How small is small

How Small Is It - 02 - The Microscopic (1080p)

How Small Is It - 02 - The Microscopic (1080p)3 Dec. 2014
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Music free version

In this segment of our “How small is it” video book, we cover the microscopic world.

We start with optical microscopes and take a look at some of the things that you can see with light. We also cover light diffraction and show how it sets a limit on the size of objects we can see.

To understand how we can go further than light can take us by using electrons, we cover wave-particle duality. For that we cover particle momentum and wave interference.

For a closer examination of waves, we show the famous Young Double Slit experiment that illustrates the wave nature of light. We also cover Airy Disks as a wave effect to further illustrate the limits of light microscopes. Then we go deeper into the nature of electromagnetic radiation. Here we show how it is the very nature of empty space with its permittivity and permeability that determines the speed of light in a vacuum.

For the particle nature of light, we cover Blackbody Radiation, the radiation catastrophe and how Planck solved the problem by showing that light is created in integer multiples of a constant now called Planck’s constant. We then cover Einstein’s photo-electric effect that showed that light was absorbed in the same multiples of light quanta. We now call these light quanta photons.

To reconcile these two views of light, we return to Young’s double slit experiment and fire photons one at a time. The interference pattern appears over time. We cover how Louis Broglie extended this wave-particle duality to include electrons and other particles, and calculated the Broglie wavelength. The conclusion is that objects interact at points like a particle, but travel through space as a wave.

We then dig a little deeper into the nature of an electron starting with J.J. Thompson’s discovery using a mass spectrometer. With the electron’s mass known, we calculate its wavelength and find it much smaller than an optical photon’s wavelength. This makes it ideal for breaking through the diffusion limit to see much smaller objects.

We end by covering how a scanning electron microscope works and using it to view very small things - down to a carbon atom!


Comments (100)

I love the audio dubbing of the opening narration! Reminds me of the English-dubber Japanese monster movies from the 1960s!


you know that classical music is annoying!

JayBe Faulky

she makes me feel like she's mad at me but pretending to be nice.. wow

Butte Aviation

Better hold on to those sticks. They don't make them any longer.

Mudfossil University

David your presentations are awesome my friend....I applaud your efforts Sir. I also do research and have a new atomic model "Electron Flood" that appears to be consistent with Unified fields on my channel.
It accounts for all the CERN particles and up and down spins...!/2 and 1/3 ups and downs etc....I have accelerated light thru a venturi and photoed light and the Bosons and Higgs and leptons. I have the proof. I would like to reference your fabulous work in my presentation...I will add nothing to your statements but I will describe the changes that Electron Flood would create. Again thank you for your efforts..I see the work you put in and the commitment is laudable. I hope you will allow me to use some shots from your work as reference... I would love to discuss if you wish.


@6:30 Schindler's list ?

J. Vance Absher

For whatever it's worth, I'd enjoy these MUCH MUCH more without the distracting music.



Sharp Wave

??? how small is it lmao!!!!!!!!!!


Thanks for all your effort

Davizito PA

As quiet as the music is, and I'm very sorry to tell you this, sir, but there's no way I can pay any mind to you, your apples and atoms while the presence of the Swan Queen's Majesty in my head. There is no room for anything else but Tchaikovsky.

Roshan Neupane wanderlust

is there a way to contact you ! i am no a student of science but it’s very easy to understand science of Universe through your Video book?

And yes thankyou very much


What is energy?

Joao Teo

Não falo tua língua mas parece que entendo o que tu disses.


0:08 i took that hand pose as an insult :d

Bhagwati Pant

Suggestion, if you play Tchaikovsky so loud in the background then it takes the attention away.

Dave Wood

double slit experiment, first time its actually made sense to me.

Nestor Enriquez

Where were you when I was taking theoretical optics?

Kamalakar Patil

Amazing presentation !

Cival Gaming

Sangat menyeramkan

MLG Froggy

sorry...just not stoned enough....yet!

Stephen Joyce

Subscribe to Pewdiepie.

Book_ Davies

Thank you for putting more meat on the bones and yet keeping it simple enough for a non-major to enjoy.


Absolutely fascinating!


So fascinated but I can’t follow along at all

C Gator

Lol the voice over at 1:34 is legendary

Jamal Azaan43

Sorry uncle.i cannot understanding becoz i m very weak in english.

Brian Madden

Wonderful video. This should be shown to everyone, mandatory.


Sorry professor Butler, but in the image of sem of carbon atoms lattice (graphene?) you stated a mag of >20.000... Of course it is, but perhaps more zeros will look more realistic... I calculated some x 50.000.000, agree?
I loved the video, learned A LOT... congrats for being so didactic!

