All posts by thelabwithbradbarton

Ep 292: Supersonic flight, rocket planes and the edge of space



Supersonic flight, rocket planes and the edge of space

After world war II, the world became very interested in super sonic flight, and high altitude research. Along with a side trip to how jet engines work, we take a look at rocket planes—the first manned vehicles to reach the edge of space.
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Ep 291: World wars, aircraft and rocket



World wars, aircraft and rocket

We follow the development of airplane engines and rockets from the wright Brothers through the end of world war II. By the end, the stage is set for an arms race, and the space race.
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Ep290: From feathers to flying machines



From feathers to flying machines

The early history of flight is strewn with the wreckage of many strange devices… and the people who invented them. From foolish feathered folk flinging themselves from a far, to the powered and controlled flight pioneered by the Wright brothers, we take a look and how we learned to make the sky our playground.
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Ep 289: Blast me to the moon



Blast me to the moon

We take a look at the very beginning of rockets, including the somewhat obscure origins of gunpowder. The cherry on the top of our explosive cake is a story about how one man tried to build a huge gun that could launch things into space.
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Ep 288: From stones to strings to space



From stones to strings to space

This week we begin a look at air and space travel. We start our look with the stone age, when we began to learn what we’d need to know in order to fly.
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Ep 287: Spider silk?



Spider silk?

Brother Phil and I were on the porch the other day, and the topic swung round to the amazing mechanical strength of spider web. He bumped into something about some piece of clothing that had been made from the stuff. After talking about it for a while, it hit me that I didn’t actually know what I was talking about. Thus, for the last episode of 2020, we dig into the topic of regular silk, spiders, and spider silk.

Happy holidays, and we’ll see you again on January 14, 2021.
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Ep 285: A lucky accident



A lucky accident

Around the 1950s, many labs were attempting to figure out how to manufacture transistors. Even more exciting was the idea that many electrical components, entire circuits could be put on one crystal. There were several methods attempted to solve the problems that occurred, until one day, in 1955, a lucky accident suddenly made everything much easier.
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Ep 284: Back up a bit



Back up a bit

A large percentage of the show’s staff all hurt their backs at once—the producer, the audio editor, founder, writer, research department head, and the host. Mind you, those are all the same guy so… We did manage to talk a little bit more about neural networks and early AI research. Hope you enjoy the unusually short episode.
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Ep 283: An early AI, and the birth of the transistor



An early AI, and the birth of the transistor

Vacuum tubes were all well and good, but they were bulky, hot, power hungry, and prone to failure. Early on, artificial neural networks showed promise, as even if tubes broke while it was running, it would keep working. Meanwhile, the transistor is invented, and the unreliable tubes slowly became obsolete.
Continue reading Ep 283: An early AI, and the birth of the transistor