- Short Films
“For the next 18 minutes I’m going to try to explain the beauty of particle physics without equations”, that is how physicist and surfer Garrett Lisi starts this lecture, and he sure does. He presents a controversial new model that could answer some big questions. His theory gives us a pattern, or layout for sub-atomic particles (similar to the periodic table of elements). DISPROVED: This theory has been disproved in the meantime, although Lisi updated the theory and published new papers. You can read about it on Wikipedia. Thanks to Jeff Milne for pointing that out.
This is a series of lectures about Astrophysics from Yale University. Taught by Professor Charles Bailyn,these lectures are aimed towards non-scientists. So it’s great in explaining some difficult concepts. What is even more interesting, this course focuses on three particularly interesting areas of astronomy that are advancing very rapidly: Extra-Solar Planets, Black Holes, and Dark Energy. Particular attention is paid to current projects that promise to improve our understanding significantly over the next few years.
This is a BBC production documentary on Stephen Hawking’s work on black holes and the implications of his theory. Stephen Hawking is probably the most famous physicist in the whole world. He became famous for his work on the Big Bang theory as well as his research on black holes. Science had long predicted that if a sufficiently large star collapsed at the end of its life, all the matter left in the star would be crushed into an infinitely small point with infinite gravity and infinite density – a singularity. Hawking laid the foundations of black hole thermodynamics, a theory that explains a lot, but also appears to break some basic physical laws.
This is an interesting short lecture about some basic physical concepts, namely: air pressure and altitude. It’s easily understandable with good explanations of the correlation between the two. Nothing eye opening but still worth the watch.
Productive Nanosystems: From Molecules to Superproducts is a short animation displaying a concept of a nanotech assembler, showing the complete production system from the molecular level all the way to a finished product. Definitely an interesting watch for anyone even remotely interested in nanotech.
Professor Robert Winston presents his top ten scientific breakthroughs of the past 50 years. Tracing these momentous and wide-ranging discoveries, he meets a real-life bionic woman, one of the first couples to test the male contraceptive pill, and even some of his early IVF patients. He explores the origins of the universe, probes the inner workings of the human mind and sees the most powerful laser in the world. To finish, Professor Winston reveals the breakthrough he thinks is most significant.
The electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is just a name that scientists give a bunch of types of radiation when they want to talk about them as a group. Radiation is energy that travels and spreads out as it goes– visible light that comes from a lamp in your house and radio waves that come from a radio station are two types of electromagnetic radiation.
This is a very nice short movie series from the ScienceAtNASA YouTube channel, explaining the basics of the EM spectrum. Going from the introduction to each type of EM waves in a bit of more detail. Well worth the watch.
Living on Mars is a National Geographic production documentary dealing with the possibilities of making Mars more hospitable to humans, thus terraforming it.
“On the surface, the red planet’s freeze-dried world of rocks, ice, and dust looks like an unlikely place to plant a garden. But rocks and minerals found by the Mars rovers show it must once have had warmer, habitable living conditions. Now, using photorealistic CGI visualizations, we’ll make a science fiction dream of Mars — a world of trees, rivers, and blue skies — a plausible future, bringing it to life after three-and-a-half billion years in a deep freeze.”
Miracle Planet is a 5-video series co-produced by the NFB, NHK Japan, the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel. Filmed around the world and based upon the most recent scientific findings, Miracle Planet combines location footage and interviews with leading scientists, along with computer animation, to vividly depict the cataclysmic events that have shaped our planet and all of the life-forms within it. The five episodes tells a profound and gripping story which places the evolution of life on Earth in perspective with our place in the universe – from the simplest microbes to the complexity and diversity that is found on the planet today.
A Discovery Channel documentary film about the insides of our planet, all the way to the molten core. With the aid of stunning visual effects, the unexplored interior of the Earth is split wide open, giving us an unbelievable view. From glowing seams of pure iron ore to sparkling diamond caverns to the magnetic field that keeps us safe from the lethal radiation of space.
Very nice production with really beautiful visuals, informative and entertaining, although sometimes visuals can get a bit too much in the first plan, but still a good documentary overall.