The Higgs Boson and Beyond [TTC Video]
01 July 2015, 12:03
2015 | Course No 1205 | M4V, AVC, 2000 kbps, 640x360 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 12x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.87GB
The search for, and ultimate discovery of, the Higgs boson is a triumph of modern physics—a global, half-century effort whose outcome would make or break the vaunted Standard Model of particle physics. The hunt for the Higgs was the subject of wide media attention due to the cost of the project, the complexity of the experiment, and the importance of its result. And, when it was announced with great fanfare in 2012 that physicists has succeeded in creating and identifying this all-important new particle, the discovery was justly celebrated around the world.
And yet, virtually no one who happily read that news could tell you what, exactly, the Higgs boson was, and why its discovery was so important that we had to spend 10 billion dollars and build the single largest and most complex device in the history of mankind in order to find it. When you truly understand the details, this story ranks as one of the most fascinating, important, and thrilling in the history of modern physics.
Now, in The Higgs Boson and Beyond, award-winning theoretical physicist Sean Carroll returns to The Great Courses to guide you through the details of this incredible story. A brilliant researcher working at the very forefront of physics, as well as a gifted speaker who excels in explaining difficult and esoteric scientific concepts to the public, Professor Carroll is perfectly positioned to tell this story. In this 12-lecture masterpiece of scientific reporting, you'll learn everything you need to know to fully grasp the significance of this scientific discovery, including:
- the basics of quantum mechanics;
- the four forces that comprise the Standard Model of particle physics;
- how these forces are transmitted by fields and particles; and
- the importance of symmetry in physics.
In addition, Professor Carroll offers an in-depth view of the Large Hadron Collider—the largest machine ever built, and the device responsible for finally revealing the concept of the Higgs boson as reality. By the end, you’ll understand how the Higgs boson verifies the final piece in the Standard Model of particle physics, and how its discovery validates and deepens our understanding of the universe.
A Discovery of Mass Importance
It’s hard to overstate the importance of the Higgs field to the structure of our world and the universe itself. First postulated to exist in 1964 by Peter Higgs, the Higgs field and the particle associated with it explain one of the most fundamental concepts of reality itself—how elementary particles get mass. In addition, the discovery of the Higgs boson has importance for a huge number of unanswered questions and exciting avenues of research in modern physics, including:
- insight into the nature of the universe and its ultimate fate;
- the existence of scalar fields—fields with a zero "spin" that, prior to the discovery of the Higgs field, were only theoretical in nature;
- insight into cosmic inflation—a theory that describes exponential expansion of space during the first few moments of the universe;
- new understandings of how symmetry and symmetry breaking works; and
- new approaches to understanding dark matter and possible extra dimensions.
In addition, you'll come to understand how the Large Hadron Collider, which was built specifically for the task of creating a Higgs boson, has immense value in future experiments in physics.
A Feast for the Eyes and the Mind
Professor Carroll's Higgs Boson and Beyond is a feast for the eyes as well as the mind. Produced on a virtual set, the course utilized purpose-built graphics and 3-D models as an incredible aid to understanding the material, allowing somewhat abstract and unusual concepts to be clearly rendered before your eyes. This is an experience like no other, a presentation beyond anything that you could experience in a traditional classroom.
A theoretical physicist of significant standing in the scientific community, Professor Carroll followed the hunt for the Higgs boson with rapt attention and was present at CERN on the day they announced the discovery. Between his access to the researchers working on the project, and his expertise in modern physics, he has a uniquely clear view of the subject. He also has an exceptional ability to explain complex scientific concepts in a way that makes them clear and comprehensible to any motivated learner. All of these factors make Professor Carroll the perfect guide to this complex and rewarding story.
The Higgs Boson and Beyond will expand your understanding of the universe by taking you on a tour of its most fundamental components. With the insightful guidance of Professor Carroll, you’ll soon be able to understand one of the most important discoveries of our age.
