Supercharged: Fuelling the future – Fully charged (2016)

Saiful Islam

Saiful Islam is joined by former Christmas Lecturers to re-imagine some of the most famous experiments.

Watch time: 59:01

Lecture 3 – Fully charged

Over the course of the lecture, Saiful Islam tackles his toughest challenge yet: trying to work out how to store enough energy to power a mobile phone for a whole year and still fit it in his pocket.

With the UK generating nearly 20 times as much energy today as it did 80 years ago, finding better ways to store it is vital for all of our futures.

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the BBC first broadcasting them on TV, Saiful is joined by former Christmas Lecturers on stage, and repeats and re-imagines some of the most famous experiments and demonstrations.

Live experiments include an attempt to break the world-record for the most powerful battery made of lemons and a clear-eyed look at the most energy-packed fuel in the world – hydrogen. Along the way he investigates the chemistry of batteries and tells us what the future of energy has in store for us.


These CHRISTMAS LECTURES describe something invisible that drives everything around us, from our bodies to mobile phones, from aeroplanes to all the stars in the universe: energy.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it just transforms from one form to another – the challenge is whether we can harness and use it for our own purposes when it changes from one form to another.

The three Lectures will take us on an incredible journey through these powerful transformations to inspire the next-generation of scientists.

In each lecture, Saiful Islam faces a big question – what is energy and where does it come from? How can we best make use of it? and How can we store energy to use later on? Along the way we learn about the energy that powers our homes, the energy that powers our cars and see how the most important machine of them all, the human body, compares to all the gadgets we carry around with us.

Whilst Saiful has access to amazing cutting-edge technology, it we are a long way from meeting the energy demands of the future. The real solutions and great breakthroughs will come from tomorrow’s researchers, quite possibly the young people watching these CHRISTMAS LECTURES.

2016 CHRISTMAS LECTURES supporters