Welcome


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, 31 October 2013

Inside the ISS: Splitting Hairs About Gravity

An astronaut in microgravity is being accelerated by the force provided by a single hair.

 

NASA | Canyon of Fire on the Sun

A magnetic filament of solar material erupted on the sun in late September, breaking the quiet conditions in a spectacular fashion. The 200,000 mile long filament ripped through the sun's atmosphere, the corona, leaving behind what looks like a canyon of fire. The glowing canyon traces the channel where magnetic fields held the filament aloft before the explosion. Visualizers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. combined two days of satellite data to create a short movie of this gigantic event on the sun.

 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Hewitt-Drew-it! 72. Specific Heat

The "thermal inertia" of substances is explained, particularly water.

 

Fluid Knots and Smoke Ring Physics

"Filamental Vortex Loops," such as those found in smoke rings and mushroom clouds, crop up in a number of applications in fluid dynamics. Earlier this year, scientists created a long-sought twist on this phenomenon: knotted vortex loops.

 With the help of 3-D printer-created hydrofoils, lasers, and a high-speed camera, researchers from the University of Chicago collected the beautiful images in this video.

 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Is time travel possible? - Colin Stuart

Time travel is a staple of science fiction stories, but is it actually possible? It turns out nature does allow a way of bending time, an exciting possibility suggested by Albert Einstein when he discovered special relativity over one hundred years ago. Colin Stuart imagines where (or, when) this fascinating phenomenon, time dilation, may one day take us.

 Lesson by Colin Stuart, animation by TED-Ed.

 

ScienceCasts: The Effects of Space Weather on Aviation

Astronauts aren't the only ones who need to worry about solar flares. Ordinary air travelers can also be exposed to significant doses of radiation during solar storms. A new computer model developed by NASA aims to help protect the public by predicting space weather hazards to aviation.

 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Modern Physics: Special Relativity (Stanford), Lecture 7

Lecture 7 of Leonard Susskind's Modern Physics course concentrating on Special Relativity. Recorded May 25, 2008 at Stanford University.

 

Why does ice float in water? - George Zaidan and Charles Morton

Water is a special substance for several reasons, and you may have noticed an important one right in your cold drink: ice. Solid ice floats in liquid water, which isn't true for most substances. But why? George Zaidan and Charles Morton explain the science behind how how hydrogen bonds keep the ice in your glass (and the polar ice caps) afloat.

 Lesson by George Zaidan and Charles Morton, animation by Powerhouse Animation Studios Inc.

 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

What is the anthropic principle?

In less than 100 seconds, Roberto Trotta explains this often-misunderstood philosophical idea: why it seems so unlikely that conditions in the universe are so perfectly tuned for life to exist.

 

3 Simple Ways to Time Travel (& 3 Complicated Ones)

Walk, build a wormhole...

 

Friday, 25 October 2013

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Moving Sand Cart Over a Rotating Surface

A sand-carrying cart on a track leaves a trail of sand when it travels over a rotating table. This demonstrates the Coriolis Effect.

 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Isaac Newton - The Last Magician (BBC Documentary)

Recluse. Obsessive. Heretic. Isaac Newton is now considered to be the greatest genius of all-time, a great rationalist who laid the foundations for many of the scientific and mathematical breakthroughs that shape the modern world.

But this 60-minute biography, part of the BBC's Genius Of Invention season, reveals a much more complex figure by interviewing experts and delving into his own writings and those of his contemporaries. Newton emerges as an often divisive figure, one who lived a largely solitary life. In the secrecy of his study and laboratory, we find that he also delved into heretical religion, alchemy and the occult.

 

Why do neutrinos change flavour?

In less than 100 seconds, Kenneth Long describes neutrinos in the context of quantum mechanics, explaining how they can oscillate between varieties.

 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Light Darkness And Colours - A fascinating Journey Through The Universe Of Colours

Using Goethe's Theory of Colours (Zur Farbenlehre) as point of departure, Light Darkness and Colours takes us on a fascinating journey through the universe of colours. In 1704, Sir Isaac Newton published *Light and Refraction*, his study of the interactions between sunlight and prisms. Newton was, as a good scientist, intent on achieving objectivity, which meant studying sunlight in isolation. He thought colours were contained solely in light, and found the spectrum he was looking for. When he reproduced this experiment, Goethe found another, hidden set of colours missed by Newton. Goethe found the hidden colours in the boundaries between light and darkness. He felt, as an artist, that one could not talk about light without including darkness. Calling it 'the light-darkness polarity', Goethe made this new scientific discovery using artistic methods in conjunction with science.

 

The uncertain location of electrons - George Zaidan and Charles Morton

The tiny atoms that make up our world are made up of even tinier protons, neutrons and electrons. Though the number of protons determines an atom's identity, it's the electrons -- specifically, their exact location outside the nucleus -- that particularly perplex scientists. George Zaidan and Charles Morton show how to make an educated guess of where those itty-bitty freewheeling electrons might be.

