< 125 Great Science Videos: From Astronomy to Physics & Psychology

125 Great Science Videos: From Astronomy to Physics & Psychology




Astronomy & Space Travel

  • A Brief, Wondrous Tour of Earth (From Outer Space) Video – Recorded from August to October, 2011 at the International Space Station, this HD footage offers a brilliant tour of our planet and stunning views of the aurora borealis.
  • A Universe from Nothing Video – In 53 minutes, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss answers some big enchilada questions, including how the universe came from nothing.
  • A Year of the Moon in 2.5 MinutesVideo – The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been orbiting the moon for over a year. The footage gets compressed into 2 slick minutes.
  • A Day on Earth (as Seen From Space)Video – Astronaut Don Pettit trained his camera on planet Earth, took a photo once every 15 seconds, and then created a brilliant time-lapse film.
  • Atlantis’s Final Landing at Kennedy Space Center – Video – After more than 30 years, the space shuttle era comes to a close. Video runs 30 minutes. July, 2011.
  • Cassini Solstice Mission: Saturn’s Moons Meet Nine Inch NailsVideo – Incredible black-and-white images of Saturn and its moons, all captured by Cassini’s “camera.”
  • Death by Black HoleVideo – Neil deGrasse Tyson, head of the Hayden Planetarium in NYC, breaks down what our demise would look like.
  • Earthrise in HDVideo – In November 2007, Japan’s Kaguya spacecraft orbited the moon and captured the first HD footage of an “earthrise” and “earthset.”
  • Endeavour’s Launch Viewed from Booster Cameras Video – On board camera show liftoff from multiple angles.
  • First 360 Degree View of the Sun Video – Courtesy of NASA.
  • “First Orbit”: Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Yuri Gagaran’s Space Flight Video – 99-minute documentary recreates Yuri Gagarin’s historic launch into space on April 12, 1961.
  • How Large is the Universe?Video – Fascinating 20-minute documentary by Thomas Lucas and Dave Brody exploring the universe’s immense scale of distance and time.
  • Jupiter Slips Behind the SunVideo – NASA’s STEREO spacecraft sees Jupiter move behind the Sun in this 30 hour animation compressed into just 11 seconds.
  • Landing on the Moon: July 20, 1969Video – Does it ever get old to watch?
  • NASA: The Frontier is EverywhereVideo – An homage to NASA modeled after Michael Marantz’s short film, Earth: The Pale Blue Dot.
  • NASA Captures Giant Solar Storm Video – Amazing video captured in high def by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory.
  • NASA Lauches Photo Archive on FlickrImages – A photo archive covering a half century of NASA’s photographic history.
  • NASA Zooms into Spiral Galaxy Video – A stunning view of the spiral galaxy NGC 2841, which lies 46 million light-years away in the constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear)
  • Solar Eclipse Seen From Outer Space Video – NASA STEREO spacecraft sees the disk of the Moon pass in front of the Sun in a view never seen before by human eyes.
  • Stars Orbiting Black Holes – Video – “One of the coolest movies in all of science.” Shows stars orbiting around a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy over the past 15 earth years.
  • Stephen Hawking: Abandon Earth Or Face Extinction – Video – That makes space – planets beyond our own – the next great frontier.
  • Touring the Earth from Space (in HD)Video – Give NASA 7 minutes, and they’ll show you the Earth’s most impressive landscapes — as seen from space.
  • The Aurora Borealis Viewed from Orbit (and What Creates Those Northern Lights?) Video – Two videos in one. A brilliant view of the Northern Lights from space, and an animated video explaining the forces behind the Aurora Borealis.
  • The Best of NASA Space Shuttle Videos (1981-2010) Video – Matt Melis, a NASA engineer, has compiled what he calls the “best of the best, state of the art” video produced by the space shuttle program.
  • The Life of a StarVideo – 12 billion years in 6 minutes.
  • The Milky Way over TexasVideo – 45 second timelapse video of the “Galactic Center of the Milky Way” rising over Texas Star Party (2009).
  • The Moon Up Close, in HD Video – NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows us the Moon’s surface (mountains, craters and the rest) in HD.
  • The Soundtrack of the UniverseVideo – Janna Levin (Columbia University) on how we can mathematically model sounds made by black holes.
  • The Wisdom of Carl Sagan Animated Video – The Pale Blue Dot put into animation by animation student Adam Winnik.
  • What a Hurricane Looks Like From Outer Space Video – Hurricane Dean captured by a NASA crew in 2007.
  • What Does 47 Billion Light Years (in Radius) Look Like?Video – The size of our universe visualized using pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope
  • What It Feels Like to Fly Over Planet Earth Video – James Drake, a professor of Physics at U. Maryland, downloaded 600 images from The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth, stitched them together and produced an amazing view of our planet.
  • When Galaxies Collide Video – A preview of what will happen 3 to 5 billion years from now, when our galaxy will likely merge with the Andromeda galaxy.
  • William Shatner Narrates Space Shuttle Documentary Video – 80 minute documentary commemorates the 30 year Space Shuttle program.

