Great Ideas of Classical Physics [TTC Video]
27 September 2016, 01:33
Course No 1295 | AVI, XviD, 560x400 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 5.56GB
There is a hidden order in the ceaselessly changing world around us. It's called classical physics, and it's about how the world is put together. Classical physics is about how things move, why they move, and how they work. It's about making sense of motion, gravity, light, heat, sound, electricity, and magnetism, and seeing how these phenomena interweave to create the rich tapestry of everyday experience.
Sound complicated? It's not—you already know more physics than you think, says award-winning science educator Steven Pollock.
Basic Principles You Can Learn
In this mind-expanding series of 24 lectures, Professor Steven Pollock takes you step by step through the Great Ideas of Classical Physics, showing that landmark concepts such as Newton's laws of motion are intuitively understood by anyone who has ever ridden a bike, thrown a ball, slid across ice, or simply picked up an object and set it down.
Created over the course of three centuries by a series of brilliant thinkers, including Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, and James Clerk Maxwell, classical physics is an elegant system of ideas that connect a range of seemingly unrelated phenomena.
Everything from the acceleration of a car, to the orbit of a planet, to the deflection of a compass needle, to the baking of a cake, to the flow of electricity through a light bulb as you read this—and much more—is linked by a set of basic principles that you can learn.
And you don't have to study complicated mathematical equations to see these connections—as Professor Pollock proves by teaching this course largely without math, by relying on metaphor, life experience, ordinary logic, and common sense. Dr. Pollock will be familiar to many Teaching Company customers for his course, Particle Physics for Non-Physicists: A Tour of the Microcosmos.
The Universe Is Your Laboratory
What are the great ideas of classical physics? They are the conceptual tools that allow us to make sense of the world. They include discoveries, theories, insights, methods, and philosophical points of view. You will explore many of these breakthrough ideas, for example:
- Experiment: It may seem obvious that if you want to understand something, you should experiment on it and not just think about it. But this idea did not catch on until Galileo performed a series of revolutionary investigations of motion in the early 1600s.
- Use standards: One of the secrets of Galileo's success was that he used standard procedures, units, and techniques of analysis to compare his results. This approach led him to conclusions, like his principle of inertia, that no else had ever imagined.
- Simplify: Another powerful insight of Galileo's was to start with simple cases and add complexity later. All physicists do this. In fact, they have a joke about it: A physicist is hired to advise a dairy farmer and says, "First, assume a spherical cow"!
- Recognize the fundamental nature of obvious things: The common observation that hot objects cool down and cold ones warm up became the basis for the second law of thermodynamics, proposed by the French engineer Sadi Carnot in the early 1800s. The second law has profound implications for heat engines and for the "direction" of time.
Along with these and other general concepts, you learn about such basic features of reality as force and energy, space and time, electricity and magnetism; and you learn how these properties interact in a range of situations. As you proceed through the course, you will find that the entire universe—from atoms to galaxies—is your laboratory.
Powerful and Surprisingly Beautiful Ideas
The course opens in ancient Greece with Aristotle's commonsense analysis of motion. His ideas held sway until the early 1600s, when Galileo challenged them with one of the simplest yet most profound experiments of all time—he rolled marbles down an inclined plane.
The technique allowed Galileo to explore the action of gravity "in slow motion" to show that, contrary to Aristotle's claims, all objects fall at the same rate regardless of mass, and that the speed of a falling object steadily increases—it accelerates.
A generation after Galileo, Newton united the laws of heavenly and earthly motion in a grand synthesis that marked the full dawn of classical physics. The exploration of Newton's three laws of motion and his universal law of gravitation forms the core of the first half of the course.
In the second half of the course, Professor Pollock introduces the ideas of electricity and magnetism. Considered curiosities in Newton's day, these seemingly minor marvels were integrated into the classical picture in the 19th century through the remarkable work of Faraday, Maxwell, and others.
The course concludes with a series of lectures on waves, optics, atoms, and thermodynamics, bringing classical physics to the brink of the watershed theories of relativity and quantum mechanics in the early 20th century, which marked the start of modern physics.
Your Homework: Play a Little Bit
Classical physics was invented by people at play, and Dr. Pollock encourages you to do the same. "There will be many times in this course when you should just go after class and play a little bit," he counsels. That's what Galileo, Faraday, and other pioneer scientists did.
Here are some playful activities that Dr. Pollock recommends:
- Falling objects: When you drop a pen and a piece of paper at the same time, it seems to confirm the commonsense expectation that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones. But now crumple the sheet of paper and drop them again. What happens?
- Static electricity: Put one piece of sticky tape on top of another, and then attach them to a table. Label the top piece of tape "T" and the bottom piece "B." Yank the pair off, and then quickly separate them. Investigate their behavior near each other and near identically prepared pieces. What's going on?
- Magnetism: Using two magnets, probe their interacting force fields by passing one all around the other. Where are the areas of attraction and repulsion? What accounts for this invisible force?
