Sixty Symbols
June 26, 2009 6:24 AM   Subscribe

What Periodic Videos did for chemistry, Sixty Symbols is doing for physics and engineering. Some behind the scenes action and general scienciness.

Some of the "symbols" are a little iffy and many are just jumping off points for a cool science demo/discussion, but that doesn't change the high quality of the material.
posted by DU (13 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
Just realized I shouldn't have used the past tense for Periodic Videos. They are still putting out corrections and new episodes pretty regularly.
posted by DU at 6:39 AM on June 26, 2009

It's an interesting idea, though most greek letters have different meanings in different branches. In fluid mechanics for example, nu and mu are used for kinematic and dynamic viscosity, and delta is used for boundary layer thickness. As well, some concepts have more than one symbol (as the website notes for the imaginary number symbol j), Completing a comprehensive list of engimathemascience symbols will be quite an achievement and will need a lot of cross referencing.
posted by cardboard at 6:48 AM on June 26, 2009

It's not complete, but Wikipedia has a list of letters used in mathematics and science that may serve as a good supplementary resource.
posted by jedicus at 7:05 AM on June 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

God I can't wait to check this out when I'm not at work. Not because I couldn't get away with watching one of them, but because I want to watch ALL of them.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:15 AM on June 26, 2009

The Periodic Videos are cool and my girlfriend will find them really useful for her science teaching, however the couple of physics videos I sampled would be too dull for the kids I suspect (potassium exploding vs a guy talking about the value of G).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:38 AM on June 26, 2009

The physics ones include some good stuff too. No explosions yet, but there's a water rocket, chladni plate, a drinking bird and an astronomer dropping a hammer on her foot.
posted by DU at 7:47 AM on June 26, 2009

Why is the Reynold's Number video unavailable?! WHAT ARE THEY HIDING??
posted by backseatpilot at 7:54 AM on June 26, 2009

posted by fantabulous timewaster at 8:47 AM on June 26, 2009

I totally wanna snark on this -- just because you're DU -- but this is great. Thanks.
posted by not_on_display at 10:16 AM on June 26, 2009

MetaFilter: You can both snark AND enjoy.
posted by DU at 10:27 AM on June 26, 2009

I dunno, I watched the energy one, and it made perfect sense to me, but I have an engineering degree (wow, it feels weird saying that). I feel like if you didn't have any familiarity with the concepts of potential and kinetic energy, and conservation of energy, you would feel like you missed the first half of the video.

Also, the guy who teaches it doesn't know to swing, which just isn't right.
posted by !Jim at 12:36 PM on June 26, 2009

The reynolds number one was pretty good though.
posted by !Jim at 1:37 PM on June 26, 2009

Some of the "symbols " are a little iffy...

I think I saw this term in an equation somewhere:

=Δ..Δ= | =Δ--Δ=
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:17 PM on June 26, 2009

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