Go With the Flow

10.14.2019 - By Big Picture Science

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(repeat) Solid materials get all the production credit.  Don’t get us wrong, we depend on their strength and firmness for bridges, bones, and bento boxes.  But liquids do us a solid, too.  Their free-flowing properties drive the Earth’s magnetic field, inspire a new generation of smart electronics, and make biology possible.  But the weird thing is, they elude clear definition.  Is tar a liquid or a solid?  What about peanut butter? In this episode: A romp through a cascade of liquids with a materials scientist who is both admiring and confounded by their properties; how Earth’s molten iron core is making the magnetic north pole high-tail it to Siberia; blood as your body’s information superhighway; and how a spittlebug can convert 200 times its body weight in urine into a cozy, bubble fortress. Guests: Mark Miodownik – Professor of Materials and Society, University College, London, and author of “Liquid rules: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances that Flow Through Our Lives” Arnaud Chulliat – Geophysicist, University of Colorado and Institut de physique du globe du Paris Philip Matthews – Comparative physiologist at the University of British Columbia Rose George – Journalist and author of “Nine Pints: A Journey Through the Money, Medicine, and Mysteries of Blood”  

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