Well okay, maybe a little more than a minute. Three minutes tops. Well okay, maybe five minutes and throw in an appreciation of watching cartoons and Youtube videos. That’s it.
I was skeptical when I stumbled on Henry Reich’s MinutePhysics Youtube channel one night. How could anyone explain light, The Big Bang or relativity in just minutes and be understood? I decided to watch one in the expectation that I would be sent to sleep. It was well past midnight. In the end, I didn’t go to sleep until after I had watched every MinutePhysics video in existence. I was hooked. It all started with an explanation of what fire is.
I come across people who have not heard of MinutePhysics so here I am telling everyone on the internet. Each of Henry’s videos is well researched and easy to understand. It is firmly on the list of Youtube channels that I have subscribed to.
Henry creates every MinutePhysics stop motion video himself. He draws, narrates and edits the entire thing. This is because while Henry has a Masters in Physics from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics he had also pursued filmmaking as a hobby. After the masters was finished, Henry pursued filmmaking more seriously and discovered that Youtube isn’t just about cute cat videos.
“After I finished my masters at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, I took some time to work in film/video and ended up working for the youtube channel “Freddiew” where I learned that you could actually make videos intentionally for youtube,” says Henry.
“I’ve also always enjoyed explaining complicated things, so it seemed like it might be fun to try making some videos to explain complicated physics to the public.”
This is what Henry does and he does it well. Nothing seems too small or too big to tackle. He reads every personal message that is sent to him on Youtube and Facebook and does his best to respond. When asked on how he judges a video to be successful, it is not the number of views or whether it has gone viral. The answer Henry gives is humble and reflective.
“I know a video is successful when a middle schooler and the Nobel Laureate who did the research I’m explaining both tell me how much they liked the video.”
Henry doesn’t just make videos on physics found in textbooks and highlights how they do influence our everyday lives whether we think about it or not. He also makes videos on physics discoveries as they happen. One great example of this was when the Higgs Boson discovery was announced. He made a three part video series found its way onto New Scientist, Huffington Post, and NBC.
This is the first video in the Higgs Boson series.
Henry’s enthusiasm for theoretical physics is evident in his videos as he unpacks ideas and concepts for his audience and it is infectious. The videos spawn endless conversation on his Youtube and Facebook pages. After more than a year working on MinutePhysics, Henry has teamed up with other scientists creating MinuteEarth, a Youtube channel bringing together biology, geology, ecology, anthropology, and more.
So if you have a minute, you can learn just about anything.
Cite this article: Lum M (2013-05-08 06:35:04). All You Need is a Minute to Learn Physics. Australian Science. Retrieved: Feb 26, 2020, from http://ozscience.com/interviews/all-you-need-is-a-minute-to-learn-physics/