Chandra Chakradhar’s image of a rainbow over Rara Lake.
Chandra Chakradhar’s image of a rainbow over Rara Lake.

Things You Thought You Knew – Somewhere over the Rainbow

Chandra Chakradhar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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About This Episode

Is anything at the end of the rainbow? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comic co-host Chuck Nice break down how rainbows work, the history behind zero, and what Zoom calls and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity have in common.

First, we dive into what makes a rainbow. Discover what Isaac Newton wrote about in his book of “Opticks”. How did people used to think vision worked? We discuss a simple experiment you can do with the visual light spectrum at home. How does sunlight interacting with raindrops create a rainbow? Is there a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? What is the end of the rainbow? Neil breaks down how every rainbow is your own personal rainbow. 

When did we invent zero, glitch, nil, nada? We explore ancient society, the conception of zero, and what other aspects of math we carry with us from that time. Did ancient Egypt or the Maya have zero? When did negative numbers start? Why did it take people so long to come up with nothing?

What do Zoom calls and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity have in common? Learn about the connection between space and time. How do you prevent an asteroid from hitting Earth? You’ll also learn about worldlines and how a time machine would work. How does Zoom break down the space time? Find out on another Things You Thought You Knew Episode of StarTalk!

Thanks to our Patrons Vincent Marsland, Brittany Welborn, L. Ali Campbell, David Kern, amjad, Steven Michaelis, Lady Anne ^^ö^^(Jessica M. Kandal, PhD), Christian Anderson, Nathan Hogue, and Marc Libman for supporting us this week.

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

 

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