The Mechanical Universe... and Beyond

Video Lectures

Displaying all 56 video lectures.
Lecture 1
Introduction
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Introduction
This preview introduces revolutionary ideas and heroes from Copernicus to Newton, and links the physics of the heavens and the earth.
Lecture 2
The Law of Falling Bodies
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The Law of Falling Bodies
Galileo's imaginative experiments proved that all bodies fall with the same constant acceleration.
Lecture 3
Derivatives
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Derivatives
The function of mathematics in physical science and the derivative as a practical tool.
Lecture 4
Inertia
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Inertia
Galileo risks his favored status to answer the questions of the universe with his law of inertia.
Lecture 5
Vectors
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Vectors
Physics must explain not only why and how much, but also where and which way.
Lecture 6
Newton's Laws
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Newton's Laws
Newton lays down the laws of force, mass, and acceleration.
Lecture 7
Integration
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Integration
Newton and Leibniz arrive at the conclusion that differentiation and integration are inverse processes.
Lecture 8
The Apple and the Moon
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The Apple and the Moon
The first real steps toward space travel are made as Newton discovers that gravity describes the force between any two particles in the universe.
Lecture 9
Moving in Circles
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Moving in Circles
A look at the Platonic theory of uniform circular motion.
Lecture 10
Fundamental Forces
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Fundamental Forces
All physical phenomena of nature are explained by four forces: two nuclear forces, gravity, and electricity.
Lecture 11
Gravity, Electricity, Magnetism
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Gravity, Electricity, Magnetism
Shedding light on the mathematical form of the gravitational, electric, and magnetic forces.
Lecture 12
The Millikan Experiment
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The Millikan Experiment
A dramatic recreation of Millikan's classic oil-drop experiment to determine the charge of a single electron.
Lecture 13
Conservation of Energy
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Conservation of Energy
According to one of the major laws of physics, energy is neither created nor destroyed.
Lecture 14
Potential Energy
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Potential Energy
Potential energy provides a powerful model for understanding why the world has worked the same way since the beginning of time.
Lecture 15
Conservation of Momentum
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Conservation of Momentum
What keeps the universe ticking away until the end of time?
Lecture 16
Harmonic Motion
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Harmonic Motion
The music and mathematics of periodic motion.
Lecture 17
Resonance
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Resonance
Why a swaying bridge collapses with a high wind, and why a wine glass shatters with a higher octave.
Lecture 18
Waves
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Waves
With an analysis of simple harmonic motion and a stroke of genius, Newton extended mechanics to the propagation of sound.
Lecture 19
Angular Momentum
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Angular Momentum
An old momentum with a new twist.
Lecture 20
Torques and Gyroscopes
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Torques and Gyroscopes
From spinning tops to the precession of the equinoxes.
Lecture 21
Kepler's Three Laws
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Kepler's Three Laws
The discovery of elliptical orbits helps describe the motion of heavenly bodies with unprecedented accuracy.
Lecture 22
The Kepler Problem
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The Kepler Problem
The deduction of Kepler's laws from Newton's universal law of gravitation is one of the crowning achievements of Western thought.
Lecture 23
Energy and Eccentricity
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Energy and Eccentricity
The precise orbit of a heavenly body — a planet, asteroid, or comet — is fixed by the laws of conservation of energy and angular momentum.
Lecture 24
Navigating in Space
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Navigating in Space
Voyages to other planets use the same laws that guide planets around the solar system.
Lecture 25
Kepler to Einstein
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Kepler to Einstein
From Kepler's laws and the theory of tides, to Einstein's general theory of relativity, into black holes, and beyond.
Lecture 26
Harmony of the Spheres
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Harmony of the Spheres
A last lingering look back at mechanics to see new connections between old discoveries.
Lecture 27
Beyond the Mechanical Universe
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Beyond the Mechanical Universe
The world of electricity and magnetism, and 20th-century discoveries of relativity and quantum mechanics.
Lecture 28
Static Electricity
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Static Electricity
Eighteenth-century electricians knew how to spark the interest of an audience with the principles of static electricity.
Lecture 29
The Electric Field
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The Electric Field
Faraday's vision of lines of constant force in space laid the foundation for the modern force field theory.
