Monday, 5 September 2011

Bang Goes the Theory - we grill the presenters!

We couldn't be more excited that the Bang Goes the Theory LIVE experience is coming to Manchester Science Festival this year!

We got the chance to catch up with the presenters of the show and asked them loads of questions. Over the next few weeks, we'll pop the questions and their (sometimes hilarious!) answers on our blog. The first presenter we put to the test is Jem!

What's your favourite science fact?

I love the fact that an ancient Greek fellow managed to pretty accurately figure out the size of the world using sticks, shadows and logic.

What's the most dangerous experiment you've ever done?
Myself and the two guys I work with do many, many experiments in the process of building all we do for Bang. And there are quite a few that there’s no practical risk-free way of doing. You’ve just got to use your most considered judgement and hope you’ve got it right.

On-screen wise, going all the way round on a swing was the only experiment I didn’t even tell my family about. The window for success was pretty small. On reflection, I’m not even sure I should trust own engineering that much.

What's the most dangerous/extreme/exciting thing you've ever done?
I remember surfing one reef break in south west Australia that was both big and sucked pretty dry over the rocks. It struck me as amazing how you never really notice the muscles in your feet then when you really need them you can feel hundreds of them doing everything they can to make sure you stay upright.

How did you become a science TV presenter?
For years I worked behind the scenes building experiments and machines for a bunch of other science shows, and when the camera was swung in my direction I just tried to smile and be myself.

What do you think will be the next big discovery in science?
Using unimaginably small aerials to turn infra red radiation directly into usable electricity.

What's the best thing about your job?
The simply astonishing opportunity it gives me to meet and talk with some wonderfully experienced scientists and engineers.

What's your favourite food?

Questions from Bang Goes the Thoery fans

Why do some kettles whistle when they boil?
When water gets to 100 degrees and turns into steam it expands about 800 times. There’s no room for that in the kettle so it rushes out of the spout. When the steam coming out moves quickly enough through a specifically designed chamber (the kettle whistle) it sets up a vibration. This vibration causes the air in the rest of the room to vibrate, which can then wobble your ear drums. If those are wobbled at the right rate (about 1000 times per second) you interpret that as a whistling sound.

Do aliens exist?
I’d be amazed if they didn’t.
BBC Bang Goes the Theory LIVE experience will be at Campfield Market Hall, near MOSI on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 October. Get your tickets booked now!

Bang Goes the Theory is on BBC One on Monday evenings at 7.30pm.

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