Just how small is an atom?

Category: Physics

Just how small are atoms? And what's inside them? The answers turn out to be astounding, even for those who think they know. This fast-paced animation uses spectacular metaphors (imagine a blueberry the size of a football stadium!) to give a visceral sense of the building blocks that make our world.

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Into the Atom

Caught up in the race to discover the atom’s internal parts — and learn how they fit together — a young British physicist, Harry Moseley, uses newly discovered X-rays to put the Periodic Table in a whole new light. And a young American chemist named Glenn Seaborg creates a new element — plutonium — that changes the world forever, unleashing a force of unimaginable destructive power: the atomic bomb.

Part 3The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements • 2015 • Physics

Making Sound

At the Palace of Westminster, Helen teams up with scientists from the University of Leicester to carry out state-of-the-art measurements using lasers to reveal how the most famous bell in the world - Big Ben - vibrates to create pressure waves in the air at particular frequencies. This is how Big Ben produces its distinct sound. It's the first time that these laser measurements have been done on Big Ben. At the summit of Stromboli, one of Europe's most active volcanoes, Helen and volcanologist Dr Jeffrey Johnson use a special microphone to record the extraordinary deep tone produced by the volcano as it explodes. Finally, at the University of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy, Helen meets a scientist who has discovered evidence of sound waves in space, created by a giant black hole. These sounds are one million billion times lower than the limit of human hearing

1/2Sound Waves: The Symphony of Physics • 2017 • Physics

Why does time pass?

The equations of physics suggest time should be able to go backwards as well as forwards. Experience suggests, though, that it cannot. Why? And is time travel really possible?

The Economist • 2015 • Physics

Beautiful Equations

Artist and writer Matt Collings takes the plunge into an alien world of equations. He asks top scientists to help him understand five of the most famous equations in science, talks to Stephen Hawking about his equation for black holes and comes face to face with a particle of anti-matter. Along the way he discovers why Newton was right about those falling apples and how to make sense of E=mc2. As he gets to grips with these equations he wonders whether the concept of artistic beauty has any relevance to the world of physics.

2010 • Physics


How pioneers unlocked electricity's mysteries and built strange instruments to create it.

1/3Shock and Awe: The Story of ElectricityPhysics

Carol Vorderman: Flying Engineer

Carol Vorderman's passions are flying and engineering. She gets hands-on experience with the Airbus workforce at Broughton, Flintshire, where they are building the wings for their latest, greenest, most advanced aircraft - the A350.

2015 • Physics