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.

Sunday, 31 July 2011


The rattleback will spins in a preferred direction. If  spun in the opposite direction, it  stops and reverses its spin to the preferred direction.

Explanation here

The Science and Technology Behind Television

The Science and Technology Behind Television
Mr. Paul Cummings - Newport News Public Schools
March 6, 2001

Learn how your TV works and the changes that will come with Digital High Definition TV (this lecture was 10 years ago...).  Cathode ray tube, transmission of signal (antenna, satellite, cable, fiber optics), analog vs digital.

Other lectures from Jefferson Lab Science Series

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Friday, 29 July 2011

The Law of Action and Reaction: Newton's Third Law

This NASA video segment explores how Newton's third law of motion applies to aerospace. An instructor at NASA's National Test Pilot School defines the third law and explains how a jet engine works to move an aircraft forward. There is also a discussion about the four forces involved in flying an aircraft.

Previous videos of the same series:

Newton's First Law

MIT 8.02 Electricity and Magnetism, lecture 2

MIT 8.02 Electricity and Magnetism, Spring 2002
Professor Walter Lewin

Electric Field | Field Lines | Superposition | Inductive Charging | Dipoles | Induced Dipoles

Other lectures from the same course

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Planck's Constant - Sixty Symbols

This is one of the most important numbers in physics and is "unimaginably small" - or does it just seems small?

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Newton's second law

This NASA video segment explores how Newton's second law of motion applies to aerospace. Viewers watch an instructor at NASA's National Test Pilot School as he defines the second law and demonstrates how to calculate a person's mass using the law. There is also a discussion about how people experience different g forces at the top and bottom of a roller coaster hill. Footage of the instructor in a fighter jet illustrates what it means to pull 2 and 4 g.

First video of this series: Newton's First Law

Scanning Electron Microscope: Pt 2 of 6

Scanning Electron Microscope part 2:  Loading the sample
Filmed at the University of Washington Nano Tech User Facility.

Other videos in the series

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


How a clyclotron works.

Eureka! Episode 25 - Volume & Density

This program explains that volume refers to the amount of space an object envelops and that density refers to the amount of mass that is compacted in a given volume.

Other Eureka episodes

Monday, 25 July 2011

Charge and discharge of a capacitor

A capacitor is charged by a battery: the charge Q increases, but the current I decreases (at first, the charges move fast; at the end, they move slowly).

When the capacitor is discharged through a resistor: the charge Q and the current I both decrease (at first, the charges move fast; at the end, they move slowly).

Other animations by Yves Pelletier

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Scientific Notation - Explained!

Scientists have to work with some very large and some very small numbers. To represent these numbers more easily, they use scientific notation. Scientific notation relies on powers of 10. This video gives examples of how to represent a large and small number and explains powers of ten.

Other Veritasium videos

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Transistors (and John Bardeen) - Sixty Symbols

The invention of the transistor helped John Bardeen to one of his two Nobel Prizes for physics.

Source:  Sixty Symbols

MIT 8.02 Electricity and Magnetism, lecture 1

MIT 8.02 Electricity and Magnetism, Spring 2002
Professor Walter Lewin

What holds our world together? | Electric Charges | Historical) | Polarization | Electric Force | Coulomb's Law.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Thursday, 21 July 2011

MIT 8.01 Classical Mechanics Lecture 20

MIT Physics Course

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

Angular Momentum - Torques - Conservation of Angular Momentum - Spinning Neutron Stars - Stellar Collapse

See other videos in this series.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Cavendish Experiment - Sixty Symbols

Henry Cavendish was an unusual man but also one of the first great scientists. Many of his discoveries remained hidden in his notebooks, but his name is still attached to the the extraordinary Cavendish Experiment.

Source:  Sixty Symbols

Monday, 18 July 2011

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Scanning Electron Microscope: Pt 1 of 6

The scanning electron microscope is used to image the surface of a conducting sample by scanning it with a high energy beam of electrons. Some SEMs have additional software enhancements than enable them to focus the beam on a photomask for E-beam lithography or are equipped for focused ion beam (FIB) milling. This video is part 1 of a 6-part series, and gives a tour of the device, and describes how to prepare a sample.

By the Center on Materials and Devicesd for Information Technology Research

Other videos in the series

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Eureka! Episode 24 - Heat conduction

Eureka! looks at the process of conduction, explaining that the application of heat to an object makes the molecules or atoms vibrate faster and cause a sort of "domino effect."