Physics

  • A is for Atom: Vintage PR Film for Nuclear Energy Video – Animated film produced by General Electric in 1952 with hope of swaying public opinion in favor of nuclear energy after WWII.
  • Arthur C. Clarke Presents the Colors of InfinityVideo – The futurist brings us inside Mandelbrot’s world of fractal geometry.
  • Astrophysics Goes ExtremeVideo – Anil Ananthaswamy talks at TED about physicists who journey to inhospitable parts of the world to perform important experiments.
  • Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking RemixedVideo – A musical tribute to two great men of science. “A Glorious Dawn – Cosmos Remixed.”
  • Do Physicists Believe in God?Video – Physicists at The University of Nottingham School of Physics answer big questions on YouTube.
  • E=mc²: Einstein Explains His Famous FormulaAudio – Original audio.
  • Einstein and the Mind of GodAudio – American Public Media program sorts out Einstein’s religious sensibility and how it squares with his scientific thinking.
  • Einstein for the Masses Video – Yale prof Ramamurti Shankar breaks down Einstein’s theories and formulas for a lay audience.
  • Einstein in 60 Seconds Video – Dr. Michio Kaku sums up Einstein’s legacy in a nutshell.
  • Fun to Imagine with Richard FeynmanVideo – The Nobel Prize-winning physicist hosts the BBC program, which uses physics to explain how the everyday world works. (1983)
  • How Large is the Universe Video – Fascinating 20-minute documentary by Thomas Lucas & Dave Brody explores the universe’s immense scale of distance and time.
  • How Long is a Piece of String – Video – Alan Davies explores the riddle’s philosophical implications and inevitable connection to string theory.
  • Physics from Hell: How Dante’s Inferno Inspired Galileo’s PhysicsVideo – Fascinating presentation by Mark Peterson, physics professor at Mount Holyoke College.
  • Lawrence Krauss: Every Atom in Your Body Comes From a Star Video – Theoretical physicist talks about his work at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
  • Magnetic Fields Made VisibleVideo – What do natural magnetic fields look like? Footage from NASA’s Space Sciences Laboratory (UC Berkeley) gives you a glimpse.
  • Pendulum Waves as Kinetic ArtVideo – Harvard-produced viral video shows pendulum balls swirling, moving almost impossibly from pattern to pattern. Includes explanation.
  • Richard Feynman Lectures – Video – The Nobel Prize-winning physicist gives lectures at Cornell in 1964. A great physics introduction. Posted online by Bill Gates.
  • Stars Orbiting Black HolesVideo – “One of the coolest movies in all of science.” Shows stars orbiting around a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy over the past 15 earth years.
  • The Bohr-Einstein Debates, With Dog PuppetsVideo – Pretty much what the titles says.
  • The Pleasure of Finding Things OutVideo – Produced in 1981 by the BBC and PBS, the show features Richard Feynman, the Nobel prize-winning physicist talking in a very personal way about the joys of scientific discovery.
  • The Physics of a Quarterback’s PassVideo – Fun clip gives you the basic physics of Drew Brees’ passing game.
  • The Physics of the Bike Video – A new theory about why bikes stay upright almost by themselves.
  • The Search For Hidden Dimensions – Video – Theoretical physicist Brain Greene hosts a short video that takes us into the speculative world of “hidden dimensions.”
  • Water Drop Filmed in 10,000 Frames Per Second Video – Courtesy of MIT.
  • What Genius Looks Like at Zero Gravity Video – Stephen Hawking enters a state of weightlessness on the “Vomit Comet.”

