Who Were the First Engineers? (03:29)
A beaver dam in Wood Buffalo National Park can be seen from space. African termites build towers 30 feet high. Experts discuss the differences between human and nature engineering.
What First Got Us Moving? (03:23)
Wheels involve linear and rotational motion. Levers magnify applied force to overcome friction. A wheel's radius is larger than the axle which helps overcome friction; bearings further reduce friction.
How Do Bridges Work? (03:24)
The thickness of a beam dictates strength, a truss harnesses triangular structural strength for reinforcement, an arch produces only compression, and suspension produces tension.
What Did Steam Ever do For Us? (04:08)
Heated water creates pressure which can produce energy that can be transported. James Watt improved the Newcomen engine design and kick-started the Industrial Revolution.
Should we be Afraid of Flying? (05:46)
Outside a plane at 30,000 feet is a hostile environment. Cabin air is pressurized to below sea level. Air travel is 20 times safer than driving.
How High Can We Build? (04:33)
Steel frames allow us to build skyscrapers. Changing the shape every few stories reduces resonant oscillations. When completed, the Kingdom Tower will reach 1 km in height. Elevator ascension is limited.
What's so Big About Being Small? (05:08)
A nanometer is a billionth of a meter. Nanotechnology allowed the creation of a nanocar. Experts discuss carbon nanotubes and nanotechnology possibilities.
What is the Smartest Machine? (04:20)
The computing capacity of IBM's artificial brain matched that of a cat. Japan's K machine measures five petaflops. The Turing Test measures computer intelligence.
How on Earth Did We Get to the Moon? (05:03)
The Saturn V rocket, with 6 billion components, had to overcome Earth's gravity by traveling at 25,000 mph. Experts discuss the astronauts orbiting and landing on the moon and Buzz Aldrin's pen.
When Can I Move to Mars? (03:33)
Mars lacks oxygen and barometric pressure. Experts discuss terraforming to make Mars habitable and compare science to engineering.
Credits: Things You Need to Know…About Engineering: James May's Things You Need to Know (Series 2 (00:32)
Credits: Things You Need to Know…About Engineering: James May's Things You Need to Know (Series 2
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