The title says it all: this blog features physics videos found everywhere on the web: animations, demonstrations, lectures, documentaries.
Please go here if you want to suggest other nice physics videos, and here if I mistakingly infringed your copyrights. If you understand French, you'll find a huge selection of physics videos in French in my other blog Vidéos de Physique.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Electric flux

The electric flux is proportional to the number of electric field lines going through a surface. This animation illustrates the 3 parameters influencing the electric flux: the area of the surface crossed by electric field lines, the magnitude of the electric field and the angle between the electric field and the surface. In the animation, the electric field lines are green when they cross the surface, and become yellow when they don't cross the surface.

Other animations by Yves Pelletier

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Gravity - Sixty Symbols

What is the difference between big "G" and little "g"... And what is gravitational lensing?

Source:  Sixty Symbols

Other Sixty Symbols videos

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Eureka! Episode 22 - Atoms

This program explains that molecules are made up of atoms. In pure metals, all the atoms are arranged separately in a lattice-work pattern, but in most non-metals, liquids, and gases, the atoms are bunched together into molecules.

Other Eureka episodes

Monday, 27 June 2011

Pop Can Stay-on Tab (levers)

Using slow motion video Bill Hammack shows the ingenious engineering design of a pop can stay-on tab. To use the least amount of material it was designed to change, while in motion, from a 2nd to a 1st class lever.

Other "Engineer Guy" videos

Sunday, 26 June 2011

MIT 8.01 Classical Mechanics Lecture 18

MIT Physics Course
Professor Walter Lewin
8.01 Physics  I: Classical Mechanics, Fall 1999

Exam review: mostly work energy theorem and conservation of energy.

See other videos in this series.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Gravitational Lensing

This animation illustrates how the curvature of space-time produces a focusing effect on light called a gravitational lens.

Other animations by Penn State Schuylkill

Friday, 24 June 2011

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Propulsion Efficiency - Sixty Symbols

Steve Pickering explains propulsion efficiency, Jet engines and water-powered rockets.

Source:  Sixty Symbols

Other Sixty Symbols videos

How long does it take for the earth to go around the sun?

A recent survey of scientific literacy in Australia found 30% believe it takes one day for the Earth to go around the sun. This video provides qualitative evidence for the finding from Sydney's Eastern beaches.

Other Veritasium videos

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

MIT Physics Demo - Wave reflection

Pulses are created on the Bell Labs apparatus and reflections from the opposite end are observed. Initially, the ends of the apparatus are left open and the reflections have positive polarity. When one end is fixed, reflections have negative polarity.

See other MIT physics demos

Double Slit Experiment

Cassiopeia Project's depiction of the classic Quantum Mechanics "Double Slit" experiment  (very similar to this one).

Other Cassiopeia Project videos

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Singing Rod

A rod emitting a sound while vibrating at its natural frequency.

Eureka! Episode 21 - Temperature vs. Heat

Eureka explains that heat refers to quantity of hotness, and is determined by the mass and speed of molecules. This program demonstrates that a bucket of water at a temperature of 50°C contains more heat than a cup of water at 100°C.

Other Eureka episodes

Monday, 20 June 2011

G Force test

Effect of high acceleration on human body.

Motor Effect

When placed in a magnetic field, a current carrying conductor experiences a force.

Source:  Horatiu Pop

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Physics of Surfing

Students who take UC San Diego's Physics of Surfing class get to go to beach, ride a board into the waves and see how physics works in the real world. Back in the classroom, they learn about how waves form, how they travel through the world's oceans and that surfboards follow the laws of fluid mechanics.

Lenz's Law

This is a short animation which depicts Lenz's Law and how changing magnetic flux creates an induced current.

Other animations by Penn State Schuylkill

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Solstice and Equinox - Sixty Symbols

Meghan Gray and Michael Merrifield talk about summer solstice, equinox, Stonehenge and strange movements of the sun.

Source:  Sixty Symbols

Other Sixty Symbols videos

Pendulum Waves

Fifteen uncoupled simple pendulums of monotonically increasing lengths dance together to produce visual traveling waves, standing waves, beating, and (seemingly) random motion.

Source: Harvard Natural Sciences Lecture Demonstrations

Other Harvard demonstrations

Friday, 17 June 2011

Magnetic field around a straight wire

Circular magnetic field around a straight wire crossed by an electric current (the red spheres are not electrons: they move in the direction of conventional current).

Other animations by Yves Pelletier

Yale: Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics, Lecture 14

ASTR 160 - Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics
Spring 2007
Source: Yale University, Open Yale Courses

Professor Bailyn begins with a summary of the four post-Newtonian effects of general relativity that were introduced and explained last time: precession of the perihelion, the deflection of light, the gravitational redshift, and gravitational waves. The concept of gravitational lensing is discussed as predicted by Einstein's general relativity theory. The formation of a gravitational lens can be observed when light from a bright distant source bends around a massive object between the source (such as a quasar) and the observer. Professor Bailyn then offers a slideshow of gravitational lenses. The issue of finding suitable astronomical objects that lend the opportunity to observe post-Newtonian relativistic effects is addressed. The lecture ends with Jocelyn Bell and the discovery of pulsars.

Suggestion for the cameraman:  when the teacher is commenting a picture, show the picture, not the teacher!

See other lectures in this series.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Wave-particle ambigram

Wave-particle ambigram by Douglas Hofstadter.

Source:  Wikipedia


Eureka! Episode 20 - Measuring Temperature

Eureka! shows viewers how Swedish scientist Anders Celsius invented the Celsius thermometer, using the expansion of mercury as a measure of temperature.

Other Eureka episodes

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Franklin's Bells

A pendulum between two charged conductors.