- Waves: A Slinky demonstrates the particlelike properties of some waves. To see how, expand a Slinky and jerk your hand, making a pulse travel from one end to the other. Like a particle, the pulse is localized; it also has a speed, and it can reflect off boundaries. Yet it is a wave.
On the Shoulders of Giants
Some people accept the mystery of the world at face value and never inquire further. Physicists can't help but seek answers, and you will feel the same way.
If you want to understand how a baseball behaves in a baseball stadium, or how the electricity for your house is generated, or how your microwave oven works, these are ideas that can be understood from classical physics. If you are concerned about energy and the environment, then the tools provided by this course are sufficient for you to understand the scientific questions.
Isaac Newton once commented that if he had seen farther than others, it was because he stood on the shoulders of giants. "Classical physics is the giant on whose shoulder we stand today," says Professor Pollock, "as we move into new realms of study, into modern physics, or contemporary biology, or any of a number of modern disciplines."
The Decisive Battles of World History [TTC Video]
26 September 2016, 06:28
Course No 8140 | WMV, WMV3, 640x360 | WMA, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 15.58GB
Nothing changes the world as quickly and inexorably as war. In warfare, the future course of entire civilizations, regions, and continents can be determined in as little as a few hours.
Throughout history, specific individual battles have turned the tide of historical events, triggering changes that have given us the world we know:
- The 7th-century battle of Badr transformed the prophet Mohammad into a major political force, establishing Islam firmly as a legitimate religion that could not be suppressed.
- The 1066 Battle of Hastings impacted world history by creating a new fusion of peoples and cultures in England and orienting the country permanently toward Europe.
- The 1759 Battle of Quebec determined the future of North America, shifting power such that the English language and British culture would predominate.
In addition to causing changes on a global scale, military engagements have often produced monumental effects within individual cultures:
- The outcome of the 4th-century battle of the Frigidus River established Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire.
- The 16th-century battles of Panipat established Mughal domination over the Indian subcontinent that would last for centuries.
- In 1836, a battle that lasted a mere 18 minutes resulted in the U.S. acquisition of nearly one-third of its continental land mass.
In these battles and many others, if it were not for the particular outcome that transpired, history might have turned out very differently. As such, looking closely at military engagements provides a vital key to historical causation—showing us how and why events unfolded and civilizations developed as they have.
A penetrating look at military conflicts also acts as a corrective, allowing for a more accurate view of major events and the forces underlying them. As a case in point, the Battle of Waterloo is commonly thought of as the downfall of Napoleon; yet his losses at the earlier Battle of Leipzig unquestionably doomed his ambitions and were the true marker and determinant of his fall. Similarly, a 1939 battle in Mongolia that is all but forgotten played an extremely significant role in both the outbreak and the outcome of World War II.
For these reasons and more, the study of pivotal battles is a highly revealing analytical tool and a key component for understanding world history. Offering eye-opening insights into humanity’s past, a knowledge of mankind’s most critical military engagements enriches and deepens any view into civilizations and their evolution.
In the dynamic lectures of The Decisive Battles of World History, Professor Gregory S. Aldrete of the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay guides you in a discovery of the military conflicts that have had the greatest impact in shifting the direction of historical events and shaping our world. Covering nearly 4,000 years of history, this course explores more than three dozen history-making military engagements, from the landmark battles of the Western world to their counterparts across Asia, India, and the Middle East. These 36 lectures feature vital historical background, vivid accounts of the campaigns themselves, and a thorough look at their influence on the unfolding of history.
Military Encounters that Changed the World
Through his powerfully evocative words, aided by specially made maps and animations of the engagements, Professor Aldrete brings the battlefield events alive with gripping vividness, taking you blow-by-blow through the unfolding of each conflict. Throughout the lectures, he reveals rich historical background material that highlights the high drama, poignancy, and scope of the human experience of war.
In The Decisive Battles of World History, you’ll trace the critical pivot points where key military engagements determined the course history has taken. This enthralling learning experience provides far-reaching insights into the story of world cultures by revealing the foundational impact of military battles in human affairs.
The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague [TTC Video]
25 September 2016, 21:39
Course No 8241 | M4V, AVC, 852x480 | AAC, 160 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.45GB
In the late 1340s, a cataclysmic plague shook medieval Europe to its core. The bacterial disease known to us as the Black Death swept westward across the continent, leaving a path of destruction from Crimea and Constantinople to Italy, France, Spain, and ultimately most of Europe, traveling as far west as England and Iceland. Within these locations, the plague killed up to 50% of the population in less than 10 years—a staggering 75 million dead.
Many of us know the Black Death as a catastrophic event of the medieval world. But three vital elements of the story often go unrecognized:
- The Black Death was arguably the most significant event in Western history, profoundly affecting every aspect of human life, from the economic and social to the political, religious, and cultural.
- In its wake, the plague left a world that was utterly changed, forever altering the traditional structure of European societies and forcing a rethinking of every single system of Western civilization: food production and trade, the Church, political institutions, law, art, and more.
