Lecture 1 - Let There be Light!
2016 marks the 80th anniversary since the BBC first broadcast the Christmas Lectures on TV. To celebrate, chemist Professor Saiful Islam explores a subject that the lectures’ founder – Michael Faraday – addressed in the very first Christmas Lectures – energy. In his first lecture, Saiful investigates one of the most important challenges facing humankind – how to generate energy without destroying the planet in the process. As part of the celebrations, Saiful invites former Christmas Lecturers to join him on stage, and repeats some of the most exciting (and dangerous) experiments and demonstrations from the past.
Saiful begins his lecture by being plunged into darkness. Armed initially with nothing but a single candle, his challenge is to go back to first principles and bring back the power in the energy-hungry lecture theatre. Along the way he explains what energy is, how we can transform it from one form to another, and how we harness it to power the modern world.