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Making Artificial Earthquakes with a Four-Tonne Steel Ball
Making Artificial Earthquakes with a Four-Tonne Steel Ball
Making Artificial Earthquakes with a Four-Tonne Steel Ball

Making Artificial Earthquakes with a Four-Tonne Steel Ball - 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!)

Video description
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: https://www.erdbebenwarte.de/

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 a "steel ball" - so no-one melted it down for weaponry.

The observatory team refill that pit every year to make the ground flat, and the ball just digs a hole again. The rock's just being compressed underneath. They joke that, somewhere in Australia, there's a slowly growing hill...

And finally, the ground steams for a little while after the ball hits: it gets rather warm...

Eed by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin)

I'm at https://www.erdbebenwarte.de/
on Twitter at https://www.erdbebenwarte.de/
on Facebook at https://www.erdbebenwarte.de/
and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo
Tilting an Icy Floor Until You Fall Over: WinterLab

If you're in Canada, you need good winter boots. But how do you know whether they're actually safe, or whether you'll fall over the first time you step on ice? This is WinterLab, part of the Challenging Environment Assessment Laboratories at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, where they're testing winter shoes with science. More about the lab and their ratings: http://www.ratemytreads.com/ Thanks to Evan from Rare Earth for being camera op! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtGG8ucQgEJPeUPhJZ4M4jA Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo

The Bizarre Plan to Drain the Mediterranean: Atlantropa

Herman Sörgel wanted to create the largest civil engineering project the world has ever seen: a colossal dam across the Strait of Gibraltar, lowering the Mediterranean sea. There were, of course, a few problems with this. VFX by David 'Hoolopee' Post (http://youtube.com/hoolopee) Camera by Paul Curry (@cr3) I'm at http://tomscott.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo

G-Force, Jerk, and Passing Out In A Centrifuge

Thanks to the Starrship team for arranging this! I'm also over on their channel, flying with the Blades: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWY3-1gOrxk • At the Royal Air Force training centrifuge in Farnbrough, pilots learn how to avoid G-LOC: g-induced loss of consciousness. Let's talk about g-force, about jerk, and about how to keep circulation flowing to your brain. FAQs: * Isn't 3.6g a really low g-tolerance? * Yep. Turns out I would not qualify to be a fighter pilot. The average range for g-tolerance is 4-6; no-one was expecting me to pass out. The centrifuge team do not deliberately try to G-LOC people! To be fair,...

The Illumination Problem - Numberphile

Featuring Professor Howard Masur from the University of Chicago. Filmed at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI). Part 2 of this interview: https://youtu.be/AGX0cLbHaog Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/numberphile Numberphile is supported by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI): http://bit.ly/MSRINumberphile We are also supported by Science Sandbox, a Simons Foundation initiative dedicated to engaging everyone with the process of science. NUMBERPHILE Website: http://www.numberphile.com/ Numberphile on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/numberphile Numberphile tweets: https://twitter.com/numberphile Subscribe: http://bit.ly/Numberphile_Sub Videos by Brady Haran Brady's videos subreddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/BradyHaran/ Brady's latest videos across all channels: http://www.bradyharanblog.com/ Sign up for (occasional) emails: http://eepurl.com/YdjL9

Is It Dangerous To Talk To A Camera While Driving?

I'm visiting the University of Iowa's National Advanced Driving Simulator, to answer a question: how unsafe is it for me to vlog while driving? Is vlogging while driving dangerous? The team at the simulator are the experts to ask. More about the National Advanced Driving Simulator: https://www.nads-sc.uiowa.edu/sim_nads1.php or on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrivingSim Camera operator: Jasmine Putney Edited: Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo

How Zero-G Planes Work

The European Space Agency offered me a seat on their zero-g plane: it's an Airbus A310 that flies parabolic maneuvers, pulling up into the sky and then arcing back down, giving its passengers about 20 seconds of weightlessness (or "microgravity") at a time. Here's how it works. Some people would have filmed their script on the ground, and just messed about while floating. I decided to go for something a bit more challenging. ** If you're a masters or PhD student from an ESA member state, and zero-g sounds like your thing, have a look at the Fly Your Thesis program: http://www.esa.int/Education/Fly_Your_Thesis --...

We Sent Garlic Bread to the Edge of Space, Then Ate It

The title says it all, really. Thanks to Barry from My Virgin Kitchen - go see him cook and test three different garlic breads here: https://youtu.be/jYPYbIO9BLE - and to Steve from Random Aerospace, http://www.randomengineering.co.uk/Random_Aerospace/Welcome.html ! Pull down the description for more details. This started as a conversation in a pub a few weeks ago, and turned into one of the more ridiculous videos I've ever done. We send home-made garlic bread skyward on a balloon; exposed it to the stratosphere, 35km up; successfully returned it to earth in a protective box; and then ate it. It tasted... cold. Audio mix by Matt...