- In large measure, by the profundity of the changes it brought, the Black Death produced the modern world we live in today.
Speaking to the full magnitude of this world-changing historical moment, The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague, taught by celebrated medievalist Dorsey Armstrong of Purdue University, takes you on an unforgettable excursion into the time period of the plague, its full human repercussions, and its transformative effects on European civilization.
A Catastrophe Unprecedented in Human Experience
In 24 richly absorbing lectures, you’ll follow the path of the epidemic in its complete trajectory across medieval Europe. You’ll examine the epidemiological causes of the disaster; the social panic it spawned; its influence on religion, society, politics, economics, and art; and the long-term consequences for a continent that, less than two centuries later, would have the technology and the wherewithal to explore a new world.
In the process, you’ll learn about these remarkable and emblematic effects of the Black Death:
- By revealing the corruption and inadequacies of the Church in the face of people’s desperate need, the plague sowed the seeds of the Reformation.
- The plague upended the class system in Europe, permanently changing the balance of power between laborers and lords, peasants and nobles.
- The epidemic transformed social opportunities for the working and merchant classes: peasants could become clergy, serfs could become tenant farmers, merchants could marry into the nobility, and women could enter trades and professions.
- Perhaps most surprising of all, those who survived the plague were often wealthier than they’d been before, and had access to more opportunities.
These changes utterly upended structures of social, economic, and religious power that had been in place for centuries, leaving chaos in their wake—and room for new ideas and institutions to arise.
An Epic Story of Loss and Metamorphosis
In measuring the Black Death’s vast societal impact, you’ll explore subject matter such as:
- The medical causes and underpinnings of the plague – Investigate the epidemiology of Yersinia pestis, the plague bacterium. You’ll study the three main varieties of plague, how the disease was transmitted, and how other disease factors may have contributed to the Black Death’s monumental devastation.
- The epidemic’s transit across medieval Europe – Track how the plague traveled by both maritime and overland trade routes, and witness the individual stories and shattering drama of its arrival in communities such as Florence, Avignon, Walsham, and Paris.
- The Black Death’s impact on religion and faith – Discover how the Church appeared powerless to provide any remedy or relief from the plague, which eroded its prestige, moral authority, and temporal power. Observe how direct expressions of religious devotion by common people, such as pilgrimage, flagellation, and veneration of saints, increased dramatically in response to the plague’s ravages.
- The plague and European economies – Examine how the huge loss of labor and manpower led to social mobility and greatly increased economic opportunities for workers and merchants, and accelerated the rise of the merchant class to rival the economic power of the nobility.
- Political reverberations of the Black Death – Grasp how the political scene in many places changed dramatically, as nobles came under new economic pressure. The traditional ruling order of those who fight (nobles), those who pray (clergy), and those who work (everyone else) was undone by the new power of labor and trade, and the nobles’ attempts to maintain their previous status triggered unrest and revolts.
- The historical legacy of the epidemic – Take account of the ways in which the events of the Black Death shaped the future of the West, leaving behind a world in which serfs could buy their freedom, and where, for the first time, leaders and governments were answerable to every level of society.
The Astonishing Human Dimensions of the Plague
In a masterful act of historical storytelling, Professor Armstrong reveals the unfolding of the plague as an endlessly surprising and enthralling saga, illuminating the story with vivid maps, works of art, and manuscripts, as well as gripping contemporary accounts by writers such as Boccaccio and Petrarch. In the course of the narrative, you’ll encounter the full spectrum of poignant human reactions to the epidemic, from terrified families abandoning their stricken children and clergy recoiling from the dying to astounding individual acts of compassion and self-sacrifice for loved ones and strangers alike.
You’ll bear witness to many psychosocial responses, among them the Flagellant movement, whose members publicly tortured themselves to appease the wrath of God; the French town whose populace believed riotous merrymaking would keep the plague at bay; and a range of extreme behavior from hedonistic indulgence and crazed dancing to the tragic scapegoating of Jewish communities. In a fascinating view into the medieval mindset, you’ll explore 14th-century theories of the plague, from theological constructs to explanations of its origins in astrological conjunctions, “corrupted air,” and earthquakes. You’ll also encounter, in medical treatises, the singular figure of the plague doctor, dressed in broad-brimmed hat, long coat, and a beaked, birdlike mask filled with sweet-smelling herbs.
Professor Armstrong details how the plague brought new forms of visual art, such as the extraordinary paintings of the Danse Macabre and Triumph of Death traditions. In the unusual economic climate of the times, plague-themed works of art were commissioned not only by the nobility, but also by the likes of bakers, gardeners, and blacksmiths. And you’ll discover how, in the midst of devastation, the plague directly inspired some of the greatest literary masterpieces the world has ever produced, such as the works of Boccaccio, William Langland, and Geoffrey Chaucer.
Majestic in scope and remarkable in detail, The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague takes you to the heart of one of Western history’s most catalytic and galvanizing moments, the effects of which gave us the modern world.