Youtube series: My Favourite Element

Science presenters talk about their favourite element

Composition and transformation of substance.

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Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#1  Postby Pulsar » Dec 22, 2012 10:28 am

The Royal Institution has asked several well-known scientists and science presenters to talk about their favourite chemical element. Each day in December they upload a new video. A selection:

Alice Roberts
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGsH1s-QZzU[/youtube]

Liz Bonnin
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuUwGXRwViQ[/youtube]

Helen Czerski
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMNuYOEBOWI[/youtube]

Dara O'Briain
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Gmi9wRC5OY[/youtube]

Brian Cox
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJK7_yXGjcc[/youtube]

(the other videos can be found here)

The most interesting videos are those from Alice Roberts, Liz Bonnin, and Helen Czerski. For purely scientific reasons :shifty:
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#2  Postby Spearthrower » Feb 01, 2013 11:28 am

Brian Cox instantly becomes the most hated man in the scientific world! :)
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#3  Postby Ciwan » Mar 15, 2013 9:40 pm

Is Alice Roberts married? :pulp:
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#4  Postby mraltair » Mar 15, 2013 9:58 pm

That's why I love Cox (Yes, I know what I said) he's so arrogantly proud of physics he doesn't hesitate to insult the other sciences and label them meta-sciences, you can almost see his tongue burrowing through his cheek but you can tell part of him believes it.

Anywho, isn't Apatite cheating? ;)
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#5  Postby Ciwan » Mar 15, 2013 10:11 pm

Hehe why? She did say her favourite was Calcium. :)
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#6  Postby Pulsar » Mar 16, 2013 12:52 pm

Ciwan wrote:Is Alice Roberts married? :pulp:

Yes :cry:

And she's expecting her second child, as you can see in this programme, which was recorded almost two months ago:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrFpEHeu5v8[/youtube]
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#7  Postby Ciwan » Mar 16, 2013 12:56 pm

Pulsar wrote:
Ciwan wrote:Is Alice Roberts married? :pulp:

Yes :cry:


:jawdrop: :tongue2:

I like her, loved that program she did in Africa about human ancestry.
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#8  Postby Pulsar » Mar 16, 2013 1:01 pm

Ciwan wrote:I like her, loved that program she did in Africa about human ancestry.

She's working on a new series, about the Ice Ages. Can't wait!
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#9  Postby Ciwan » Mar 16, 2013 7:43 pm

mraltair wrote:That's why I love Cox (Yes, I know what I said) he's so arrogantly proud of physics he doesn't hesitate to insult the other sciences and label them meta-sciences, you can almost see his tongue burrowing through his cheek but you can tell part of him believes it.


Coming back to Prof. Cox's point about one day not needing Chemistry and Biology ... I am a bit sceptical. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy.

But simply thinking of Biology and Chemistry on a quantum level might not be so productive to our understanding of such topics. Sure, if you come down to it, they might all be quarks and the such, but how fruitful is the outlook when trying to explain certain aspects of biology.

What do you think .. am I wrong? :think:
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#10  Postby james1v » Mar 17, 2013 3:32 am

Did anyone pick "Strontium"? :)
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#11  Postby Cito di Pense » Mar 17, 2013 7:26 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYW50F42ss8[/youtube]
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#12  Postby Arcanyn » Mar 17, 2013 8:27 am

Ciwan wrote:
mraltair wrote:That's why I love Cox (Yes, I know what I said) he's so arrogantly proud of physics he doesn't hesitate to insult the other sciences and label them meta-sciences, you can almost see his tongue burrowing through his cheek but you can tell part of him believes it.


Coming back to Prof. Cox's point about one day not needing Chemistry and Biology ... I am a bit sceptical. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy.

But simply thinking of Biology and Chemistry on a quantum level might not be so productive to our understanding of such topics. Sure, if you come down to it, they might all be quarks and the such, but how fruitful is the outlook when trying to explain certain aspects of biology.

What do you think .. am I wrong? :think:


Agree with that. Technically, yes, he's correct that everything's all ultimately reducible to basic physics, but it will never be practical to do so. He speaks of chemistry and biology, but why stop there? How about architecture? Why not dispense with the notion of "bricks" and "pillars" and simply go about designing buildings on the level of individual strings? And back to biology, does it make more sense to refer to something as a "cell" or a [insert here a 400,000 page document describing the mathematical limitations a very large, complex assortment of strings must conform to in order to qualify as what we have previously simply described as a "cell"]. Heirarchies of scale exist for the reason that describing complex phenomena in terms of the most basic interactions will always be prohibitively computationally expensive, which makes attempting to do so extremely pointless when we have the capacity to greatly simplify things and still get an extremely accurate depiction of reality. The other thing is that ultimately, when describing something such as an organism, it doesn't really matter what's going on at the most fundamental levels of physics. What the sciences that deal with higher levels of complexity of matter ultimately deal with is empirical investigation of how these complex entities behave, rather than why they behave that way at the most fundamental level. When studying cells, and empirically observing them behaving in a particular way, it doesn't really matter whether this is ultimately due to the vibrations of strings, invisible leprehauns or psychic emanations, so long as the overall behaviour on that level of scale is the same. What's happening 'under the hood' so to speak isn't all that relevant - it's simply the empirical observations at that level of scale that matter.
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#13  Postby hackenslash » Mar 17, 2013 8:36 am

james1v wrote:Did anyone pick "Strontium"? :)


No. Apparently there a bias, or something... :lol:
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#14  Postby Onyx8 » Mar 18, 2013 5:07 pm

Cox had his tongue firmly in cheek.
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#15  Postby Matt_B » Mar 18, 2013 5:14 pm

No takers for Bellendium yet then?
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#16  Postby mattthomas » Mar 18, 2013 5:23 pm

mraltair wrote:That's why I love Cox (Yes, I know what I said) he's so arrogantly proud of physics he doesn't hesitate to insult the other sciences and label them meta-sciences

That's physicists the world over isn't it?

What did Ernest Rutherford say?
"All science is either physics or stamp collecting"

Edit: Having just watched it, it's obvious he was dicking about. :)

Edit: Edit: Alice Roberts is why I'm a Sapiophile... mmmmmmm
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Re: Youtube series: My Favourite Element

#17  Postby Ciwan » Mar 19, 2013 7:46 am

mattthomas wrote:Edit: Edit: Alice Roberts is why I'm a Sapiophile... mmmmmmm


New word for me ! Thanks mate :P
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