About this episode
Satellites are vital to modern civilization, powering the GPS in our phones, enabling long-range communication, and giving us insights into Earth’s climate and the universe beyond. We now launch thousands of new satellites into space each year, dramatically increasing the risk of collisions. Such satellite collisions create debris that can damage more satellites. Thomas Kleinig and his colleagues are developing and testing a new approach to avoid collisions by exploiting a unique property of the thin atmosphere that satellites travel through.
To understand how the smallest known particles in our universe form structures, scientists need to use sophisticated mathematical models and techniques. These help scientists to estimate the energies of these particles, to work out how they combine and interact. In a recent paper, Dr Eef Van Beveren from the Centre for Physics of the University of Coimbra and Dr George Rupp from the Centre of Physics and Engineering of Advanced Materials of the University of Lisbon review the techniques that have led to scientific discoveries about mesons – subatomic particles that exist for tiny fractions of a second. They also discuss how such techniques may evolve into the future.
The ownership of goods, including both material objects and immaterial goods such as intellectual property, is defined by property regimes. Property regimes are sets of rules that define ownership. They determine who can own goods, legitimate ways of acquiring and using them, and duties associated with owning them. Two important categories of property regimes are private property and common property regimes. Private property regimes focus on ownership by a single person or entity, while common property regimes involve ownership by several people or entities. Nina Gmeiner and her colleagues from the research project RightSeeds explored the recent emergence of a class of property regimes known as progressive commons.
Our brain’s network structure consists of many interconnected regions, each containing billions of neurons. Many neurons within one region fire electrical signals at the same time, in synchrony, and even neurons across different regions may synchronise. These are known as synchronous clusters. The collective firing of neurons in synchronous clusters is believed to create brainwaves. Brainwave measurements of patients with epilepsy have shown that during seizures, there can be episodes of excessive synchrony. The mechanisms behind these episodes are not well understood.
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