The story of zero: getting something from nothing

4 minutes

A history of nothing: how zero went from nil to something

From ancient trade to modern theoretical physics and computer programming, the history of mathematics closely mirrors the history of zero – first as a concept, and then ultimately as a number. Narrated by the UK mathematician Hannah Fry, this short animation explores how the evolution of the understanding of zero has helped shape our minds and our world.

Producer: Ed Prosser

Video by The Royal Institution

Animation: Andrew Khosravani

Narrator: Hannah Fry

EXCLUSIVE
Video/Meaning & the Good Life

After a landslide destroys her village, a woman rebuilds her life in a changed landscape

14 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Astronomy

When we look for aliens, why do we always find ourselves staring back?

5 minutes

Video/Earth Science

How an Earth science outsider finally put the Pangea puzzle together

8 minutes

volume_up
play_arrow
pause
Idea/Automation & Robotics

Science has outgrown the human mind and its limited capacities

Ahmed Alkhateeb

Video/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

The eerie otherworldliness of slow undersea life sped up to a human pace

5 minutes

volume_up
play_arrow
pause
Essay/Cosmology

Echoes of a black hole

Ripples in space-time could herald the demise of general relativity and its replacement by a quantum theory of gravity

Sabine Hossenfelder

Idea/Personality

Pigs, parrots and people: the problem of animal personality

Antone Martinho

Video/Biology

Everything you always wanted to know about sex in space

4 minutes

Essay/Physics

Minding matter

The closer you look, the more the materialist position in physics appears to rest on shaky metaphysical ground

Adam Frank