Have you heard of the fabulous podcast called Radio Lab? With topics ranging from miracles of innovation to the anatomy of color, to synchronizing lightening bugs, you never know what you’ll find there! It’s truly amazing.

Now here’s a great find if you have a long commute or time on your hands with some regularity! Try checking in on Radio Lab. You’ll find hundreds of insightful, positive topics to listen to; literally something for every single one of us.

Image: a young girl learning science

Source: Pixabay

Here’s the proof: I actually have two teenagers of my own who have stopped listening to their music on their phones at least half the time now. The other half of the time they are pulling out their earbuds constantly to tell me some fascinating thing they just heard on Radio Lab. Now that’s a testimonial!

I’ll make it easy to get started by pointing you to a few of our one favorite podcasts there and then we’ll attach an interesting one here too!

Here’s a strange and wonderful mix of Radio Lab podcasts for you to start with.

After that we’ll move on to our subject of the day (Prepare to be hooked!):

Via: RadioLab 1

Via: RadioLab 2

Via: RadioLab 3

So great, right?

That’s just a little taste! If you’re into podcasts like that, you can check out our own EWC podcast here after you finish reading this article! This isn’t about us though. Today we’re going to focus on one of their podcasts in particular, to give us a completely new perspective on the subject of speed, through learning about the speed of light, without all the mind-numbing equations. Sound boring? Not at all! What’s incredible is how Harvard professor Lene Vestergaard Hau and her team have managed to slow down light!

Give this a listen and we’ll continue below:

How incredible is that?!

If you’re looking for the Pitch Drop Experiment mentioned at the beginning of the Radio Lab podcast, be sure to click here to check it out on The University of Queensland Australia’s website! It is a bit of fun when you think about it! Kind of mind-bending!

I found Professor Hau’s own astonishment when managing to stop light, as fascinating as our own wonder. Check out a short interview I found from Harvard University on YouTube where Professor Hau discusses this amazing project:

As Hau mentioned, the ability to turn light into matter and then back again could revolutionize the way we transfer and store information in person, in terms of industry and industrial applications, along with the Worldwide Web, too.

Image: Harvard University professor Lene Vestergaard Hau stopping light

Harvard University Professor Lene Vestergaard Hau, seen here, has found a way to stop light!
Source: Beyond the Extra Mile

But as interesting as that may be, the Star Trek fan inside me couldn’t help thinking of another possible application of this light-stopping discovery: teleportation, or the ability to transfer particles (down to the atomic level) from one spot to another. I know that seems mad, but physicists have shown that it’s possible to teleport single atoms from one place to another – so why not a couple billion particles?

Remember that at some point, electricity was thought to be just a tiny stream of energy traveling across a short distance, and now our entire world is linked and powered by moving trillions of atoms every second. Every innovation starts with an idea in the mind of a brave person who would not take no for an answer.

Stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

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  1. “Colors.” Radiolab. Radiolab, n.d. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <http://www.radiolab.org/story/211119-colors/>.
  2. “Lost & Found.” Radiolab. Radiolab, n.d. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <http://www.radiolab.org/story/110079-lost-found/>.
  3. “What’s Up, Doc?” Radiolab. Radiolab, n.d. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <http://www.radiolab.org/story/248590-blanc/>.
  4. “Radiolab – Speed [Mike Beller, Joshua Foer, Seth Horowitz, Eric Hunsader, John Mainstone…].” YouTube. Radiolab Podcast, 21 Mar. 2017. Web. 18 Aug. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czv_CUD118I>.
  5. “Prof. Lene Hau: Light Matters.” YouTube. Harvard University, 09 Aug. 2011. Web. 03 Mar. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57s60mlapCc&feature=youtu.be>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.