267 episodes

New discoveries, everyday mysteries, and the science behind the headlines — all in about 10 minutes, every weekday. It's science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join host Maddie Sofia for science on a different wavelength.

Short Wave NPR

    • Life Sciences
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

New discoveries, everyday mysteries, and the science behind the headlines — all in about 10 minutes, every weekday. It's science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join host Maddie Sofia for science on a different wavelength.

    The Mystery Of The Mummified Twinkie

    The Mystery Of The Mummified Twinkie

    NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce explains how two scientists unraveled the mystery of a mummified, moldy twinkie left in a basement for eight years.

    • 12 min
    Crows: Are They Scary Or Just Super Smart?

    Crows: Are They Scary Or Just Super Smart?

    We learn some crow facts and leave it to you — do crows deserve their creepy reputation?

    • 9 min
    Micro Wave: Why Do Leaves Change Color During Fall?

    Micro Wave: Why Do Leaves Change Color During Fall?

    From the magic of photosynthesis to the pigments inside each leaf, we explain why leaves change color during the fall.

    • 11 min
    Why These Tiny Particles Are A Big Deal

    Why These Tiny Particles Are A Big Deal

    For much of the pandemic, some scientists had been pushing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recognize that the coronavirus is spread through aerosols--very small particles that can linger in the air. The CDC did that this month, so we brought Senior Science Correspondent Maria Godoy onto the show to explain the distinction, and the implications for staying safe during the pandemic.

    Is the constant refining of the science behind the coronavirus leaving you confused? Send us your questions at shortwave@npr.org and we might answer them on a future episode.

    • 13 min
    Randall Munroe's Absurd Scientific Advice For Real-World Problems

    Randall Munroe's Absurd Scientific Advice For Real-World Problems

    How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems is the latest book from Randall Munroe, the cartoonist behind the popular Internet comic, xkcd.

    • 10 min
    Quantum Mechanics For Beginners

    Quantum Mechanics For Beginners

    Imagine building a better clock — with entangled atoms. Sound difficult? Not for Monika Schleier-Smith.

    • 10 min

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