The world around us

Stories start from everyday things, such as ice on a pond or whistling in telephone wires, and lead on to the physical concepts that underlie them – like molecules, atoms, energy and waves.

3.17 Singing and navigating – the extraordinary feats of ordinary birds

What science tells us about birdsong and migration

3.16 The perennial question of sex

How plants reproduce

3.15 Sticking Together

The science of adhesion

3.14 Making Decisions

Evidence from experimental psychology about how we make choices

3.13 The Sun sets in the West – does it?

Why the timing of sunrise and sunset vary throughout the year

3.12 Reasons to be (a bit) cheerful (sometimes)

Good news stories from science and technology in gloomy times

3.11 Relativity

How the passage of time is relative, not absolute

3.10 How do plants know when to flower?

The genes and proteins that measure the length of the day

3.9 A nice warm shower

What are heat and temperature?

3.8 Fire: why wood burns

The role of paper, kindling, logs and oxygen

3.7 Why your ears go pop

Atmosphere, pressure and the middle ear

3.6 Aeroplanes

What on Earth keeps them up?

3.5 Atmospheric rivers

Why does it rain so much?

3.4 The colour of light

What is light; what makes a spectrum?

3.3 Walking on water

The story of surface tension

3.2 Ice on a pond

What the lines on an icy pond reveal about the underlying structure of matter

3.1 Whistling in the Wind

The story of whistling sounds and how they reach us.