SciShow: Infusion

SciShow: InfusionHank explains the power of solar energy and describes how it may fit into our diversified energy future.

He also discusses the following topics:

The power of epigenetics, which studies the factors that determine how much or whether some genes are expressed in your body.

Five scariest things that will likely happen because of climate change. Some of the surprising things that could be causing or contributing to the obesity epidemic.

The issues of rising global population. The impacts of exotic invasive species on ecosystems while introducing us to a couple interesting individuals.

The story of his favorite genius lady scientist and radioactive superhero, Marie Curie. The challenges involved in manned space travel to Mars, and sends us a message from his 17-year-old self.

Watch the full documentary now (playlist - 1 hour, 25 minutes)

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Ratings: 9.08/10 from 12 users.

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23 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Matthew Criuis

    Love him

  2. Zachga22

    not bad. what about the new liquid battery?

  3. Guest

    All one needs to make an interesting doc, is a movie camera, an idea, a very interesting and likeable guy and someone to edit it.
    This is a good one if you're in the mood to learn or to revise what you know already.
    az

  4. docoman

    I agree. I usually don't like the fast paced, almost ADD type 'doco's', but I found this one quite watchable and informative. No bells and whistles, but quite well done I thought.

  5. Guest

    I am not done yet, but he left me with the appetite to continue.
    az

  6. wald0

    Are you referring to liquid metal and molten salt battery still in development? It’s really a very simple set up, a redox reaction just like the little liquid batteries we all build in chem. lab. The difference is the liquid metal electrode together with the molten salt electrolyte allow it to be high voltage and operate well at high temps. But the benefits are tremendous. These batteries will eventually be about a fourth of the size they are now and be able to efficiently store wind or solar energy for later use on the grid. Right now we have a very primitive set up in that electricity is produced as it is needed and demand must be monitored in real time. This means of course that when the wind stops blowing or the clouds come out conventional generators must make up the difference immediately. But conventional coal, nuclear, and gas cannot respond fast enough, which keeps solar and wind from contributing to the grid in the way that conventional means do. Proposed solution, long term efficient storage of large amounts of electricity and a redundant smart grid.
    Another possible solution, and this is only my hypothesis which I have yet to even really hash out, quantum effects. Electricity is merely the flow of electrons, which are of course sub-atomic and therefore manifest quantum behavior quite readily. My hope is that once we have a much better understanding of things like entanglement and quantum tunneling and how to manipulate the quantum world, we will be able to route streams of electrons with 100% efficiency- perhaps without even the need of a physical medium such as copper cables. If we could accomplish this I am not sure we would have need of storage, as I would gamble the amount of electricity saved due to the loss of resistance alone would make up the deficits solar and wind networks currently face. I must admit though that this is not my field and I am guessing here, I may be way off. I work with the capture and attempted break down of CO2 through solar means. The section of the research team I work with is responsible for the capture device though, not the solar power or its storage. I wish I could talk more specifically but, this is privately funded research through the university I work for and I can not disclose anything particular without facing real chance of losing my job. The battery I am referring to however was developed by Donald Sadoway, a professor of chemistry at MIT. Donald is a very inspiring speaker that you can check out on Ted Talks and has been a big inspiration for the research that we are doing. We can’t wait to get our hands on his battery, this could be BIG!!

  7. wisedonkey

    Not suitable for TV. He didn't repeat himeself 20 or so times, like other American documentaries. I liked the series for it's quirky humor and quick delivery.

  8. petekaraiskos

    Loved it... but why was Jupiter shown when talking about Mars in the last segment?

  9. Chad Unchained

    Correction: Peak of luxury is not a hot shower my friend, it's 3-ply toilette paper

  10. docoman

    Yeah, good point. But, a good hot shower can compensate for no toilet paper, can 3-ply toilet paper make up for no shower? :)

    How about a nice hot shower after 3-play toilet paper... mmmmmm. :)

  11. docoman

    Sounds like very interesting work. I hope you guys are successful.

  12. tariqxl

    This guys awesome :)

  13. Guest

    In many countries i have travelled, toilet paper is luxury. As for exemple in West Africa, you don't miss a hot shower but you sure miss toilet paper "when and where" there are real toilets, not a hole in the floor.
    az

  14. Guest

    Even just cut and stacked newspaper in some place. az

  15. docoman

    I always carried extra with me. I didn't carry a portable shower though. That probably says something about toilet paper v's shower.
    The one time I recall running out overseas, I was near the coast. I went for a 'swim' if need be. I don't know about shark repellent, but if I mentioned my intentions, it certainly repelled my fellow travelers. lol
    Maybe the toiletry arrangements is a usable measuring stick to a societies technological advancement? :)

  16. WiseGapist

    Good overall, I liked the information and he presents it well... But personally I found the choppy editing on the video and audio made it irritating, though not enough to ruin it.

  17. PaulGloor

    A riot to watch.

  18. dmxi

    very good, nerdish overview of interresting topics,nice to watch...unless you've an issue with someone very young,telling you how it all functions!
    i enjoyed it..........

  19. Justin James London

    This guys voice is far too annoying for me to continue watching this completely.

  20. Xbow

    Unfortunately Solar energy is unlikely to ever compete with carbon based energy while we still have sufficient quantities of those resources. The reason is Power Density. Low power output for the dollars spent isn't all that attractive.

    In the summer at noon, on the equator the sun provides ~1300watts/square meter. In that location 1 square meter of HQ photo voltaic cells can harvest at best appx 15% of that energy (about 195 watts). Solar thermal systems can recover about 30% of that energy or about 400watts/sq meter.
    And this collection capacity is obviously not 24 hour energy.

    Take a look at how much energy your home uses and then figure out how many square meters of collectors you'll need to run it. I hope you have plenty of space and a big fat checkbook.

  21. wald0

    Your right, its not yet cost effective to run your house completely on solar power. Thats why people use it to suppliment their normal power source. It still takes several years for the equiptment to pay for its self but, if you are going to live there long enough it still makes economical sense. Whats more you have become part of the solution instead of the problem, which is has a value all its own. I work as a chemist at a research college and we have reached up to 49% efficiency in the lab, with someone else's design mind you. The problem is that we could not figure out how to make it cost effective technology which is a must for our project. Between the advances in solar technolgy and advances in cost effective grid level storage, very soon solar, nuclear, and wind will overtake traditional sources to become the heart of our grid. This is not an option any longer, it will happen or we will not survive, period.

  22. physique

    Thanks for the wonderful work
    Is there a Subtitles of these episodes

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