Direct Current - An Podcast

Direct Current - An Podcast
HOW TO SUBSCRIBE To subscribe using iTunes, click here. To subscribe using another podcatcher, copy this URL:

AI: This Is Just the Beginning
Oct 9 • 22 min
Artificial intelligence is all over the news, but what’s all the hype really about? We travel to Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee to find out how AI is going to revolutionize science and energy, and welcome a new podcast to the Department of Energy…
S3 E8: KRUSTY in Spaaace!
Jul 16 • 23 min
50 years after Apollo 11 made history, NASA is getting ready to send astronauts back to the Moon. After that, Mars is next up. We’re going to need a power supply that can keep humans alive in space for years at a time — but it’s got to be small, light,…
S3 E7: DUNE: The Neutrinos Must Flow
May 7 • 44 min
Here’s a question. Why does anything exist? The key to this age-old mystery could lie with neutrinos, elusive particles that flow all around us and (through us) by the trillions. Join Direct Current on a subatomic sojourn into the Deep Underground…
S3 E6: Women in Power: The C3E Story
Mar 20 • 25 min
Meet the women who are leading a clean energy revolution, with a little help from C3E. It’s part support network, part annual gathering, part awards show — and all about empowerment.
S3 E5: Microbiomes! Live at AAAS
Mar 1 • 26 min
There’s an invisible world of microbes living all around us — on our skin, in our guts, even in the ground beneath our feet — and we’re only just beginning to understand their function. In this episode, recorded live at the 2019 American Association for…
S3 E4: This Episode Stinks
Nov 21, 2018 • 35 min
Grease. Gunk. Sludge. Where most people see a nasty nuisance, these scientists see powerful potential. Join us as we wade into the world of bioenergy and learn about the folks working to turn waste into useful energy!
S3 E3: Nuclear Energy: Fact, Fiction, Future
Sep 13, 2018 • 38 min
D’oh! Nuclear energy gets a bad rap on “The Simpsons”. But don’t believe everything you see on TV — there’s a lot more to the story of our most misunderstood energy source. In this episode of Direct Current, we separate nuclear fact from fiction and…
S3 E2: Makers
Jul 31, 2018 • 28 min
This episode of Direct Current is dedicated to the makers at the Energy Department — the engineers, researchers and artisans whose creations are pushing science and technology to exciting new places. Check out photos, video and more from this episode at…
S3 E1: Sitting Down with Secretary Perry
Jun 20, 2018 • 23 min
You know Rick Perry as the current Secretary of Energy and former Texas governor, but did you know he once played drums with ZZ Top? Hear from Perry himself in the season 3 premiere of Direct Current as he sits down with our hosts to discuss everything…
S2 E9: Power Couple
Feb 5, 2018 • 18 min
A pair of energy detectives is hunting down waste and saving money at two big U.S. manufacturing companies. Hear their story, and learn how our Better Plants program is helping partners across the nation find similar success.
S2 E8: Holiday Lights, Redux
Dec 19, 2017 • 15 min
We’re keeping the season merry and bright with a show about data and holiday lights! Ever thought about how big a role data centers play in your life? From searching to streaming to shopping, these critical pieces of infrastructure provide the foundation…
SHORT CIRCUIT | History of the Light Bulb
Nov 14, 2017 • 7 min
We devote this Short Circuit to one of the most ubiquitous items in the world, an item you can probably see from wherever you’re listening… the light bulb. The story of how the light bulb came to light is a fascinating one that we think even a child could…
S2 E7: Energy Secrets
Oct 27, 2017 • 26 min
Last year, Netflix’s sci-fi hit “Stranger Things” called us out on being… well… a secretive agency. We set the record straight back then, but with season 2 coming out, there’s more to the story. So, prepare yourself: from the real science behind the…
SHORT CIRCUIT | Energy @ 40
Oct 4, 2017 • 17 min
The U.S. Department of Energy is 40 years old, and Direct Current is celebrating with a look back at four decades of #ScienceForThePeople. Join us as we talk to the Department’s longest-serving employee (53 years!), revisit the agency’s origins, and look…
S2 E6: A Shot in the Dark
Sep 13, 2017 • 26 min
Earth, the cosmos, everything we can see with our eyes and our instruments is made up of normal matter. But all that doesn’t add up to a whole lot. It’s just 15% of the mass of the universe. The rest is an unknown, invisible… something… This mysterious…
SHORT CIRCUIT | Solar, Meet Eclipse
Aug 17, 2017 • 9 min
Solar power is booming in the U.S. So what happens when the sun disappears during the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017? We talk to the energy experts.
S2 E5: Hyper Drive Time
Aug 9, 2017 • 19 min
And now, for something completely different… Take a drive with Direct Current as we mash up three slightly off-kilter energy stories. It might get weird, but it won’t be boring. It’s Hyper Drive Time!
