astrophysicist Charles Liu. Could Chuck be a gymnast?

Is oxygen deprivation a thing in swimming? Or are good swimmers just better at operating with less? We discuss asthmatic swimmers, hemoglobin levels in blood, and The Great Oxygenation of earth’s atmosphere. 

Which sport involves the most hand-eye coordination? We explore the dizzying effects of watching Olympic ping pong and the rules of fencing. Should we replace fencing foils with lightsabers? What’s the weirdest sport at the Olympics games? Find out about Olympic tug-of-war, what Neil has against the triple jump, and the logistics of speed walking. What sort of things are scientists looking at in elite athletics? 

How much would you need to pay Chuck to compete at the Olympics? We break down what it would be like to have a regular control person present at the games, and what events would break Chuck if he even attempted them. What would a swimming race with floaties look like? How do gymnasts jump so high in their routines? Discover energy transfer in the springy floors of gymnastics events. Find out what fields physics majors can work in. What the heck do you do with a physics degree? Are all physics majors destined to become teachers? Is there a way to make javelins fly farther? Should the Paralympics allow swimmers to wear prostheses? All those questions, plus, Charles gives us an encouraging message for physics, sports, and disability. 

Thanks to our Patrons Courtney Miller, Victor Beaton, Charles Anglesey, Rudy Amaya, Tomek, Alex Ornelas, Bronwyn Allen-Kaeser, Jake, Andrew, Heather Turner, and Hector Flores for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.

In This Episode

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