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17 Tonnes of Spinning Glass: Making the World's Largest Telescope
17 Tonnes of Spinning Glass: Making the World's Largest Telescope
17 Tonnes of Spinning Glass: Making the World's Largest Telescope

17 Tonnes of Spinning Glass: Making the World's Largest Telescope - Tom Scott

Tom Scott
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Hi, I'm Tom Scott. These are some of the things I've made and done. They'll probably come back to haunt me in a few years' time. (Want to get in touch about anything? Use the "contact me" link below, not YouTube messages!)

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This week's guest video comes from Active Galactic Videos: go subscribe! They got to walk on the dish of a telescope:

At the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab, under the football stadium of the University of Arizona, there's an enormous rotating furnace, keeping tonnes of glass heated as it forms the mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope. Here's a look inside!
Go Inside a Telescope Mirror Factory | To a Billionth of a Meter

Beneath the University of Arizona football stadium sits the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. There, giant mirrors are meticulously shaped and polished, to be used in telescopes around the world that are helping unravel the mysteries of the universe. The time-consuming production process requires that each mirror's surface be polished down to a billionth of a meter. ➡ Subscribe: About National Geographic: National Geographic is the world's premium destination for science, exploration, and adventure. Through their world-class scientists, photographers, journalists, and filmmakers, Nat Geo gets you closer to the stories that matter and past the edge of what's possible. Get More National Geographic: Official Site:...

Casting a $20 Million Mirror for the World’s Largest Telescope

Building a mirror for any giant telescope is no simple feat. The sheer size of the glass, the nanometer precision of its curves, its carefully calculated optics, and the adaptive software required to run it make this a task of herculean proportions. But the recent castings of the 15-metric ton, off-axis mirrors for the Giant Magellan Telescope forced engineers to push the design and manufacturing process beyond all previous limits. Read more:

How To Make Parabolic Mirrors From Space Blankets - NightHawkInLight

Parabolic mirrors are useful for everything from solar power to telescopes to holographic projection. They're usually very difficult to make by traditional means, but this video takes a different approach. Check out my sponsor Rayton Solar here: With their incredible silicon cutting process via a particle accelerator they're able to make solar panels with virtually zero waste and a higher efficiency result. AN OFFERING STATEMENT REGARDING THIS OFFERING HAS BEEN FILED WITH THE SEC. THE SEC HAS QUALIFIED THAT OFFERING STATEMENT, WHICH ONLY MEANS THAT THE COMPANY MAY MAKE SALES OF THE SECURITIES DESCRIBED BY THE OFFERING STATEMENT. IT DOES NOT MEAN...

Drones vs Lightning ⚡

At the University of Manchester's High Voltage Laboratory, we see what happens when a DJI Phantom 3 drone gets hit with an electrical impulse of 1.4MV - basically, a lightning strike. Actually, two Phantom 3 drones. We had a backup. Thanks to the team at the High Voltage Lab! Here's their side of the story: And here's a teardown of the drone: The University of Manchester's YouTube channel: You can also follow on Twitter: The HV Lab Vidyadhar Peesapati Manchester Energy School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Main camera: Fraser Cottrell / Edited by Michelle Martin / @mrsmmartin Audio mix by Matt Gray...

How tough is the new Gorilla Glass 5?

We got a closer look at all the torture tests involved in creating Corning's most resistant Gorilla Glass to date. Subscribe to CNET: Watch more CNET videos: Follow CNET on Twitter: Follow CNET on Facebook:

This Video Is 2D And 3D Simultaneously: the Pulfrich Effect

Hold on tight, because with a stabilised camera shot and a pair of sunglasses, you're about to see a video that works in both 2D and 3D at the same time. The technique's called the Pulfrich Effect, and this is how it works. The BBC's terrible 90s Doctor Who special, Dimensions in Time, can be seen here, complete with its Noel Edmonds-filled framing: Camera and sound: Matt Gray / I'm at on Twitter at on Facebook at and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo

FAST: The World's Largest Telescope | A China Icons Video

What's really out there? In September 2016, China unveiled the world’s largest telescope – an instrument engineered so finely it is 3 times more sensitive than Arecibo and may help in the international search for understanding more on the origin of the universe and the Big Bang. Sadly, since filming this video, FAST’s chief engineer and scientist, Professor Nan Rendong lost his fight with cancer. Not only was Professor Nan a talented and well-respected scientist who dedicated over 20 years to the FAST project, but we found him to be a kind, intelligent and dedicated man who took the time...

Science vs the Weather: Salford's Energy House

At the University of Salford's Energy House, all the energy use is monitored and controlled, allowing researchers to experiment with all sorts of insulation and energy-saving techniques. But how to control for factors like sun, wind and rain? The solution: put the whole house inside an environmental chamber: a building inside a building that means the weather is controlled, repeatable, and part of the science. Thanks to all the team at the University of Salford's School of Built Environment: you can find more about them, and about the house, here: And they're on YouTube here; This video edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) I'm...

