In case you missed it, I was on Science Friday this past week. In the episode, I discuss Geek Physics with Ira Flatow. It was lots of fun. Here is the recording since I’m sure you want to listen to it.
I’ll admit that the question about scanning foods for ingredients that cause allergic reactions threw me off a bit. I was expecting some type of superhero question. In the end, I think it is possible to scan foods – any type of scanning typically requires disturbing the food in some way and then observing how the food would respond to this disturbance. This is exactly what we do when we shine light on objects. Our eyes (or a camera) detects the light that is reflected off the object and we can determine some properties of the object. Or you could use something like Nuclear Magnetic Resonance where you disturb the food with magnetic fields and observe what happens. Of course, an NMR isn’t cheap. Ok – that’s a little better answer than what I gave on the show.
Along with my appearance on Science Friday, I also answered questions from Twitter and FaceBook. They were mostly questions about superheroes – like how can Superman fly? Or, how does the Flash not give people whiplash when he saves them?
You can find my answers on the Science Friday website. Check it out.