Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
The Kid Should See This

Feynman’s Building Blocks of Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics — ‘thermo’ meaning heat and ‘dynamics’ referring to work —is the branch of physics that focuses on the relationship between heat and other kinds of energy. This video from The Royal Institution introduces the first of four laws of thermodynamics: that energy can’t be created or destroyed, but will instead be converted or transferred:

In this unique animation, chemist Andrea Sella recalls one of Richard Feynman’s descriptions of the law. In a classic analogy, Feynman imagines a child with a set of building blocks, and a mother struggling to ensure he doesn’t lose any. Each day, the total number of blocks remains the same, although some do stray from their original location.

This consistent fact – that the blocks cannot be created or destroyed – allows the mother to calculate how many blocks are in a box without even looking. And this consistent fact, that energy itself is also always conserved, lays the foundation for one of physics’ greatest rules.

This animation is part of the Ri’s Thermodynamics Advent Calendar for 2016.

thermodynamics - Ri
Next: Watch more illuminating Ri videos on this site.

🌈 Related videos

How To Stop Yourself Being Ticklish – with Dr Emily Grossman

Rion Nakaya

Immunity and Vaccines Explained – NOVA PBS

Rion Nakaya

A red hot ball of nickel is dropped in a cup of water

Rion Nakaya

FORMS IN NATURE: Understanding Our Universe

Rion Nakaya

Why don’t perpetual motion machines ever work?

Rion Nakaya

Fold & Cut Theorem – Cut any shape from only one cut

Rion Nakaya

The Scientific Method, animated

Rion Nakaya

The Dreams of an Astronaut – with Helen Sharman

Rion Nakaya

Evolution 101 & how natural selection works – NOVA PBS

Rion Nakaya

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.

 

Subscribe