 Lesson by George Zaidan and Charles Morton, animation by Karrot Animation.

 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Modern Physics: Special Relativity (Stanford), Lecture 6

Lecture 6 of Leonard Susskind's Modern Physics course concentrating on Special Relativity. Recorded May 19, 2008 at Stanford University.

 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Wimshurst Machine

A Wimshurst electrostatic generator, working on the principle of induction, generates high voltage differences and sparks between two movable electrodes.   By increasing the distance between the electrodes, higher potential differences can be built up.

Electrostatic induction refers to the principle that charges in an object (especially a conductor) redistribute themselves in the presence of nearby charges. Opposite charges are attracted to each other, while similar charges are repelled. Larger charges can be stored by connecting the knobs to Leyden jars which are component parts of the machine.

 

Friday, 18 October 2013

What do plastic bags have in common with metal?

In less than 100 seconds, Adrian Sutton explains why metals and plastic bags deform in different but related ways.

 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

How atoms bond - George Zaidan and Charles Morton

Atoms can (and do) bond constantly; it's how they form molecules. Sometimes, in an atomic tug-of-war, one atom pulls electrons from another, forming an ionic bond. Atoms can also play nicely and share electrons in a covalent bond. From simple oxygen to complex human chromosome 13, George Zaidan and Charles Morton break down the humble chemical bond.

 Lesson by George Zaidan and Charles Morton, animation by Bevan Lynch.

 

Quantum Computing: A revolution in bits

A computer that operates using the effects of quantum mechanics could make today's best computers seem like primitive toys.

 This film takes you to the University of Sussex in the UK, where a group of physicists is developing a promising type of quantum computer based on trapped ions. If the scientists can one day produce a practical, scaled-up version of their quantum machine, it could be used to address some of the most complicated problems in science.

 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Particle accelerators and society

Talk given by Lyn Evans, project leader of the LHC and now of Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, at the CERN Opendays 2013. To view this talk alongside the slides shown see http://cds.cern.ch/record/1605122.

 

Hewitt-Drew-it! 69. Bernoulli Principle

Bernoulli Principle explained with examples.

 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Modern Physics: Special Relativity (Stanford), Lecture 5

Lecture 5 of Leonard Susskind's Modern Physics course concentrating on Special Relativity. Recorded May 12, 2008 at Stanford University.

 

Motion of Electric Charges in a Uniform Magnetic Field

This animation portrays the motion of an electric charge in a uniform magnetic field. Starting with the special case where the initial motion is perpendicular to the magnetic field, we see that the motion is circular. The frequency of this circular motion (the cyclotron frequency) does not depend upon the speed of the charge. When generalizing the charge's motion to the full 3-D case, we see that the charge's will spiral along (and around) magnetic field lines.

 

Monday, 14 October 2013

Breakdown of Air

Grounding rod tips of different sizes are used to discharge a large Van de Graaff generator. The larger the curvature of the tip, the more charge must build up to break down the air, resulting in longer sparks.

The electricity ionizes air molecules, releasing quick flashes of light. A pointed tip barely sparks at all, but instead creates an electric field so strong that it forms a tiny ball of plasma just beyond the tip. This is known as "St. Elmo's Fire", and is just visible when all the lights are turned off.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Can we see the motion of electrons on the atomic scale?

In less than 100 seconds, Amelle Zair provides a brief introduction to the field of attosecond science.

 

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Friday, 11 October 2013

Fluorescent and Neon Tubes in an Electric Field

A fluorescent tube swings at the end of a long plexiglass rod. It is made to rotate and then brought near the Van de Graaff generator. The tube lights up when there is a potential difference between its ends. This happens when it is pointing radially away from the Van de Graaff. The same can be done with a small neon tube.

 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Modern Physics: Special Relativity (Stanford), lecture 4

Lecture 4 of Leonard Susskind's Modern Physics course concentrating on Special Relativity. Recorded May 5, 2008 at Stanford University.

 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Higgs Boson Discovery Wins Nobel Prize for Physics

Peter Higgs and Francois Englert win Nobel Prize in Physics. Want to know what makes the Higgs Boson Nobel Prize-worthy? Brian Greene explains.

 

Higgs and Englert awarded 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics for Higgs boson theory

Theoretical physicists, Britain's Peter Higgs and Belgium's Francois Englert have been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physics.

Peter Higgs, whose work in 1964 predicted the existence of the Higgs boson. Last year researchers at the Large Hedron Collider announced they had discovered the particle, so ending the one of the biggest scientific hunts in history. Belgian Francois Englert was the first to put forward the theory of the boson.

 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Discovery of the Higgs Boson: America's Role

The discovery of the Higgs boson was an international endeavor, involving thousands of physicists from across the world. While the accelerator at which the experimental work was done is located on Europe, the US supplied more physicists than any other single country. America had a very large role in the discovery of the Higgs particle and continues to have a leading role in the ongoing studies of the boson's properties. This video describes some of the contributions of U.S. universities and laboratories.

