How simple ideas lead to scientific discoveries

  • Published on Mar 13, 2012
  • Adam Savage walks through two spectacular examples of profound scientific discoveries that came from simple, creative methods anyone could have followed -- Eratosthenes' calculation of the Earth's circumference around 200 BC and Hippolyte Fizeau's measurement of the speed of light in 1849.

Comments • 1 162

  • Mason Wescott
    Mason Wescott Month ago

    He made a good speech. o-o

  • William Everett
    William Everett Month ago

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  • Wolfi aus Stahl
    Wolfi aus Stahl Month ago

    so 359 flat earthers saw that video....

    DYLAN FISCHER 2 months ago

    This video title interested me in the video. (Kinda, my ELA Block 4 teacher told me the video) And this video was indeed interesting.

  • Jappann kawaii Chan gaming

    It because 1: gravity if it wasn’t real the ball would just float of the wagon 2: the wind because there strong wind so ya

  • JE
    JE 5 months ago +2

    I can change the world (for the better)! 😃

  • Gavin Fake
    Gavin Fake 6 months ago

    Adam Savage is my favorite person

  • Money x
    Money x 6 months ago

    This is so beautifully explained. One understands something fully, if they are capable of explaining it simply. Which is exactly what he does.

  • Naveen Gwalia
    Naveen Gwalia 6 months ago

    its unfortunate that people have to reveal beauty from plain sight, nice job by the way

  • wjcneo
    wjcneo 7 months ago


  • Kalyan Gondrala
    Kalyan Gondrala 8 months ago

    Everything is already discovered/invented before I was born and is nothing left for me! So I am watching these videos!!

  • Duvmasta
    Duvmasta 9 months ago

    Why are most of the people on Mythbusters atheists?

  • sadhunapalli dhanamjaya

    Too good

  • Zahid H Khan
    Zahid H Khan 9 months ago


  • Jesús Emilio Barreto Cedeño

    the questions more simpli are the more bigs.

  • Oscar Sharkslayer
    Oscar Sharkslayer 11 months ago +1

    Dear Adam, my 7-year-old noticed they messed up your presentation. How could Aristotle gaze into a telescope (2:12)? Not possible! We loved your lecture!

  • 小西健介
    小西健介 Year ago

    science is open to us! I keep it in my mind in my reserch.

  • WhySeeF
    WhySeeF Year ago

    Big LOVE for him!

  • Tadhg Sheehan
    Tadhg Sheehan Year ago

    how lucky the people there are to be in that room

  • Pit Gutzmann
    Pit Gutzmann Year ago

    Thanx for this enlightening talk. TED is great.

  • Aze876
    Aze876 Year ago

    I'm watching this video at 18 past midnight, the night before teaching my first secondary school physics class for this semester. I've always loved seeing Adam's excitement for science on Mythbusters, and just watching this is a powerful reminder of why science education is so important....maximum kudos Adam!


    the simplest question i wanna ask is
    what is money
    what should be money if humanity(love care ccreativity,hardwork,helpfulness,honesty....) are the real values

    DURMUŞ BAYSAL Year ago +1

    It is Allah who erected the heavens without pillars that you [can] see. (The Noble Quran. Surah Ar Rad. Verse 2)
    And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are [its] expander. (Surah Adh Dhariyat. Verse 47)
    And it is He who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon; all [heavenly bodies] in an orbit are swimming. (Al Anbya. Verse 33)
    Have they not seen that We set upon the land, reducing it from its borders? (Surah Ar Rad. Verse 41)
    And you see the mountains, thinking them rigid, while they will pass as the passing of clouds. [It is] the work of Allah, who perfected all things. (Suran An Naml Verse 88)
    It is Allah who has created seven heavens and of the earth, the like of them. (Surah Talaq. Verse 12)
    Indeed, your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command. Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allah, Lord of the worlds. (The Noble Quran. Surah Al Araf Verse 54)
    Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe? (Surah Al Anbya Verse 30)
    And it is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days - and His Throne had been upon water - that He might test you as to which of you is best in deed. But if you say, "Indeed, you are resurrected after death," those who disbelieve will surely say, "This is not but obvious magic." (Surah Al Hud. Verse 7)
    And if whatever trees upon the earth were pens and the sea [was ink], replenished thereafter by seven [more] seas, the words of Allah would not be exhausted. (Surah Luqman. Verse 27)
    Perhaps in the future irradiation (teleportation) may be possible. There were many technologically advanced people in the old tribes. But they were destroyed because of their sins.
    I think that teleportation is the most enjoyable way of transportation.
    Is that possible. Why not. Maybe need some time.
    In the past it was possible through this knowledge. Here is proof.
    [Solomon] said, "O assembly [of jinn], which of you will bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?"
    A powerful one from among the jinn said, "I will bring it to you before you rise from your place, and indeed, I am for this [task] strong and trustworthy."
    Said one who had knowledge from the Scripture, "I will bring it to you before your glance returns to you. (The Noble Quran. Surah An Naml. Verse 38-40)
    O company of jinn and mankind, if you are able to pass beyond the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass. You will not pass except by authority [from Allah ]. (The Noble Quran. Surah Ar Rahman. Verse 33)
    I want to start by giving an example
    I have a different viewpoint to Quantum Mechanics and Double Slit Experiment.
    In normal circumstances, human being is busy with either good deeds or bad deeds in the absence of anybody around him or when he thinks he is seen by nobody. We cannot know what he does is good or bad.
    In fact, in quantum mechanics the human being in the box may be busy with either good or bad or busy with both good deeds or bad deeds at the same time.
    However, when a sufi or darweesh thinks that there is somebody who always monitors him, he would behave differently as it is in double split experiment, and he would fix himself to do always the one which is good.
    The saying or hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that “Even you cannot see Allah, He always sees you” has a lot of meaning in this sense in our philosophy of life.
    In conclusion, if human being knows that Allah always sees him does not do wrong things.
    Do not be fooled by this day and take a look at the past list as the speaker said.
    The truth is,
    Inspired by many scientists who invented new inventions in the last century,
    It consists of copying and developing inventions of Muslim scientists in the past.
    However, they ignore the past because they are concerned about the fact that large masses of people are Muslims if they show the sources of the past.
    Here is the proof.
    Listen to the voice of the Noble Quran.
    Maybe your life will be changed If God allows.
    Really amazing.
    French :

