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The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry
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The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry

Author: BBC Radio 4

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Science sleuths Dr Adam Rutherford and Dr Hannah Fry investigate everyday mysteries sent by listeners.
68 Episodes
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Jurassic Squawk

Jurassic Squawk

2019-05-0300:37:249

"Is there is any way of knowing what noises, if any, dinosaurs would have made?" asks Freddie Quinn, aged 8 from Cambridge in New Zealand.From Jurassic Park to Walking with Dinosaurs, the roars of gigantic dinosaurs like T.Rex are designed to evoke fear and terror.But did dinosaurs actually roar? And how do paleontologists investigate what noises these extinct animals may have produced? Hannah and Adam talk to dinosaur experts Steve Brusatte and Julia Clarke to find out. Plus Jurassic World sound designer Al Nelson reveals the strange sounds they used as dinosaur noises in their Hollywood blockbusters.Send your questions for next series in to curiouscases@bbc.co.uk.Presenters: Hannah Fry, Adam RutherfordProducer: Michelle Martin
The Lunar Land Pt2

The Lunar Land Pt2

2019-04-2600:29:162

In the second installment of our double episode on the Moon we ask what life would be like if we had more than one Moon.From the tides to the seasons, the Moon shapes our world in ways that often go unnoticed. And, as we'll find out, it played a vital role in the creation of life itself. This week we celebrate the many ways the Moon and the Earth are linked.If one Moon is so great, why not have two? We discover why multiple moons could spell disaster for our planet, from giant volcanoes to cataclysmic collisions.Featuring astronomer Brendan Owens from the Royal Observatory Greenwich and physicist Neil Comins, author of 'What if the Earth had two Moons?'.Presenters: Adam Rutherford, Hannah FryProducer: Michelle Martin
The Lunar Land Pt 1

The Lunar Land Pt 1

2019-04-1900:30:395

A double episode to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, and the first humans to walk on the Moon.Harley Day emailed curiouscases@bbc.co.uk to ask “Why do we only have one Moon and what would life on Earth be like if we had more? I'll be over the moon if you can help me solve this mystery.”In this first episode, Hannah and Adam look at how the Moon was formed and why we only have one. Featuring Maggie Aderin-Pocock space scientist and author of 'The Book of the Moon' and cosmic mineralogist Sara Russell from the Natural History Museum.Presenters: Adam Rutherford, Hannah FryProducer: Michelle Martin
An Instrumental Case

An Instrumental Case

2019-04-1200:39:202

“We play many musical instruments in our family. Lots of them produce the same pitch of notes, but the instruments all sound different. Why is this?” asks Natasha Cook aged 11, and her Dad Jeremy from Guelph in Ontario, Canada.For this instrumental case Hannah and Adam are joined by the Curious Cases band - Matt Chandler and Wayne Urquhart - to play with today's question.Bringing the science we have acoustic engineer and saxophone player Trevor Cox. Plus materials expert Zoe Laughlin demonstrates a selection of her unusual musical creations, including a lead bugle.Presenters: Adam Rutherford, Hannah FryProducer: Michelle Martin
The Periodic Problem

The Periodic Problem

2019-04-0500:28:449

"Will the periodic table ever be complete?" asks Philip Craven on Twitter.In 2016 four new chemical elements were given the official stamp of approval - nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson. And 2019 was named by the UN as the International Year of the Periodic Table.In this episode, Hannah and Adam dive into the test tubes of history to hear why the first element was discovered in boiled urine, why chips don't explode and how a cancelled trip to a cheese factory resulted in the creation of the periodic table.We'll hear from Dawn Shaughnessy from Lawrence Livermore National Lab, part of the team that discovered the latest 'superheavy' elements. Science writer Philip Ball shows Adam around Humphry Davy's lab equipment at the Royal Institution of Great Britain and Jim Al-Khalili explains why scientists are eager to reach the Island of Stability.Presenters: Adam Rutherford, Hannah FryProducer: Michelle Martin
The Mesmerist