S2 E4: 17 Labs in 17 Minutes
Jul 24, 2017 • 22 min
The Department of Energy’s National Labs are the crown jewels of science in America. But their work is so diverse, and the challenges they tackle so far-reaching, that it’s hard to talk about all 17 of them — there’s just too much to cover in one episode.…
This Lab Is Your Lab
Jun 30, 2017 • 2 min
We have a holiday treat for you. As we head into July 4, enjoy “This Lab Is Your Lab.” A song meant to highlight some of the amazing work being done across the Energy Department’s system of 17 National Labs, the crown jewels of science in the United…
S2 E3: The Manhattan Project, Part 2
Jun 21, 2017 • 35 min
The conclusion of our two part story on the Manhattan Project. We take you to the Trinity site where the first bomb was tested and then follow the Airmen as they drop the first ever atomic bombs. Later, learn about the creation of the Department of Energy…
SHORT CIRCUIT | Ruth’s Story
Jun 5, 2017 • 14 min
Ruth Huddleston was 18 years old when she took a job at a top secret Army facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, at the height of World War II. Her task was so highly classified that no one could even tell her what she was working on — until one fateful day in…
S2 E2: The Manhattan Project, Part 1
May 18, 2017 • 34 min
The first of two episodes that tell the story of an unprecedented, U.S. government effort to beat Nazi Germany in the race to construct a nuclear weapon. Find out how the atomic age began, what happened in three top-secret towns, and how the Department of…
SHORT CIRCUIT | How to Soak Up an Oil Spill
Apr 20, 2017 • 12 min
It’s been seven years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Could a sponge developed by Argonne National Lab help stop the next big oil spill from becoming a catastrophe?
S2 E1: The Hype Trailer
Apr 13, 2017 • 3 min
Direct Current returns next week! LISTEN TO OUR NEW TRAILER to get a little taste of what’s in store for season 2. We also want to say a quick thank you to everyone who listened to the first season; we really appreciate your support and your enthusiasm,…
Episode 10: The Exit Interview
Jan 17, 2017 • 24 min
With the current presidential administration coming to a close, we asked a very special guest to share some thoughts on his time here at the Energy Department. It’s our boss, nuclear physicist and Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz.
Episode 9: What Happened to Acid Rain?
Jan 5, 2017 • 23 min
Acid rain was one of the biggest environmental problems of the 20th century. We investigate why it’s a thing of the past — and what it can teach us for tackling climate change.
Episode 8: Ho-Ho-How Holiday Lights Work
Dec 1, 2016 • 5 min
Why do holiday lights burn out all the time? We find out the answer, and do it in rhyme.
Episode 7: From Water to Wattage
Nov 3, 2016 • 33 min
Hydropower is America’s oldest and largest source of clean, renewable energy. But can it grow to meet our changing needs? Follow our hosts on a journey from hydropower’s origins to the new wave of technologies that could shape its future.
Episode 6: Energy Ghostbusters
Oct 20, 2016 • 12 min
Spooked by the ghosts and goblins of energy inefficiency? In this special episode, we talk with Josh Olsen, an “Energy Ghostbuster” from our Weatherization Assistance Program. He provides tips on how to keep from being haunted by your energy bill and…
Episode 5: The Future of Cool
Sep 14, 2016 • 29 min
On this episode of Direct Current, we’re taking you to the future of cooling, where new technologies like magnet-based air conditioning and personalized robots will transform how we fight climate change, save on energy costs and stay comfortable.
Episode 4: Backronyms
Aug 10, 2016 • 21 min
Not all acronyms are created equal. Join us on a journey into the colorful world of government “backronyms,” where there’s more to a name than just a jumble of letters.
Episode 3: Power To The People
Jul 11, 2016 • 19 min
How does power get to the people who use it? In this episode we talk about one of the greatest engineering accomplishments of the 20th century — something we use every day, but often take for granted: the electric grid. We talk to an expert about how…
Episode 2: The Clean Energy Geek Squad
Jun 25, 2016 • 31 min
When you have a computer problem, you call tech support. When you have a ghost problem you call Ghostbusters. But who do you call when you have a clean energy problem? In this episode of Direct Current - An Podcast, Matt calls up the Clean…
Episode 1.5: Direct Current Teaser
Jun 25, 2016 • 3 min
A word of thanks, and a sneak preview of what’s coming up on future episodes of Direct Current.
Episode 1: Tackling the Hidden Costs of Rooftop Solar
May 3, 2016 • 24 min
Join our hosts, Matt Dozier and Allison Lantero, as they investigate the sneaky “soft costs” driving up the price of rooftop solar, delve into the archives for a look at the turbulent times around the Energy Department’s creation, and contemplate some…