The Search for Exoplanets: What Astronomers Know [TTC Video]

The Search for Exoplanets: What Astronomers Know [TTC Video]
The Search for Exoplanets: What Astronomers Know [TTC Video] by Joshua Winn
Course No 1802 | MP4, AVC, 643 kbps, 856x480 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 4.13GB

Half a century ago, television viewers thrilled to the exploits of the original Star Trek series with its mission “to explore strange new worlds.” Today, astronomers are doing exactly that, analyzing the data from advanced telescopes and discovering strange worlds orbiting other stars in our galaxy.

Most of the countless stars they are monitoring are invisible to the unaided eye, and the thousands of confirmed and candidate planets they’ve detected can’t be imaged directly, except in a few rare cases. Yet researchers are able to use subtle clues obtained in ingenious ways in order to assemble an astonishing picture of planetary systems far different from our own:

  • Systems containing “hot Jupiters,” giant planets orbiting so close to their host stars that it takes days—not Jupiter’s 12 years—to make one orbit.
  • Earth-sized planets orbiting even closer—in one case careening around its sun every 8 hours, completing three of its “years” in one of our days.
  • Planets circling two different suns, recalling the famous scene in Star Wars, where Luke Skywalker watches a double sunset from his home planet.

These results are much more than science fiction brought to life. They are an astronomical revolution, comparable to the Copernican revolution that established our current view of the solar system. As recently as 1990, it seemed possible that the solar system was an unusual or even unique phenomenon in our galaxy. Now we know that planets are everywhere, and we are living during a new golden age of discovery, with the prospect of finding many planets like our own.

The Search for Exoplanets: What Astronomers Know immerses you in this incomparable adventure in 24 beautifully illustrated half-hour lectures conducted by veteran planet hunter Joshua N. Winn, Associate Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

An award-winning teacher, Professor Winn is also a pioneer in the field of exoplanetary science—the study of planets beyond the solar system. He served on the science team of NASA’s Kepler mission, the most productive planet-finding effort to date, and he is taking part in a new space telescope project that will focus on finding rocky planets in the habitable zones of their parent stars, laying the groundwork for the ultimate objective: detecting earthlike planets with the chemical signatures of life. This goal may still be many years away, but meanwhile Dr. Winn and his colleagues are helping to rewrite the book on planet formation and the evolution of planetary systems.

A Scientific Detective Story

Designed for everyone from armchair explorers to serious skywatchers, The Search for Exoplanets follows the numerous twists and turns in the hunt for exoplanets—the false starts, the sudden breakthroughs, and the extraordinary discoveries. Dr. Winn covers all the necessary background, reviewing the simple mathematics of planetary orbits and the scientific principles behind the techniques that eventually found planets at mind-boggling distances from our home base.

Considering that a star is millions to billions of times brighter than even its largest planet, this is a scientific detective story like no other, involving methods such as these:

  • Astrometry: A star and its planet both orbit their common center of mass, typically a point slightly off-center from the center of the star. In principle, this effect can be observed as a tiny wobble in the star’s position in the sky.
  • Doppler shift: The slight wobble of a star due to orbiting planets can also be detected as a fluctuating color shift (known as the Doppler shift) in the star’s spectrum, as the star alternately moves toward the observer and then away.
  • Transit: When a planet crosses in front of a star (known as a transit), it blocks a small percentage of the starlight. Sensitive instruments can measure this minor drop in light level. The greater the dimming, the larger the planet.
  • Gravitational lensing: A foreground star acts like a lens when it passes in front of a more distant star, bending the light of the background star. If the star in front has a planet in the right position, the light temporarily bends a bit more.
  • Direct imaging: Most difficult of all is recording an actual image of an exoplanet, which has been compared to spotting a firefly buzzing around a searchlight, with a telescope thousands of miles away. Even so, it has been done!

These techniques not only signal the presence of planetary systems, but also allow astronomers to analyze the data to determine how many planets there are, how large, how far from their parent star, their likely compositions, and the characteristics of their atmospheres. Viewers of The Search for Exoplanets will feel like Dr. Watson in the presence of Sherlock Holmes, as Professor Winn extracts a wealth of information from a spectrum, a light graph, a diffraction pattern, and other subtle clues.

Explore Unknown Worlds

To help you grasp the vastness of the universe, Professor Winn demonstrates a virtual scale-model solar system, centered on Times Square in New York City, that serves as a yardstick for comparisons throughout the course. For example, if the Sun is reduced to the size of an adult human, then at the same scale Earth is the size of a grape, two and a half blocks away, and the closest star with a known planet is 32,000 miles away—a distance 30% greater than the circumference of the entire Earth. Imagine trying to detect a grape at that distance!

