60 Second Adventures

2011 ,    »  -   30 Comments
Ratings: 8.68/10 from 216 users.

This is very interesting series of small videos in which the authors are asking many puzzling questions and they're giving simple explanations. For example how could a humble tortoise beat the legendary Greek hero Achilles in a race?

Will time travel ever be possible? What would happen if a man went back in time to a date before his parents were born and kill his own grandfather?

With no grandfather one of the man's parents would never have been born and therefore the man himself would never have existed. So there would be nobody to go back in time and kill the grandfather in the first place.

Can a machine ever be truly called intelligent? If there was a hotel with an infinite number of rooms and an infinite number of guests what happens if someone new comes along looking for a place to stay? Is it true that the faster you travel through space the slower you move through time? Is it true that before you measure a particle, that particle is in a superposition of every possible state all at the same time?

An economy is a tricky thing to control and governments are always trying to figure out how to do it. Back in 1776 economist Adam Smith shocked everyone by saying that what government should actually do is just leave people alone to buy and sell freely among themselves. He suggested that if they just leave self-interested traders to compete with one another markets are guided for positive outcome as if by an invisible hand.

The English language begins with the phrase "Up yours Caesar" as the Romans leave Britain and a lot of Germanic tribes start flooding in, tribes such as the Angles and Saxons who together gave us the term Anglo-Saxons. The Romans left some very straight roads behind, but not much of their Latin language. The Anglo-Saxon vocabulary was much more useful.

30 Comments / User Reviews

    Jo McKay
  1. Jo McKay

    Schrodinger takes the prize for best quote on quantum mechanics :)

  2. WiseGapist
  3. WiseGapist

    Great series of short videos that summarise some complicated concepts in a simple introductory way. Also nice to hear the narration from David Mitchell ^_^

  4. yellowmattercustard
  5. yellowmattercustard

    It is an enjoyable documentary. Much better and available on this site is "Sixty Symbols". My all-time favorite.

  6. Roger Brown
  7. Roger Brown


  8. Roger Brown
  9. Roger Brown


  10. Horst Manure
  11. Horst Manure

    What if you are travelling at the speed of light ..would your head lights still work????

  12. Danny Wakeling
  13. Danny Wakeling

    Yes. The light would travel ahead of you at the speed of light relative to you. This is the basics of the theory of relativity.

  14. Calin Chifor
  15. Calin Chifor

    I'm inclined to say NO. c + c = c and not 2c. light doesn't travel relative to you, light travels at light speed :) , do you like my explanation ?

  16. Danny Wakeling
  17. Danny Wakeling

    No, because its wrong.

  18. Danny Wakeling
  19. Danny Wakeling

    Just noticed you said c + c = c and not 2c. How can you justify proceeding with any argument when getting something this wrong.

  20. Danny Wakeling
  21. Danny Wakeling

    One more thing. Lets suppose your theory is right and from your logic imagine that: We are in a car travelling at C - 1 mph, you are then to turn the headlights on and you would see light travel away from you at one mile per hour. Imagine this and use it to realise how your answer is incorrect, it is simply implausible.

  22. Calin Chifor
  23. Calin Chifor

    "you couldn't be more wrong, you could try but you will fail". Ad hominems ? Really ? For calling you an ignorant ? Isn't that a fact ? You're backing up your poor arguments with information that clearly states that you're wrong. Have you even read the first couple of paragraphs in your link ? Here it is ( from YOUR link ) : "The speed of light is nonetheless invariant, the same for all observers." , also on the same page : "The speed of light in a vacuum is the same for all observers, regardless of their relative motion or of the motion of the light source."
    The first sentence in my link states: "The speed of light in vacuum, commonly denoted c, is a universal physical constant ", which means that c + c is still c.

    What do you have to say now ?

  24. Calin Chifor
  25. Calin Chifor

    I believe the first one is flawed or poorly presented. Let's make some fair assumptions: the human is running at a mean speed of 5 m/s and has a distance of 100m to cover, that would take 20s. The tortoise 'runs' at 0.05 m/s and covers only the last 50m, that would take 1000s. Clearly the human overtakes the tortoise at some point. Easily resolved? YES!
    I understand the idea that the runner always has to catch up smaller and smaller distances, but it just doesn't stand.

    But, if the idea is presented differently, for instance: the human has to catch the tortoise (which is standing still), but is only allowed to cover half the distance between him and the tortoise, then things would get interesting in theory but also in practice. For example: distance is 100m; first only 50 meters are covered, then 25, then 12.5, then 6.25 and so on. No mater what the distance, there would still be a remaining half between them and he will never reach the tortoise; what ever distance remains to be covered, divided by 2 will never be 0, needed to reach the full 100m.
    There you go: improvement !

  26. Calin Chifor
  27. Calin Chifor

    v = car's speed. c = light speed. w = speed of light from the headlights

    w = combined speed of v and c .

    w = ( v + c ) / (1 + v*c/c*c ) . for car traveling at light speed v = c , then :

    w = (c + c) / (1 + c*c/c*c) => w = 2c / 2 => w = c . (no surprise there)

    meaning that w, the speed of the headlights is not 2c but still c , in other words : c (from headlights) plus c (of the car ) is still c.

    This is confirmed by : "The speed of light .. is the same ..regardless ..of the motion of the light source."

  28. Danny Wakeling
  29. Danny Wakeling

    If w = c then c + c = 2c. And therefore you suck at maths. Why do you continue this fight. Just google the question.

