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Oxford Sparks Big Questions

Feb 10, 2015

Professor Irene Tracey explains the placebo effect and how it is a normal part of our pain system. Although it is understood why we have pain – to tell us we are hurt and as a reminder not to do something again – it is not totally understood how the pain system works and how it affects individuals.

Jan 21, 2015

Researcher Joshua Gold explains a condition called tinnitus, most often described as a persistent and annoying sound in one or both ears. Tinnitus is surprisingly common, with about 10% of population suffering from it at some point in their lives, and yet it is poorly understood and there is currently no cure.

Jan 5, 2015

Dr Andrew Pontzen explains how chains of computers can be set up to simulate billions of years of development of the universe, but in a time period of weeks. By inputting what is known about the early universe and applying the laws of physics, it is possible to explore how the universe has evolved.

Jan 5, 2015

Edward Imrie and Dr Stephen Johnston Edward Imrie and Dr Stephen Johnston talk about a surprising discovery – a collection of boxes, originally containing chocolates and soap, now full of tiny chemical vials thought to date back to the 1930s. The chemicals belonged to Sir Robert Robinson, a respected Oxford chemist...

Dec 15, 2014

Dr David Wallace discusses the concept of the multiverse – a physical reality that contains lots of universes, each of which inhabited by different versions of ourselves. These parallel worlds sound like science fiction, but the theory is sound, even if we’re not able to actually interact with them.