The Higgs mechanism is meant to account for the mass of everything, right? Well no, only the fundamental particles, which means that electrons derive their mass entirely from the Higgs interaction but protons and neutrons, made of quarks, do not. In fact the quark masses are so small that they only make up about 1% of the mass of the proton (and a similar fraction of the neutron). The rest of the mass comes from the energy in the gluon field. Gluons are massless, but there is so much energy in the field that by E=mc^2 there is a significant amount of mass there. This is where most of your mass comes from and the mass of virtually everything around you.
It’s a paradox of ocean life: The largest mammals, like dolphins and whales, survive on the tiniest food, like krill. (Picture trying to make a full meal out of flying kernels of popcorn!) So how do these big animals gather enough food to live? At TEDYouth 2012, Kelly Benoit-Bird discusses new research that shows large sea animals actually herding their tiny food into big, bitable chunks.
For foreigners, learning to speak Chinese is a hard task. But learning to read the beautiful, often complex characters of the Chinese written language may be less difficult. ShaoLan walks through a simple lesson in recognizing the ideas behind the characters and their meaning — building from a few simple forms to more complex concepts. Call it Chineasy.
An insect’s ability to fly is perhaps one of the greatest feats of evolution. Michael Dickinson looks at how a fruit fly takes flight with such delicate wings, thanks to a clever flapping motion and flight muscles that are both powerful and nimble. But the secret ingredient: the incredible fly brain.
If you love familiar with Star Wars then you know about the Light Side of the Force and the Dark Side of the Force. And apparently the Moon has a Light Side and a Dark Side as well. But this doesn’t mean that the Moon is balanced by the forces of good and evil. But it’s believed that the Moon has a side that’s permanently hidden from the sun. That no sunlight reaches it at all. And that side is permanently dark. But could this be true? Is there a side of the moon that’s always dark?
Like us, birds stand on two legs. But unlike us they ‘crouch’. To explain this odd posture, scientists at the Royal Veterinary College in the UK looked at the ancestors of birds: dinosaurs. They made 3D models of various dinosaur taxa including Tyrannosaurus and the bird-like Velociraptor and Archaeopteryx. In this video, see how the models were made and what they show us about the evolution of bird locomotion and flight.
There are now more than 7 billion human beings on Earth, and that got me wondering: How successful are we compared to other species? I take a look at out how our numbers stack up to some other domains of life. It turns out that biomass, or what things weigh, can be more important than how many of something there are. Find out how our numbers stack up against everything from bugs to bacteria, and get ready for some mind-blowing numbers!
A few of our experts muse on the possible benefits – or otherwise – of “brain training”.
Garry Lavin shows us how easy it is to make a sandwich bag explode, using bicarbonate soda and white vinegar.
IMPORTANT: You will need one sober adult with a sense of scientific wonder to be present….
Dr Aziz Aboobaker on the discovery of a gene which helps explain the mysterious healing powers of his immortal worms.
Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. According to Bill Nye, aka “the science guy,” if grownups want to “deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them.”
Thomas Suarez is a 6th grade student at a middle school in the South Bay of Los Angeles. When Apple released the Software Development Kit (SDK), he began to create and sell his own applications. “My parents, my friends and even the people at the Apple store all supported me,” he says, “and Steve Jobs [...]
John Green teaches you about America’s “peculiar institution,” slavery. I wouldn’t really call it peculiar. I’d lean more toward horrifying and depressing institution, but nobody asked me. John will talk about what life was like for a slave in the 19th century United States, and how slaves resisted oppression, to the degree that was possible. We’ll hear about cotton plantations, violent punishment of slaves, day to day slave life, and slave rebellions. Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, and Whipped Peter all make an appearance. Slavery as an institution is arguably the darkest part of America’s history, and we’re still dealing with its aftermath 150 years after it ended.
Stan Botchway explains how lasers have a dual purpose when studying DNA – doing the damage and then monitoring the repair process.
Evolutionary biology professor Daniel Lieberman, whose studies are the scientific backbone for Chris McDougall’s BORN TO RUN, gives five pointers on how he thinks you can run long distances better and injury-free.