A Mess of Jiggling Things: Richard Feynman Explains Rubber Bands, Fire, and Magnets

“The world is a dynamic mess of jiggling things,” says Richard Feynman, renowned quantum physicist, bongo drummer, and educator. He’s sitting in an easy chair explaining how rubber bands work through mechanisms of heat. “When you pull open a rubber band, the strings get straighter” he says. “But these strings are being bombarded by these other atoms on the side, trying to shorten them by kinking them. So it pulls back.”

In 1983, Feynman recorded a couple of explanatory videos for BBC’s Fun to Imagine show wherein he digs into some of the deep questions of the universe, like how rubber bands, fire, and magnets work.

Just kidding, he pretty much refuses to explain magnets by analogy. That one will still be a mystery. Go take an E and M course or something.



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