Mack in Black

This guy is a Size Queen...

Wrint Concrow

I feel like someone said to me once

“ how small is it” hmm wonder what is was? . . .


Anyone else on mushrooms?


Some of this stuff went above my head but most of the stuff I could understand. I probably should have not watched this video maybe 2 or 3 years later because I am currently 11.

Mahir Sayar

17:10 - Hovis? lol


Love that you're going in the other direction of distance, Dave! Great video.

Tobias Karl

Very interesting but why do you use funeral music as background ?

Jesse Dover

Dude, you're putting me to sleep. SPEED IT UP!!!!!!!

Tim Richesson

Well done.Thanks


Voice was recorded in a studio , wtf


I love swan lake but i find the music distracting.

Didi Meow & the MEWS

before the video started i got a McDonalds commercial it was a zoomed in shot of "flying" McNuggets for a second i thought the video started and i was looking at blood cells or something >_< true story

E Friede

Love the old style documentary... classical music... human reachable mid deep science concepts... calm and clear explenation and voice tone... grandpa kinda patience and mod. I hope only he didnt killed the insects to make the video though ?...??

Luca Siciliano

spider skin is humbling


Picks up yardstick, picks up meter stick, shows it’s longer. Puts down meter stick.

Also, audio sync is a thing. Dubbing after the shoot is hard. That’s why proper mics are important to avoid the necessity and awkwardness of trying to do it in post production.

Sho-ki Natsume Dennis Tangcangco

It feels like our universe is inside of one of those micro particles.

David Farrell

Most people think that their spirit is in their body but that's not true, your body is in your spirit.


i'd buy everything from this guy :d

the jungle

Can we see (light) one ray in microscope?!

Wolf !

Can you imagine if the auditory system worked this way, people would never talk shit lol

craig davidson

This should be compulsory viewing for everyone...instead of visiting holy places to mumble at a sky fairy.

Edward Lee

Particle physics is intriguing and fascinating enough until you come to how it measures. Comparing with the human hair is insanely unfathomable but deliciously. Every time when it goes like ten to the minus 27 or something, i can't hold myself laughing. Education to its pinnacle. Thanks for the efforts and keep up with the good work.
From Hker worldwide


do sperms have faces ?

Tom Space
The ELEMENTS in six dimensions, arranged by volume periods of nuclide mass averages

Casey Gessaman

What's the song at 17:07? This gave me deja vu but I must have been really young.

Anton B

This series is a fantastic one. Best explanation I've ever seen. Thank you for your work :)


Why does he look like he's lip synching?


It's wild how fancy and whimsical those old microscopes look today. Like it would never occur to anyone in our time to put ornate brasswork and upholstery on a scientific instrument, because it would look silly and unprofessional, it would look like you're trying too hard to be twee & cutesy and really just want to be at the steampunk booth in a ren faire. It makes me wonder what people from those times would think seeing a modern instrument (especially because their visions of the future always had the same fusty, baroque sensibilities of their time, with women in The Year 2000 still wearing elaborate petticoats), and what people hundreds of years from now would think looking at ours, and us looking at theirs.
I suspect a lot of it has to do with something being custom made vs. being mass produced, and ironically if in the future advanced personal fabrication really takes off, instruments might become incredibly ornate again as each object becomes once again a custom piece printed for that specific user.

Squirrel ASMR

Wow double slit experiment working for large 20 element carbon molecules blows my mind.

digha rach

Much appreciated

Tsog Gantumur

Watch it with 1.5x speed

brenda williams

Why one half 3.16227766. And is Higgs boson .05. How are all these systems being used.

Johny Why

2:18 Nanometer width of a hair would be handy here, since a human hair is a convenient reference, and you just showed off a hair. A human hair is about 100,000 nm.

4:49 Nanometers would be helpful here, since i now have nm in my brain. "A standard microscope can see things as small as 0.2 micrometers" = 200 nanometers = 1/500th of a human hair.

8:08 "The resolving power of optical microscopes is about 0.2 micrometers. You can't see a thing smaller than the light used to illuminate it. The limit is the size of the light's wavelength." You mean, the wavelength of light is 1/500th of a human hair??? That makes it real for me!

John Smith

Enjoy the speed peace and tranquility

Will Sterben


John Harrison

I have one of those in my lower right leg from the liberal covid 19 virus

Just Smashing

But where did light start? And how?


knowing that light bouncing off objects and then comes into your eyes, and not light comes out of our eyes to illuminate things was an advance almost a thousand years ago. I think this was an insight by Al Hazen, which led to perspective drawing as well!

Jeff Parnell

I'm into ballet; I love Swan Lake. The music was distracting me, haha.

fred kelly

Lose the imperial measurements, irrelevant.


