Toward a Theory of Everything

Toward a Theory of Everything
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What about E=mc² and Is Everything Relative?
Shortly after publishing his 1905 paper on special relativity, Einstein realized that his theory required a fundamental equivalence between mass and energy, which he expressed in the equation E=mc2. Among other things, this famous formula means that the energy contained in a single raisin could power a large city for…
Quantum Field Theory
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 fields that fill every inch of the universe, and grasping…
Quantum Field Theory
Episode 9 of Redefining Reality
See how quantum field theory led to a stunning synthesis called the standard model of particle physics, which was confirmed by the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson. Study the startling implications of this theory for our understanding of reality. Close by examining its impact on the visual arts.
Chaos Theory
Episode 10 of Redefining Reality
Traditional attempts to understand the world assumed that it was regular, simple, periodic, and predictable. But nature surprised scientists, giving them a richer picture of reality through chaos theory, which includes fractal structures. Learn how chaos is not randomness but a previously unimagined complexity within the universe.
Grand Unified Theories
Episode 12 of Redefining Reality
Since its earliest days, science has been on a mission to unite disparate phenomena under the umbrella of more comprehensive theories. Follow the search for a grand unified theory (GUT) that unifies the workings of quantum forces, and a theory of everything (TOE) that quantizes gravity. One current TOE candidate…
Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution - Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition
"It doesn't take an Einstein to understand modern physics," says Professor Wolfson at the outset of these twenty-four lectures on what may be the most important subjects in the universe: relativity and quantum physics. Both have reputations for complexity. But the basic ideas behind them are, in fact, simple and…
Time Travel, Tunneling, Tennis, and Tea
What are the two big ideas of modern physics? How can nonscientists gain a handle on these ideas and the radical changes they bring to our philosophical thinking about the physical world?
Heaven and Earth, Place and Motion
Understanding motion is the key to understanding space and time. Is there a "natural" state of motion? Learn why the ancients gave different answers to this question, and how Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo laid the foundation for a new approach.
The Clockwork Universe
Isaac Newton was born in 1642, the year that Galileo died. You'll learn how he built on the work of Galileo and Kepler, developing the three laws of motion and the concept of universal gravitation. You'll learn why Newton's laws suggest a universe that runs like a clock.
Let There Be Light!
The study of motion is not all there is to physics. By the 18th century, scientists were delving into the relationship between the two phenomena. Today, electromagnetism is known to be responsible for the chemical interactions of atoms and molecules and all of modern electronic technology.
Speed is Relative to What?
In mechanics (the branch of physics that studies motion), the principle of Galilean relativity holds - meaning that the laws of mechanics are the same for anything in uniform motion. Is the same true for the laws of electromagnetism?
Earth and the Ether - A Crisis in Physics
In the 1880s, Albert Michelson and Edward Morley conducted an experiment to determine the motion of Earth relative to the ether. You'll learn about their experiment, its shocking result, and the resulting theoretical crisis.