Published on Dec 12, 2013
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-death-o…
The shape, contents and future of the universe are all intricately related. We know that it’s mostly flat; we know that it’s made up of baryonic matter (like stars and planets), but mostly dark matter and dark energy; and we know that it’s expanding constantly, so that all stars will eventually burn out into a cold nothingness. Renée Hlozek expands on the beauty of this dark ending.
Lesson by Renée Hlozek, animation by Giant Animation Studios.
Published on Oct 7, 2013
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-extremo…
Life on Earth requires three things: liquid water, a source of energy within a habitable range from the sun and organic carbon-based material. But life is surprisingly resilient, and organisms called extremophiles can be found in hostile living conditions (think extreme temperatures and little access to oxygen). Louisa Preston argues why extremophiles give astrobiologists hope for life in the universe.
Lesson by Louisa Preston, animation by Emanuel Friberg.
Light waves, visible and invisible – Lucianne Walkowicz
Published on Sep 19, 2013
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/light-waves…
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.
A trip through space to calculate distance – Heather Tunnell
Published on Sep 6, 2013
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/a-trip-thro…
Imagine two aliens racing across outer space to their moon. Who can we deem the fastest alien? With DIRT — or the equation Distance = Rate x Time — we can calculate their rates, using the distance they traveled and the time they took. Heather Tunnell explains how to use this helpful equation to determine which of our alien friends is truly faster.
Lesson by Heather Tunnell, animation by Karrot Animation.
The moon illusion – Andrew Vanden Heuvel
Published on Sep 3, 2013
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-moon-il…
Have you noticed how the full moon looks bigger on the horizon than high overhead? Actually, the two images are exactly the same size — so why do we perceive them differently? Scientists aren’t sure, but there are plenty of intriguing theories. Andrew Vanden Heuvel unravels the details of focus, distance and proportion that contribute to this mystifying optical illusion.
Lesson by Andrew Vanden Heuvel, animation by Kozmonot Animation Studio.
Four ways to understand the Earth’s age – Joshua M. Sneideman
Published on Aug 29, 2013
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-earth-s…
The Earth is 4.6 billion years old — but how can humans relate to a number so colossal, and where do we fit on the geologic timeline? Comparing the Earth’s lifetime to one calendar year, events like the extinction of dinosaurs and Columbus setting sail took place relatively recently. Joshua M. Sneideman reminds us of our time and place in the universe.
Lesson by Joshua M. Sneideman, animation by Powerhouse Animation Studios Inc.
The Higgs Field, explained – Don Lincoln
Published on Aug 27, 2013
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-higgs-f…
One of the most significant scientific discoveries of the early 21st century is surely the Higgs boson, but the boson and the Higgs Field that allows for that magic particle are extremely difficult to grasp. Don Lincoln outlines an analogy (originally conceived by David Miller) that all of us can appreciate, starring a large dinner party, a raucous group of physicists, and Peter Higgs himself.
Lesson by Don Lincoln, animation by Powerhouse Animation Studios Inc.
Gravity and the human body – Jay Buckey
Published on Aug 26, 2013
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/gravity-and…
Our bodies function necessarily under the presence of gravity; how blood pumps, a sense of balance and bone growth are all due to life in a world where gravity is an inescapable reality. Armed with experiments from neuroscientists David Hubel and Torten Wiesel, astronaut Jay Buckey presents a thought experiment: How would our bodies work without the force of gravity?
Lesson by Jay Buckey, animation by TED-Ed.
ET is (probably) out there — get ready – Seth Shostak
Published on Aug 21, 2013
SETI researcher Seth Shostak bets that we will find extraterrestrial life in the next twenty-four years, or he’ll buy you a cup of coffee. At TEDxSanJoseCA, he explains why new technologies and the laws of probability make the breakthrough so likely — and forecasts how the discovery of civilizations far more advanced than ours might affect us here on Earth. (Filmed at TEDxSanJoseCA.)
Talk by Seth Shostak.
Who won the space race? – Jeff Steers
Published on Aug 14, 2013
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-was-th…
On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the satellite Sputnik and, with it, an international space race. The United States and the Soviet Union rushed to declare dominance of space for 18 years, until the two countries agreed to a more collaborative model. The real winner? Science. Jeff Steers describes the history — and the benefits — of the space race.