The Mesmerist

2019-03-2900:35:446

“Is hypnosis real, and if so how does it work? Does it have any practical uses and which of Hannah and Adam is most susceptible?” This question came from two Curios, Peter Jordan aged 24 from Manchester and Arran Kinnear aged 13 from Bristol.Arch sceptics Hannah and Adam visit stage hypnotist Ben Dali to find out if they are susceptible to the power of suggestion. One of them will be successfully hypnotised, but who will it be?Along the way we hear about the history of hypnosis from Wendy Moore author of 'The Mesmerist'. Plus psychologist Devin Terhune explains what we know about the science of hypnosis today.Presenters: Hannah Fry, Adam RutherfordProducer: Michelle Martin
Hannah and Adam return to crack open the Curious Cases they’ll be examining during the coming series, from the sound of musical instruments to the science of hypnosis. Please send your questions for future episodes and entries for Curio of the Week to: curiouscases@bbc.co.uk.Presenters: Hannah Fry, Adam RutherfordProducer: Michelle Martin
The Horrible Hangover

The Horrible Hangover

2018-12-2100:31:145

"My name is Ava and I've never had a hangover," writes Ava Karuso. "I'm a 25 year-old Australian and I enjoy going out for drinks. However, the next day when everyone else sleeps in and licks their wounds, I get up early and get right back to my normal routine.”Drs Rutherford and Fry investigate the ancient origins of alcohol, from Sumerians drinking beer through straws, to Aristotle's teachings ‘On Intoxication’. But what can modern science tell us about how alcohol affects our brains? What causes the morning-after hangover and do some drinks make you feel worse than others? Are there any hangover cures that have been scientifically validated?Featuring health psychologist and hangover researcher Sally Adams, chemist Andrea Sella and science writer Adam Rogers, author of 'Proof: The Science of Booze'.Presenters: Hannah Fry, Adam RutherfordProducer: Michelle Martin
The Good Bad Food

The Good Bad Food

2018-12-1400:26:1311

“Why does bad food taste so good?” asks Alan Fouracre from Tauranga, New Zealand. "And by ‘bad’ food, I mean the things we are told to hold back on like sausage, chips and chocolate."From sugar to salt and fat, we investigate why our body derives pleasure from the very foods we're often told to avoid.Adam discovers why retronasal smelling makes bacon taste delicious on a trip to the BBC canteen with materials scientist, Mark Miodownik. Hannah consults food scientist Linda Bartoshuk on her fizzy pop habit. Plus The Angry Chef, Anthony Warner, discusses the dangers of labeling certain foods as 'bad'.Presenters: Hannah Fry, Adam RutherfordProducer: Michelle Martin
This is the second part of our eternal quest to investigate infinity, inspired by this question from father and son duo Sorley and Tom Watson from Edinburgh: “Is anything in the Universe truly infinite, or is infinity something that only exists in mathematics?”Hannah and Adam try and find something that is truly infinite, from the infinitely small particles that live in the subatomic world to the infinitely dense heart of a black hole. But how about the Universe itself? We find out how physicists go about measuring the shape of the Universe, with the help of an orange and a game of Asteroids. Plus, we consider the possibility that the Universe might be finite and have an edge. If so, what's on the other side?Theoretical physicist Sean Carroll from Caltech and cosmologist Andrew Pontzen from University College London help us navigate our biggest question yet.Presenters: Hannah Fry, Adam RutherfordProducer: Michelle Martin
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Comments (17)

NotMs Parker

Brilliant! Just brilliant. I'll never be able to look at a raccoon without thinking of this episode 😭

Jun 20th
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D

worth listening and enjoyable

May 27th
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Doug Dickinson

Great podcast, interesting and amusing

May 20th
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Wes Stone

My favourite episode to date!

Mar 29th
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NotMs Parker

so good! especially the last part about pronunciation:)

Mar 6th
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Keels

The presenting and editing on here is excellent. Very entertaining!

Feb 1st
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Stephan Aal

why can't I download the latest episode????

Jan 20th
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Wes Stone

fantastic rapport and great content

Nov 26th
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Michael Brown

I like it

Oct 8th
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Michael Martin

Loves this podcast!

May 31st
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Reza Mohammed Kamrul Hoque

one of the best podcast ever

May 30th
Reply

Josip Kacmarcik

makes me laugh and also learn something

Apr 1st
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Daniel Marsh

Josip Kacmarcik 2

May 16th
Reply

Alvin Brown

Yep, my favorite podcast of all time. Informative, entertaining and fun all rolled into one!

Feb 18th
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Jeremy Money

Definitively proving that science (& scientists) are great fun as well as being seriously awesome & fascinating.

Jan 13th
Reply

Emily Denmade

one of my favourite podcasts, very accessible yet still stimulating and very fun!

Dec 18th
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Ceri Edwards

best podcast on science ever. it's informative and great fun

Oct 31st
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