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Physical Attraction

New? Head to the episode guide or drop us a line with the contact form.

We are a physics podcast. But not just that - interviews with scientists, scholars, authors and reflections on the history and future of science and technology are all in the wheelhouse. Over the years, for over 200 episodes, we've had shows on the astrophysics of stars, a comprehensive history of nuclear fusion, thermodynamics, particle physics, climate change, economics, philosophy, the psychology of conspiracy theories, and even the lives of Louisiana Senator Huey Long, or scientists under Stalin in the Soviet Union. 

We are an independent show: everything you hear is created by one person out of passion and love. My aim in producing this show is never to talk down to people, but instead to discuss fascinating and vital subjects with scientific rigour, compassion, and an eye for narrative: to educate, inform, and entertain. I hope that you, the listener, will find something you like here. 

You can read about us here, which includes a comprehensive episode guide for new listeners covering all of the shows that we've done. 

You can contact us here - everything goes through to my email and I try to answer each one. Your comments and questions help me to improve the show and also motivate me to carry on, so I highly appreciate reading anything you feel like sending. 

If you like what we do and want to help us keep doing it, you can donate here. I am extremely grateful for those of you who have done so. 

You can also subscribe to the Physical Attraction: Extra! Feed over at Patreon: www.patreon.com/PhysicalAttraction - where for a small fee per bonus episode, you can help to support the show, and get some juicy bonus content too. The Patreon includes unique bonus episodes that stand alone, or alongside our existing series. But you will also get episodes as soon as I finish producing them, which is often months in advance: so, if you can't wait for your fix, that's where to go. 

We had a sister podcast, Autocracy Now, which deals with the lives of famous historical dictators. You can find some of their episodes on our feed, or the show itself at www.autocracynow.libsyn.com 

Mar 22, 2019

After the first generation of nuclear fusion reactors had profound instabilities, and couldn't confine the plasma for long enough to achieve their aims, the world began to realise that fusion might not be just ten years away from reality - and the whole field sank into the doldrums... until a very...


Mar 15, 2019

In 1958, to great fanfare, the ZETA experiment at Harwell announced that they had achieved thermonuclear reactions, controlled in the lab. It was considered a huge breakthrough along the road towards nuclear fusion, and tabloids at the time trumpeted the experiment as allowing "limitless energy from sea water",...


Mar 8, 2019

In the early 1950s, optimism surrounding the potential for nuclear fusion in devices like the Stellarator, the pinch devices, and the magnetic mirror were frustrated by plasma instabilities. It turns out that you cannot treat plasmas like charged particles whizzing around in magnetic fields - instead, the complex theory...


Mar 1, 2019

In 1950-1, Argentine dictator Juan Peron and German scientist Ronald Richter announced that they had cracked the secret of limitless energy from nuclear fusion, and would soon sell energy "in pint-sized bottles, like milk" to every household in the nation. 

Of course, the slight problem was that this technology was...