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Hannah Fry and Adam Rutherford investigate everyday mysteries sent by listeners. What makes things sharp and what happens on the molecular level when you cut something?

"What makes things sharp? Why are thinner knives sharper? What happens on the molecular level when you cut something?" All these questions came from Joshua Schwartz in New York City.

The ability to create sharp tools allowed us to fashion clothing, make shelters and hunt for food, all essential for the development of human civilisation, according to materials scientist Mark Miodownik.

We hear from IBM scientist Chris Lutz, who has used one of the sharpest blades in the world to slice up individual atoms.

Plus palaeoarchaeologist Becky Wragg Sykes reveals the sharpest natural object in the world, a volcanic glass used by the Aztecs called obsidian.

Presenters: Hannah Fry, Adam Rutherford
Producer: Michelle Martin.

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24 minutes

Broadcast

Why do you see faces in unexpected places?

Why do you see faces in unexpected places?

We are “hardwired” for recognising faces and it starts at birth.

Podcast