In this episode of the Physics World Weekly podcast the science writer Kit Chapman chats about his latest book Superheavy: Making and Breaking the Periodic Table, which is a lively romp through the history of smashing nuclei together to create ever heavier elements. Some of the most talented physicists and chemists of the past 100 years have been involved in the quest for superheavy elements, and Chapman talks about some of his favourite characters. He also discusses a recent feature article he wrote for Physics World about the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, which will come online next year in Michigan with the incredible aim of doubling the number of known isotopes.
Also in this episode, Physics World’s Margaret Harris explains what to do if you find a meteorite while rambling through the countryside – something that could happen in the English county of Gloucestershire, over which a bright meteor was spotted in the sky on Sunday. We also talk about new evidence that a much larger object from space put an end to the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.