China switches on world’s largest radio telescope "FAST" today to search for alien transmission

(Sunday, 25 September 2016) China is set to start operating the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, enabling astronomers to probe farther and darker regions of space for the faintest signs of life. Scheduled to be launched on Sunday, the science mega-project is named after its huge dimensions: the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST. Built within a valley surrounded by naturally-formed karst hills in China's remote and mountainous southwestern Guizhou province, the FAST radio telescope's huge dish is equal in size to 30 football pitches and was constructed from 4,000 individual metal panels at a cost of around $180m. It also required the...

How Computers Compress Text: Huffman Coding and Huffman Trees

Computers store text (or, at least, English text) as eight bits per character. There are plenty of more efficient ways that could work: so why don't we use them? And how can we fit more text into less space? Let's talk about Huffman coding, Huffman trees, and Will Smith. Thanks to the Cambridge Centre for Computing History: Thanks to Chris Hanel at Support Class for the graphics: Filmed by Tomek: And thanks to my proofreading team! I'm at on Twitter at on Facebook at and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo

Why California's Musical Road Sounds Terrible

In Lancaster, California, there's a musical road. When you drive over it, it plays the William Tell Overture. Unfortunately, it's out of tune. Here's why. Thanks to David Simmons-Duffin, who figured this out about nine years ago: -- he seems to be the first to have figured out not just that it's wrong, but exactly what happened! I'm at on Twitter at on Facebook at and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo

How NOT to Store Passwords! - Computerphile

Security of users' passwords should be at the forefront of every web developer's mind. Tom takes us through the insecure ways in which some websites deal with passwords. Note: At circa 8mins, the animation does not show how the 'salt' is also stored in the database alongside the username. Hashing Algorithms and Security: Security of Data on Disk: More from Tom Scott: and This video was filmed and edited by Sean Riley. Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran's Numberphile. See the full list of Brady's video projects at:

Making Artificial Earthquakes with a Four-Tonne Steel Ball

In Göttingen, Germany, there's a four-tonne steel ball that can be raised up a 14-metre tower -- and then dropped in less than two seconds, crashing back to earth. It makes tiny, artificial earthquakes: here's why. Thanks to all the team at Wiechert'sche Erdbebenwarte Göttingen! You can find out more about them here: Three things I had to cut out of this video, because they didn't quite fit into the story or because I couldn't film them: The reason the steel ball survived two world wars is because the university's records listed it by use as a "rock-ball", not by composition as...

How to Make a Telescope - 8 Inch Newtonian Reflector (Part 1)

Support Will: This is a tutorial on how to make a telescope (part 1 of 2). We make an eight inch Newtonian Reflector telescope. If you are not exactly sure what that means that is ok. I will describe it in the video and a little bit here. A reflector telescope is one that has a mirror in it. And being a “Newtonian” means it is very similar to the one that Sir Isaac Newton made. It has an eight inch in diameter mirror. And that is a really good size mirror. You are going to see some...

Tom Fell Through A Frozen Lake In Estonia

On a bench in Tartu, Estonia, we welcome Paul (@cr3) along with art from Simon (@mushybees) to talk about our road trip, an abandoned submarine base, and, yes, the incident where Tom fell through ice into a frozen lake. Also, rainbow Comic Sans. TOM: -- MATT: -- PAUL: And thanks to our artist, Simon Coxall, !

Characters, Symbols and the Unicode Miracle - Computerphile

Audible free book: Representing symbols, characters and letters that are used worldwide is no mean feat, but unicode managed it - how? Tom Scott explains how the web has settled on a standard. More from Tom Scott: and EXTRA BITS: Data Security: This video was filmed and edited by Sean Riley. Computerphile is a sister project to Brady Haran's Numberphile. See the full list of Brady's video projects at:

Installing a mirror on the Giant Magellan Telescope

One of the world's largest telescopes consists of seven giant mirrors made with 20 tons of glass. Here's how one mirror gets installed. SUBSCRIBE: FOLLOW QUARTZ: Facebook: Twitter: Check out the rest of our videos: Quartz is a digitally native news outlet dedicated to telling stories at the intersection of the important and the interesting. Visit us at to read more.

A Language Made Of Music

Today's guest is 12tone! Go subscribe: - and here's their video about the Imperial March: Solresol is a language, invented out of whole cloth by Jean-François Sudre in the 19th century, that used seven musical notes to create all the words that he thought you'd ever need. It did work: so why aren't we all speaking in notes right now? SOURCES: And thanks to the community at for collecting many these resources into one place!

58 and other Confusing Numbers - Numberphile

Squarespace: More links & stuff in full description below ↓↓↓ More linguistics on Numberphile: Billion and Trillion: Tom Scott on numbers and linguistics - a discussion with spans counties, countries, continents and the far reaches of space. Tom's own channel is: Art and animation by Pete McPartlan Support us on Patreon: NUMBERPHILE Website: Numberphile on Facebook: Numberphile tweets: Subscribe: Numberphile is supported by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI): Videos by Brady Haran Brady's videos subreddit: Brady's latest videos across all channels: Sign up for (occasional) emails: Numberphile T-Shirts: Other merchandise: