The Star Spot

Our guest today is Neil Rowlands who joins Justin Trottier at The Star Spot to discuss the engineering and science of the James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018. The two cover the exciting objects and phenomena JWST will study, explore why the JWST is a vast improvement over Hubble, and discuss how a project of this magnitude is organized and managed. Dr. Rowlands also shares insights from working in the private sector while under contract to a government agency, before concluding with the current status and upcoming milestones for this exciting project.

In Current in Space we ask whether space and time might not be fundamental after all but rather emerged at the Big Bang. We then detail some of the astronauts who have moved into the political world including first Canadian in space Marc Garneau, now likely to run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. Finally, we give tribute to a little world recently demoted to dwarf planet status.


About Neil Rowlands

Neil Rowlands Neil obtained his B.Sc (Engineering Physics) from the University of Alberta and his Ph.D. (Astronomy) from Cornell University. At Cornell, he participated in the construction and use of infrared instrumentation for the Kuiper Airborne Observatory and the 5m Hale telescope at Mt. Palomar.   

He held NSERC post-doctoral fellowships at the Canada Centre for remote sensing and another  at the Université de Montréal working with an infrared camera for the Canada France Hawaii Telescope.

In 1995 he joined CAL Corporation now called COM DEV, as an electro-optical engineer, developing space-borne scientific instrumentation for the space physics, atmospheric sciences and astronomy communities.  He is currently a Staff Scientist at COM DEV.  He has been working on the Canadian contribution to the James webb space telescope or JWST since 1997 on an instrument on the Fine Guidance Sensor/and near InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph or NIRISS  system

Direct download: Ep11-NeilRowlands.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm EDT

Our guest today is Julian Barbour who joins Justin Trottier at The Star Spot to share his unique insights into the elusive mystery of time. He explains how new perspectives and research he is leading on time - which take seriously the puzzling implications of the Many World interpretation of quantum mechanics - may herald a new revolution in physics. The two explore the paradoxes of simultaneity and duration, asking how we know a second today is the same as a second a billion years ago. They then discuss Barbour's own personal paradox, in which his belief that time is illusory exists alongside his fascination with human history. In his own eccentric, provocative and illuminating style, Barbour finally takes listeners on a tour of platonia, a new concept in which existence is turned into a series of nows - or time capsules - and time is intricately connected to every activity in the universe.

Barbour is a theoretical physicist. Uniquely, he contributes to various fields without holding an academic position. He works part time as a translator and lives on a farm north of Oxford village. He’s been a visiting professor at the University of Oxford since 2008. Barbour holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Buckingham and is the author of a number of books, including Absolute or Relative Motion?, The Discovery of Dynamics, and The End of Time. His interests include quantum gravity, the history of science, and of course time

In Curent in Space we remind listeners not to miss the final days of the Perseid Meteor Show and provide an update on the first few Sols of the Curiosity rover which is now sending its first colour images from the Red Planet.




Direct download: JulianBarbour-Complete.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00pm EDT

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