Topic: energy

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Smash and Grab, a Pixar Sparkshorts film

In Smash and Grab, an action-packed, sci-fi Sparkshorts film from Pixar, two robots work diligently to power the engine car of a locomotive. Together, they make the best of the grind, until one discovers that there ar...

Aurora Australis in the polar night sky

As of 2018, astrophysicist Robert Schwarz has spent eight winters in a row at the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, 14 in total, where he works as a Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) observatory operator and technici...

Soil 101

What is soil made of? Why is it important? And how can we nurture soil for the benefit of humans and our ecosystems? Learn about soil with the help of Soil 101, a 2015 animation from the Food and Agriculture Organizat...

Mycelium packaging, a biodegradable alternative to styrofoam

Styrofoam makes up 25% of our landfills in the U.S. That is insane. We may only use it for a day or a week to ship a package, but it stays in our environment for thousands of years. I think I've come up with an altern...

Why do geese fly in V formation?

Why do geese fly in a V formation? In this episode of World By Charlie, our friend Charlie Engelman observes some origami geese to better understand how the vortices of air behind their wings shape their signature V-f...

Travel deep inside a redwood tree leaf

Travel down into a small flat redwood tree leaf through a stoma, a tiny opening in its surface. This animation from the California Academy of Sciences takes us on a scientifically accurate journey into a palisade cell...

Thermal expansion sphere and ring demonstrations

If you ever had trouble twisting open a jar lid that's stuck, try running it under some hot water. When you try again, it will most likely pop open with a twist thanks to thermal expansion. Most (but not all) matter w...

Airglow & the secrets behind Earth’s colorful ionosphere

What does our planet look like from space? Most are familiar with the beloved images of the blue marble or pale blue dot -- Earth from 18,000 and 3.7 billion miles away, respectively. But closer to home, within the ne...

The Universal Pattern Popping Up in Math, Physics, & Biology

Scientists have discovered a mysterious universal pattern that "connects a bus system in Mexico and chicken eyes to quantum physics and number theory." MentalFloss summarizes the formerly hidden phenomenon, known as u...

Can we get solar power to everyone who wants it?

By the end of 2016, the US was home to over 1 million household and commercial solar energy operations, with 4 times as many solar panels installed that year compared to just four years earlier. But if you don’t own t...

Cooling without polluting: Two new green air conditioning innovations

The starry night sky seems remarkably distant from the topic of air conditioning, but it’s revolutionizing the field in quite an unexpected way. In this episode of "The Spark," watch how scientists from across the glo...

How to make a rocket

"What's the best scientific formula for a powerful rocket with oxidizer and fuel?" In this video clip from Bang Goes The Theory Series 5, via BBC Earth Lab, we get a quick peek at the mix of chemistry and physics that...

Geothermal energy in Iceland

Iceland is a geothermal energy pioneer. Their unique geology, thanks to volcanism along a rift in the Eurasian tectonic plate and North American tectonic plate, provides a sustainable advantage: Heat from the ground. ...

Using seawater and sunlight to grow sustainable food in the desert

Australia's Sundrop Farms uses sunlight to desalinate seawater. The resulting fresh water is used and re-used to power and irrigate four hydroponic greenhouses with 175,000 tomato plants in each. Those sustainable yea...

Soil Life in Action: Bioturbation with and without soil fauna

Bioturbation is the mixing of (plant) residues into soils and sediments by biotic activity. It is one of the fundamental processes in ecology, as it stimulates decomposition, creates habitats for other (micro)fauna an...

The Solar Grandmothers of Ambakivao, Madagascar

Not having access to electricity, life in Ambakivao, Madagascar was dark. A group of grandmothers decided to change that, bringing light to their community by becoming the village’s first solar engineers. With the hel...

The Science Of Firework Color

Sodium in yellow bursts, strontium in red, calcium gives us orange, barium for green, and copper for blue hues... and there are more where those came from. The science of firework color, as explained above by SkunkBea...

A lemon-powered supercar and making the world’s largest lemon battery

Can you power an electric supercar with lemon-power? It depends on the lemon-power. In the video above, science YouTuber and former NASA JPL engineer Mark Rober attempts to fill a 48-kilowatt-hour battery with electri...

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