A Nuclear Waste Dump You Can Walk On: Weldon Spring, Missouri

In Weldon Spring, Missouri, there is a strange, grey, windblasted seven-storey pile of rocks. It's the Weldon Spring Site: a nuclear and toxic waste dump on the site of an old uranium processing factory. And you can walk on it: it's technically a tourist attraction. That was going to be the whole of my video... and then I did some more research. Filmed by Matt Gray - http://mattg.co.uk - @unnamedculprit I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo

Inside The Giant American Freezer Filled With Polar Ice

Welcome to the US National Ice Core Laboratory in Denver, Colorado, where there's a giant freezer filled with 20km of ice cores from Greenland and the Antarctic. Here's why. Thanks to everyone at the US National Ice Core Laboratory! You can find out more about them here: http://icecores.org/ The Ice Core Laboratory is supported by the National Science Foundation: https://www.nsf.gov/ Edited by Michelle Martin, @mrsmmartin I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo

The Untold Truth Of Five Guys

If you're new, Subscribe! → http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-Mashed The growth of the Five Guys Burgers and Fries chain is nothing short of amazing, and the story behind it will make you believe anything is possible. With founders who have remained an integral part of their company, franchisees who aren't just buying a brand name but an entire formula, and a company built from the ground up, Five Guys has a story that embraces what the American dream once was… and still can be… Choosing to cook | 0:24 What's in a name? | 1:02 Finding a franchise | 1:47 No timers | 2:43 No VIP deliveries | 3:15 Fresh...

Archimedes and a Boat Lift: the Falkirk Wheel

http://tomscott.com - http://twitter.com/tomscott - The Falkirk Wheel sits between Edinburgh and Glasgow, in the southern parts of Scotland, and it's the world's only rotating boat lift. There's some very clever design going on here -- and some physics that goes all the way back to Ancient Greece.

Spinning Sphere of Molten Sodium

An experiment on how turbulent convection in Earth's core makes a magnetic field Get a free audiobook with a free 30 day trial at http://www.audible.com/Veritasium or text Veritasium to 500-500 Huge thanks to Prof. Dan Lathrop and team: http://ve42.co/Lathrop Companion video to explain Earth's magnetic fields in more detail: https://youtu.be/lWHxmJf6U3M Australians! I'm on my way. I'll be doing live shows in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. Details and tickets here: http://ve42.co/tour Find out more about the film Vitamania: http://ve42.co/VITA Special thanks to Brady Haran and Periodic Videos for sodium vs water footage. Original clip is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzEOL-N2cbw Special thanks to Patreon supporters: Donal Botkin, Michael Krugman, Jeff Straathof, Zach...

Why European Clocks are Running Slow, and British Clocks Aren't

Many people sent me this story: it covers my favourite topics of power grids and temporal anomalies. But when the mainstream press have already covered it, how could I add something more? The answer: by adding another pet topic, Unnecessary British Patriotism. And a teasmade. Press release: https://www.entsoe.eu/news-events/announcements/announcements-archive/Pages/News/2018-03-06-press-release-continuing-frequency-deviation-in-the-continental-european-power-system.aspx Teasmade: http://amzn.to/2oYrvxb [aff. link] Update, April 8th 2018: they fixed the dispute, and ran the grid at 50.01Hz for a few weeks: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/04/european-grid-dispute-resolved-lost-6-minutes-returned-to-oven-clocks/ If you liked this, you may also like the video I made on how engineers keep the grid stable, and why it's getting more difficult: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uz6xOFWi4A Audio mix by Matt Gray: http://mattg.co.uk I'm at http://tomscott.com on...

The Town Where Wi-Fi Is Banned: The Green Bank Telescope and the Quiet Zone

Tucked away in a valley in the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia, is this: the Green Bank Radio Telescope, the largest steerable radio telescope in the world. And there are some rather special rules for the area around it... Thanks to Justin Richmond-Decker and Mike Holstine at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank for inviting me over and letting us film at the Telescope on one of their maintenance days! For more about the Green Bank Observatory: https://science.nrao.edu/facilities/gbt Want a tour? You can! (Although you won't be allowed up the telescope!) https://public.nrao.edu/tours/visitgbt On camera, thanks to MATT GRAY: http://youtube.com/unnamedculprit - http://twitter.com/unnamedculprit...

The US President's Bulletproof Railcar

US Car Number 1, the Ferdinand Magellan, sits in the Gold Coast Railway Museum in Miami. It's 120 tonnes of bulletproof, armoured railcar: a train carriage designed to move the President of the United States around the country in safety and style. At least, it was, until other transport came along to do a better job. Thanks to all the team at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum: they're at http://www.gcrm.org/, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GoldCoastRailroad/ ! [looks like their main site's down at the moment!] Edited by Michelle Martin (@mrsmmartin) I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram...

