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Science
THE MATERIAL WORLD
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Thursday 16:30-17:00
Quentin Cooper reports on developments across the sciences. Each week scientists describe their work, conveying the excitement they feel for their research projects.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 05 June
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QUENTIN COOPER
Quentin Cooper
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Thursday 05 June 2008
The 'big daddy' of telescopes: E-ELT
The 'big daddy' of telescopes: E-ELT

E-ELT: The European Extremely Large Telescope

It could be the size of the Royal Albert Hall’s dome, but twice as high.

It will have a mirror 42 metres in diameter and cost up to 1 billion Euros to build.

But just what will the Europe’s Extremely Large Telescope allow scientists to do?

Quentin Cooper is joined by Professor Michael Merrifield, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham and Dr. Mark Swinbank, Institute for Computational Cosmology, University of Durham to find out.

Randomness

Quentin finds out that although science likes to achieve predictable, reliable results, underneath everything we see is actually a world of randomness – where events cannot be predicted only observed and understood after they occur.

We underestimate the importance of randomness in our daily lives at our peril.

He is joined by Dr. Leonard Mlodinow, Computation and Neural Systems, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), whose new book is The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives (Allen Lane).

Dr. Mlodinow is co-author of A Briefer History of Time with Stephen Hawking and has also been a Hollywood script writer on science fiction series like Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Next week: Distilling the secrets of seaweed ...
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