Lesson by Jeff Steers, animation by The Moving Company Animation Studio.
How to defend Earth from asteroids – Phil Plait
Published on Aug 8, 2013
What’s six miles wide and can end civilization in an instant? An asteroid — and there are lots of them out there. With humor and great visuals, Phil Plait enthralls the TEDxBoulder audience with all the ways asteroids can kill, and what we must do to avoid them. (Filmed at TEDxBoulder.)
Talk by Phil Plait.
Distant time and the hint of a multiverse – Sean Carroll
Published on Aug 8, 2013
Cosmologist Sean Carroll attacks — in an entertaining and thought-provoking tour through the nature of time and the universe — a deceptively simple question: Why does time exist at all? The potential answers point to a surprising view of the nature of the universe, and our place in it. (Filmed at TEDxCaltech.)
Talk by Sean Carroll.
Why we need to go back to Mars – Joel Levine
Published on Aug 1, 2013
In this talk, planetary scientist Joel Levine shows some intriguing — and puzzling — new discoveries about Mars: craters full of ice, traces of ancient oceans, and compelling hints at the presence, sometime in the past, of life. He makes the case for going back to Mars to find out more. (Filmed at TEDxNASA.)
Talk by Joel Levine.
A rare, spectacular total eclipse of the sun – Andy Cohen
Published on Jul 22, 2013
View full lesson here: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-create…
How can the tiny moon eclipse the sight of the gargantuan sun? By sheer coincidence, the disc of the sun is 400x larger than the disc of the moon, but the sun is 390x farther from Earth — which means that when they align just right, the moon blocks all but the sun’s glowing corona. Andy Cohen details this extraordinary celestial phenomenon (and when it will next occur).
Lesson by Andy Cohen, animation by Bevan Lynch.
Exploring other dimensions – Alex Rosenthal and George Zaidan
Published on Jul 17, 2013
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/exploring-o…
Imagine a two-dimensional world — you, your friends, everything is 2D. In his 1884 novella, Edwin Abbott invented this world and called it Flatland. Alex Rosenthal and George Zaidan take the premise of Flatland one dimension further, imploring us to consider how we would see dimensions different from our own and why the exploration just may be worth it.
Lesson by Alex Rosenthal and George Zaiden, animation by Cale Oglesby, music by David Housden.
Free falling in outer space – Matt J. Carlson
Published on Jul 6, 2013
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/free-fallin…
If you were to orbit the Earth, you’d experience the feeling of free fall, not unlike what your stomach feels before a big dive on a roller coaster. With a little help from Sir Isaac Newton, Matt J. Carlson explains the basic forces acting on an astronaut and why you probably shouldn’t try this one at home.
Lesson by Matt J. Carlson, animation by Josh Harris.
What is an aurora? – Michael Molina
Published on Jul 3, 2013
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-epic-so…
Why do we see those stunning lights in the northern- and southernmost portions of the night sky? The Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis occur when high-energy particles are flung from the Sun’s corona toward the Earth and mingle with the neutral atoms in our atmosphere — ultimately emitting extraordinary light and color. Michael Molina explains every step of this dazzling phenomenon.
Lesson by Michael Molina, animation by Franco Barroeta.
Dark matter: The matter we can’t see – James Gillies
Published on May 3, 2013
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/dark-matter…
The Greeks had a simple and elegant formula for the universe: just earth, fire, wind, and water. Turns out there’s more to it than that — a lot more. Visible matter (and that goes beyond the four Greek elements) comprises only 4% of the universe. CERN scientist James Gillies tells us what accounts for the remaining 96% (dark matter and dark energy) and how we might go about detecting it.
Lesson by James Gillies, animation by TED-Ed.
- Joel Primack: Dark Matter Reveals the Structure of the Universe (askkuiper.wordpress.com)
- Dark Matter Reveals the Structure of the Universe (askkuiper.wordpress.com)
Published on Mar 17, 2012
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/questions-n…
In the first of a new TED-Ed series designed to catalyze curiosity, TED Curator Chris Anderson shares his boyhood obsession with quirky questions that seem to have no answers.