- The Importance of the Higgs Boson
- Quantum Field Theory
- Atoms to Particles
- The Power of Symmetry
- The Higgs Field
- Mass and Energy
- Colliding Particles
- Particle Accelerators and Detectors
- The Large Hadron Collider
- Capturing the Higgs Boson
- Beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics
- Frontiers: Higgs in Space
Foundations of Eastern Civilization [TTC Video]
19 June 2015, 06:29
Course No 3630 | MP4, AVC, 1168 kbps, 640x360 | English, MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 48x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 13.23GB
So much of our historical knowledge is rooted in Western civilization, from the stories of ancient Greece and Rome to the intellectual developments of the Renaissance. But this history tells only part of the story of our global world. Eastern civilization has its own fascinating story, with consequences that matter deeply to our lives today.
How did Eastern civilization—particularly that of China, Korea, Japan, and the nations of Southeast Asia—develop? What do we know about the history, politics, governments, art, science, and technology of these countries? And how does the story of Eastern civilization play out in today’s world of business, politics, and international exchange?
Foundations of Eastern Civilization takes you on a grand journey to explore the big accomplishments of Eastern civilization, from the material economy of day-to-day life to the political and religious philosophies that would bind these cultures together for thousands of years. Over the course of 48 ambitious lectures, Professor Craig G. Benjamin of Grand Valley State University introduces you to the many people, achievements, and ideas that came out of Eastern civilization and played a role in creating the modern world.
In this course, you will travel across continents and over the ages to arrive at a full understanding of the Eastern world.
- See how climate and geography allowed powerful civilizations to emerge in certain regions.
- Discover the origins of the yin and yang cosmology, the Mandate of Heaven political philosophy, and Confucianism and Daoism.
- Trace the spread of ideas between East and West, especially along the Silk Roads.
- Explore the rise and fall of empires—some famous and others largely unknown.
- Survey the role of Eastern civilization in the 20th and 21st centuries, and see what the future may hold for the “Asian tiger” economies.
“To truly understand the modern world, it is essential to know something about the many extraordinary contributions Eastern civilization has made,” Professor Benjamin says. “Simply put, it is not enough to know just the ‘Western’ half of the story any more—both Eastern and Western are critical to understanding our present and our future.”
Foundations of Eastern Civilization offers you just that—the chance to fill in the other half of the story. You may be surprised to realize that all of us have been students of Eastern civilization, even if we have not been aware of it. Filled with captivating stories and surprising details, this course is an excellent overview of one of the most dynamic regions in the world.
Immerse Yourself in a Rich Cultural History
This course covers an impressive amount of ground, from the emergence of early cultures 10,000 years ago to the booming economies of the 21st century. China is at the hub of Eastern civilization, and when you complete this course, you’ll come away with a comprehensive understanding of its intriguing history:
- Uncover the Xia dynasty, which was long thought to be legendary but for which there is now some archaeological evidence.
- Study the mysterious “oracle bones” and the development of Chinese writing in the Shang dynasty.
- Examine the development of different administrative structures, educational programs, and civil service exams.
- Delve into the remarkable agricultural and industrial revolutions that occurred during the Song dynasty.
- Learn about China’s 19th-century difficulties, including opium wars, humiliating trade agreements with the British, peasant uprisings, and, eventually, the revolution that ended the dynastic system.
Along the way, you’ll meet some of the most extraordinary people in Chinese history: emperors and empresses, soldiers and envoys, administrative eunuchs, philosophers, and more. You’ll also consider the myriad inventions and innovations that drove the Chinese economy—including gunpowder, paper, the porcelain industry, and paper money.
While China is home to some of the great moments in world history, it is far from the only significant nation in the East. Professor Benjamin takes you on several extended forays to examine a wealth of other cultures:
- Discover the many dynasties of Korea, the “land of the morning calm.”
- Explore the extraordinary history of Japan, including a deep examination into the era of medieval shoguns and samurai warriors.
- Find out about the Mongols, who had the largest continuous empire in world history.
- Venture into India to witness the rise of Buddhism and other Indus civilization religions.
- Witness the amazing spread of Islam throughout Southeast Asia, as well as the impact of Christian missionaries.
- Unpack many of the 20th century’s most significant wars, including the Japanese aggression that culminated in World War II and the cold war conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.
Discover the Ancient Roots of Eastern Society
What unifies the foundations of Eastern civilization? With all the many cultures and nations and peoples—some of whom are little known outside highly specialized circles—what can we say about these societies as a whole?
