The Video Archive

Here you'll find a list of all the videos I've made so far. They're listed in reverse order, so you'll find the newest videos at the top. Hope you enjoy watching them as much as I've enjoyed making them.

-Dr. Carlson

Episode 40: Energy

Energy, it surrounds us, it binds us together (well static cling maybe...) Dr. Carlson kicks off a new, higher-definition season (complete with new opening credits, woo-hoo!) by taking a moment to talk about many different types of energy. This is the first episode in a short series sponsored by NSF and the CCI-Solar initiative, trying to find better ways to harness the sun's energy.

Episode 39: Entropy

Entropy. It's why everything seems to break down and get messy. It is something that comes about when you have lots and lots of little things (like atoms) that can be in several possible "states" (no, not Florida). The more things or more states you have, the more entropy you're going to have. Dr. Carlson has entirely too much fun playing with coins and blocks while he tries to explain how Chemists think of Entropy. (Stay to the end and you'll even see a rubber band, whee!)

Episode 38: Walking on Water

Winter is in the air, and it's cold out on the lake making it pretty easy to walk on water. Dr. Carlson visits his parents and takes time out to explain some cool science concepts that can occur when your lake freezes over. That's right, Dr. Carlson freezes his tooshie, just so you can expand your mind!

Episode 37: The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Physics tells us that you can't know exactly where you are and where you are going at the same time! Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle explains that you can't measure a particle's exact velocity and location, Dr. Carlson takes on the challenge of explaining it all in this special, third anniversary, episode...

Episode 36: Particle Experiment

Pity the poor high energy particle physicists. In order to perform an experiment, they have to destroy whatever they're looking at. Dr. Carlson explains how experiments on tiny particles are tricky. It's not easy to run experiments on things that are smaller than your tools.

Episode 35: Quantum Mechanics

Can you change reality just by looking at it? Dr. Carlson says no! Watch on to see just what we mean when scientists talk about observers determining reality in this down-to-earth explanation of Quantum Mechanics.

Episode 34: The Sweat Episode

Yes, he's done freezing by boiling before, but this time Dr. Carlson uses liquid nitrogen, a special tube, and a little water to demonstrate the power of sweat!

Episode 33: Making Clouds

How to make a cloud in a bottle in four easy steps. Dr. Carlson takes on a giant glass ball of green liquid in an attempt to explain how clouds are formed. In a never-before seen feature, this episode even includes Director's Commentary for the first segment. Yes, it's a feature, not a bug.

Episode 32: Fluorescence

Fluorescence, it's almost as hard to explain as it is to spell. Dr. Carlson explains how his favorite color (neon) is such a shiny glowy thing and how detergents can get your clothes "whiter than white!"

Episode 31: Liquid Nitrogen

Liquid air? Once Nitrogen gas becomes really, really cold it becomes a liquid. Once you have really, a really cold liquid, you can use it to make other things cold. Really, really cold things behave differently. Join Dr. Carlson to find out how cold things behave in... "Liquid Air".

Episode 30: States of Matter

Sure, gas-liquid-solid... you've seen it all before, but have you seen air as a gas, air as a liquid, and air as a solid? Dr. Carlson explains the three most common states of matter and shows off how to make a snowcone out of Nitrogen gas.

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Episode 29: Center of Mass

When does a tower tip and fall? When its center of mass is no longer over its base. Dr. Carlson plays with blocks and walks the plank in order to illustrate the power of center of mass.

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Episode 28: Mirrors and Images

Mirrors don't let you see things that aren't there, they let you see things from an entirely different position! Your image in a mirror is what someone else would see if they were standing behind the mirror. It's all a matter of tracing the path of light from your eye to an object, or from the object to your eye.

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Episode 27: The Doppler Effect

When cars go screeching by your ear, their pitch changes due to the Doppler Effect. See and hear the Doppler Effect explained before your very eyes! Learn how the Doppler Effect even helps astronomers look at stars.

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Episode 26: Waves

Waves of light, waves of sound, waves of water, waves of fire. Wait, waves of FIRE? Check out the three main categories of waves, and try to guess where waves of fire fit into the mix...

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Episode 25: Electricity

Electrons and protons are tiny, but they can move large objects! Watch several demonstrations showing the power and behavior of electrons, electricity, and their response to electromagnetic waves.

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Episode 24: Angular Momentum

Ice skaters spin faster by hugging themselves tight, but what does that have to do with riding a bicycle? In both cases, the law of conservation of angular momentum is in effect. Watch a few more angular momentum examples!

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Episode 23: Eddy Currents

Sure, Spiderman can stop a block of falling metal, but so can science! Find out how magnets force electrons to move around in little circles, which can cause a falling piece of metal to slow down and nearly stop. Magnetic brakes on your roller-coaster, anyone?

