Explorations With Dr. Michio Kaku - July 3, 2001

Program Title:
Explorations With Dr. Michio Kaku - July 3, 2001
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

Explorations with Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York, science program. SUMMARY of some of the top stories in science: Pentagon study shows flaws in Star Wars system (can be fooled by decoys) : G.W. Bush Administration may resume nuclear testing: American Medical Assoc. resolution to end non-theraputic use of antibiotics in agriculture (animal feed) : Lock Ness monster and Bermuda Triangle may have natural causes : the fruit fly shares with humans 700 genetic diseases. GUEST: LEON GOLUB author of "Nearest Star: the Surprising Science of Our Sun"[ Harvard Univ Pr., 2001; ISBN: 0674004671]. CONTENT: Dr. Michio Kaku invites Dr. Leon Golub, Astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and author of "The Nearest Star: The Surprising Science of Our Sun" to discuss features and behaviour of the Sun, eclipses, sunspot cycles, effects of weather on Earth, and why it shines. Specific topics and biographical figures addressed in the interview are: Wavelengths and the challenge of studying the Sun o How the distance from Earth to Sun was calculated now and in ancient times o How the age of the Sun was ascertained o Fission and Fusion o Cecilia Payne and spectroscopy o Magnetic fields o Atmospheric models and new theories on mechanisms for how the Sun affects the weather and Climate on the Earth o Ice ages and cycles of procession periods, the angle of the Earth's tilt, and elliptical orbit o The fate of the Sun as a Red Giant and White Dwarf Other topics covered: A declassified report released by the Defense Department's office of operational test and evaluation states that the National Missile Defense (NMD) system is not ready for action and it cannot distinguish a real missile from a decoy. The report was released to members of the United States. Congress and calls for more tests, time, and funding. Oddly, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has indicated the system should be deployed anyway. The Bush administration has asked scientists to examine various ways to perform underground tests of nuclear weapons beneath the deserts of Nevada. An unofficial 9-year moratorium on testing has stood while negotiations surrounding the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) have been pursued. Activists wonder if the announcement is a "trial balloon" meant to garner public consensus on a sensitive topic. The American Medial Association (AMA) has called for the end of non-therapeutic uses of antibiotics in agriculture due to concerns over its potential of becoming breeding grounds for mutated strains of "super-germs". One University of Illinois study that analyzed 2 hog factories found that such "super-germs" had migrated up to 1/6th of a mile away in soil and groundwater posing a legitimate health risk. Scientists have offered geological explanations for mysteries surrounding strange occurrences at Loch Ness, Scotland and at the Bermuda Triangle. Dr Luigi Piccardi believes that the Great Glen Fault is responsible for gas and flame emissions that cause underground shaking and roaring that might have given an illusion of a monster. Scientists studying the Bermuda Triangle have found enormous quantities of gas buried under the surface of the Caribbean basin, and have theorized that when disturbed by seismic activity may jet bubbles of methane or carbon dioxide miles across, in some cases leading to pilot unconsciousness. 700 human genetic diseases have been found to have homologues in fruitflies. Scientists at the University of San Diego uncovered these genetic links and indicate it may revolutionize the way 5,000 known human genetic disorders are understood while providing a new tool for research and treatment. Inspired by the recent Spielberg/Kubrick release of the movie "A.I." Michio comments on email and letters received on the topic of Artificial Intelligence, especially as it pertains to complexities in establishing common sense. He also prognosticates on developments in robotics that make take decades or centuries to realize.

Date Recorded on: 
July 3, 2001
Date Broadcast on: 
July 3, 2001
Item duration: 
60 min.
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Los Angeles, Pacifica Radio Archive, 2001
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