Source:  Teravolt  (click here for a complete explanation)

Introductory NMR & MRI: Video 10: 2D MRI

Paul Callaghan gives an introduction to NMR and MRI. This is the 10th video of the series and talks about Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). 10 episode series produced by Magritek Ltd.

View other videos of this series.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Deceptive Shadows

When sunlight shines through a small hole, it casts an image of the sun on a wall some distance away. Therefore the size and shape of the hole have little effect on the size and shape of the image.

Other Veritasium videos

Julius Sumner Miller - Heat energy transfer by convection

Demonstrations in physics - heat energy transfer by convection

Other physics demonstrations by Julius Sumner Miller

See also:

Heat energy transfer by conduction
Other physics demonstrations by Julius Sumner Miller

Monday, 13 June 2011

Electromagnetic induction

A changing magnetic flux induces a current into a coil.

Source:  Horatiu Pop

Other videos by Horatiu Pop

Fine Structure Constant - Sixty Symbols

Professor Laurence Eaves explains why 137 is a magic number, both for thieves and alien hunters.

Other Sixty Symbols videos

Sunday, 12 June 2011

How a trombone produces a sound

How a trombone produces a sound.
From University of California - Irvine.

MIT 8.01 Classical Mechanics Lecture 17

MIT Physics Course
Professor Walter Lewin
8.01 Physics  I: Classical Mechanics, Fall 1999

Momentum and impulse applied to rockets.

See other videos in this series.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Law of Inertia: Newton's First Law

This NASA video segment explores how Newton's first law of motion applies to aerospace. An instructor at NASA's National Test Pilot School defines the law of inertia and then explains how the seatbelt in a jet provides an outside force to stop the inertia of the pilot. The instructor also discusses inertia experienced by humans while riding in the test vehicles for space travel.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Electric guitar pickup (electromagnetic induction)

String effect on a single coil (electric guitar pickup such as those on Stratocaster). The coil is connected to a multimeter that indicates the voltage changes when the string is subject to vibration. This signal is normally sent to the amplifier.

Warning:  the voltage should reach its maximum value when the string is at maximum velocity, and not when it is at maximum displacement. 

Source:  Wikipedia (animation made by Dake)

Tides - Sixty Symbols

Tidal forces don't just affect the ocean... They can affect entire galaxies. Explantions by Michael Merrifield and Meghan Gray.

Source: Sixtysymbols and Dave Hockey

Other Sixty Symbols videos

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Levers and Jacks

This video shows a clever mechanical mechanism used in this lever type jack. Suitable as a resource when teaching about simple machines.

Source: Hila Science Videos

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Hard drive teardown

Bill Hammack opens up a computer hard drive to show how it is engineered. He describes how the "head" reads the magnetic information on the disk; reveals how a voice coil motor and a slider controls the position of that head. He also discusses how smooth a disk must be, and briefly mentions a mathematical technique that allows engineers to pack more information on a drive.

Other "Engineer Guy" videos

Eureka! Episode 19 - Expansion and Contraction

Using balloons to illustrate the process, Eureka! shows how, when matter gets hot, its molecules go faster and the solid, liquid, or gas expands. Conversely, when matter gets cold, its molecules go slower, and the solid, liquid, or gas contracts.

Other Eureka episodes

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Introductory NMR & MRI: Video 09-2: k-space in multiple dimensions

Paul Callaghan gives an introduction to NMR and MRI. This is part 2 of the 9th video of the series and talks about Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Source: Magritek Ltd.

View other videos of this series.

How to design a transistor circuit that controls low-power devices

Ben Krasnow describes how to design a simple transistor circuit that will allow microcontrollers or other small signal sources to control low-power actuators such as solenoid valves, motors, etc.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Julius Sumner Miller - Physics - Centrifugal Force

This is Julius Sumner Miller and physics is his business. Various demonstrations involving centrifugal force.

Other physics demonstrations by Julius Sumner Miller

Sunday, 5 June 2011

IBPH Episode #9 - Electromagnetic induction

This episode is an introduction to electromagnetic induction. The presentation is supported by many experimental demonstrations.

The video covers the following topics: 1. Oersted’s discovery of the magnetic effect of an electric current (sometimes called the “motor effect” as it is the principle behind simple DC motors); 2. Faraday’s discovery of electromagnetic induction; 3. Magnetic flux; 4. Flux linkage; 5. Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction; 6. Lenz’s law (or Lenz’s rule); 7. Eddy currents and their braking effect.

Source: Horatiu Pop

IBPH Episode #9 - Electromagnetic induction from Horatiu Pop on Vimeo.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Eigenvalues - Sixty Symbols

From designing Google to building a bridge, eignevalues are important numbers... so important that Seamus Garvey has a fleet of computers devoted to them.

Source: Sixty Symbols

Friday, 3 June 2011


From Star Wars to credit cards, a discussion and demonstration on the inner workings of lasers and 3-D holograms.

Speaker: Mr. Paul Christie, Liti Holographics
Date: February 9, 1999

Other lectures from Jefferson Lab Science Series

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Rube Goldberg Machine

A Rube Goldberg Machine always features a lot of physics...

The official video for the recorded version of "This Too Shall Pass" off of the album "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky" by OK Go. The video was filmed in a two story warehouse, in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA. The "machine" was designed and built by the band, along with members of Syyn Labs over the course of several months.  Directed by James Frost, OK Go and Syyn Labs. Produced by Shirley Moyers.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Light bulb filament

Bill Hammack takes apart an incandescent to show how the tungsten filament is made. He shows it in extreme close-up and also discusses the material processing needed to produce ductile tungsten.

Other "Engineer Guy" videos

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