By Hamish Johnston
This week’s Red Folder begins with a pair of videos that attempt to explain some of the most difficult concepts in physics. First up is a video featuring physicist and filmmaker Derek Muller, who does a lovely job of explaining quantum entanglement with the help of a few cardboard cut-outs and a couple of spinning avatars (see above).
Also premiering this week is a video by Fermilab’s Don Lincoln, in which he takes on the knotty subject of string theory using props including a vibrating plate and a hula-hoop. Does Lincoln believe in string theory? You’ll have to watch the video below to find out.
Coming to a screen near you is a new chat show hosted by the astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who also presented last year’s revival of the TV series Cosmos. According to the Hollywood news website The Wrap, the late-night talk show will be called Star Talk – which shares the same name as Tyson’s radio chat show.
Tyson is a showbiz veteran, but appearing on television can be stressful for the average astrophysicist, especially if the producers get the name of your institute wrong. That is what happened to Tim O’Brien when he appeared on the BBC this morning. Do you think the production people were wondering why an observer of banks was commenting on the heavens?
Ending on the video theme, late last week throngs of ageing gamers (and I’m guessing a fair few physicists) were rejoicing when more than 2000 MS-DOS games from the 1980s and 1990s became available on the Internet Archive. The folks at RedOrbit clearly have too much time on their hands because they have now answered this pressing question about their favourite video game The Oregon Trail, which debuted in 1990: “Would Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, and Bill Nye survive the Oregon Trail?”.
Try not to spend too much of your weekend playing Super Munchers!