By going back to the beginnings of Eastern civilization, Professor Benjamin shows you the groundwork for today’s global village. You’ll be surprised to find out just how far back some of the modern-day divides go. For instance, the conflicts between northern and southern Korea originated hundreds of years ago and have their roots in the peninsula’s geography.
Eastern civilization today is grounded in ancient history in a number of ways, one of the most interesting of which is the way Eastern nations think about human nature, government, and economics. Whereas the Western nations tend to take an individualist approach to society—with ideas originating in ancient Greece and Rome and expanded on during the Enlightenment—Eastern nations still tend to take a collectivist tack.
This collectivist approach has its roots in the Warring States Era at the end of the Zhou dynasty, when philosophers reflected on human nature and the best way to organize society.
- Confucius and his followers created a model of ethical leadership based on education and moral behavior.
- Daoists withdrew from society and looked to harmony in the cosmos and the natural world.
- Legalists imposed gruesome punishments to enforce the rule of law.
Each of these philosophies had different notions of human nature and laid out a different path to forming an orderly state. These philosophies provide an important foundation for Eastern thought, and their approaches to government are completely different from our conceptions in the West. Yet in today’s interconnected world, it’s more important than ever to understand the cultural foundations of countries with which we interact, do business, and negotiate global politics.
Witness a Dynamic Cultural Exchange
During the Han dynasty, the Silk Roads connected East and West and enabled a surprising amount of cross-cultural interaction and exchange. The West received goods and information from the East—including silk and spices—but the East also learned about the West, that other civilizations existed beyond the mountains, deserts, and nomadic tribes of Central Asia. Professor Benjamin takes you on a voyage along the Silk Roads and introduces you to many of the unsung heroes of history:
- The Xiongnu
- The Yuezhi
- The Kushans
- The Parthians
- The Mongols
You’ll also meet the Chinese ambassador Zhang Qian, whose breathtaking escapades blazed a trail for the Silk Roads. You’ll travel the caravan routes, consider what it would have been like to stop at one of the many “caravanserai”—the inns where merchants would stop along the trade routes—and study the Kushan Empire, a little-known and little-studied “lost civilization” of important middlemen in what is now Afghanistan.
In addition to the Silk Roads, you’ll explore the vibrant cross-cultural exchange within the East itself. China heavily influenced Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia, yet these nations also evolved as independent, distinct cultures. How did these countries develop? What was their relationship to China? How did China influence them, and how did they influence China? Enjoy an Inside Look at a Fascinating Civilization
Foundations of Eastern Civilization is a sweeping course, taking you across time and space. But after providing the broad strokes, Professor Benjamin zooms in on specifics to give you a flavor for the texture of daily life. You’ll learn about massive building projects such as the Great Wall of China. You’ll encounter the great art and architecture, the poetry and literature, and the many other artifacts from the East:
- Ancient burial tombs in China
- Chulmun pottery from ancient Korea
- Calligraphy, poetry, and novels from the great Tang dynasty
- The oldest surviving printed document in world history
- Famous Japanese novels
Throughout all of these lectures, Professor Benjamin is a lively guide and a dazzling storyteller, taking you inside the great cities where riches abound—jewels, silks, and great works of art. He shares several stories from his visits to these locations, and many of his personal photographs add a charming touch to the course. Indeed, his enthusiasm for the subject and his remarkable style of lecturing will open up an entirely new world for you as he unfolds the story of Eastern civilization.
