Derek Muller

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Derek Muller
Veritasium square logo.png
Veritasium YouTube channel logo
Derek Muller Ted@Syndey 2012 (cropped).png
Derek Muller at TED@Sydney, 2012
Personal information
BornDerek Alexander Muller
(1982-11-09) 9 November 1982 (age 40)
Traralgon, Victoria, Australia
EducationQueen's University (B.A.Sc.)
University of Sydney (Ph.D.)
OccupationScience communicator
Spouse(s)Raquel Nuno
YouTube information
  • "Veritasium". YouTube.
  • "2veritasium". YouTube.
  • "Sciencium". YouTube.
LocationLos Angeles
Years active2010–present
GenreScience, education
Subscribers13.5 million (Veritasium)
573 thousand (2veritasium)
324 thousand (Sciencium)
Total views2.01 billion (Veritasium)
22.41 million (2veritasium)
6.5 million (Sciencium)
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2011 (Veritasium)
2014 (2veritasium)
2017 (Sciencium)
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2013 (Veritasium)
YouTube Diamond Play Button.svg 10,000,000 subscribers 2021 (Veritasium)
TelevisionCatalyst, Bill Nye Saves the World, Uranium – Twisting the Dragon's Tail, Vitamania
  • First prize, Science Online Cyberscreen Science Film Festival (2012)
  • Australian Webstream Awards for Best Educational & Lifestyle Series (2013)
  • Sigma Xi Honorary Member (2014)[1]
  • Eureka Prize for Science Journalism (2016)
  • Richtmyer Memorial Lecture Award for outstanding contributions to physics and effectively communicating those contributions to physics educators (2016)
  • Australian Department of Innovation Nanotechnology film competition
  • Streamy Award (2017) for "Best Science and Education Channel, Show, or Series"[2]

Last updated: 7 March 2023

Derek Alexander Muller (born 9 November 1982[3]) is an Australian-Canadian science communicator, filmmaker, and television personality, who is best known for his YouTube channel Veritasium, which has 13.5 million subscribers as of March 2023.[4] Muller has also appeared as a correspondent on the Netflix web series Bill Nye Saves the World since 2017.

Early life and education[edit]

Muller was born to South African parents in Traralgon, Victoria, Australia, and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, when he was 18 months old.[3] In 2000, Muller graduated from West Vancouver Secondary School.[5] In 2004, Muller graduated from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Physics.[6]

Muller moved to Australia to study film-making, but instead enrolled for a Ph.D. in physics education research from the University of Sydney, which he completed in 2008 with a thesis: Designing Effective Multimedia for Physics Education.[7] He was still looking for a creative career but did not find a direct path.[3]


Muller has been listed as a team member of the ABC's television program Catalyst since 2008.[8]

During his Ph.D. course, he was also teaching in a tutoring company, where he took a full-time job as science head after he completed the course in 2008. He quit the job at the end of 2010.[3]

In 2011 Muller created his YouTube channel "Veritasium" (see section below), which became his main source of livelihood in a few years.[3]

Since 2011, Muller has continued to appear on Catalyst, reporting scientific stories from around the globe,[9] and on Australian television network Ten as the 'Why Guy' on the Breakfast program.[10] In May 2012, he gave a TEDxSydney talk using the subject of his thesis.[11] He presented the documentary Uranium – Twisting the Dragon's Tail, which aired in July–August 2015 on several public television stations around the world and won the Eureka Prize for Science Journalism.[12][13]

On 21 September 2015, Muller hosted the Google Science Fair Awards Celebration for that year.[14]

Muller has also won the Australian Department of Innovation Nanotechnology Film Competition and the 2013 Australian Webstream Award for "Best Educational & Lifestyle Series".[15]

Starting in April 2017, he appeared as a correspondent on the Netflix series Bill Nye Saves the World.[16]

Muller presented in film Vitamania: The Sense and Nonsense of Vitamins, a documentary by Genepool Productions, released in August 2018.[17] The film answers questions about vitamins and the use of dietary vitamin supplements.[18]

Muller's works have been featured in Scientific American,[19] Wired,[20] Gizmodo,[21] and i09.[22]

Veritasium and other YouTube channels[edit]

In January 2011, Muller created the educational science channel Veritasium on YouTube,[4] the focus of which is "addressing counter-intuitive concepts in science, usually beginning by discussing ideas with members of the public".[23] The videos range in style from interviews with experts, such as 2011 Physics Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt,[24] to science experiments, dramatisations, songs, and – a hallmark of the channel – interviews with the public to uncover misconceptions about science. The name Veritasium is a combination of the Latin word for truth, Veritas, and the suffix common to many elements, -ium. This creates Veritasium, an "element of truth", a play on the popular phrase and a reference to chemical elements. In its logo, which has been a registered trade mark since 2016, the number "42.0" resembles an element on the periodic table.[25] The number was chosen as it is "The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything" in Douglas Adams' famous novel.[26]: 10m12s

In July 2012, Muller created a second YouTube channel, 2veritasium. Muller uses the new platform to produce editorial videos that discuss such topics as film making, showcasing behind-the-scenes footage, and for viewer reactions to popular Veritasium videos.[27]

In 2017, Muller began uploading videos on his newest channel, Sciencium, which is dedicated to videos on recent and historical discoveries in science.[28]


Veritasium videos have received critical acclaim. Two early successful Veritasium videos demonstrate the physics of a falling Slinky toy.[a] At 2012 Science Online, the video "Mission Possible: Graphene" won the Cyberscreen Science Film Festival[33] and was therefore featured on Scientific American as the video of the week.[34] A video debunking the common misconception that the moon is closer than it is, was picked-up by CBS News.[35]

