Yesterday’s 28 hours of air travel and airport waiting afforded me some time to watch a few TEDTalks I had not seen previously, and the following two were standouts focusing on topics including dark matter, the origins and size of the universe, the structure of galaxies in the universe, galactic distances, and parallel / multiple dimensions of existence.

Videos loaded on my iPhone yesterday

I LOVE the fact that thanks to Internet access and sites like TED, anyone can have access to incredible scientific minds as well as ideas like these.

The TED video “George Smoot on the design of the universe” has the following official description:

At Serious Play 2008, astrophysicist George Smoot shows stunning new images from deep-space surveys, and prods us to ponder how the cosmos — with its giant webs of dark matter and mysterious gaping voids — got built this way.

The TED video “Neil Turok makes his TED Prize wish” is not just about the amazing schools for math and science which Neil has helped build all over Africa, it also includes tantalizing information about his work as a theoretical physicist. The video’s official description is:

Accepting his 2008 TED Prize, physicist Neil Turok speaks out for talented young Africans starved of opportunity: by unlocking and nurturing the continent’s creative potential, we can create a change in Africa’s future.

If you’re a science teacher studying our solar system or physics, consider using one or both these videos as curricular supplements to catalyze conversations in and outside of your classes. Share these with a curious, inquisitive young student your know who likes to ask BIG questions about our universe. These videos are likely to expand their thinking as well as yours, and generate even more GREAT questions! 🙂

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