The lectures are lavishly illustrated with astronomical photographs, graphics, computer animations, and special effects that help you appreciate the extraordinary variety of planetary systems. And Professor Winn’s personal anecdotes add a human dimension, showing the challenge and excitement of science. Since exoplanetary science is unusually interdisciplinary, you are introduced to a wide range of fundamental ideas, including these:

  • Astronomy: Among the topics you cover are planetary science, stellar evolution, telescopes, cosmology, and asteroseismology (the science of star “quakes”).
  • Physics: You investigate orbits, tides, the electromagnetic spectrum, spectroscopy, optics, quantum mechanics, and special and general relativity.
  • Life sciences: You learn about the quest for life, which combines the search for signals from extraterrestrial intelligence with the hunt for biosignatures of microbial life.

After completing this fascinating course, you will be well equipped to understand one of the most momentous developments of our time. Exoplanets will be making big news for years to come, and at the end of the course Professor Winn describes ambitious projects that are on the drawing board as well as discoveries that he predicts for the near future. Perhaps the only reason exoplanets haven’t attracted more attention is that science fiction long ago prepared us for these wonders. But unlike the adventures on Star Trek, these projects are real. We invite you to join a scientist who is on a mission that can only be compared to the exploits of Columbus, Magellan, and Lewis and Clark.

The Search for Exoplanets: What Astronomers Know [TTC Video]

The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It…Every Time [Audiobook]

The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It…Every Time [Audiobook]
The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It Every Time [Audiobook] by Maria Konnikova, read by the Author
2016 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 12 hrs 33 mins | 343.36MB

Think you can’t get conned? Think again. The New York Times bestselling author of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes explains how to spot the con before they spot you.

A compelling investigation into the minds, motives, and methods of con artists—and the people who fall for their cons over and over again.

While cheats and swindlers may be a dime a dozen, true conmen—the Bernie Madoffs, the Jim Bakkers, the Lance Armstrongs—are elegant, outsized personalities, artists of persuasion and exploiters of trust. How do they do it? Why are they successful? And what keeps us falling for it, over and over again? These are the questions that journalist and psychologist Maria Konnikova tackles in her mesmerizing new book.

From multimillion-dollar Ponzi schemes to small-time frauds, Konnikova pulls together a selection of fascinating stories to demonstrate what all cons share in common, drawing on scientific, dramatic, and psychological perspectives. Insightful and gripping, the book brings readers into the world of the con, examining the relationship between artist and victim. The Confidence Game asks not only why we believe con artists, but also examines the very act of believing and how our sense of truth can be manipulated by those around us.

Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward [Audiobook]

Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward [Audiobook]
Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward [Audiobook] by Nabeel Quereshi, read by the Author
2015 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 4 hrs 6 mins | 113.35MB

From New York Times best-selling author and former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi comes this personal, challenging, and respectful answer to the many questions surrounding jihad, the rise of ISIS, and Islamic terrorism.

San Bernardino was the most lethal terror attack on American soil since 9/11, and it came on the heels of a coordinated assault on Paris. There is no question that innocents were slaughtered in the name of Allah and in the way of jihad, but do the terrorists' actions actually reflect the religion of Islam? The answer to this question is more pressing than ever as waves of Muslim refugees arrive in the West, seeking shelter from the violent ideology of ISIS.

Setting aside speculations and competing voices, what really is jihad? How are we to understand jihad in relation to our Muslim neighbors and friends? Why is there such a surge of Islamist terrorism in the world today, and how are we to respond?

In Answering Jihad, best-selling author Nabeel Qureshi answers these questions from the perspective of a former Muslim who is deeply concerned for both his Muslim family and his American homeland.

Sex Pistols and Punk: Faber Forty-Fives: 1976 [EPUB]

Sex Pistols and Punk: Faber Forty-Fives: 1976 [EPUB]
Sex Pistols and Punk: Faber Forty-Fives: 1976 by Jon Savage
2012 | EPUB | 2.41MB

Sex Pistols and Punk recounts the turbulent months at the beginning of the British punk revolution in 1976.

Starting as four disparate teenagers thrown together by Svengali Malcom McLaren to sell trousers, the Sex Pistols quickly became both prism and mirror for a disaffected youth eager to smash the old guard and make the world in their own, Warholian image.

From dodgy backroom gigs to major-label overtures, Sex Pistols and Punk charts the dramatic rise of one of Britain's most influential and controversial bands.

1966: The Year the Decade Exploded [EPUB]

1966: The Year the Decade Exploded [EPUB]
1966: The Year the Decade Exploded by Jon Savage
2015 | EPUB | 2.66MB

The pop world accelerated and broke through the sound barrier in 1966.

