In this episode of These Vibes, Brian subbed in for Stevie (sick and sounded like a screecher monkey) spoke with our resident science historian Ingrid Ockert on her recent article, “Science Television in the Sputnik Age.” Additionally, we welcomed Dr. Julio Herrera-Estrada back on the show to discuss his in-depth research on droughts in North America. All that, and lots of music.
In this episode of These Vibes, Stevie spoke with Dave Seal, a mission planner on the Cassini space probe which spent many years orbiting Saturn. Cassini operated its final maneuver, called the “Grand Finale,” and ended its observing by plunging in to Saturn just last Friday morning at 8am EST. It took a final image and took it’s last bits of data on Saturn’s atmosphere before being destroyed. Listen in to learn about the mission, its development, goals, and discoveries, and learn more about what it’s like to be a mission planner on a NASA space probe.
All that plus great music, and science news from microplastics in our seasalt to the new research on cancer cells.
Featured image: Adlinger Center at Princeton University.
In this installment of These Vibes, graduate researcher in the Computation and Energy track in Princeton University’s School of Architecture, Dorit Aviv, joined us on the mic to discuss her work designing and optimizing buildings. In the image next to the stream you can see Dorit Aviv with her Cool Oculus, discussed in the show.
At the start of the show, Tamara Patton and Sébastien Philippe*, doctoral researchers in mechanical engineering and Science & Global Security, explained the UN Nuclear Ban Treaty, currently in negotiations at the UN as well as the upcoming Women’s March to Ban the Bomb.
Featured image above is from an article from 2013 where a group at Berkeley is working to make windows even smarter, in a different way.
In this special show for WPRB’s all-vinyl week, Brian covers the tunes and Stevie speaks to our guests, Princeton graduate researchers Nick Davy and Melda Sezen. It was beautiful chaos in the studio.
Nick and Melda work on Smart Windows, under Professor Lynn Loo in Chemical and Biological Engineering. “Smart Windows” refers to glass that can change colors (darken) when a current is applied. This happens due to the electrochromic (electro=electrical responding, chromic=color) material polyaniline. Polyaniline is magical. It dissolves in water, and is just green when no current is applied (see image), but when connected to an energy source, like a battery or a solar cell, it can be tuned to be varying shades of blue, and even transparent. Nick and Melda’s collaboration
works to improve this technology by introducing organic* solar cells as an extra varnish on the windows, producing both the energy needed to change the color of the glass and hopefully some excess to power your home, etc.
So, in the show we in to the nitty gritty of how smart glass works, and how Nick and Melda are fabricating and improving the technology. We then dive in to other applications of organic solar cells and polyaniline, for example wearable technology.
If you’re looking for something about smart windows that’s little higher level, take a look here.
At the very end of the show, Brian jumps on the mic to give us a little history of vinyl, including cylinder vinyl, and how LPs are made!
*In chemistry speak, “organic” = carbon based. In this case, think “plastic.”