Professor at California Institute of Technology

Professor at California Institute of Technology >

88
Videos
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Why Time Is a Mystery
Episode 1 of Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time Series
Begin your study of the physics of time with these questions: What is a clock? What does it mean to say that "time passes"? What is the "arrow of time"? Then look at the concept of entropy and how it…
The Strangest Force
Episode 1 of Black Holes, Tides, and Curved Spacetime
Begin your exploration of gravity with Isaac Newton and the famous story of the apple. Why was it such a breakthrough to connect a falling apple with the faraway moon? Review the essential characteristics of gravity and learn why small…
What Is Time?
Episode 2 of Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time Series
Approach time from a philosophical perspective. "Presentism" holds that the past and future are not real; only the present moment is real. However, the laws of physics appear to support "eternalism"--the view that all of the moments in the history…
The Importance of the Higgs Boson
Episode 1 of The Higgs Boson and Beyond Course
Why was the discovery of the Higgs boson such a big deal? That's the key question that Professor Carroll tackles in his illuminating introduction. Take a fascinating dive into the world of modern particle physics and see how the Higgs…
Keeping Time
Episode 3 of Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time Series
How do we measure the passage of time? Discover that practical concerns have driven the search for more and more accurate clocks. In the 18th century, the problem of determining longitude was solved with a timepiece of unprecedented accuracy. Today's…
Quantum Field Theory
Episode 2 of The Higgs Boson and Beyond Course
Toss out the textbook image of electrons circling an atom's nucleus. This lecture explores the big twist of quantum field theory: The world isn't really made of particles. They're fascinating and necessary figments of quantum mechanics created by observing the…
Publius Cornelius Scipio
Part of the Series: Famous Romans
It is a March day in 218 B.C., the year that will see the beginning of the Second Punic War. Join the consul P. Cornelius Scipio and his son as they tour the Forum, discussing its statues of heroes from…
The Second Law of Thermodynamics
Episode 5 of Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time Series
Trace the history of the second law of thermodynamics, considered by many physicists to be the one law of physics most likely to survive unaltered for the next thousand years. The second law says that entropy--the degree of disorder in…
Stars in Their Courses—Orbital Mechanics
Episode 7 of Black Holes, Tides, and Curved Spacetime
Newton was the first to realize that objects could, in theory, be sent into orbit around Earth. Explore how this works in practice, using the ideas of energy and angular momentum to study how satellites, moons, planets, and stars move…
Time’s Arrow
Episode 4 of Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time Series
Embark on the quest that will occupy the rest of the course: Why is there an arrow of time? Explore how memory and aging orient us in time. Then look at irreversible processes, such as an egg breaking or ice…
Hannibal
Part of the Series: Famous Romans
Few Romans did as much to make Rome a world power as did its worst enemy, Hannibal. This lecture follows the great Carthaginian general as he leads 59,000 men and 37 elephants over the Pyrenees, fights his way across Gaul,…
Time in Quantum Mechanics
Episode 8 of Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time Series
Quantum mechanics is the most precise theory ever invented, yet it leads to startling interpretations of the nature of reality. Probe a quantum state called the collapse of the wave function that may underlie the arrow of time. Are the…
Free Fall and Inertia
Episode 2 of Black Holes, Tides, and Curved Spacetime
Review three great discoveries by the "grandfather" of gravity research, Galileo Galilei. His most famous experiment may never have happened, but his principle of inertia, law of free fall, and principle of relativity are the basis for everything that comes…
Time Travel
Episode 19 of Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time Series
Use a simple analogy to understand how a time machine might work. Unlike movie scenarios featuring dematerializing and rematerializing, a real time machine would be a spaceship that moves through all the intervening points between two locations in spacetime. Also…
Memory and Consciousness
Episode 16 of Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time Series
Remembering the past and projecting into the future are crucial for human consciousness, as shown by cases where these faculties are impaired. Investigate what happens in the brain when we remember, exploring different kinds of memory and the phenomena of…
Escape Velocity, Energy, and Rotation
Episode 6 of Black Holes, Tides, and Curved Spacetime
Begin the first of several episodes that dig deeper into Newton's laws than Newton himself was able to go. In this episode, apply the key concepts of energy and angular momentum to study how gravity affects motion. As an example,…
Universal Gravitation
Episode 4 of Black Holes, Tides, and Curved Spacetime
See how Newton was able to finish Kepler's revolution by formulating the law of universal gravitation, which says that every object exerts an attractive force on every other object. Also explore Newton's related discovery of the three laws of motion,…
Revolution in the Heavens
Episode 3 of Black Holes, Tides, and Curved Spacetime
Drawing on ideas and observations of Nicolaus Copernicus and Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler achieved a great insight about gravity by discovering three laws of planetary motion, relating to the mathematics of orbits. The cause of planetary motion, he determined, must…
Reversibility and the Laws of Physics
Episode 6 of Mysteries of Modern Physics: Time Series
Isaac Newton's laws of physics are fully reversible; particles can move forward or backward in time without any inconsistency. But this is not our experience in the world, where the arrow of time is fundamentally connected to irreversible processes and…
What Are Tides? Earth and Beyond
Episode 8 of Black Holes, Tides, and Curved Spacetime
Trace the origin of tides to the simple fact that gravity varies from point to point in space. This leads not just to the rise and fall of the ocean, but to the gradual slowing of Earth's rotation, Saturn's spectacular…