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Last updated:

April 21, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

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Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


Scale – dealing with the miniscule to the massive, over milliseconds to millennia – is central to all the sciences.

In this course, Scales in space and time, you’ll go to the absolute limits of what can be measured – all through a study of an oak tree! By studying it you will be introduced to concepts in physics, chemistry, biology and life-sciences, and Earth and environmental sciences. Across these multiple disciplines you will meet time scales that include ages, durations and rates, and size scales including distances in three dimensions, which underpin areas and volumes.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the range of size and time scales encountered in science
  • Collect information from multiple sources
  • Use maths skills to convert between units and scales
  • Describe how processes on one scale can impact processes at another scale.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction 00:15:00
  • Learning outcomes 00:07:00
    • Working with large and small numbers 00:07:00
    • Scientific notation 00:15:00
    • Units 00:10:00
    • Units with prefixes 00:15:00
    • Compound units and rates 00:20:00
    • Precision and magnitude 00:20:00
    • Significant figures and decimal places 00:20:00
    • Magnitude 00:20:00
    • Exploring scales in space and time 00:25:00
    • The Universe 00:15:00
    • The Milky Way 00:25:00
    • The Earth 01:00:00
    • The British Isles 00:40:00
    • An oak woodland 00:40:00
    • An oak tree 00:40:00
    • An oak leaf 01:00:00
    • Stomata 01:00:00
    • Chloroplasts 00:40:00
    • Glucose 00:40:00
    • Carbon 00:40:00
    • Protons and neutrons 00:25:00
    • Quarks and photons 00:30:00
    • Comparing and connecting scales 00:10:00
    • Conclusion 00:15:00

About the instructor

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