In America, in London, in Amsterdam, in Paris, revolutionary ideas slow-cooking since the late '50s reached boiling point. In the worlds of pop, pop art, fashion and radical politics, often fueled by perception-enhancing substances and literature, the 'Sixties', as we have come to know them, hit their Modernist peak.

A unique chemistry of ideas, substances, freedom of expression and dialogue across pop cultural continents created a landscape of immense and eventually shattering creativity. After 1966 nothing in the pop world would ever be the same. The 7 inch single outsold the long-player for the final time. It was the year in which the ever lasting and transient pop moment would burst forth in its most articulate, instinctive and radical way.

Jon Savage's 1966 is a monument to the year that shaped the pop future of the balance of the century. Exploring canonical artists like The Beatles, The Byrds, Velvet Underground, The Who and The Kinks, 1966 also goes much deeper into the social and cultural heart of the decade through unique archival primary sources.

Master Your Metabolism [EPUB]

Master Your Metabolism [EPUB]
Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body by Jillian Michaels, Mariska Van Aalst
2011 | EPUB | 4.21MB

Does it feel as if you’re fighting your body to lose even one pound—or just to maintain your current weight? Respected health and wellness expert and bestselling author Jillian Michaels has been there, too. So she consulted top experts in the field of metabolism and discovered that she’d inadvertently been abusing her endocrine system for years. After “fixing” her own metabolism, she decided to share what she learned by devising this simple, 3-phase plan that engages all the weight-loss hormones (including the friendly HGH, testosterone, DHEA; and the not-so-friendly: insulin, cortisol, and excess estrogen).

In Master Your Metabolism, discover how to:

  • REMOVE “anti-nutrients” from your diet
  • RESTORE foods that speak directly to fat-burning genes
  • REBALANCE energy and your hormones for effortless weight loss

Michaels offers a wealth of information throughout, including: shopping lists and online shopping resources, hormone-trigger food charts, how to eat “power nutrient” foods on a budget, smart strategies for eating out, quick and easy recipes, as well as mini-programs for addressing PMS, andropause, metabolic syndrome, PCOS, and menopause.

Bertrand Russell's Dictionary of Mind, Matter and Morals EPUB]

Bertrand Russell's Dictionary of Mind, Matter and Morals EPUB]
Bertrand Russell's Dictionary of Mind, Matter and Morals by Bertrand Russell
2014 | EPUB | 0.49MB

This dictionary contains more than 1000 selections from over 100 of Russell’s books and articles. It serves as an introduction to Russell’s brilliance in analysis, argument, and exposition which develops a clear notion of his method of approach, his fundamental principles and many of his leading ideas. Found here are definitions and terms reflected in the topics of mind, matter and morals.

The Wreckage of Agathon [EPUB]

The Wreckage of Agathon [EPUB]
The Wreckage of Agathon by John Gardner
2010 | EPUB | 2.06MB

Laid to waste by drink, Agathon, a seer, is a shell of a man. He sits imprisoned with his apprentice, Peeker, for his presumed involvement in a rebellion against the Spartan tyrant Lykourgos. Confined to a cell, the men produce extraordinary writings that illustrate the stories of their lives and give witness to Agathon’s deterioration and the growth of Peeker from a bashful young apprentice to a self-assured and passionate seer.

Captivating and imaginative, The Wreckage of Agathon is a tribute to author John Gardner’s passion for ancient storytelling and those universal themes that span the course of all human civilization.

This ebook features a new illustrated biography of John Gardner, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Gardner family and the University of Rochester Archives.

The King's Indian: Stories and Tales [EPUB]

The King's Indian: Stories and Tales [EPUB]
The King's Indian: Stories and Tales by John Gardner
2010 | EPUB | 2.08MB

An iconic collection that showcases Gardner as a master craftsman navigating an uncertain world

In this exceptional book, author John Gardner explores the literary form as a vehicle of vision, and creates heroes that personify his tremendous artistic ideals: A Boston schoolmaster abandons his dreams of owning a farmhouse in rural Illinois only to be taken on a voyage across the seas and into self-discovery, faith, and love; an artist’s rapturous enthusiasm inspires an aging university professor to approach life’s chaotic moments as opportunities for creation. Each of these stories is wonderful in its own right, and provides valuable insight into the author’s literary beliefs.

Written just prior to his critical masterwork, On Moral Fiction, The King’s Indian is a must-read for those interested in learning more about Gardner’s highly controversial artistic philosophies.