  • mary dinh
    mary dinh Year ago

    bro this dude talks too fast, like chill.

  • Matthew Holder
    Matthew Holder Year ago

    What things connect the three stories that Adam shared?

  • Frank Fernandez
    Frank Fernandez Year ago

    Interesting video. Threw me off when he talked about how the moon gets dark because of the shadow of the earth...

  • Amy Winehouse
    Amy Winehouse Year ago

    If you slow the audio down 1000 times you can understand what he says.

  • JustinMyFeels
    JustinMyFeels Year ago

    The one question science cannot prove : why are there so many empty seats?

    • worfoz
      worfoz 10 months ago

      The scientific answer is: there are billions of bacteria occupying these seats, and even more fungi and viruses attacking these bacteria.

  • Lekestue
    Lekestue Year ago

    Let me retort
    : the well and the sun was align this day
    :50 miles away he place a stick 90 degrees
    : he measure the shadow is 7.5 degree
    : 360/7.5*(50 miles) = the cirfumfencr

  • Dany Longbow
    Dany Longbow Year ago

    Aristoteles was wrong, it's not the earth that shapes the moon

  • Matt Bruce
    Matt Bruce Year ago

    The experiment of Hippolyte Fizeau and Léon Foucault have been reproduced by many people including Albert A. Michelson who used improved versions of the toothed wheel and rotating mirror experiments to make steadily more accurate estimates of the speed of light. Info taken from Wikipedia.

  • Corinna Brown
    Corinna Brown Year ago


  • Sanket Prasad
    Sanket Prasad Year ago

    A really great and inspirational video. It really opened my eyes!

  • Bush Ninja
    Bush Ninja Year ago

    Anyone notice that Adam is taking about guys with scientific accomplishments, and he has none?

  • Alok Alok
    Alok Alok Year ago

    I admirethe speech and knowledge but u need to read vedas where we indians discovered geographical and astronomical factors before 2k BCE.trignometry was used.

  • Desert Lizard
    Desert Lizard Year ago

    simplicity doesn't work these days...

  • Kamran Yusifov
    Kamran Yusifov Year ago +1


  • Paki
    Paki Year ago

    Adam *savage*

  • Ahmed Harfoush
    Ahmed Harfoush Year ago

    Has to be one of the best Ted talks in my opinion.

  • Paul Aldrin Enriquez

    Finally I found this video again. Everything starts from simple thinking.

  • Jay Patil
    Jay Patil Year ago


  • Joey Demiane
    Joey Demiane Year ago


  • Karthik Kumar U
    Karthik Kumar U Year ago

  • Gail Thenerd
    Gail Thenerd Year ago

    nice animation and effects.

  • Thomas Slone
    Thomas Slone Year ago

    adam savage is a gangster

  • smartguy
    smartguy Year ago

    To own it is to know it

  • Tamisin 731
    Tamisin 731 Year ago

    Adam Savage is a great man.

  • Susmit Sarkar
    Susmit Sarkar Year ago

    It would have been better if he wouldn't have stopped.

  • Leo Stack
    Leo Stack Year ago

    You think nobody knows what inertia is

  • CK 002
    CK 002 Year ago +1

    They didn't have phone. They had enough free time to whatever they wanted to do.

  • Doctor Monty
    Doctor Monty Year ago

    Damnit I love Adam

  • Philipe Santos
    Philipe Santos Year ago


  • 0MindSwept0
    0MindSwept0 Year ago

    So can I? This guy is a Savage

  • Apollo sun
    Apollo sun Year ago

    How come Im not subscribe to this channel?

  • Lakshay Bansal
    Lakshay Bansal Year ago

    Most beautiful explanantion!

  • saksham bansal
    saksham bansal Year ago +1

    Wonderful speech

  • Ashutosh Verma
    Ashutosh Verma Year ago

    Adam you are savage

  • Jack Clark
    Jack Clark Year ago

    one of the best Teds

  • Samer Houssein
    Samer Houssein Year ago