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Episode 22: Shoot the Monkey

Dr. Carlson shoots a monkey in this classic demonstration of two dimensional motion. If you want to hit an object that is about to be dropped, do you aim above, at, or below it? The answer is a few short minutes away.
(No animals were harmed in the making of this film.)

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Episode 21: Motion in Two Dimensions

If you can drop it, you can throw it. Dr. Carlson throws stuff around to show how projectiles fall. (Also known as 2-dimensional motion)

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Episode 20: Pendulums

Dr. Carlson faces down fear and speeding bowling balls in an effort to demonstrate his faith in Physics and Pendulums.

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Episode 19: Thermal Conduction

Ever boil water in a paper cup? The power of fire and flames is harnessed to explain how heat can move around in Thermal Conduction

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Episode 18: Buoyancy

Why do you feel "lighter" when you are floating around in a tub of water? What does that have to do with bringing home balloons in your car? Find out the answers in Buoyancy

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Episode 17: The Bernoulli Effect

Want the fastest way to redecorate a tree using toilet paper? Use Science! Specifically, use the Bernoulli Effect - one of the principles involved in helping airplanes fly!

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Episode 16: Circular Motion

What do merry-go-rounds have to do with artificial gravity? Lean about the science of spinning when Dr. Carlson talks about circular motion and the centripetal force.

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Episode 15: Fun with a Vacuum

If you have an empty jar, is it really empty? Take all the air out of it and you have a vacuum. When the pressure drops due to a vacuum, everything begins to behave in strange ways. Watch and see!

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Episode 14: Inertia, Newton’s First Law

If you want to move it, you have to push it! Things don't change their movement on their own, and scientists often call this the Law of Inertia. Watch as Dr. Carlson shows off an amazing series of demonstrations where things don't move!

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Episode 13: The Return of Density

Some things float in water and others sink, but can the same thing both float and sink? Better yet, Dr. Carlson demonstrates water that sinks in water.

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Episode 12: Density

Long-time viewers realize that Dr. Carlson is dense. In this episode, dignity is again laid on the line as we find out exactly how dense is... Dr. Carlson.

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Episode 11: Thermodynamics and Temperature

Is nothing as thrilling as watching ice melt? Why do metals feel cold, while wood feels warm to the touch? All this and more in... Thermodynamics and Temperature

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Episode 10: Concentration and Reaction Rates

Making Elephant Toothpaste is as simple as mixing two chemicals - causing an explosion of foamy science goodness. We take a look at two reactions with hydrogen peroxide to see how the concentration of H2O2 affects the rate of the reaction.

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Episode 9: Newton’s Third Law

How can a rocket engine lift itself off the ground? Push a wall and you will be pushed back. Newton's Third Law of Motion states that every force has an equal force applied in the opposite direction. If air, trapped in a fire extinguisher, is "thrown" backwards by releasing it, Dr. Carlson can be pushed forward by the blast - his very own jet-car!

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Episode 8: Packing Peanuts

The mystery of styrofoam packing peanuts is revealed in this shocking episode demonstrating.... hmm, well it demonstrates cool stuff. After all, if you can't dissolve packing peanuts when you feel like it, what's the point of science anyway?

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Episode 7: Free Fall

What does it feel like to float in outer space? How do satellites orbit the Earth? These mysteries, and more, are explained in this short video about gravity, orbits, and free fall.

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Episode 6: Freezing by Boiling

It seems unnatural, but the laws of physics don't lie. Liquids require heat to boil, and if the conditions are right one liquid can be boiled in order to freeze a second. Under a vacuum, the water in an acetone/water mixture can freeze while the acetone boils.

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Episode 5: Temperature

Hot stuff and cold science explain temperature and its affect on chemical reactions. Crowd-pleasing lightsticks make their return in this episode focusing on temperature.

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Episode 4: Air Pressure

Can-crushing, balloon-inflating, juice-box-drinking action in this study of air pressure: how it happens, what it is, and why.

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Episode 3: Protein Folding

Eggs turn white when fried because their protiens are unfolded by the heat. Much of your body is made of large molecules called proteins that can perform chemical reactions. Proteins are like long strands of pearls that can fold up into balls in order to their job. Changes in the environment (like heat) can change whether proteins fold.

As an aside, my PhD thesis was focused on this very topic.

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Episode 2: Photons of Light

LEDs and photosensitive paper show light be a particle in this demonstration explaining how light comes in little "packets" that we call photons. Colored LEDs make phosphorescent paper glow only if their color (frequency) of light is high enough in energy.

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Episode 1: Mixing Light

Liquid light can be mixed to create pure white light. In the premiere episode, "lightstick juice" is used to demonstrate how red, green, and blue light can be mixed to create white light. All it takes is a few colored light sticks, a knife, and a paper towel...

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