Great Science Videos: Sixty Symbols

April 22, 2010 | Astronomy, Physics, Science | By: Mark VandeWettering

While mucking around this morning, I bumped across the Sixty Symbols website, something I hadn’t seen before. It describes itself thusly:

Ever been confused by all the letters and squiggles used by scientists?

Hopefully this site will unravel some of those mysteries.

Sixty Symbols is a collection of videos about physics and astronomy presented by experts from The University of Nottingham.

They aren’t lessons or lectures – and this site has never tried to be an online reference book.

The films are just fun chats with men and women who love their subject and know a lot about it!

It’s worth noting many symbols have multiple uses across scientific disciplines and we somtimes tackle them from an unexpected viewpoint.

Click on “gamma” and you’ll find a professor of physics talking about cricket balls… Click on “rho” and we’re stuffing paperclips into coffee cups.

And sometimes when there’s no symbol to tell a story (like Schrödinger’s cat), well we just make one up!

However whatever symbol you click on, we hope you’ll see something interesting and maybe learn something new.

As example, check out their explanation of the drinking duck:

Great stuff,

Sixty Symbols – Physics and Astronomy videos.

Addendum: The original patent didn’t include the most important part of the drinking bird: his ubiquitous top hat!


Comment from Alan Yates
Time 4/26/2010 at 11:09 am


I have to thank you for posting this link!

I’ve spent the last two days on and off watching all the videos. Just starting on the Periodic Table and Test Tube ones now. You have enriched and destroyed my life simultaneously.