Other Eureka episodes

Friday, 15 July 2011

Bell Labs Wave Machine: Standing Waves (MIT physics demo)

Standing waves are created on the Bell Labs apparatus. The apparatus is "open" at both ends, therefore the number of nodes is equal to the number of overtones. For example, the fourth harmonic will have four nodes, the fifth harmonic will have five nodes, etc.

Source:  MIT TechTV

See other MIT physics demos

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Yale: Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics, Lecture 15

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

Supermassive Black Holes

00:00 - Supermassive Black Holes and Gravitational Waves
07:15 - Strong-Field Relativity
17:01 - X-Rays of Binary Stars
30:08 - Finding Black Holes with X-Rays
46:43 - Conclusion

Other lectures from this course

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Cathode Rays Lead to Thomson's Model of the Atom

In the mid 1800's scientists successfully passed an electric current through a vacuum in a glass tube. They saw a glow from the tube that seemed to emanate from the negatively charged plate called the cathode. Since scientists didn't know what the glow was they called it a cathode ray. There was debate over whether the cathode ray was a wave phenomenon like light or a stream of negatively charged particles. JJ Thomson effectively resolved the debate in 1897 by performing a clever experiment that determined the charge to mass ratio of the particles making up the cathode ray. He also showed that this same particle was in all different cathode materials so it must be a constituent common to all atoms. This changed our understanding of the atom from the previous billiard ball model to Thomson's plum pudding model of the atom.

Other Veritasium videos

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Speed of Rotation - Sixty Symbols

We take a Segway out for a spin in this film about speed of rotation, also known as angular velocity.

Source:  Sixty Symbols

Monday, 11 July 2011


What does it really mean when we say that something is radioactive?

Source: The Happy Scentist

Other videos by Robert Krampf

Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Physics of Baseball

From the energy supplied by the pitcher to the ball to the way the batter swings the bat to the path of the fly ball to center field, ways that physics can be applied to baseball to better understand and enjoy the game!

December 9, 2003
Dr. Robert Adair - Yale University

(See also this conference about the physics of baseball, by Dr. Alan Nathan.)

Other Jefferson Lab videos

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Eureka! Episode 23 - Electrons

Using an animated model of an atom, Eureka! illustrates how electrons whiz so quickly round the nucleus that they appear to form layers.

Other Eureka episodes

Friday, 8 July 2011

Aaron O'Connell: Making sense of a visible quantum object (TED Talks)

Physicists are used to the idea that subatomic particles behave according to the bizarre rules of quantum mechanics, completely different to human-scale objects. In a breakthrough experiment, Aaron O'Connell has blurred that distinction by creating an object that is visible to the unaided eye, but provably in two places at the same time. In this talk he suggests an intriguing way of thinking about the result.

Other TED Talks

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

MIT 8.01 Classical Mechanics Lecture 19

MIT Physics Course

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

Rotating Rigid Bodies - Moment of Inertia - Parallel Axis and Perpendicular Axis Theorem - Rotational Kinetic Energy - Fly Wheels - Neutron Stars - Pulsars

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

MIT Physics Demo -- Wave Superposition

A single pulse creates two waves of one-half amplitude. When the waves pass each other they add constructively to create the original pulse.

See other MIT physics demos

Monday, 4 July 2011

Entropy - Sixty Symbols

Broken vases, cups of tea and a scientist's tombstone - welcome to the world of entropy.

Source:  Sixty Symbols


Sunday, 3 July 2011

JJ Thomson's Plum Pudding Model of the Atom

JJ Thomson proposed the first model of the atom with subatomic structure. He had performed a series of experiments and was credited with the discovery of the first sub-atomic particle, the electron. He therefore proposed a new model of the atom called the plum pudding model. In this model, the plums represent negatively charged electrons which can be plucked out of the atom, leaving behind some positively charged pudding. In this film, cherry tart is used as a delicious substitute for plum pudding.

Other Veritasium videos

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Synchronization of Metronomes

Five metronomes are set to 176 bpm and placed on a Foam Core board. When empty cans are placed underneath, the board is free to move from side to side and the metronomes are able to influence each other into synchronization. When the cans are removed the metronomes are no longer physically coupled and some of them begin to fall out of step.

Other Harvard demonstrations

Friday, 1 July 2011

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