3:33 By Willem Huygens. A couple of years later. The lens idea was taken by Galileo Galilei to create the very first telescope.
17:49 Bucky Balls
Thanks for making this series of vids I think I will enjoy watching them. Nothing new so far though.

Mars Truth

Just discovered your channel. Instant sub. All the stuff that has fascinated me for many years. Brilliant presentation, clear explanations.


14:43 - Photo-electron energy vs light frequency graph overlaid on top of Hubble's constant gets the same result!?!

Keith Peters

Boring boring boring.


I think our ability to fire ONE SINGLE photon is friggin' amazing. How do we do that? Very carefully?

Neg Lewis

USA is using NANO-meters and inches? muhahaha?
Not Nano-inches?


The renormalization problems comes from the quantum particle self-energy. If the two slit experiment comes from the photon self-interacting in the same way, then we should have a renormalization theory for photons.

Fun diy Kid's

Who is watching it in 2019

Du Duu

i honestly enjoy this subjects so much but i cant stand the music, the whole time i felt like i wanted to get out to shut off the music source i could no longer stand it and had to stop the video and comment before i get going. please consider not using any music i beg of you

R. W.

You explain things as if your viewers are total idiots.

gerhard murer

While this is a great series of videos, there is one mistake in it: „Photons only interfere with themselves“ is incorrect, see Hong-Ou-Mandel effect on Wikipedia.

the beans Art & Music



I taught i taw a paramecium floating in my eye.

Asiri Nanayakkara

I think the concept that a photon can interfere with itself is wrong (especially it is does always as mentioned here) because if it is the case we should be able to see interference patterns in a single slit experiment.

Eugene Malunes

I play this when im going to sleep at night .. Goodnight guys ???


Ah man why the music in the video!???

Mu Mu

Thank you for this educational journey made simple ?

Rajesh Harsora

I will be fully trust sceinse when scentist will do open heart surgery of an ent

William Hommel

Why use Schindlers List in this? I missed something.


@18:00 Stops drinking coffee when he mentions current experients show 20-atom carbon molecules, like caffeine, showing diffraction behavior.


beautifully informative and interesting


Also, HEY, BABIES!! There's a music-free version available in the description! Maybe check that before acting like a tool? Or you can swear at a guy trying to teach you stuff, because the classical music gets a bit loud. Yeah, that's reasonable.


Marvelous. Plus I love the music too :) I'm used to seeing haters hate in my world but hating on this amazing man who expands our knowledge is beyond the extraordinary


Due to the wave particle duality reality seems to be created only by us while watching.... marvelous!

Otto Lehikoinen

The how small it is book could probably use a couple of additional chapters exploring small animal - cellular size of things and possibly also protein - molecule - dna - crystal structure size of things but of course this would require a huge amount of expertise outside physics and astronomy which seem to be your strong suitem

Michel Fradin

Thank you Sir for this didactic conference which make us think that we are more intelligent than we are ! Compliments from France .

moonboogie N8

Wow, I already knew about most of this, but was glued the whole time watching like it I was hearing it for the first time. Great science video.?

Nitish Makkar

Ok. He described permittivity as a ability of a medium to resist electric field.
Is it correct.?
I don't know.

happy days

I wish this guy had been my teacher


Where were you when I was bored earlier...???


Fucking music. Channel blocked.

How Small Is Nano?

How Small Is Nano?27 Sep. 2010
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NISENetSubscribe 438 721

What is a nanometer? What

What is a nanometer? What things are measured in nanometers? Is a red blood cell bigger or smaller than a bacteria? This video takes you on an adventure of scale from the macrosize to the microsize to the nanosize!

For more information about this piece:

Learn more:

Education professionals:

Public audiences:

Comments (22)
myroom isverydirty

what's up with all the child molester comments? shit bro...

Djordje Jovanovic

Could anyone please tell me the name of song?

Mark G

Yeah right, ten times smaller repeated over and over loses the viewer very quickly.
Perspective based on prior perspective over and over causes on to lose perspective.

primusvix teddywas1dog

i work in a profession where picometers matter..nano matters,too...

RandomTimes RandomThings

Your voice is annoying as hell

GDX Gaming 404


Markus Kruber

god this kid is smart btw I did not know that sugar atoms were 1 nanometer but then again atoms are the smallest thing in the universe

primusvix teddywas1dog

i LOVE this!


Yottameter is 1 qintilion meters and yoctometer is 0,000,000,000,001 meters (The video name:Heres the real size of the universe)

Teresa Potvin


Gareth Beare

One nanometre = .ooooooooo1 metre. One millionth of a millimetre. An extraordinarily minute distance. Enough said.

