47 episodes

Astronomy 141, Life in the Universe, is a one-quarter introduction to
Astrobiology for non-science majors taught at The Ohio State University.
This podcast presents audio recordings of Professor Richard Pogge's
lectures from his Autumn Quarter 2009 class. All of the lectures were
recorded live in 1005 Smith Laboratory on the OSU Main Campus in Columbus,
Ohio.

Astronomy 141 - Life in the Universe - Autumn Quarter 2009 Richard Pogge

    • Courses

Astronomy 141, Life in the Universe, is a one-quarter introduction to
Astrobiology for non-science majors taught at The Ohio State University.
This podcast presents audio recordings of Professor Richard Pogge's
lectures from his Autumn Quarter 2009 class. All of the lectures were
recorded live in 1005 Smith Laboratory on the OSU Main Campus in Columbus,
Ohio.

    Lecture 46: This View of Life (Course Finale)

    Lecture 46: This View of Life (Course Finale)

    Course finale and summary. We look back over where we've been the last
    eleven weeks, and bring together all of the main themes of this course
    on Life in the Universe. Recorded live on 2009 Dec 4 in Room 1005 Smith
    Laboratory on the Columbus campus of The Ohio State University.

    • 41 min
    Lecture 45: The Future of Life in the Universe

    Lecture 45: The Future of Life in the Universe

    How will life, the Universe, and everything end? This lecture looks at
    the evolution of our expanding Universe to project the prospects for
    life into the distant cosmological future. Recent observations show
    that we live in an infinite, accelerating universe. I will trace the
    evolution of the universe from the current age of stars into the future.
    The final state of the Universe will be cold, dark, and disordered, and
    ultimately inhospitable to life as we understand it or perhaps can
    imagine it. Recorded live on 2009 Dec 3 in Room 1005 Smith Laboratory
    on the Columbus campus of The Ohio State University.

    • 44 min
    Lecture 44: The Future of Life in the Solar System

    Lecture 44: The Future of Life in the Solar System

    What is the future of life on Earth and in our Solar System? The Sun is
    the source of energy for life on the Earth, but it will not shine
    forever. This lecture looks at the impact of the various stages of the
    evolution of the Sun on the habitability of the Solar System, with
    particular emphasis on the continued habitability of the Earth. I will
    refer to state-of-the-art computer models of the Sun to get is
    properties at various stages in its past and future life. NOTE: Due to
    a recorder malfunction this lecture was re-recorded later in the day on
    2009 Dec 2, rather than being live from the class room in Smith
    Laboratory. As such, it is about 10 minutes longer than usual (my
    pacing is off when not in front of class).

    • 55 min
    Lecture 43: Extraterrestrial Life

    Lecture 43: Extraterrestrial Life

    What does extraterrestrial life look like? This lecture explores
    current thinking about what extraterrestrial life might be like not by
    guessing their appearances, but instead applying lessons learned from
    our growing understanding of how evolution and biochemistry work on
    Earth. I will discuss Universal versus Parochial characteristics,
    Convergent Evolution, Radical Diversity, and other ideas from
    evolutionary biology that might inform how life might emerge on other
    worlds. We will then look at alternatives to carbon biochemistry,
    specifically the possibility of silicon-based life, and alternatives to
    liquid water as a solvent medium for biochemistry, specifically the
    possible role of Ammonia. Finally I will give one example of a highly
    speculative idea about life without chemistry. In the end, the outcome
    of such studies may not be to tell us much about extraterrestrials as to
    help focus questions on how we ourselves arose. Recorded live on 2009
    Dec 1 in Room 1005 Smith Laboratory on the Columbus campus of The Ohio
    State University.

    • 45 min
    Lecture 42: The Fermi Paradox

    Lecture 42: The Fermi Paradox

    So, Where is Everybody? Interstellar colonization, in principle, is an
    exponential growth process that would fill the galaxy in a few million
    years even with a very modest star flight capability. This is a small
    fraction of the lifetime of the Milky Way Galaxy, so the Galaxy should
    be teaming with life. But, we so far have no compelling evidence of
    extraterrestrial visitations, alien artifacts, or any other evidences
    that the Galaxy is populated. Physicist and Nobel Laureate Enrico
    Fermi's apparent paradox and some of the proposed resolutions are the
    topic of this lecture. I will review the Fermi Paradox and describe the
    most common possible resolutions. The Fermi Paradox is useful in
    helping to frame the question of extraterrestrial life, even if we so
    far have no answers. At the end I only touch on the Rare Earth
    Hypothesis, but this is a very nuanced question which requires a whole
    other lecture to explore that I have not had time to fully prepare for
    during this busy quarter. Recorded live on 2009 Nov 30 in Room 1005
    Smith Laboratory on the Columbus campus of The Ohio State University.

    • 44 min
    Lecture 41: Interstellar Travel and Colonization

    Lecture 41: Interstellar Travel and Colonization

    If we ever detect life elsewhere, how will we go visit? This lecture
    considers the challenges of interstellar travel and colonization. The
    problem is one of basic physics (the enormous energy requirements of
    star flight) coupled with the vast, irreducible distances between the
    stars. I will describe various starship concepts that use reasonable
    extrapolations of current technologies (nuclear propulsion and solar
    sails), ignoring for our discussions science-fiction exotica like
    faster-than-light drives and wormholes. My interest is in the
    scientific aspects of the problem, not an exploration of speculative
    fiction. I then turn to interstellar colonization, and how even
    a relatively modest star-flight capability might allow a determined
    civilization to colonize the entire galaxy very rapidly. This has
    implications for how we might interpret the results of Drake Equation
    type arguments about the frequency of intelligent life in the Galaxy,
    and leads to the Fermi Paradox that will be the topic of the next
    lecture. Recorded live on 2009 Nov 25 in Room 1005 Smith Laboratory on
    the Columbus campus of The Ohio State University.

    • 45 min

Customer Reviews

nerdyhead ,

Very Good

Great classes and really interesting info laid out in an easy to understand manner. These are great if you are interested in astronomy!

Paul O'Gorman ,

Unreal

These hit the spot

Gypsychx ,

Amazing lectures!

Dr. Pogge is the best, me and my 16 year old son both listen to his podcasts and love them! They are funny and full of great facts. He is a great speaker, with a pleasant voice and gracious class! The recordingd are clear and very well prepared. All in all, he is spoiling these young kids who will be expecting all college professors to be this great!

THIS MAN NEEDS A TV SHOW! I would watch him!

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