Professor at Harvard University

Professor at Harvard University >

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History's Mysteries
Episode 1 of The Inexplicable Universe
Begin this journey by taking a closer look at concepts that were once unexplainable but are now better understood. You'll focus on two such former mysteries: the existence of an invisible "aether" through which light and sound were believed to…
Mindlessness: The Default Setting
Episode 1 of Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation Course
Do you control your mind, or does your mind control you? Investigate how the mind operates and the condition of mindlessness: the pervasive swirl of thoughts and judgments that separate you from the world around you. Consider the possibility of…
The Spooky Universe
Episode 2 of The Inexplicable Universe
Did you know that electrons have never actually been observed by scientists to this day? Or that quarks can only be studied in pairs? Or that as you travel faster or find yourself in a higher gravity, time ticks more…
Inexplicable Physics
Episode 4 of The Inexplicable Universe
Turn now to some inexplicable aspects of physics and our physical world. Among the many eye-opening topics you'll learn about in this episode are the discovery of more and more elements on the periodic table; muon neutrinos, tao particles, and…
Inexplicable Life
Episode 3 of The Inexplicable Universe
Join Professor Tyson on a fascinating investigation of the possible origins of life in the universe. Why was Jupiter believed to be a good environment for life in the 17th century? Why is there only one single "tree of life"…
Mindfulness: The Power of Awareness
Episode 2 of Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation Course
Explore the notion of mindfulness: nonjudgmental attention to experience: as it occurs in everyday life and as a deliberate practice. Note the many benefits of mindfulness practice, from the freedom to choose how you respond to life, to releasing detrimental…
What Is Writing?
Episode 1 of Writing and Civilization
It has been said that writing exists only in a civilization and a civilization cannot exist without writing, but is that accurate? Consider the validity of this statement and examine several of the critical functions that writing has served during…
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…
From Britannia to Britain
Episode 1 of Story of Medieval England
A discussion of how the geography of Britain has shaped political events over the centuries introduces you to the significance of English history between the 5th-century fall of the Roman Empire and the 1485 advent of the Tudor Dynasty.
Inexplicable Cosmology
Episode 6 of The Inexplicable Universe
Brace yourself for a fascinating trip through dimensions higher than our own. You'll discover how quantum physics and string theory have opened our eyes to the possibilities of quantum foam, the multiverse, and antimatter. Join Professor Tyson for a preview…
Inexplicable Space
Episode 5 of The Inexplicable Universe
Shoot off into the stars for an investigation of some perplexing aspects of space that science has uncovered in the last half-century. Learn about the mysterious trajectory of the Pioneer spacecraft (known as the "Pioneer anomaly"). Explore two of the…
The Viking Invasions
Episode 6 of Story of Medieval England
Watch as the one- or two-boat raids of the late 8th century grew into vast armies of 50 ships or more by the middle of the 9th.k Intent on settling permanently, the invaders' influence in eastern England would be profound,…
The Fuþark—A Germanic Alphabet
Episode 4 of Writing and Civilization
Runes are often mistakenly thought to be a semimagical system of signs used for divination and ritual, but nothing could be further from the truth. Look at the real history of the Runic alphabet--also known as the Futhark --as a…
What Is Marketing?
Episode 49 of Critical Business Skills for Success Series
One of the core tenets of successful marketing is understanding your customer. But often times, you aren't the customer you're marketing to. What can you do instead? Find out in this introductory lecture on "Marketing 101", which also explores four…
Alfred the Great
Episode 7 of Story of Medieval England
Explore the career of Alfred the Great, who led the heroic resistance that kept Wessex free from Viking control. Separate fact from legend in the life of the man who would create the Wessex dynasty that would eventually become the…
Accounting and Finance—Decision-Making Tools
Episode 25 of Critical Business Skills for Success Series
This introductory lecture unpacks some key concepts in accounting and finance; dispels some common myths about accounting; and gives you a helpful overview of three essential statements companies routinely prepare to communicate critical financial data to shareholders and owners.
Roman Britain and the Origins of King Arthur
Episode 2 of Story of Medieval England
The collapse of the Roman rule, arrival of barbarian raiders and settlers, and resistance to Germanic immigration serve as a backdrop to tantalizing mystery. Examine the evidence as to whether the unidentified champion who temporarily halted the advance of the…
Seeking an Evolutionary Theory of Music
Episode 2 of Music and the Brain Series
Darwin believed that musical behavior arose because it gave our early ancestors a biological advantage. But what advantage? Investigate Darwin's theory and other adaptationist explanations for the evolution of music. Then look at two alternatives: invention theories and gene-culture co-evolution…
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…
Culture, Biology, or Both?
Episode 1 of Music and the Brain Series
Explore the distinction between music and musicality. While musical styles change, musicality is the stable array of mental processes that underlie our ability to appreciate and produce music. Begin by looking at our capacity for relative pitch perception, asking why…