RI Christmas Lectures 2010

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Epsiode 1 - Why Elephants Can’t Dance

This lecture investigates the effects of size on the animal kingdom. We explore fascinating phenomena such as how hamsters survive falling from great heights, how geckos wall up walls, how elephants support their immense weight, and why ants are super-strong. Mark’s experiments uncover the physical rules that govern the strength, life span and even movement of animals.

We discover that although gravity governs our own existence, it is far less important for small animals, who instead are subject to surface forces, allowing them to achieve feats we can only dream of such as jumping out of a plane without a parachute. But we also find out that the trade off for small animals is a short life span, so we can conclude that size definitely matters! 



Epsiode 1 - Why Elephants Can’t Dance What is the right size for an animal? This lecture investigates the effects of size on the animal kingdom. Mark’s experiments uncover the physical rules that govern the strength, life span and even movement of animals.

Episode 2 – Why Chocolate Melts and Jet Engines Don’t What physics dominates in the microscopic world and how can we manipulate the rules to achieve incredible things?

Epsiode 3 - Why Moutains Are So Small What forces shape the big things in our world and can we overcome them to build big enough to reach space?

Credits
3 x 60'