- Journey to the East
- Yin and Yang—The Geography of China
- Early China and the Mysterious Xia
- The Coming of the Shang
- The Shang and Writing for the Gods
- The Zhou and the Mandate of Heaven
- Great Ideas of the Zhou—Confucianism
- Great Ideas of the Zhou—Later Confucianism
- Great Ideas of the Zhou—Daoism
- Great Ideas of the Zhou—Legalism
- The Qin and the First Emperor of China
- Contact with the West—The Early Han
- Triumph and Tragedy—The Later Han
- Silk Roads—In the Footsteps of Nomads
- Silk Roads—The Envoy Zhang Qian
- Silk Roads—Perils of Camels and Caravans
- Silk Roads—Rome and Roads from the West
- Silk Roads—The Lost Kushan Empire
- Origins of Buddhism
- The Age of Disunity
- The Great Taizong and the Rise of the Tang
- Changan and the Glittering Tang
- Korea—Mysterious Beginnings
- Korea—The Land of Morning Calm
- Korea—The Unified Silla
- Korea—The Koryo
- Japan—Geography and Early Cultures
- Japan—Treasures of the Tomb Period
- Japan—Nara and the Great Eastern Temple
- Japan—The World of the Heian
- Southeast Asia—Vietnam
- Southeast Asia—Indian and Islamic Influences
- The Industrial Revolution of the Song
- Intellectual and Cultural Life of the Song
- The Mongols Conquer the World
- Shaking the Foundation—Mongols in the East
- The Rise of the Ming
- Great Treasure Fleets of the Ming
- The Qing—Nomads Return from the North
- The Qing—The Last Emperor of China
- Korea Choson—Rise of the Yangban
- Korea Choson—The Last Dynasty
- Medieval Japan—Samurai and Shoguns
- Tokugawa and Meiji Japan
- The People’s Republic of China
- Isolation and Cold War Conflicts
- The Rise of the East Asian Tigers
- The Enduring Ideas of Eastern Civilization
Mathematical Decision Making: Predictive Models and Optimization [TTC Video]
11 March 2015, 03:47
2015 | Course No 1342 | M4V, AVC, 2000 kbps, 640x360 | English, AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 11.48GB
Not so long ago, executives faced with complex problems made decisions based on experience, intuition, and no small measure of luck. But now there’s a better way. In recent decades, mathematics and computer science have perfected formerly top-secret techniques for predicting the best possible outcomes when faced with conflicting options. This field goes by different names—analytics, operations research, linear and nonlinear programming, management science—but its purpose is simple: to apply quantitative methods to help business managers, public servants, investors, scientific researchers, and problem solvers of all kinds make better decisions.
Consider the following applications of this powerful set of tools:
- Pricing: Costco rose to become one of the top-ranked retailers in the world by combining membership fees with the economy of selling in bulk. A mathematical technique—called genetic algorithms—shows the advantages of this strategy as well as the optimum prices to charge.
- Scheduling: Using nonlinear programming, many airlines employ scheduling software that can find the most favorable solution to unexpected disruptions—from weather to mechanical problems to crew availability—saving millions of dollars in operating costs.
- Bidding: Simulation models can take a lot of guesswork out of competitive bidding for a project. By running repeated simulations against competitors, a bidder can come up with a proposal that has a good chance of winning the job, while still making a profit.
- Queuing: Any process that reflects the behavior of waiting lines is known as queuing. Markov analysis shows how a small increase in input to a system can have a major impact on waiting times. The method also reveals surprising solutions for making long waits vanish.
These same techniques can be applied to retirement planning, stock portfolio analysis, budget forecasting, health care allocation, public relations, marketing and advertising, and many other tasks for enterprises large and small. The applications are truly endless!
Mathematical decision making got its first rigorous tests during World War II, when the Allies used top-secret operations research to protect convoys, improve the aim of anti-aircraft fire, and locate the weak points on Allied bombers. After the war, private industry adopted operations research with enthusiasm, but these new methods were expensive, computing speed was slow, and only specialized experts could take advantage of the algorithms. That situation has changed dramatically, and today anyone with a home computer and a spreadsheet program can harness the power of these methods to solve practical problems. The trick is knowing what you can do and how to do it.
Mathematical Decision Making: Predictive Models and Optimization is your guide, teaching you the major mathematical techniques, applications, and spreadsheet procedures for basic analytics in 24 information-packed half-hour lectures. Your professor is award-winning educator Scott Stevens, Professor of Computer Information Systems and Business Analytics at James Madison University.
Those who will benefit from Professor Stevens’s engaging presentation include:
- managers eager to make better decisions—whether in business, technical, or non-profit endeavors;
- professionals aspiring to advance in their careers by mastering a proven approach to problem solving;
- those who work with or review spreadsheet and graphical presentations, and need to be able to separate good data from bad;
- students in business, mathematics, finance, marketing, health care, engineering, urban planning, and a host of other fields;
- math lovers curious to see a field that is often the opposite of calculus: simple functions and complex boundary conditions, instead of complex functions with simple boundary conditions; and
- lifelong learners who want to hone their critical thinking skills with important analytical techniques, made accessible and intellectually exciting as never before.