Lecture 30
Potential and Capacitance
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Potential and Capacitance
Franklin proposes a successful theory of the Leyden jar and invents the parallel plate capacitor.
Lecture 31
Voltage, Energy and Force
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Voltage, Energy and Force
When is electricity dangerous or benign, spectacular or useful?
Lecture 32
The Electric Battery
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The Electric Battery
Volta invents the electric battery using the internal properties of different metals.
Lecture 33
Electric Circuits
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Electric Circuits
The work of Wheatstone, Ohm, and Kirchhoff leads to the design and analysis of how current flows.
Lecture 34
Magnetism
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Magnetism
Gilbert discovered that the earth behaves like a giant magnet. Modern scientists have learned even more.
Lecture 35
The Magnetic Field
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The Magnetic Field
The law of Biot and Sarvart, the force between electric currents, and Ampère's law.
Lecture 36
Vector Fields and Hydrodynamics
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Vector Fields and Hydrodynamics
Force fields have definite properties of their own suitable for scientific study.
Lecture 37
Electromagnetic Induction
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Electromagnetic Induction
The discovery of electromagnetic induction in 1831 creates an important technological breakthrough in the generation of electric power.
Lecture 38
Alternating Current
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Alternating Current
Electromagnetic induction makes it easy to generate alternating current while transformers make it practical to distribute it over long distances.
Lecture 39
Maxwell's Equations
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Maxwell's Equations
Maxwell discovers that displacement current produces electromagnetic waves or light.
Lecture 40
Optics
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Optics
Many properties of light are properties of waves, including reflection, refraction, and diffraction.
Lecture 41
The Michelson-Morley Experiment
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The Michelson-Morley Experiment
In 1887, an exquisitely designed measurement of the earth's motion through the ether results in the most brilliant failure in scientific history.
Lecture 42
The Lorentz Transformation
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The Lorentz Transformation
If the speed of light is to be the same for all observers, then the length of a meter stick, or the rate of a ticking clock, depends on who measures it.
Lecture 43
Velocity and Time
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Velocity and Time
Einstein is motivated to perfect the central ideas of physics, resulting in a new understanding of the meaning of space and time.
Lecture 44
Mass, Momentum, Energy
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Mass, Momentum, Energy
The new meaning of space and time make it necessary to formulate a new mechanics.
Lecture 45
Temperature and Gas Laws
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Temperature and Gas Laws
Hot discoveries about the behavior of gases make the connection between temperature and heat.
Lecture 46
Engine of Nature
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Engine of Nature
The Carnot engine, part one, beginning with simple steam engines.
Lecture 47
Entropy
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Entropy
The Carnot engine, part two, with profound implications for the behavior of matter and the flow of time through the universe.
Lecture 48
Low Temperatures
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Low Temperatures
With the quest for low temperatures came the discovery that all elements can exist in each of the basic states of matter.
Lecture 49
The Atom
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The Atom
A history of the atom, from the ancient Greeks to the early 20th century, and a new challenge for the world of physics.
Lecture 50
Particles and Waves
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Particles and Waves
Evidence that light can sometimes act like a particle leads to quantum mechanics, the new physics.
Lecture 51
From Atoms to Quarks
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From Atoms to Quarks
Electron waves attracted to the nucleus of an atom help account for the periodic table of the elements and ultimately lead to the search for quarks.
Lecture 52
The Quantum Mechanical Universe
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The Quantum Mechanical Universe
A last look at where we've been and a peek into the future.
Lecture 53
Siggraph 1984 - Mechanical Universe Demo
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Siggraph 1984 - Mechanical Universe Demo
A short demonstration video of the computer animations for "The Mechanical Universe," produced by Jim Blinn for the 1984 Special Interest Group on Graphics (Siggraph) of the Association for Computing Machinery conference. Visit http://JimBlinn.com for more details.
Lecture 54
Siggraph 1985 - Mechanical Universe Demo
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Siggraph 1985 - Mechanical Universe Demo
Lecture 55
Siggraph 1986 - Mechanical Universe Demo
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Siggraph 1986 - Mechanical Universe Demo
Lecture 56
Siggraph 1987 - Mechanical Universe Demo
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Siggraph 1987 - Mechanical Universe Demo