The smashing success of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton has shown that education need not take place within the confines of a classroom. Another group that understands that idea is the community of educational YouTube creators, who have used their channels to teach math, science, history, and other school subjects in a variety of entertaining ways.
One of the most talented practitioners of YouTube edutainment is Tim Blais, who puts both his master’s degree in physics and his keen musical ear to work on his A Capella Science channel, where he offers up songs like “Bohemian Gravity.” In his latest video, Blais joined forces with several of his colleagues in the online video community for a tribute to Irish physicist William Rowan Hamilton set to the tune of Hamilton’s opening track.
In the video, creators like Hank Green, Derek Muller, Tom McFadden, and Blais portray historical figures who interacted with Hamilton or were influenced by his work. Much like how Hamilton tells the story of one of America’s founding fathers, Blais’ video informs viewers about one of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics. Hamilton’s reformulation of Newtonian mechanics led the way for future scientists like Erwin Schrodinger (who in the A Cappella Science video is portrayed by a particularly Bill Nye-looking Hank Green).
Is Blais’ Hamilton tribute to Hamilton the nerdiest video you’ll see all day? Yes. Is it great? Also yes. If you like what you see (and hear), you can help fund future A Capella Science videos by supporting Blais on Patreon.