Mathematics is about numbers, shapes, symmetry, chance, change and more. Much more! Math is not only the most rigorous mental discipline ever invented, it's among the richest, most wide-ranging and most useful. Mathematics is also central to the information revolution. Downloadable music files, DVD movies, digital special effects and secure online credit card transactions, essentially any software application you can think of, owes its existence not just to computers, but to the mathematical algorithms that run on computers.

The nanostructure problem

In order to see inside nanomaterials and learn how nanoparticles evolve, Simon Billinge applies the world's newest and brightest synchrotron light source -- the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) at Brookhaven National Laboratory. at Brookhaven

When protons collide

A proton collision is like a car accident--except when it isn't. Boston University physicist Kevin Black explains why. (Watch out for the kitchen sink!)

Are invisibility cloaks possible?

Have you ever wished you could hide under an invisibility cloak like Harry Potter or conceal your car with a Klingon cloaking device like in "Star Trek"?

The spectacular science of 2015

In episode 38, Charlie and Jordan highlight as many National Science Foundation-funded news stories as they can in one minute, including--but certainly not limited to--water on Mars, the woolly mammoth genome, smart band-aids and a new species of dinosaur.

Pingpong balls break the sound barrier

Mechanical engineering and technology students at Purdue University built a supersonic, air-powered cannon that shoots pingpong balls at speeds so fast they break the sound barrier.

Fire starter

In episode 28, Charlie and Jordan build the perfect fire, according to science. Now you'll be able to, too.

The math of shark skin

The rough surface of shark skin helps sharks move faster through the water. Mathematicians have developed an equation for how this roughness translates into less viscosity for a swimming shark.

Super strings

The quest to find the ultimate building blocks of nature is one of the oldest in all of physics. While we are far from knowing the answer to that question, one intriguing proposed answer is that all matter is composed of tiny "strings." The known particles are simply different vibrational patterns of these strings. In this video, Fermilab's Dr. Don Lincoln explains this idea, using interesting and accessible examples of real-world vibrations.

What is a semiconductor?

Semiconductors are in everything from your cell phone to rockets. But what exactly are they, and what makes them so special? Find out from Jamie, a Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.