Feynman’s building blocks of thermodynamics

3 minutes

Energy is like children’s toys: often hiding out of sight, but never actually lost

Energy can’t be created or destroyed, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t end up hiding in some surprising places. Aided by Cubism-inflected animation and a clever analogy thought up by Richard Feynman, the chemist and broadcaster Andrea Sella, professor of inorganic chemistry at University College London, explains how scientists can infer the distribution of energy ‘in cunning ways’ without actually observing it.

Director: Rosanna Wan

Producer: Ed Prosser

Website: The Royal Institution

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

There are two ways to support Aeon:

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/History of Science
Does science need mavericks?

Staid and conformist, science risks losing its creative spark. Does it need more mavericks, or are they part of the problem?

Adrian Currie

Essay/Cosmology
Universe in a bubble

Maybe we don’t have to speculate about what life is like inside a bubble. It might be the only cosmic reality we know

J Richard Gott