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Bill's head

Make called Bill a "brilliant science-and-technology documentarian", whose "videos should be held up as models of how to present complex technical information visually" Wired called them "dazzling." Scientific American's blog called him a "smart, easygoing everyman with a firm understanding of the science." You can see 10 of his best videos below. He takes apart an LCD monitor, demonstrates how fiber optic cables work, rips up a hard drive, explains the wonder of a quartz wrist watch, solves the mystery of black boxes, blows up a light bulb filament, reveals how amazing a pop can tab truly is, shows why a cell phone looks like it does, and explains why you always seem to be in the slowest line.

Discover a Forgotten 19th Century Computer The Engineer Guy team's new book & video series celebrates a nineteenth century mechanical calculator that performed Fourier analysis by using gears, springs and levers to calculate with sines and cosines.

 

harmonic-analyzer Cover
line
harddrive

Hard drive teardown

Bill takes apart a computer hard drive to show how it's engineered to store data.

harddrive
fiber

Fiber optic cables

Bill uses a bucket of propylene glycol to show how a fiber optic cable works and to show how engineers used them to send signals across oceans.

fiber
quartz-watch

Quartz Watch

Bill takes apart a cheap watch to show how it works. He describes how a tiny quartz tuning fork keeps the time.

quartz-watch
black-box

Black Box

In designing an object an engineer must choose the proper material. Never is this more important than in the "black box" flight data recorder.

black-box
lightbulb

Filament

Bill takes apart a light bulb to show how engineers make its filament.

lightbulb
transistor-point-contact

Transistor

Bill shows how a transistor works by examing a replica of the first one ever build: The Bardeen-Brattain point contact transistor.

transistor-point-contact
lines

Queueing Theory

Bill introduces queueing theory and uses it to design the most efficient check out line.

lines
coffee-maker

Coffee Maker

To engineer an object means to make choices. Bill shows how a single choice required an interesting method for pumping water.

Garbage
pop-can

Pop Can Tab

Bill uses slow motion video to show the ingenious engineering design of the apparently simple tab of a pop can. He shows how it changes from a 2nd to a 1st class lever.

pop can stay-on tab
cell-02

Cell Phone Design

Bill uses a pile of mobile phones to illustrate the 7 basic constraints that shape them.

cell-02