December 23, 2003

Magnificent Mars

Guest: Ken Croswell.

Mars is one of the brightest and most beautiful planets—and it may also hold the key to the question of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe. Today on Focus we're joined by astronomer and writer Ken Croswell. His new book Magnificent Mars talks about the geology, topography, and atmosphere of the planet, as well as the spacecraft due to land on its surface within the next few weeks. What do we hope to learn from these latest missions to the Red Planet? This morning, Croswell will be answering that question—and more.

November 19, 2003

Winter Storm Awareness

Guest: WILL meteorologist Ed Kieser.

Winter storms and extreme cold have sometimes been called "deceptive killers." Many people don't realize just how dangerous these weather conditions can be. Today on Focus, WILL meteorologist Ed Kieser will be with us to talk about how winter storms form and review advice for what to do when you've been caught in one.

November 05, 2003

Cosmic Collisions: How Astronomers are Saving the World

Guest: David Morrison.

The age of the dinosaurs ended some 65 million years ago when a large asteroid hit the Earth. What are the chances that sometime in the future, Earth would again be a target? Today on Focus, our guest will be David Morrison, Senior Scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute. He says a large impact is not expected in our lifetime... but the possibility is still out there. Today he'll talk about the effort to chart large objects in space that have the potential to strike the Earth.

October 17, 2003

How the Universe Got its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in Finite Space

Guest: Janna Levin.

Is the universe infinite or just really big? In her new book How the Universe Got its Spots, cosmologist Janna Levin synthesizes areas of science from geometry to string theory to explain how the patterns left in the universe by the Big Bang may one day be used by scientists to reveal the exact size and shape of the universe. She joins us today on Focus to discuss her book and her day-to-day life as a physicist exploring this area of her field.

July 03, 2003

A Mathematician Plays The Stock Market

Guest: John Allen Paulos.

Could pure mathematics help you play the stock market? Today on Focus, we'll examine the numbers behind risk and reward with mathematician and author John Allen Paulos. He'll talk about methods of analysis, common scams, and the efficiency versus rationality of investing.

September 09, 2002

Is Climate Change Too Uncertain for Policy?

Guest: Stephen Schneider.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, the surface temperature of the Earth has risen by about a degree in the last 100 years. Many scientists argue that most of the warming over the last 50 years is due to human activity. Others say we don't have enough data to draw that conclusion. This morning on Focus, we're joined by Stanford biologist Stephen Schneider to explore the question of whether climate change is too uncertain for policy.

August 29, 2002

Linked: The New Science of Networks

Guest: Albert-László Barabasi.

In the age of the Internet, networks are a concept that surrounds us—we are all connected to other things and people in numerous ways. Today on Focus, we're joined by physicist Albert-László Barabasi to discuss the science of networks, the laws that they follow, and how they permeate and appear in just about every field and part of life one could imagine.

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