playlist

Spark science curiosity ... at home!

Ready to ignite a surge curiosity at home? Discover an entire world of science around you with these fun, engaging talks.

  1. 15:57
    Helen Czerski The fascinating physics of everyday life

    Physics doesn't just happen in a fancy lab — it happens when you push a piece of buttered toast off the table or drop a couple of raisins in a fizzy drink or watch a coffee spill dry. Become a more interesting dinner guest as physicist Helen Czerski presents various concepts in physics you can become familiar with using everyday things found in your kitchen.

  2. 11:18
    Nadya Mason How to spark your curiosity, scientifically

    Curious how stuff works? Do a hands-on experiment at home, says physicist Nadya Mason. She shows how you can demystify the world around you by tapping into your scientific curiosity — and performs a few onstage experiments of her own using magnets, dollar bills, dry ice and more.

  3. 15:52
    Emma Marris Nature is everywhere — we just need to learn to see it

    How do you define "nature?" If we define it as that which is untouched by humans, then we won't have any left, says environmental writer Emma Marris. She urges us to consider a new definition of nature — one that includes not only pristine wilderness but also the untended patches of plants growing in urban spaces — and encourages us to bring our children out to touch and tinker with it, so that one day they might love and protect it.

  4. 12:07
    Menno Schilthuizen How animals and plants are evolving in cities

    In cities, evolution occurs constantly, as countless plants, animals and insects adapt to human-made habitats in spectacular ways. Evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen calls on peculiar beings such as fast food-loving mice and self-cooling snails to illustrate the ever-transforming wonders of urban wildlife — and explains how you can observe this phenomenon in real-time, thanks to a global network of enthusiastic citizen scientists.

  5. 14:17
    Li Wei Tan The fascinating science of bubbles, from soap to champagne

    In this whimsical talk and live demo, scientist Li Wei Tan shares the secrets of bubbles — from their relentless pursuit of geometric perfection to their applications in medicine and shipping, where designers are creating more efficient vessels by mimicking the bubbles created by swimming penguins. Learn more about these mathematical marvels and tap into the magic hidden in the everyday world.

  6. 18:19
    Suzanne Simard How trees talk to each other

    "A forest is much more than what you see," says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery — trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes.

  7. 13:36
    Cathy Mulzer The incredible chemistry powering your smartphone

    Ever wondered how your smartphone works? Take a journey down to the atomic level with scientist Cathy Mulzer, who reveals how almost every component of our high-powered devices exists thanks to chemists — and not the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs that come to most people's minds. As she puts it: "Chemistry is the hero of electronic communications."

  8. 11:47
    Jennifer Vail The science of friction — and its surprising impact on our lives

    Tribology: it's a funny-sounding word you might not have heard before, but it could change how you see and interact with the physical world, says mechanical engineer Jennifer Vail. Offering lessons from tribology — the study of friction and wear — Vail describes the surprisingly varied ways it impacts everyday life and how it could help us make a better world.

  9. 15:54
    James Beacham How we explore unanswered questions in physics

    James Beacham looks for answers to the most important open questions of physics using the biggest science experiment ever mounted, CERN's Large Hadron Collider. In this fun and accessible talk about how science happens, Beacham takes us on a journey through extra-spatial dimensions in search of undiscovered fundamental particles (and an explanation for the mysteries of gravity) and details the drive to keep exploring.

  10. 12:54
    Noah Wilson-Rich How you can help save the bees, one hive at a time

    Bees are dying off in record numbers, but ecologist Noah Wilson-Rich is interested in something else: Where are bees healthy and thriving? To find out, he recruited citizen scientists across the US to set up beehives in their backyards, gardens and rooftops. Learn how these little data factories are changing what we know about the habitats bees need to thrive — and keep our future food systems stable.

  11. 10:07
    Anne Madden Meet the microscopic life in your home — and on your face

    Behold the microscopic jungle in and around you: tiny organisms living on your cheeks, under your sofa and in the soil in your backyard. We have an adversarial relationship with these microbes — we sanitize, exterminate and disinfect them — but according to microbiologist Anne Madden, they're sources of new technologies and medicines waiting to be discovered. These microscopic alchemists aren't gross, Madden says — they're the future.

  12. 5:20
    Sarah Parcak Archaeology from space

    In this short talk, TED Fellow Sarah Parcak introduces the field of "space archaeology" — using satellite images to search for clues to the lost sites of past civilizations.

  13. 12:51
    Gokul Upadhyayula The life unfolding inside your cells, revealed in 3D

    To understand how life works, you need to watch it in action, says bioimaging scientist Gokul Upadhyayula. Taking us down to the cellular level, he shares the work behind cutting-edge microscopes that capture and record, in three dimensions, the complex behaviors of living organisms — from infecting cancer cells to crawling immune cells — and what they're revealing about the dynamics of biology. Watch life unfold before your eyes with the incredible visuals in this talk.

  14. 6:16
    Cady Coleman What it's like to live on the International Space Station

    In this quick, fun talk, astronaut Cady Coleman welcomes us aboard the International Space Station, where she spent nearly six months doing experiments that expanded the frontiers of science. Hear what it's like to fly to work, sleep without gravity and live life hurtling at 17,500 miles per hour around the Earth. "The space station is the place where mission and magic come together," Coleman says.