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Physical Attraction

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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, as well as links to transcripts of many of the episodes.  

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: - 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 

May 30, 2019

This episode, we're looking into one of the most bizarre fusion episodes in its long and storied history. Yes, it's that time a new experimental tokamak fusion reactor was funded almost entirely by pornography millions from the founder of Penthouse Magazine... 

Comments, questions, concerns, feedback, reviews? Get in...

May 23, 2019

At the start of the tokamak revolution, there was a huge proliferation of different designs for tokamaks from universities and establishments around the world - but gradually, as it became clear that making progress would require larger and larger machines, these efforts broadly ended up concentrated in three...

May 17, 2019

Is nuclear fusion really the perfect energy source that it's sold as and cracked up to be? 

Even if we can get it working, will it live up to the considerable hype?

May 9, 2019

What's stopping us from getting magnetic confinement fusion reactors that work? 

Is it really just... simple engineering problems?

May 2, 2019

The second generation of laser fusion (inertial confinement fusion) devices was built in the USA in the 1970s and 1980s - but, unfortunately, those pesky plasma instabilities wouldn't go away.