 

Hewitt-Drew-it! 67. Buoyancy of Balloons

Buoyancy of ascending balloons.

 

Monday, 7 October 2013

How do we know that the universe is flat?

In less than 100 seconds, Roberto Trotta explains how astrophysicists calculate geometries in the universe.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Interrupted Pendulum

A pendulum swings from a support post and another post is added to interrupt its swing. We desire to know the maximum height at which the pendulum will perform a full loop around the post. The pendulum requires both potential and kinetic energy in order to complete a full loop. Therefore, it will never be able to return to its height of release while completing a full loop. Ultimately, the pendulum has enough energy to complete a full loop when interrupted at a height equal to two-fifths its initial height of release.

 

Can We Get to Alpha Centauri

You like space exploration, and we like space exploration. So why aren't we investigating our closest to galactic neighbor, the triple star system Alpha Centauri? Is it time to give interstellar travel a shot? How would we do it? Hank explains our options, and lays out the challenges. Short version: You're gonna have to be patient!

 

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Modern Physics: Special Relativity (Stanford), Lecture 3

Lecture 3 of Leonard Susskind's Modern Physics course concentrating on Special Relativity. Recorded April 28, 2008 at Stanford University.

 

The physics of sperm vs. the physics of sperm whales - Aatish Bhatia

Traveling is extremely arduous for microscopic sperm -- think of a human trying to swim in a pool made of...other humans. We can compare the journey of a sperm to that of a sperm whale by calculating the Reynolds number, a prediction of how fluid will behave, often fluctuating due to size of the swimmer. Aatish Bhatia explores the great (albeit tiny) sperm's journey.

 Lesson by Aatish Bhatia, animation by Brad Purnell.

 

What is the maximum Bandwidth? - Sixty Symbols

Just how much data can we transfer using fibre optic cables?

 

Friday, 4 October 2013

Rarefied Gas Dynamics

Frederick S. Sherman and Franklin C. Hurblut, University of California, Berkeley
National Committee for Fluid Mechanics Films

Film notes

Other videos from this series

ScienceCasts: Amateur Astonomers See Comet ISON Approaching the Sun

Comet ISON is still more than two months away from its spectacular close encounter with the sun. Already, the brightening comet has become a good target for backyard telescopes in the pre-dawn sky.

 

Accelerator on a Chip: How It Works

In an advance that could dramatically shrink particle accelerators for science and medicine, researchers used a laser to accelerate electrons at a rate 10 times higher than conventional technology in a nanostructured glass chip smaller than a grain of rice.

 

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Light waves, visible and invisible - Lucianne Walkowicz

Each kind of light has a unique wavelength, but human eyes can only perceive a tiny slice of the full spectrum -- the very narrow range from red to violet. Microwaves, radio waves, x-rays and more are hiding, invisible, just beyond our perception. Lucianne Walkowicz shows us the waves we can't see.

 Lesson by Lucianne Walkowicz, animation by Pew36 Animation Studios.

 

Science of Water Balloons from @sixtysymbols

What do physicists do with a high-speed camera, water balloons and a spare half hour!?

 

Hewitt-Drew-it! 66. Boyle's Law

Paul shows a simple derivation of the gas law.

 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Introduction to Capacitors

Demonstrates basic function and includes information on calculating the capacitance of parallel and series configurations.

 

ESA Euronews: Planck, Higgs and the Big Bang

When it comes to the origins of the Universe, there's one idea that really captures our imagination: everything, even time itself, started with the Big Bang.

The concept of the Big Bang is difficult to describe and problematic to measure, however that's exactly what two major projects have set out to do: one on Earth, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the other in space, ESA's Planck mission.

In this edition of Space, Euronews gets to the heart of the matter and attempts to discover how matter and everything in the Universe came into being. We speak with experts from the CERN, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, Sorbonne University and ESA, all studying how the Universe works.

 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Relativity Train

The Relativity Train is a realization of the famous Einstein thought experiments involving traveling trains carrying clocks and meter sticks. The demonstration is used to show how the preservation of the postulated constancy of physical laws and the speed of light in all inertial frames requires length contraction and time dilation in the train frame relative to the lab frame of reference. The demonstration is, of course, not a real experiment but rather a visual means of showing (without using any equations) how length contraction and time dilation are necessary consequences of Einstein's two assumptions.

 

SL-1 Accident Briefing Report - 1961 Nuclear Reactor Meltdown

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (Idaho Operations Office) briefing about the SL-1 Nuclear Reactor Meltdown.

 The SL-1, or Stationary Low-Power Reactor Number One, was a United States Army experimental nuclear power reactor which underwent a steam explosion and meltdown on January 3, 1961, killing its three operators.

 

Hero's Engine

This demonstration illustrates the earliest form of steam engine, as described by Hero of Alexandria around 150 B.C. A small amount of water is heated to produce steam, which accelerates out of small tubes. In turn, the steam creates thrust and the engine quickly spins up.

 
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