    You just said the answer in your last paragraph meaning you agree with me. So well done, now please stop.

  30. Calin Chifor
  31. Calin Chifor

    Velocities don't combine the same as apples or.. letters. Velocities accurately combine like this: V (v1,v2) = (v1+v2) / ( 1+ v1*v2/c*c )
    Galilean transformation (is an approximation of the Lorenztian transformation) : 30 m/s + 30 m/s = 60 m/s (in the same direction of course)
    The more accurate Lorenztian transformation: 30 m/s + 30 m/s = 59.9999999999994 m/s.

    Upper limit - Lorenztian transformation - addition of speeds :

    V( 299792458 m/s , 299792458 m/s ) = 299792458 m/s

    Galilean transformation cannot be applied here.

    You are a very very very very stupid person. Go read your novels and let others do physics !

    I'm unsubscribing.

  32. Danny Wakeling
  33. Danny Wakeling

    Again why incorrectly insult someone thats teaching you something you don't understand?
    Turn on the lights and the light travels at the speed of light, as you have mentioned twice. I will no longer be responding.

  34. Danny Wakeling
  35. Danny Wakeling

    Unsubscribing from what?

  36. Alessandra Martellacci
  37. Alessandra Martellacci

    This is the velocity subtraction formula. Try it out. v = (w − u)/(1 − wu/c2)

  38. Ziegfred
  39. Ziegfred

    I'm not a quantum physicist or something and reading formulas for something that hasn't been proved with factual evidence (car or light source is traveling on speed of light) is just boring.. I'll just use my plain imagination regarding this and then please tell me if my imagination is failing me.

    in theory: the head lights will still work but it wouldn't be seen unless the source (car) will stop or decrease its speed from traveling at the speed of light.

  40. Alessandra Martellacci
  41. Alessandra Martellacci

    Your imagination is alright, but I urge you to do the math, or else you're just a dilettante. I ended up losing the formatting (the 2 is an exponent) but the math is quite simple. You can learn how to do the velocity subtraction formula by typing it into youtube or google.

    You're imagination is partially right and partially wrong, given the ambiguity as to who the observer is, which is very important.

  42. Jack Seahorse
  43. Jack Seahorse

    work = force x distance

    force = mass x acceleration

    acceleration decreases as it approach the speed of light. if it reaches light speed though it would be zero. making force = to zero and so work too is equal to zero.

  44. Patrick
  45. Patrick

    I didn't like this one. It was wishy-washy. But I am getting a kick out of the argument in the comments section. These dudes are getting their panties in a bunch over math. lol

  46. Dean Thompson
  47. Dean Thompson

    Is that David Mitchell narrating?

  48. root
  49. root


  50. Francesco
  51. Francesco

    Incredibly shallow and poor way of explaining very interesting topics. 0 stars out of 10.

  52. ....Lace
  53. ....Lace

    Who is driving a car at light speed... and THEN turning the head lights on lol :P
    You're all wrong

  54. thatGuy
  55. thatGuy

    what i want to know is how the hell is a CAR traveling at light speed?it cant right? it has mass.

    you would not be able to turn your car lights on because before you reached light speed your car would be crushed. right?

  56. Donna
  57. Donna

    absolutely loved this, not in anyway a scientist, just a common thinking person, english language portion brought me great joy.

  58. DustUp
  59. DustUp

    Open University showed that fiction can be entertaining, even science fiction. So called "Open University" in a different group of videos relating to free energy I saw years ago; they demonstrated supposed real working simple mechanical self powered devices or perpetual motion machines. Excepting they faked the motion. Those particular types of devices quickly (in less than one rotation) reach a balance point they cannot exceed, without outside assistance. They cannot work, they faked it without saying that they faked it. That is rotten and in the realm of scum rather than a center for learning ...because it would likely lead at least some others to try to build them and then being disgusted, deciding that all free energy devices are fake. Others would believe what they thought they saw. Both being wrong, which apparently was their goal; to ehf up people's minds. Much the same as this set of videos.

    Have to chuckle at the arrogance of @Danny Wakeling. Clearly you haven't taken a course in physics which they claim to cover this very topic. However, in the same vein as @Danny, most science is just as arrogant and wrong. What they think they know isn't so.

    The speed of light CLAIMED to be a constant and the fastest thing, isn't at all. It depends on the medium that it is passing through, as does sound.

    Tesla pointed out that at least one scientist had measured particles traveling at speeds faster than the speed of light, about 1.24 times. And if I recall Tesla's own experiments lead him to believe that scientist was accurate. Which poked a big hole in Einstein's Theory of Relativity in which the speed of light was the fastest thing.

    For all I know Danny could be right ...or wrong. NO one on earth that I am aware of knows. Claiming they do is silly arrogance. Dawkins is nothing but arrogant, efforting so mightily to be his own god; silly. Anyone that doesn't realize that there are forces at work, even within themselves, that are greater than themselves, shouldn't be trying to convince anyone of anything. Yet that seems to be much the case for so called scientists.

    Just because some scientist/s claim that the universe is expanding means what? That it always will be? No. There is no way they can know that. Many things work in cycles of expansion and contraction or up and down (waves) or round and round, hot and cold, wet and dry, etc. Why not the universe? What these scientists think they see could be the doppler effect of galaxies of the universe which make up a huge cosmic ball heading for God on the other side of the ping pong table or pendulum toy thingy.

Leave a comment / review: