Editorial notes

11. Introducing The Physics Capsule Podcast


This year has been particularly good for us at Physics Capsule. Last month we relaunched this website as a carefully planned second edition to further our aim of making academic physics freely available to, and easily understandable by, everyone around the world. For 2018 we have an equally big—or perhaps a bigger—step in a different direction. Please say hello to The Physics Capsule Podcast.

We first began toying with the idea of starting a show back in June. Around July we got in touch with the journalism department at the institution where we work and they agreed to let us use their studio for recording. Around the time we finalised our first episode both Sawhil and I had grown extremely fond of the acoustics in the recording studio, so much so that we ended up producing our first episode on zero budget.

With The Physics Capsule Podcast we wanted to give a voice to our text—literally. We wanted to have a casual discussion with our readers (and now our listeners) where we talk about physics across the board: from the deep science we never think of in mundane, everyday tasks all the way to the mind-blowing physics out in the cosmos that we always find ourselves wondering about.

The Podcast is about informal discussions, largely verbal, and about bringing complex physics down to a level everyone can comprehend regardless of their background in the field. This brought its own challenges: for one, we realised it was notoriously hard to get rid of the mathematics but by the time we did we realised we had a much better idea about the phenomenon than we did when we started; second, we did not want to dilute the physics so much that mathematically inclined people would be turned off by it. In the end we think we managed to achieve a fairly good balance between explaining the maths verbally and explaining the complex simply.

We had a pleasant surprise because this was our first recording and we were unsure if we could get through Apple’s stringent quality control for new shows. We were incredibly glad that we managed to get approval with almost no hassle and the iTunes store was the directory where we got listed first, so it was a much better start than we had hoped for. In fact you can listen to our first episode on iTunes right away. We are still experimenting with show formats, recording methods and presentation styles so we will expand with time.

We know there's always a lot of room for improvement and we have lots of ideas about how we want to grow The Physics Capsule Podcast. We would like your feedback too as always. E-mail us or reach out on Twitter anytime. We are already listed on iTunes and available on Overcast, PocketCasts and other players that scrub iTunes. If you cannot find this podcast on your favourite player/app reach out to us and we’ll try to solve the problem for you. Right not we have three series in the pipeline and there will be more if time and work permits.

We strongly believe this is the right step forward for Physics Capsule and holds a prominent place in our roadmap for it. We hope you jump onboard and really look forward to making more episodes. Remember that if you’d like to see us discuss something specific you can always send us request via e-mail or Twitter. it Let us know what you think.

We hope you enjoyed this chapter.

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‘An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents ... the opponents gradually die out.’
— Max Planck