Cipriano Leuterio Jr

Amazing nano techology, very nice in medical purpose, very nice too help many people !!!

Ramesh Alla

her voice is so cute

James Oliver

Pfffff yoctometer is where shit gets real and you know about planck length? Smt like 0,0000000001 yoctometers

Teresa Potvin

Dat tiny nano

Zoe Hanson

Nano isn't even visible! So much tiny stuff!

Evan Park

Length of only 10 red blood cells is the width of a hair?? Red blood cells are huge!

If I look at one hair, yeah I know the length helps to see it, but the width is clearly defined.

If red blood cells were just 2-3x bigger, I bet people with good eyes could barely spot them as tiny specks if someone dropped a bunch individually into a clear liquid

Pradeep Madhavan

Oh sho shweet sho cute that I want her


What a wholesome video!

Einar Pers Øygard

It's called one tenth of, not ten times smaller. One tenth of 10 is 1, but ten times smaller than 10 is 10-(10*10)= -90


Nano is impressively small, but keep in mind that their a thousand Picometers in one of those.Not to mention, a thousand femtometers are found in a Picometer. Also, there are a thousand attometers in a femtometer! Oh and don't forget that there are a thousand Zeptometers in an attometer. Well, that's it....wait hang on! I almost forgot that a Zeptometer can be Broken down to a thousand yoctometers! Goodnight!

Åmund Nærland Johannessen

That´s about an adorable times a million by the square of a lovely

How The Universe Is Way Smaller Than You Think

How The Universe Is Way Smaller Than You Think12 Apr. 2019
7 776
JoiskSubscribe 438 721

In this video we will

In this video we will cover 'How The Universe Is Way Smaller Than You Think'. I watched the video, How the Universe is Way Bigger Than You Think here...

And decided to show everyone that the universe is actually quite small (In once sense of the word. haha). Really small.

We start off with one of the largest ancient wonders on earth, mount everest. Then we scale you downwards in the universe by going onto the blue whale, then humans, mosquitos, and fleas. It is around here that we get into micrometers and talk about the width of a human hair.

We try to use as many electron microscopy images as possible to help you visualize what the micro world would look like.

We move onto some things like keratinocytes, skin cells, red blood cells, and bacterial cells and show you the smallest living things on earth.

However, the universe is even smaller than it is big (does that make sense?). So we keep venturing downwards.

We jump into the nano world where we move from micrometers to nanometers. We talk about the wavelength go light, viruses, DNA, transistors, before using picometer to get into specfic atoms like the hydrogen atom, then protons and neutrons.

Eventually we need to use femtometers, attometers, heptometers, and yoctometers to measure things like quarks, preons, and neutrinos.

We lastly touch on quantam foam, the planck length, string theory, and a closing remark.

I hope you enjoy the video!

Please visit to support this channel!

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Comments (17)
Gabriel Moline

This seems legitimate to me.

Sitanath Kisku

We Arent bigger In The Whole universe But insects Think we are multiverse Sorry I was thinkung U were taking About that xD sorry man great vedio

Rifky Saputra

Indonesia nani Mee?


This is actually a pretty good video

Anh Tài


AJPlayZ 01


James coaches15

Ant man has joined the chat

Trinity Art

Wow this is simply awesome. Funny but facts ? love it!

Sitanath Kisku

And Also No we are not that big Bruh Largest Humans Haha Lol Have u seen jupiter They Are 20000000000 kg While The whole solar Systum Is bascially Small To the whole unuverse Litterly Dude Space time Universs Power destroyer The whole Power Of the universe Can handle Earth like nothing

Sitanath Kisku

Lol U copied a video

Lil Greenie


James Holt

My head hurts....


Keep feeding godless human arrogance. Face it. Everything about you is SMALL. Enjoy feeling special because you are bigger than a microbe. It's obvious humanity doesn't even close to have their crap together.
I guess it also makes you feel like a big man to go out and shoot an unarmed deer with a gun you wouldn't be smart enough to invent. Down vote. The God who created this incomprehensible universe is laughing at one particularly pompous speck of dust.

Gabriel Moline

This was really great. Amazing job! I thought this was gunna be some religious con job, but this was filled with really great information. Excellent work, peoples!


We aren’t big, but we aren’t small either. Because we are a “multiverse” to things way much smaller than us, and small things go infinite. Big things go infinite too, so if we were to place all this on a scale, it wouldn’t really give us an answer to exactly how big we are compared to the universe since it’s infinite.

Ro Games

Finally someone who’s thinking like me I believe you can be so small that it would seem like another universe all around you a deep empty void like space

Florida LaRoches

You should not use Neil deGrasse Tyson as a thumbnail. Other than that, great video.