Biology & Chemistry

  • Baba Brinkman: The Rap Guide to Evolution Video – Canadian “geek rapper” Baba Brinkman pays homage to Charles Darwin with the “The Rap Guide to Evolution.”
  • Biology That Makes Us Tick – Video – Free Stanford Course by Robert Sapolsky on human behavior.
  • Darwin’s Legacy on YouTubeVideo –  Free Stanford course commemorating the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species.
  • Darwin’s Dangerous Idea – Video – Daniel Dennett explains why Darwin’s concept of natural selection was so subversive from the beginning.
  • Dopamine Jackpot! – Video – Stanford professor Robert Sapolsky on the Science of Pleasure.
  • E. chromi: Designer Bacteria – Video – Short film about a unique collaboration between designers and biologists. Won the best documentary award at Bio:Fiction.
  • Evolution Made Us All – Video – Ben Hillman offers a creative little riff on “All Things Bright and Beautiful.”
  • How a Flu Invades Our Body Video – NPR’s Robert Krulwich and medical animator David Bolinsky take an animated look at what happens when viruses invade your body and trick a single cell into making a million more viruses.
  • How Ants Know What to DoVideo – Biologist Deborah Gordon talks about the wonders of ants at TED.
  • Nature by NumbersVideo – Well-known geometrical and mathematical formulas (The Fibonacci Series and Spiral, The Golden and Angle Ratios, The Delauney Triangulation and Voronoi Tessellations) present themselves in nature.
  • Sapolsky Breaks Down Depression Video – The professor explains why depression is deeply biological; why it is rooted in biology, just like diabetes.
  • The Billion-Bug Highway You Can’t See – Video – Fun, animated NPR video visits the insects inhabiting the upper levels of the troposphere.
  • The Future of Human Health Video – A series of TED-style talks presented at Stanford University.
  • The Periodic Table of Videos – Video – An ambitious chemistry project out of the University of Nottingham.
  • What It Feels Like To Have a Stroke Video – Harvard neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor recounts her experience having a stroke. One of the most popular TED Talks of all time.
  • World’s Smallest Periodic Table on a Human Hair Video – World’s smallest periodic table etched onto a strand of hair belonging to chemistry Professor Martyn Poliakoff.

Environment, Geology and & Ecology

  • Chilean Earthquake Waves in Animation Video – A global view of the Chilean earthquake in action that gripped the nation in 2010.
  • Fire Ants Create Life Raft in 100 Seconds Flat Video – Produced by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
  • Floor of Kilauea Volcano Crater Collapses Before Your EyesVideo – Recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey when it detected unusual activity at the Kilauea volcano.
  • Japan’s Earthquake & Tsunami: How They Happened Video – NOVA’s 47 minute documentary explains the science behind these twin geologic catastrophes.
  • My Water’s On Fire Tonight: The Fracking Song Video – NYU journalism students and ProPublica raise awareness of fracking with a light-hearted video.
  • The Birth of a Tornado Video – Amazing footage with some background information on how tornadoes take form.
  • The Climate Scientist RapVideo – A very Not-Safe-For-Work rap produced by the Australian television show Hungry Beast.
  • The President’s Guide to Science Video – BBC production asks famous scientists to offer important words of advice to the next American president. Environment is front and center.
  • The Wild Kingdom on YouTube Video – Revisit the influential show hosted by Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler from 1963 through 1988. Watch full episodes.
  • Tsunami Ripples Across Globe: Animated VideoVideo – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Japanese tsunami rippling across the Pacific.
  • What Earth Will Look Like 100 Million Years From NowVideo – 700 million years of geological history covered in an efficient three minutes.

