A Musical Adventure in Physics: Exploring the Latest Episode of Physics World Stories

Whether you’re a Swiftie, a devout metalhead, or a 1980s synth pop aficionado, there is something for every musical taste in this month’s Physics World Stories.

In the latest episode, podcast host Andrew Glester takes listeners on a fascinating journey blending music and science.

Part One: The Swift Quakes

In the first segment, Andrew is joined by Jacqueline Caplan-Auerbach, a geophysicist at Western Washington University, US. They delve into the intriguing “Swift quakes” phenomenon observed during Taylor Swift’s Eras tour. These seismic events raise two compelling questions: Are the quakes caused by the music or the enthusiastic crowds? And how do these quakes compare to other notable events like the 2011 “Beast quake” triggered by American football celebrations? Surprisingly, Swifties (dedicated Taylor Swift fans) eagerly contribute data for this geophysical research, highlighting the intersection of pop culture and science.

Part Two: A New Podcast Jingle

The episode’s second part introduces listeners to a fresh podcast jingle. Andrew chats with its creator, Philip Moriarty, a physicist and science communicator at the University of Nottingham, UK. The song, “137,” is inspired by the fine-structure constant and is filled with playful references to this fundamental constant and the associated physicists. Expect some delightful surprises, including bongos! Moriarty provides further insights into the song in his article “H1dd3n variab7es: the fundamental constant on which the new Physics World podcast music is built,” where listeners can enjoy the tune.

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