Discover the Art of Deciding
You’ll find that the challenge of analytics is not the math, which is often surprisingly easy, but the wide choice of procedures you have at your fingertips. The art is picking the most effective one to apply to your problem, and this is what Professor Stevens walks you through in fascinating detail. All that’s needed is a willingness to use simple equations. Moreover, you’ll see how modern spreadsheets take the drudgery out of finding solutions, and they make setting up and visualizing problems simple and straightforward.
Mathematical Decision Making is vividly illustrated with graphs, charts, diagrams, and computer animations, which greatly aid understanding the material. In addition, Professor Stevens demonstrates the importance of cultivating your visual intuition. This is particularly helpful when you move from linear programming to nonlinear programming, where effects of synergy and interaction can have strong impact on the bottom line. He shows how you can visualize this new world as a landscape, and then use your natural intuition to decide how best to approach the problem. As an illustration, you see how the fight between Blu-Ray and HD DVD for dominance in the high-definition video market can be pictured as a hyperbolic paraboloid—a saddle-shaped figure—with all of the possible outcomes of the competition mapped onto its surface.
Conveniently, the course guidebook includes additional thought-provoking questions, problems, and answers for each lecture, along with recommended resources to help you dig deeper into any topic where you want to know more.
Analyze a Wealth of Cases
The beauty of this course is that it features case after case of real-life examples. Among the many you’ll explore are these:
- Public relations: The makers of Gerber baby food had experienced a public relations problem earlier in their history. See how they used decision tree analysis during a second budding crisis a dozen years later to map their options and reach a successful decision.
- Keeping clients happy: NBC schedulers once had to match advertisers to television time slots by hand, juggling a bewildering number of competing demands. You’ll learn how computer algorithms and the concept of “hard” and “soft” constraints revolutionized their job.
- Finding a missing plane: No one knew why Air France flight 447 crashed into the ocean in 2009—until Bayesian analysis led searchers to the wreck site and the black box. Bayes’s theorem tells how to compute new probabilities as new information becomes available.
- Evaluating efficiency: Non-profit organizations and government programs are notoriously hard to evaluate for efficiency. Using hospitals as a test case, you’ll discover how data envelopment analysis shows which facilities are performing effectively, as well as how to improve the ones that aren’t.
An acclaimed instructor who practices what he teaches, Professor Stevens has pushed the boundaries of mathematical decision making on many fronts. His research has addressed such problems as neural network prediction of survival in trauma patients and how to optimize the market for natural gas from the Gulf of Mexico.
Above all, he loves mathematics and the wonders it can perform. “Math is an absolutely beautiful thing,” he marvels. “I’m at my happiest when I can get someone else to see just a piece of that. It’s lovely, structured, consistent, reliable, surprising, enticing, exotic. It’s a great world!” With Mathematical Decision Making, see for yourself how mathematics can make the everyday world we all inhabit a more comprehensible and much better place.
- The Operations Research Superhighway
- Forecasting with Simple Linear Regression
- Nonlinear Trends and Multiple Regression
- Time Series Forecasting
- Data Mining: Exploration and Prediction
- Data Mining for Affinity and Clustering
- Optimization: Goals, Decisions, and Constraints
- Linear Programming and Optimal Network Flow
- Scheduling and Multiperiod Planning
- Visualizing Solutions to Linear Programs
- Solving Linear Programs in a Spreadsheet
- Sensitivity Analysis: Trust the Answer?
- Integer Programming: All or Nothing
- Where Is the Efficiency Frontier?
- Programs with Multiple Goals
- Optimization in a Nonlinear Landscape
- Nonlinear Models: Best Location, Best Pricing
- Randomness, Probability, and Expectation
- Decision Trees: Which Scenario Is Best?
- Bayesian Analysis of New Information
- Markov Models: How a Random Walk Evolves
- Queuing: Why Waiting Lines Work or Fail
- Monte Carlo Simulation for a Better Job Bid
- Stochastic Optimization and Risk