Psychology & Neuroscience

  • A Video Illusion: Can You Spot the Change? Video – Intriguing research on perception by Kevin O’Regan and his team at the University of Paris Descartes.
  • Alex the Parrot and the Hidden World of Animal Intelligence Video – Animal psychologist Irene Pepperberg at Harvard and Brandeis talks about her days working with Alex the Parrot.
  • Creativity, Flow and the Source of Happiness Video – Speaking at the TED Conference, famed psychologist Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi explains the source of happiness.
  • Dan Ariely on the Irrationality of Bonuses Video – Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke, distills his thinking in his new book, The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home.
  • Daniel Levitin Shows How Musicians Communicate EmotionVideo – Levitin is James McGill Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal.
  • Daniel Pink: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us Video – Research reveals what really, truly motivates us.
  • Neuroscience and Free Will Video – Marcus Du Sautoy (Oxford University) participates in intriguing brain imaging experiment conducted by John-Dylan Haynes, a neuroscientist based in Berlin.
  • Oliver Sacks Talks Music with Jon StewartVideo – A short primer on the relationship between music and neuroscience.
  • Sam Harris: Science Can Answer Moral Questions Video – Sam Harris argues at TED that science (particularly neuroscience) can address all moral questions.
  • Smile or Die: The Perils of Positive PsychologyVideo – Barbara Ehrenreich, author of the bestselling book Nickel and Dimed, outlines the perils of positive psychology.
  • Steven Pinker: How Innuendo Makes Things Work – Video – Steven Pinker, the famed Harvard linguist and cognitive scientist, makes sense of innuendo.
  • The Dalai Lama on the Neuroscience of CompassionVideo – Tibet’s spiritual leader goes to Stanford to attend conference about the neurobiological underpinnings of compassion.
  • The Famous Stanford Prison Experiment on YouTubeVideo – Conducted by Philip Zimbardo, a Stanford psychology professor, in 1971, the experiment shows how good people can go bad.
  • The MIT “Checker Shadow Illusion” Brought to LifeVideo – A realtime demonstration of an optical illusion created by Edward Adelson (MIT) in 1995.
  • The Secret Powers of Times – Video – Philip Zimbardo discusses how our attitudes toward time, often unconscious ones, can strongly shape our personalities and the kind of lives we lead.
  • Turn On, Tune In, Drop OutVideo – BBC revisits Timothy Leary, the famous counterculture figure, who advocated the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of LSD.
  • When the Dalai Lama Meets the Neuroscientists Video – Daniel Goleman, bestselling science journalist, talks about the Dalai Lama’s work at the nexus of meditation and neuroscience.

Science & Religion

  • 50 Famous Academics & Scientists Talk About God Video – A montage of 50 renowned academics talking about their thoughts on the existence of God. The list includes includes 16 Nobel prize winners.
  • Another 50 Famous Academics & Scientists Talk About God – Video – A continuation of the series immediately above.
  • Do Physicists Believe in God? – Video – Physicists at The University of Nottingham School of Physics answer big questions on YouTube.
  • Einstein and the Mind of God – Audio – American Public Media program sorts out Einstein’s religious sensibility and how it squares with his scientific thinking.
  • Richard Dawkins & John Lennox Debate Science & Atheism Video – Two Oxford profs – atheist biologist Richard Dawkins and Christian mathematician John Lennox – debating God and science in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Stephen Hawking on Religion: ‘Science Will Win Because it Works’Video – It’s all in the video.

Technology & Mathematics

  • Anatomy of a Computer Virus: A 3.5 Minute Primer Video – A quick revealing look at Stuxnet, the computer virus launched against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure in 2010.
  • Arduino Documentary: Open Source Hardware is HereVideo – Revisits a project launched in the Italian town of Ivrea back in 2005.
  • Inventing the Digital Camera: A Short Portrait of Steven SassonVideo – A short documentary featuring the inventor of the digital camera.
  • Multiplication: The Vedic Way Video – Better just to watch…
  • Nature by Numbers – Video – Well-known geometrical and mathematical formulas (The Fibonacci Series and Spiral, The Golden and Angle Ratios, The Delauney Triangulation and Voronoi Tessellations) present themselves in nature.
  • Norman Mailer & Marshall McLuhan Debate the Electronic Age Video – Norman Mailer and Marshall McLuhan debate the relative merits of our Electronic/Information Age. 1968
  • Ray Kurzweil, Futurist: 10 Questions About What’s Coming NextVideo – Hint: Singularity.
  • Technology Is Amazing, Nobody Is Happy Video – A classic comedy bit from Louis C. K.
  • The Beautiful Math of Coral & Crochet Video – Science writer Margaret Wertheim explains how the art of crochet emulates sea slugs creating coral structures in hyperbolic space. A TED Talk.
  • The Math of Rock ClimbingVideo – Skip Garibaldi, a professor of mathematics at Emory University, describes how math figures into his passion for rock climbing.
  • The Secret History of Silicon ValleyVideo – What set the stage for Silicon Valley to change the entire landscape of technology? Steve Blank explains at Google.
  • The World’s Fastest Solar Car Video – Watch a world record set by students from The University of New South Wales.
  • “They Were There” — Errol Morris Directs a Film for IBM Video – The acclaimed director directs a film to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company’s founding.
  • Visualizing WiFi Signals with LightVideo – WiFi signals around Oslo, Norway revealed.
  • What Technology Wants: Kevin Kelly @ Google Video – Co-founder of Wired magazine distills the thinking in his new book, What Technology Wants.

Stay tuned for more to come…

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