While searching through their site to find something else, I noticed that there was a conversation on KPCC’s Zocalo between science writer K C Cole and Astrophysicist Chuck Steidel not long ago. Have a look at their listing of past conversations here – there’s a lot of good stuff about various topics and people in the Los Angeles area. I listened to it, and it’s very interesting indeed.
It is not quite your usual light touch conversation that you hear on public radio – it is a little more involved, taking you a bit further (without losing you) and gives you more insights into the work, the puzzles, the discoveries and the hopes for future ones. As a journalist, and the guest host of the program, K C Cole knows her material, and so is able to steer things rather well, while inserting useful remarks to help the listener keep up. This might be perfect listening if you want to get a sense of what it’s like to work in Chuck’s area of expertise (finding and characterizing the youngest galaxies and understanding their cosmological implications), either out of general curiosity or if you’re planning a career in that area. Take out some time and have a listen. Here’s the blurb from the site:
The Flat Universe: Caltech Astrophysicist Chuck Steidel with Guest Host K.C. Cole 11/11/2007
Caltech astrophysicist Chuck Steidel has found dozens of infant galaxies. For him, collecting new data from the telescope is like “a crossword fanatic getting a fresh pile of puzzles.” In this lucid, jargon-free science chat, he tells K.C. Cole how two opposing views of the universe were both correct, and the term “dark matter” was coined to explain it all. Observable matter, he says, “is painted on to the skeleton” of the cosmos by dark matter. Through his work at the Keck Observatory, Steidel explores the nature of the painting process in action.
The audio is here.