12/19/17 Show feat. Charles Swanson on Lasers and Plasma Processing

Featured image: A plasma etching device, meant for digging trenches in computer chips. (Courtesy Novelion Systems)

For our episode this week, Charles Swanson, resident plasma physicist and avid science hobbyist, gives us an overview of two hugely influential modern technologies: lasers and semiconductor processing. First, lasers come in many varieties, from laser pointers to atmosphere-mapping lens systems, but all of them stay in a directed beam—how? Second, all our computer chips are made with plasma etching, basically the only way to dig the microscopic features we need in our digital world.

That, plus music from many locales and an overview of animal migration. For more, the book of maps Where the Animals Go by James Chesire and Oliver Uberti is incredible and very much worth perusing.

Thanks for listening! The playlist is available on WPRB.com or below.


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