Jim discusses the Parameterized Post-Newtonian formalism with Randy. The PPN framework is a general, linearized metric theory of gravity that can simulate all metric theories of gravity and compare them to solar system sized experiments.
Show Notes: http://frontiers.physicsfm.com/31
Jim and Randy discuss the consistent histories interpretation of quantum mechanics. The brainchild of Robert Griffiths and with a surprisingly strong set of supporters, Consistent Histories seems to be a strong, logical description of what happens in the quantum world.
Show Notes: http://frontiers.physicsfm.com/30
Jim and Randy discuss how modifications to general relativity can be used to mimic the effects of dark energy. They discuss various forms of gravitational theory that can do the job, as well as the field particles that mediate their "fifth force."
Show Notes: http://frontiers.physicsfm.com/29
Jim talks to Randy about the different ways in which the equivalence principle of general relativity can be formulated. More than just the equivalence of accelerations, the different possible meanings of the equivalence principle mean different things about how gravity works. From weak to strong, from Einstein's equivalence principle to Schiff's conjecture, the implications of these theories are explored.
Show Notes: http://frontiers.physicsfm.com/27
Randy introduces Jim to several ways in which people have theorized that gravity can be used to propel an object through space. The slingshot effect is the only proven method here, but people have found many ways that theoretically could induce propulsion taking advantage of non-commutative motions in space-time, negative inertia, artificially-induced gravitational dipoles, and creating bubbles in space-time.
Show Notes: http://frontiers.physicsfm.com/25
Randy tells Jim about the island of stability: a theoretically predicted oasis of stable nuclear isotopes that researchers keep getting nearer and nearer to discovering. Randy and Jim talk about what they are, how researchers are trying to produce the isotopes, and the theoretical methods that predict their existence.
Show Notes: http://frontiers.physicsfm.com/24
Jim and Randy discuss quasiparticles recently found in condensed matter systems that mirror particles theorized nearly a hundred years ago, but never found in the vacuum. Weyl particles are massless fermions, and once it was hoped that neutrinos would turn out to be this kind of particle, and Majorana fermions have real-valued wave functions and therefore many strange and possibly useful properties.
Show Notes: http://frontiers.physicsfm.com/22