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Experimental physicist Carl Haber restores antique audio recordings too old, fragile, or damaged to be otherwise replayed—including recordings made in wax, soot, and foil. Using optical scanning technologies from his work at CERN in Switzerland, Haber has recovered and preserved a diverse collection of deteriorating sonic artifacts, voices from the past that otherwise would have been lost.

Exploratorium composer Wayne Grim used the video of the transit to create a sound composition in real time. As the video signal was received by Wayne's computer, a program he wrote converted the signal into a unique aural experience. http://www.waynegrim.com

In this age of iPods and MP3s, the vinyl record (still) stands as an object of curiosity and ongoing admiration. What’s the real difference between a 78 and a 45? Why do they call it “cutting a record” when an album is recorded? Music enthusiast Wade Wright of San Francisco takes us back in time to explain the history and technology of vinyl records.

An introduction to how to make your own simple speaker, which transmits sound from a radio or MP3 player and demonstrates the principles of electromagnetism and vibration.

A detailed demonstration of how to make a cup speaker, including a discussion of materials needed.

The science behind the Cup Speaker activity, including how electromagnets work, and how in this activity the magnet pushes the bottom of a cup back and forth, vibrating the air and creating sound.

At the Giant Mirror, Senior Staff Scientist Paul Doherty demonstrates a simple way of locating a real image—an image that floats in space in front of the mirror.

Dr. Laura Peticolas is a physicist at UC Berkeley's Space Physics Research group. She studies the Aurora to learn more about the Earth and the workings of our Solar System. She's currently working with NASA's Mars data to understand why the Martian aurora looks the way it does. In this podcast she discusses her research, her inspiration and how and why scientists sonify data.

Astrophysicist and native Hawaiian Dr. Paul Coleman is used to operating in the worlds of both science and spiritual tradition. But in this short podcast, he tells a story of one time when those two worlds clashed, and he was reminded of the importance of remembering his native roots.

Astrophysicist Paul Coleman and expert ocean navigator Kalepa Baybayan visited the Exploratorium as advisors to our Polynesian Navigation project—a large-scale Web resource (launching April 2010) that will feature the astounding navigation practices of the Pacific Islanders, who were expertly navigating the Pacific thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. Paul Coleman works at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, where he concentrates on the large-scale structure of the universe. Kalepa Baybayan is an expert navigator who mentors Hawaiian youth in native navigation practices. Both men are native Hawaiians. We spoke with them about traditional navigation practices, the balance between science and spirituality from a native perspective, and the benefits of being grounded in one’s culture.