The Adelaide Show Podcast putting South Australian passion on centre stage

254 – Quantum Physics with Dr Sundance

Quantum physics with Dr Sundance Bilson-Thompson on The Adelaide Show Podcast

This week’s episode of The Adelaide Show, quantum physics with Dr Sundance Bilson-Thompson, will introduce you to a complex area of science in a way that will hopefully interest and engage you.

This week, the SA Drink Of The Week is Nippy’s Apple Juice.

In IS IT NEWS, Nigel challenges us on stories about physics.

In 100 Weeks Ago, we take you back to our night with Dr Gemma Munro, CEO and founder of Inkling Women.

And in the musical pilgrimage … we have a brand new song from Luke Carlino ft. Daydream Fever.

And please consider becoming part of our podcast by joining our Inner Circle. It’s an email list. Join it and you might get an email on a Sunday or Monday seeking question ideas, guest ideas and requests for other bits of feedback about YOUR podcast, The Adelaide Show. Email us directly and we’ll add you to the list: [email protected]

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And please talk about us and share our episodes on social media, it really helps build our community. Oh, and here’s our index of all episode in one concise page

Running Sheet: Quantum physics with Dr Sundance

00:00:00 Outtake
Scientists stare
Theme and Introduction. Our original theme song in full is here, Adelaidey-hoo.
00:02:23 SA Drink Of The Week
Nippys Apple Juice … tasting notes
00:11:29 Stories Without Notice
Steve is in Melbourne this week with the School Of Hard Knock Knocks, filming a TV show, Is This Thing On?
00:28:33 Dr Sundance Bilson-Thompson

American theoretical physicist, Richard Feynman, said: Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that’s not why we do it. And that’s exactly the reason we have Australian theoretical particle physicist, Dr Sundance Bilson-Thompson on the podcast; we’re not sure what we’re going to produce but we know we’ll all feel much better for having had the experience.

In the video, Finding Value & Beauty in Fundamental Physics, you argued that there is a moral imperative for studying science. Can you unpack that for us because I think it is a great reason for us dedicating another episode to the discipline.

Also in that video, you go into the beauty of physics and argue it has similarities to representational art and plenty of differences.

Time machines. It was one of the first things that attracted you to physics. Why?

Cosmology and General Relativity were the first areas of deep interest in physics. What do they mean?

Physics beyond the standard model. What is the standard model? What makes somebody look beyond it?

I need to clear up some other basics, by taking you through three verses of Monty Python’s Galaxy Song, for a quick pulse check on whether the claims are still considered sound science.

Our galaxy itself, contains a hundred billion stars
It’s a hundred thousand light years side-to-side
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick
But out by us its just three thousand light years wide

We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point
We go round every two hundred million years
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whiz
As fast as it can go, the speed of light you know
Twelve million miles a minute and that’s the fastest speed there is

How does the Theory Of Everything relate to these terms?

Just before we dive deeply into Quantum Physics or Quantum Mechanics, I have Professor Brian Cox’s reworking of Richard Feynman’s explanation, done in less than 60 seconds from the BBC. Let’s have a listen (and the video is in the show notes).

What do you think of that explanation?

Let’s get to the main fare, which is the idea you developed that propelled you onto the world stage. You have posited that certain preon models may be represented topologically, rather than by treating preons as pointlike particles. And this might represent a way of incorporating the Standard Model into loop quantum gravity, making loop quantum gravity a candidate theory of everything.

Let’s start by defining some terms:

Preons represented topologically rather than as pointlike articles (and I think I read somewhere that someone else had respresented them as ribbons)
Loop Quantum Gravity

Where are you at with your research? What next?

Can you leave us with something to stun guests (or stir them up) at our next dinner party?

01:43:37 Is It News?

Nigel Dobson-Keeffe challenges the panel to pick the fake story from three stories from South Australia’s past.

News March 1953
Three Physics Professors get Together
PHYSICS was the topic at Adelaide University today when these three professors got together. At right is visiting British physicist, Prof. P. M. S. Blackett, professor of physics at Manchester University. With him are (left) Prof. L. G. H. Huxley, professor of physics at Adelaide University, and Prof. Sir Kerr Grant. They are looking at radar, records from meteor tails obtained by the physics department of the University.

News March 1943
After the War – What should we do with the German People?
(views collected from various prominent South Australians)
Professor Kerr Grant
Professor of physics at Adelaide University.
I’d put Hitler right back where he started – painting houses. Then I’d arrange that he should tour the world, and be a figure of derision and contempt and hatred to all the people in whose homes he has caused such misery. Whatever we do, we don’t want a repetition of Versailles. That has been a disastrous failure. We must take a long range view. I believe this must contemplate the possibility of a racial war between the white and yellow races for the domination of the world. In that case we want every European country, including Germany, to be on the side of the white races.

The Advertiser March 1954
Effect On Adelaide
One hydrogen bomb could obliterate Adelaide. Professor L. G. H. Huxley, head of the Physics Department at the University of Adelaide, said at the weekend. He suggested that there might have been some connection between the recent earthquake and the US hydrogen bomb
explosion at Bikini. Both happened on the same day— March 1—Professor Huxley has been advised by the director of Riverview Observatory in Sydney (Father N. Burke Gaffney) that the earth quake occurred 25 minutes after the bomb went off. Professor Huxley said that because the p-waves from earthquakes travel at between 5 and 13km per second the timing was very suspicious.

01:54:00 100 Weeks Ago
We opened the vault to go back 100 weeks to our night with Dr Gemma Munro, CEO and founder of Inkling Women. In the discussion, she raised the issue of how many people, men in power in particular, can be blind to gender inequality.
01:59:18 Musical Pilgrimage

And our song this week is Minute by Luke Carlino ft. Daydream Fever, selected by our musical curator, Todd Fischer.

Sundance, this song is called Minute. Is “minute” a real thing in space time? What is time? Can we stretch it? Can a minute NOT be a minute?

Adelaide Single Launch
August 17th @ ED Castle
Alongside Daydream Fever as he launches his God Market EP

02:07:08 Outtake
Good morning universe

Here is this week’s preview video:

SFX: Throughout the podcast we use free sfx from for the harp, the visa stamp, the silent movie music, the stylus, the radio signal sfx, the wine pouring and cork pulling sfx, and the swooshes around Siri.

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