From Big Bang to James Webb: Exploring Space with Nobel Laureate John Mather
From artificial limbs to memory foam, many inventions have emerged from our quest to understand the cosmos.
In this episode we explore cosmic history, space's impact on technology, and the enduring human fascination with space exploration. To take us on this journey is astrophysicist John Mather, a Nobel Prize winner for his work on the COBE satellite and a key figure in the James Webb Space Telescope project.
Prepare to be intrigued and left with a sense of wonder about the universe's influence on our world.
00:00 – Innovations through the pursuit of space
03:52 – John’s early life
06:44 – Proving The Big Bang Theory
13:30 – The mysteries of quantum mechanics
15:10 – Leading the James Webb Telescope
17:12 – Images from James Webb
20:32 – Are we alone?
24:20 – New telescopes
25:18 – Engineering in space for earth
29:31 – What would you like to see solved in your lifetime?
32:24 – What came before The Big Bang?
25:04 – Misconceptions about space
37:17 – Can humans be a multiplanetary species?
38:20 - Private vs public spending in space
40:24 – What’s the future of space exploration?
- COBE satellite imagery: https://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/cobe_20th.html
- Images from the James Webb Telescope: https://webbtelescope.org/images
- Exoplanet transmission spectrum: https://webbtelescope.org/contents/media/images/2022/032/01G72VSFW756JW5SXWV1HYMQK4
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