YouTube: the home of kittens, procrastination… and some insanely brilliant science videos. Click on the number to link to the original source, should you wish to explore further. Have fun!
1) Symphony of Science – The Unbroken Thread
Let’s start with a song! I consider this one of very, very few acceptable uses of Auto-Tune. There are a few brilliant Symphonies of Science, arranged broadly by topic, and I had difficulty singling one out. Hopefully you’ll find the idea of David Attenborough and Carl Sagan singing of the wonders of science as pleasing as I do!
2) A Boy and his Atom
This tale is an epic yarn tackling complex issues such as redundancy, communism, fear of failure and the capriciousness of fate. Well… actually it’s about a little boy just derping around, but each dot is one single actual atom. This makes it easily the smallest film ever made, perhaps one the smallest it’s even possible to make. I’m completely stunned that IBM managed to convey such detail on the atomic scale – the bouncing quiff of hair for example. The “making of” video is definitely worth a watch once you’ve got your head around the plot of the original 🙂
3) Quantum Levitation
This isn’t the most watched quantum trapping video, but I think it’s one of the most impressive, showing you some of the science between the jaw-dropping footage of whizzing floating coolness. The double levitation at the end just adds a whole new level (hurr hurr) to the awesomeness. If you’ve never seen this phenomenon before, I dare your jaw not the hit the floor.
4) Star Size Comparison HD
Just in case you wanted to feel insignificant… this video is a strong visual reminder of how pathetically small we are in comparison with some of the stars in our galaxy, not to mention the vastness of intergalactic space. Yay! Douglas Adams puts it well, as ever: “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.“
5) Inner Life of a Cell
The previous video may have made you feel small, but this one shows that you’re anything but simple. The stars have nothing on the complexity inside you. Each of your trillions of cells is a little universe of protein machinery, and this video provides an inside tour. The cell isn’t nearly as spacious inside as the video implies, but the structure of all the molecules are accurate according to current scientific understanding. Biochemistry is amazing!
And now for a stupid bonus one for luck (featuring swearing). Science, says Richard Dawkins, is interesting.