This ebook features a new illustrated biography of John Gardner, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Gardner family and the University of Rochester Archives.

Freddy's Book [EPUB]

Freddy's Book [EPUB]
Freddy's Book by John Gardner
2010 | EPUB | 1.62MB

The bestselling story of a king’s crusade to vanquish the Devil and to defeat the monster in each of us

A visiting lecturer is lured to the remote, gothic mansion of an estranged professor and his only son, who is described as a monster. But soon, the visitor enters an enchanting new world when he begins reading the son’s hidden manuscript. Part history, part myth, the story conjures a sixteenth-century Sweden in which good and evil clash for the ultimate prize. To attain the throne, the protagonist, Gustav Vasa, accepts the Devil’s counsel, but to remain in power and rule justly, he must drive the Devil underground. This sweeping, masterful tale transports us from the wasted mining hills of Dalarna to the frozen northern country of the Lapps—and into the very heart of the struggle over what it means to be human.

This ebook features a new illustrated biography of John Gardner, including original letters, rare photos, and never-before-seen documents from the Gardner family and the University of Rochester Archives.

Willing Accomplices [Audiobook]

Willing Accomplices [Audiobook]
Willing Accomplices: How KGB Covert Influence Agents Created Political Correctness, Obama's Hate-America-First Political Platform, and Destroyed America [Audiobook] by Kent Clizbe, read by Douglas R Pratt
2013 | MP3@64 kbps | 13 hrs 7 mins | 360.29MB

CIA case officer, Kent Clizbe, analyzes counter-intelligence details to demonstrate that KGB covert influence agents in American education and academia, Hollywood, and the media inserted the anti-American payload that became 'Political Correctness' (PC). The KGB officers suffered death in Stalin's purges. Their American accomplices, not needing guidance, built the elite mindset of "reflexive loathing of the United States and its people," that defines PC.

In 2008, America elected its first PC President. Obama ran on a barely concealed platform of PC loathing of America and its people. Now we see the results. Willing Accomplices provides the foundation for critical consideration of the roots of the PC-Progressive political platform and its dire consequences in 21st century America.

Elegy: The First Day on the Somme [EPUB]

Elegy: The First Day on the Somme [EPUB]
Elegy: The First Day on the Somme by Andrew Roberts
2015 | EPUB | 29.86MB

On 1 July 1916, after a five-day bombardment, 11 British and 5 French divisions launched their long-awaited 'Big Push' on German positions on high ground above the Rivers Ancre and Somme on the Western Front. Some ground was gained, but at a terrible cost. In killing-grounds whose names are indelibly imprinted on 20th-century memory, German machine-guns - manned by troops who had sat out the storm of shellfire in deep dugouts - inflicted terrible losses on the British infantry.

The British Fourth Army lost 57,470 casualties, the French Sixth Army suffered 1,590 casualties and the German 2nd Army 10,000. And this was but the prelude to 141 days of slaughter that would witness the deaths of between 750,000 and 1 million troops.

Andrew Roberts evokes the pity and the horror of the blackest day in the history of the British army - a summer's day-turned-hell-on-earth by modern military technology - in the words of casualties, survivors, and the bereaved.

Visual Guide to Options [EPUB]

Visual Guide to Options [EPUB]
Visual Guide to Options by Jared Levy
2013 | EPUB | 156.62MB

The practical, visual guide to the complex world of options investing loaded with tactics and tips for market success

Options provide a diverse, strategic, advantaged approach to trading that can significantly limit the overall risks of a trade or yield additional returns. For many people, investing in options seem so risky that they fail to capitalize on this potentially lucrative opportunity that can unlock doors you would never imagine. The Bloomberg Visual Guide to Options uses full-color charts and other illustrations to help readers understand the mechanics and actionable details of the marketplace and how to profit from options trading.

An accessible reference volume for investment professionals of all levels of experience, the book takes a direct and to the point approach to the topic, enhanced by colorful and visually effective graphs and charts of the options market. Discussing the functions of the exchanges, how they work, and the strategies for taking advantage of the market while steering clear of risk, this is the ultimate visual guide to understanding the world of trading options.

  • Immerses readers in the exciting world of options trading through the use of full-color graphs and charts
  • Provides tips, tricks, and real scenarios for successful trading, whether trading in a bull, bear, or neutral market
  • Presents detailed, unique strategies for understanding and succeeding in the real options market
  • Includes special learning aids, such as Key Point Summaries, Do-It-Yourself Exercises, Step-By-Step Instructions, and much more

Putting even the most complex options trading issues at your fingertips in an easy-to-understand, readily accessible format, Bloomberg Visual Guide to Options is a must-have trading reference for professional investors.