Series 3: Prog 07: 09/11/08
This week - research from North Wales into the significance of our strong response to seeing angry faces. We hear how the space race is entering a new era, and we test the strange properties of cornflour mixed with water.
Repeated Wednesday 12th November at 9:30pm
India and China's latest space missions seem to have opened up a new era in the space race, previously dominated by the US and Russia and also more recently by the European space missions. Ed Gomez from Cardiff University's School of Physics and Astronomy joins Science Cafe with an update.Grrr... angry face
Research carried out at Bangor University's School of Psychology has shown that we are more able to remember angry faces, rather than happy or neutral faces, and that there is an area deep within the brain, indicating primitive emotional responses, which reacts when we see angry faces. Dr Margaret Jackson who lead the research, explains the findings to presenter Adam Walton.
Do you speak alien?
Those of us who have ever tried to learn a language know how difficult it is getting to grips with its sound, and structure. So imagine how complex it would be to tackle a language from another planet. Where would you begin? John Elliot from the Computational Intelligence Research Group at Leeds Metropolitan University has come up with a computer program which uses entropy to analyse language structures.Cornflour gloop
We visit the Techniquest at NEWI science discovery centre in Wrexham where Diane Gray shows Adam the mysterious properties of mixing cornflour with cold water. It will dribble through your fingers, but if you punch it, it acts like a solid!
Did you ever keep a diary when you were a teenager? Somewhere to scribble down your secret thoughts? Ian Stewart started a maths notebook, which turned into a pile of notebooks, and finally, he filled a filing cabinet. Ian's obsession with maths eventually turned into a career - he's now Professor of Mathematics at Warwick University, and author of many books on the subject. His latest publication, "Professor Stewart's Cabinet Of Mathematical Curiosities" is published by Profile Books.Links:
- Cardiff School of Physics and Astronomy
- Angry faces research at Bangor University
- Telegraph article on alien language recognition research
- Techniquest @ NEWI
- Professor Ian Stewart
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