Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow.


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015 Permalink

Radiolab: Desperately Seeking Symmetry

This hour of Radiolab, Jad and Robert set out in search of order and balance in the world around us, and ask how symmetry shapes our very existence -- from the origins of the universe, to what we see when we look in the mirror.

Along the way, we look for love in ancient Greece, head to modern-day Princeton to peer inside our brains, and turn up an unlikely headline from the Oval Office circa 1979.


Are You My Brain Double?

Robert kicks things off with a beautiful re-telling of a 2400-year-old love story from Plato, by way of Aristophanes, about the longing many of us feel for another half to make us whole. This ancient yearning gets us wondering whether the world around us is deeply and fundamentally symmetric, or...not. ...

Mirror, Mirror

The mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson posed a big question about mirrors in one of his best-known books: Through the Looking-Glass (yup, Dodgson's pen name was Lewis Carroll). Natasha Gostwick of Storynory reads an excerpt that gets at the heart of the trouble: is mirror milk any good to drink? ...

Nothing's the Antimatter

Just after the Big Bang, the universe was a primordial soup made of light. Then, it started belching out matter. Neil deGrasse Tyson explains how deeply shocking this is, and Marcelo Gleiser reveals an imperfection in the laws of physics that makes our very existence possible.