Stuff You Should Know Podcast Talks Big Bang With Neil deGrasse Tyson


Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down complex cosmic issues with Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, the hosts of HowStuffWorks podcast "Stuff You Should Know." PatrickEccelsine/Fox/Getty Images
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down complex cosmic issues with Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, the hosts of HowStuffWorks podcast "Stuff You Should Know." PatrickEccelsine/Fox/Getty Images

Explaining complicated stuff can be tough. But hey, the toughest jobs are sometimes the most rewarding, and explaining stuff? That's pretty much what we do at HowStuffWorks. And some of the best explainers around are Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, the hosts of our Stuff You Should Know podcast. So when Stuff You Should Know invites Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, another world-class explainer, onto the show, it'd better be for a good reason — and in this podcast, Josh, Chuck and NDT dive into the start of it all: the big bang.

Take a listen to the podcast by clicking Play right here to hear not just about the nanomoments right before the big bang, but the sudden growth of the universe, where "expanding happened really, really fast," as Chuck explains. They also break down the difference between expansion and inflation theory, present easy-to-understand looks at the Doppler effect and Edwin Hubble's observation of distant galaxies, and, yes, a mention of "The Big Bang Theory" sitcom works its way in alongside mentions of Star Wars, H.P. Lovecraft, and cherry pie — essential things, surely, though not counted among the four fundamental forces of nature later explained.

Renowned astrophysicist Dr. Tyson reminds podcast listeners that it's our job to work out the mechanisms behind all that is. "The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you," he says while chatting with Josh about the daunting endeavor of trying to understand how the universe works, and reminds us that our current understanding of the cosmos is still a new thing built on older ways of thinking. "This scenario, this picture was very hard earned, and it's no more than 80 or 90 years old in total," he says.

Josh and Dr. Tyson get into the business of where scientific breakthroughs of the future might come from, and while Tyson doesn't discount the "lone scientist burning the candle at midnight," he's hopeful about globally collaborative science, and passionate about expanding education worldwide to increase the chances of human culture producing "another Einstein."

If you dig this podcast and want to hear more explanations of the world from Stuff You Should Know, subscribe to the podcast through iTunes or your other listening platform of choice.