After a video was posted in which Muller is shown driving a wind-powered car, equipped with a huge spinning propeller, faster than the wind, UCLA physics professor Alexander Kusenko disagreed with the claim that sailing downwind faster than wind was possible within the laws of physics, and made a scientific wager with Muller $10,000 that he could not demonstrate that the apparent greater speed was not due to other, incidental factors. Muller took up the bet, and the signing of a wager agreement by the parties was witnessed by Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson. In a subsequent video, Muller demonstrated the effect with a model cart under conditions ruling out extraneous effects. Kusenko conceded the bet.[36]

Personal life and family[edit]

After Derek Muller's parents, Anthony and Shirley, married in South Africa, they moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where his two sisters were born (Kirstie and Marilouise). The family moved to Australia, where he was born, after his father got a job in Traralgon at a pulp and paper mill. When he was 18 months old, the family moved back to Vancouver.[3]

After Muller moved to Los Angeles he met Raquel Nuno, a planetary scientist[37] whom he married.[3] They have three children (2021).[26]: 6m25s

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The "slinky" videos explain the following: When a slinky is held dangling vertically and then released, it can be observed in slow motion that the bottom end does not begin to move until the entire slinky has collapsed, making it look as if the slinky was defying gravity (i.e., floating). This counter-intuitive phenomenon inspired a wealth of media coverage, including the Toronto Star,[29] NPR,[30] and a segment on the BBC show QI.[31] Muller also created a segment on the topic for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation show Catalyst.[32]


  1. ^ "Honorary Membership".
  2. ^ "24 winners announced at the Streamys Premiere Awards". (Press release). The Streamy Awards. 25 September 2017. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Muller, Derek (18 June 2018). My Life Story. Veritasium (autobiographical video). Retrieved 2 June 2019 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ a b Muller, Derek (2011). "Veritasium". Retrieved 14 September 2013 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ Muller, Derek (4 May 2017). Why I'm not a scientist (autobiographical video). Retrieved 6 May 2017 – via YouTube.
  6. ^ "Physicist, educator, and filmmaker Derek Muller, Sc'04". Alumni Career Spotlights. Queen's University. 15 November 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  7. ^ Muller, Derek (2008). Designing Effective Multimedia for Physics Education (PDF) (Ph.D. thesis). University of Sydney. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 August 2021. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  8. ^ "Meet the team". Catalyst. 14 February 2008. Archived from the original on 19 July 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  9. ^ Muller, Derek (11 October 2012). "Higgs Boson". Catalyst. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  10. ^ "The Why Guy". Breakfast. Network Ten. 8 March 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Derek Muller: The key to effective educational science videos". TEDxSydney. 27 May 2012. Archived from the original on 10 August 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  12. ^ Gay, Verne (27 July 2015). "The Bomb and Uranium review: Two PBS documentaries, one insufficient, one engaging". Newsday. New York, NY. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  13. ^ "Australian Museum Eureka Prizes winners". The Australian Museum (Press release). 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2021.{{cite press release}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "Google Science Fair 2015 Awards Celebration". Google Science Fair. 21 September 2015. Retrieved 22 September 2015 – via YouTube.
  15. ^ "About Veritasium". Veritasium. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  16. ^ Harwood, Erika (14 October 2016). "Karlie Kloss is teaming-up with Bill Nye". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Dr. Derek Muller – presenter". Vitamania. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  18. ^ "Home". Vitamania. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  19. ^ Bondar, Carin (15 March 2012). "Meet Derek Muller – winner of the Cyberscreen Science Film Festival". Scientific American. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  20. ^ Allain, Rhett (13 July 2012). "Veritasium video homework". Wired. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  21. ^ Condliffe, Jamie (20 February 2013). "What is light anyway?". Gizmodo. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  22. ^ Gonzalez, Robbie (9 October 2012). "This levitating barbecue is the coolest thing you'll see today". i09. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  23. ^ "The Element of Truth: an interview with Derek Muller". (blog). The Royal Institution. March 2012. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  24. ^ Muller, Derek (23 October 2011). "Physics Nobel Prize 2011 – Brian Schmidt". Retrieved 13 February 2013 – via YouTube.
  25. ^ "Veritasium an element of trouth i 42.0 - Trademark Details". Justia. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  26. ^ a b Muller, Derek (7 January 2021). Q&A + giveaway for 10 years on YouTube (video). Retrieved 27 February 2021 – via YouTube.
  27. ^ Muller, Derek (17 July 2012). An isotope of truth (video). Retrieved 23 January 2014 – via YouTube.
  28. ^ Muller, Derek (2017). "About Sciencium". Sciencium. Retrieved 6 March 2017 – via YouTube.
  29. ^ Taylor, Lesley Ciarula (27 September 2011). "The secret truth behind a dropping Slinky". Toronto Star. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  30. ^ Krulwich, Robert (11 September 2012). "The miracle of the levitating Slinky". NPR News (blog). National Public Radio. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  31. ^ "Just the Job". QI. Season 10. Episode 18. British Broadcasting Corporation.
  32. ^ Collins, Adam (19 April 2012). "Slinky Drop". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  33. ^ Bondar, Carin (24 January 2012). "Winners of the Cyberscreen Science Film Festival at Science Online 2012". Scientific American (blog). Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  34. ^ Zivkovic, Bora (25 January 2012). "Video of the week no. 27". Scientific American (blog). Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  35. ^ Goodman, Will (23 February 2011). "Guy asks "How far away is the Moon from Earth?"". CBS News. Columbia Broadcasting System. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  36. ^ Matthew Gault (1 July 2021). "Science Youtuber Wins $10,000 Bet with Physicist". Vice. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  37. ^ Nuno, Raquel. "Raquel Nuno's Twitter page".

External links[edit]