Top 10 Science Videos from Astronomy to Physics

In March, for our first Friday diversion blog post, the BCcampus editorial staff brought you 7 YouTube Channels to Make You Smarter.

The Big Bang Theory

For April’s installment, we’ve scoured the web to bring you our top ten science videos covering astronomy, biology, geology, geometry, mathematics, technology and physics.

We’d love to know which ones stimulate your thinking and ignite your imagination.

    1. A Brief, Wondrous Tour of Earth (From Outer Space) – Recorded in 2011, this HD footage offers a dazzling tour of our planet.  These time-lapse sequences of photographs were taken by the crew onboard the International Space Station. Locations include passes over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East, the Aurora Borealis and the United States, and the Aurora Australis over the Indian Ocean.
    2. How Ants Know What to Do – Stanford biologist Deborah Gordon has been studying ants in the Arizona desert for more than two decades. This TED talk is a fascinating look at how harvester ants organize and direct themselves without the help of a leader. Deborah’s most recent research reveals the behaviour of ants mirrors protocols that control Internet traffic/bandwidth!
    3. How Tiny Eyes Inspire Technology  -This video is part of the University of Cambridge’s ‘Under the Microscope’ series. Here, Dr. Chris Forman uses an electron microscope to share, in detail, the eyes of a beetle and fruit fly. In this one-minute video, he ignites our imagination by asking us to think about biology can shape technological designs.
    4. The Secret Life of Plankton – This video is from The Plankton Chronicles – beautiful collection combines state-of-the-art optics, art and science to reveal the diversity of these hidden marine organisms. Here, a red snapper is the narrator who explains his own lifecycle and the role of plankton.
    5. Nature by Numbers –  For centuries, famous artists (Michelangelo), writers (Milton) and architects (Parthenon) have relied on mathematical and geometrical formulas in their work: the Fibonacci Series, the Golden Ratio and the Delaunay Triangulation.  Here, Spanish filmmaker Cristobel Vila explores how these formulas are fully present in the natural world.
    6. The Wild Kingdom – We’re bending the rules just a little bit and sneaking in a YouTube channel that’s worth bookmarking: Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. We discovered the entire archive online. These are the full 30-minute episodes that aired each Sunday night from 1963 through 1988.
    7. Flatline – Is life possible without a heartbeat? This short film tells the story of two visionary doctors from the Texas Heart Institute who successfully replaced a dying man’s heart with a rotor-driven device of their own design.
    8. Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking Remixed – With over 8 million views on YouTube, this Symphony of Science video, titled ‘A Glorious Dawn’ is described as a ‘musical tribute to two great men of science.’ The samples and footage are from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and Stephen Hawking’s Universe series. A Glorious Dawn is now available on iTunes. Our favourite lyrics from video come from Carl:

I believe our future depends powerfully
On how well we understand this cosmos
In which we float like a mote of dust
In the morning sky

  1. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out – Richard Feynman was an American theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize recipient. A master storyteller, Richard shares his love for science and the joy of scientific discovery in this 50-minute candid interview produced by the BBC and PBS.
  2. Earth 100 Million Years From Now – Worried about climate change and tectonic shifts? This video shows how today’s continents are thought to have evolved over the last 600 million years, and where they’ll end up in the next 100 million years, in about three minutes.

And a bonus:

Want to brush up on your biology, chemistry or ecology but don’t have a lot of time? You’ll want to check out the Crash Course YouTube Channel by brothers Hank and John Green. Since the channel’s launch in December 2011, their videos have garnered over 24 million views. Their episodes have been used in classrooms across the world. This episode is called Precipitation Reactions.

[iframe width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”//″ frameborder=”0″]

Photo credits: Dudu.Maroja via photopin; cc

Posted by BCcampus Editorial Staff