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Science School – A Maths Magic Trick
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I’m going to show you how to use maths to do a magic trick.  You may not have noticed this, but there is a pattern in numbers whenever you multiply them by nine, and you may have seen this in the nine times table because if you go through every single answer in the nine times table and you add the digits together, they...

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Science School – Treating a Burn
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    The best thing about treating a burn is to think about prevention in the first place. Really easy things you can do, like not lift a heavy kettle that’s boiling, like putting the handles of a pan, push it to the back. Always think, if you've got your younger brother and sister around, what about a fire guard around that open fire? ...

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Science School – Out of Africa
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  The ‘Out of Africa’ model in human evolution is an idea – and it’s an idea that is supported by all the evidence – that humans as a species originated in Africa and that they then expanded out of Africa.  So the population grew and started to spill out of Africa, and human beings then started to colonise the globe.  So they moved...

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Science School – What is a Particle?
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So I’m a particle physicist and you may be wondering, what is a particle?  Well, basically, it’s one of those words in physics that we use to describe that which we’re not really quite sure of.  So the basic idea is that we’re going smaller and smaller and smaller and trying to work out basically what everything is made of, and in the early...

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Science School – Why Stuff Floats
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  So I’m going to tell you about the Archimedes Principle which basically… Archimedes Principle states why things float.  So it states that if an object  displaces an amount of water that’s equal or more than its weight, then it will float.  That means nothing to nobody.  So the way that I would explain it is that you already know Archimedes Principle.  So when...

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Science School – Why Chillies are Hot
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  OK guys, so a really interesting question is, why are chillies hot, even though they’re cold?  I’m sure you guys have had a curry or whatever and you’ve tasted a chilli and it feels like your mouth is on fire.  What’s going on?  Because that chilli itself isn’t hot. Well, it’s basically a trick that your brain is playing on you.  Inside that...

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Black Holes
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Black Holes

Mar 19, 2014

So there’s many common misconceptions about black holes.  They’re not really holes and they’re not really black and they’re not after anyone!  No.  There’s no real danger of the Earth falling into a black hole or being gobbled up by one.  There are some relatively nearby black holes but they have a few times the mass of the sun and they’re not rogue black...

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Choosing A Telescope
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Choosing A Telescope

Feb 12, 2014

  The nice thing about astronomy is you can see a lot with a relatively simple telescope.  You don’t need anything expensive, you don’t need the largest telescope in the world to enjoy the Moon, the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter and some of the deep sky objects as well. But what I’d say to anyone is go and find your local...

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The Periodic Table
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The Periodic Table

Jan 14, 2014

  So the periodic table is a collection of the elements.  The elements are the building blocks of everything around us.  The elements are all listed in the periodic table, basically by getting heavier, so you add a proton and a little sub atomic particle, you add it into the atom to make it a little bit bigger each time.  So as we go...

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Welcome to Science School
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  Welcome to Science School.  Here you’ll find scientists and science teachers showing you some of their favourite practical demonstrations of scientific ideas and also talking about grand ideas of the Universe in a simple enough way that children can understand and that means that I can understand as well. The Universe is a big place and some of the ideas are very, very...

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The Physics of Santa
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The Physics of Santa

Dec 22, 2013

  I think one of the most satisfying books I ever wrote was, “Can Reindeer Fly?” or in the States it’s called “The Physics of Christmas” and I just took the slightly bonkers idea of looking at everything to do with Christmas  through a scientific lens; I wasn’t trying to deconstruct Christmas, I was just trying to say, what can science tell us about...

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Biology Basics
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Biology Basics

Dec 16, 2013

Extinction is what happens whenever a species is dead and gone and is never coming back. It is what happens to the vast majority of life.  As far as research can currently tell, 99.999-whatever percent of all things that have ever been alive on Earth have gone extinct. It is essential and normal and natural for natural selection, for evolution to occur, that some species...

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The Big Bang Theory
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The Big Bang Theory

Nov 24, 2013

  So, the Big Bang Theory.  We all hear that the universe was born, was created, nearly 14 billion years ago.  But since no-one was around then, how can you prove it?  You can’t do an experiment to prove that.  So we have to look out into space and see if the evidence is still out there.  Like a detective.  Are there any fingerprints...

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How to Make Your Own Graphene
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  This here is some normal every day graphite powder, which is layers and layers of carbon atoms, all stacked up like a deck of cards. But then, between the sellotape, if I was to separate it out, every time I pull these apart, I separate these layers in half.  And in half again.  And in half again. And, basically, I’m going through however...

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Making Electricity
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Making Electricity

Nov 24, 2013

  There’s a tactic that I use in school for teaching which is to try and come up with something interesting to show the children but to ask them to predict what’s going to happen, to explain their prediction and then to observe what happens and then to see if their prediction was correct, if so, why, and if not, why, and then for...

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Breathing Underwater
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Breathing Underwater

Nov 24, 2013

  It’d be really useful if we could breathe underwater. It means we could not worry about drowning in the sea and everything, or swimming pools for that matter, but it’s really difficult because we are obviously land mammals and our lungs adapted to taking oxygen out of the air. So we breathe in, and the oxygen’s taken out of the stuff we breathe by...

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A Stegosaurus Tail Spike
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  This is a tail spike from a stegosaurus, so it’s a spike that would’ve sat at the end of a stegosaurus’s tail.  There were four of them: the tail would be coming towards me, if you like, and the spikes would be sticking out like that. There was some debate about the armour…how the armour was arranged, so this sort of thing: were...

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What is an Element?
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What is an Element?

Nov 24, 2013

  People often ask me, ‘What is an element?’, and the idea of the element is absolutely crucial to chemistry and, to me, chemistry is really a language.  It’s a language which we can use to construct the world and it’s a language in which our whole world around us…whether you look at the rocks, the minerals, the buildings around us, the devices that...

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How to Tell if an Egg is Raw
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  I’m going to show you how to tell the difference between a raw egg and a boiled egg without breaking the shell.  So, in this egg box here I’ve got four eggs and two of them have been boiled and two of them are raw. So here’s what you want to do if you want to tell the difference. You take an egg...

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