Probing the origins of the universe, using plasmonic tweezers to manipulate tiny objects


In this episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast, the cosmologist and theoretical physicist Laura Mersini-Houghton of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill joins us to talk about big questions in cosmology such as why did the universe come into existence and what, if anything, existed before the Big Bang?

From the very big to the very small, our second guest is the electrical engineer Justus Ndukaife, who uses nanophotonic plasmonic tweezers to manipulate objects that are too tiny to be held by optical tweezers. Based at Vanderbilt University, he explains how the technology could be used in a wide range of applications from cancer diagnoses to quantum computing.

  • Laura Mersini-Houghton will be debating the origins of the universe at the How the Light Gets In festival in London later this month.

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