The Astrophysics Podcast

by Paul Duffell

Once a month, Purdue University's Professor Paul Duffell discusses astronomy and astrophysics with experts from around the world. Duffell and guests discuss supernovae, galaxies, planet formation, black holes, and the nature of space and time.

Supported in part by the National Science Foundation under grant AAG-2206299.

Music by Brittain Ashford.

Produced in beautiful Lafayette, Indiana by Paul Duffell.

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Podcast episodes

  • Season 1

  • Dr. Soham Mandal -- What Happens to Supernovae After they Explode?

    Dr. Soham Mandal -- What Happens to Supernovae After they Explode?

    When a star explodes, it's not finished having an impact on its surroundings. For the next thousand years or so, we can still see it as a supernova remnant, when the explosion has expanded to large enough scales that we can actually resolve an image of the explosion with modern telescopes like JWST, and it's even possible to do a forensic analysis to learn more about the cause of death. We will be talking about supernova remnants with Dr. Soham Mandal, who just recently earned his PhD from Purdue University.

  • Dr. Yuan Li -- Our Turbulent Universe

    Dr. Yuan Li -- Our Turbulent Universe

    What is turbulence? You've probably experienced it before on a plane (or perhaps on a river) but you might not know precisely what it is. But turbulence is all around us, and in particular we find it on some of the largest scales in the universe. Professor Yuan Li talks about turbulence and also a little unrelated bit about Mira, an unusual star with a tail!

  • Dr. Ashley Villar -- Big Data in Astrophysics

    Dr. Ashley Villar -- Big Data in Astrophysics

    Astronomers deal with huge datasets, and they are about to get even bigger with the construction of the Vera Rubin Observatory. When you can detect a million supernovae per year, how do we make sense of this data and decide which ones are the "most interesting" to study? Professor Ashley Villar at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian has made her career out of developing machine learning techniques to answer this very question.

  • Dr. Frank Timmes -- Pulsing White Dwarfs, Neutrinos, and the Infrastructure of Research

    Dr. Frank Timmes -- Pulsing White Dwarfs, Neutrinos, and the Infrastructure of Research

    What are neutrinos and where do they come from? How do we know what's going on in the interior of a star when we can only see the surface? How does a paper get accepted into a scientific journal? We discuss these questions and more with Frank Timmes, professor at Arizona State University and Associate Editor-in-Chief of a number of scientific journals run by the American Astronomical Society.

  • Dr. Erica Nelson -- Watching the First Galaxies Form

    Dr. Erica Nelson -- Watching the First Galaxies Form

    How did the galaxies form and how can we learn about them? Professor Erica Nelson of the University of Colorado, Boulder tells us how we use the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to look back in time and learn about the initial formation of structure in the universe.