The Collapsible Crash Test Robot Car

The Global Vehicle Target is the new standard for testing autonomous driving and crash test systems. To cameras and radar, it looks like a car: but if you hit it, it'll fly apart. So if your emergency braking doesn't quite work... well, this is what happens. Thanks to everyone at Thatcham Research! You can find out more about them at https://www.thatcham.org/ and about the target at https://www.thatcham.org/car-safety/driver-assistance/ Filmed by Tomek: https://youtube.com/tomek Edited by Michelle Martin, @mrsmmartin Post Audio by Emi Paternostro: http://proximitysound.com I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Instagram as tomscottgo

Zero-G Experiments on Earth: The Bremen Drop Tower

In Bremen, Germany, there's a tower more than a hundred metres high: it's called the Fallturm, or the Drop Tower. If you want a cost-effective way to test an experiment in microgravity -- and your project can survive some pretty strong deceleration -- then this might well be a good place for you. And then there's the slingshot... Thank you to all the team at the Drop Tower! More info: https://www.zarm.uni-bremen.de/drop-tower.html Behind the Scenes on the Park Bench: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3-W_sdv9Vo DoP / Camera: Matt Gray - http://mattg.co.uk - http://youtube.com/unnamedculprit - @unnamedculprit Editor: Michelle Martin - @mrsmmartin I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat...

The Secret Underground Pipeline Across Britain

http://tomscott.com - http://twitter.com/tomscott - On a windy day in Gloucestershire, I find one of the few parts of the once top-secret GPSS aviation fuel pipeline (now called CLH-PS after privatisation) that pokes above ground, and explore the balance between secrecy and safety.

Making an International Standard Cup of Tea

As far as I can find, no-one has actually made a International Standard Cup of Tea - ISO 3103 or BS 6008 - for the internet before. Lots of people have talked about it, but that's easy. Making one? That requires precision... and some specialist equipment. You can buy a professional tea tasting set from this Amazon UK affiliate link: https://amzn.to/2qfbxyr Thanks to Morag Hickman for letting me borrow her workshop for last-minute filming! She makes beautiful jewellery, like ring-keepers, dragon necklaces and rings that looks like ocean waves: https://etsy.com/shop/Errant Update: someone has found an earlier ISO cup of tea on the internet,...

Do The Numbers On Toaster Dials Mean Minutes?

http://tomscott.com - http://twitter.com/tomscott - There's been a "Life Pro Tip" going around the internet lately saying that the numbers on toaster dials are actually minutes. I was so sure it was false. Oh, I was so sure. I got four toasters set to "2", and I had one take to film it all in a back room at my office. This is that one take. Thanks to Dan W (@iamdanw) on camera and Jonty (@jonty) on toaster-wrangling! UPDATE: Dominic points out in the comments that modern toasters may not use bi-metallic strips: "the 'old/basic' way of doing this. What happens in more...

The Most Complex Borders in Europe: Why Do We Have Nations?

http://tomscott.com - http://twitter.com/tomscott - Yes, plenty of folks already know about the most complicated borders in Europe, in Baarle-Nassau (the Netherlands) and Baarle-Hertog (Belgium). But why did we end up with this particular system? Why do we have nations in the first place? Most historians would say it goes back to something called the Peace of Westphalia, many years ago... BONUS LINK: My friend Dan W (@iamdanw) also took a trip there, and wrote up a lovely piece on the history of the two Baarles. It's worth a read; http://www.iamdanw.com/wrote/what-are-borders-anyway/

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: http://davidsd.org/2008/12/honda-needs-a-tune-up/ -- he seems to be the first to have figured out not just that it's wrong, but exactly what happened! I'm at http://tomscott.com on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomscott on Facebook at http://facebook.com/tomscott and on Snapchat and Instagram as tomscottgo

Seeing Through Selenite

Get my favorite math and science toys delivered regularly to your home! http://www.curiositybox.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/DoOnlineNowGuys Instagram: http://instagr.am/doonlinenowguys Send me something! Vsauce PO Box: PO Box 33168 L.A. CA 90033 ***CREDITS*** Host Michael Stevens Edited by Jack Merline VFX outros by Eric Langlay http://youtube.com/ericlanglay Music by Jake Chudnow http://youtube.com/jakechudnow and from http://www.audionetwork.com ***VSAUCE LINKS*** Vsauce1: http://youtube.com/vsauce1 Vsauce2: http://youtube.com/vsauce2 Vsauce3: http://youtube.com/vsauce3

The Moiré Effect Lights That Guide Ships Home

I'd never heard of moiré effect beacons until I got an email asking me about them. It seemed like a really clever idea - but it was really hard to research. Or at least it was, until I stumbled upon one magic phrase that revealed its history. It turns out this thing's called an "Inogon leading mark" or "Inogon light" -- Inogon, not Inogen -- and it's a Swedish invention from the 1980s. But there's still a question: why is being used to mark an undersea cable, instead of guiding people home? (Full disclosure: there were some weird strobing effects from the...

The Strange St Pauli Elbtunnel

http://tomscott.com - http://twitter.com/tomscott - Under the Elbe river in Hamburg, Germany, lies the Old Elbe Tunnel in St Pauli. Like early 20th century tunnels around the world, it has lifts or stairs to take you down and under the river. But this is on a whole different scale to those you might have seen elsewhere... And go see Miniatur Wunderland, if you haven't already: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACkmg3Y64_s