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Applied Physics

Black Holes, Tides, and Curved Spacetime

It's About Time

The Science of Information

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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…
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 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"…
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…
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…
Loads and Structural Systems
Episode 9 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
Structures are heavily influenced by the loads they're designed to carry. First, take a closer look at the most important loads structures must resist, including traffic loads and earthquake loads. Then, using the historic iron building at Watervliet Arsenal in…
Silicon Run I
Part of the Series: Silicon Run Series
Silicon Run I uses live industrial footage to show the many processes necessary to manufacture microchips, including crystal growth, circuit design, and the wafer fabrication process for CMOS technology. Using close-ups of manufacturing processes and device animation, Silicon Run I…
Electricity - Ultimate Energy Converter
Episode 4 of The Science of Energy
Discover what makes electricity such an attractive vehicle for energy. Learn how electricity can come from oil, coal, solar, and other forces, and how electricity travels through wires with the help of voltage. Also, examine recent advances that make it…
Energy and Human Civilization
Episode 1 of The Science of Energy
How much energy is required to power human civilization? What is it that makes our cities, factories, homes, and cars so energy inefficient? How can the average individual affect energy directions? Find out in this overview of how energy touches…
The Transformability of Information
Episode 1 of The Science of Information
What is information? Explore the surprising answer of American mathematician Claude Shannon, who concluded that information is the ability to distinguish reliably among possible alternatives. Consider why this idea was so revolutionary, and see how it led to the concept…
Building Across: Beams and Bending
Episode 6 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
Beams, combining tension and compression, are central to the second aspiration supported by engineering: building across long distances. As you survey beams from the primitive lintel over the Lion Gate at Mycenae to Norway's Raftsundet Bridge, you'll investigate scientific developments…
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…
Trusses: The Power of the Triangle
Episode 7 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
Trusses, the subject of this fascinating episode, are rigid frameworks composed of structural members connected at joints and arranged into networks of triangles. Learn how they work to stabilize and support a range of structural wonders, including the Brooklyn Bridge…
The Arrival of Robot Autonomy
Episode 1 of Robotics Series
Plunge into the world of robots with this engaging introduction. When did we start thinking about robots? What three components are responsible for so many advances in robot design? Why is behavioral autonomy so essential to the development of modern…
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 Beauty and Versatility of Modern Concrete
Episode 20 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
Concrete, the world's most commonly used construction material, has been used in buildings that are anything but common. See concrete's versatility at work in an incredible range of structures, including Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, the Salginatobel Bridge in the Swiss…
The Rise of Iron- and Steel-Framed Buildings
Episode 18 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
How did iron and steel revolutionize building design? Find out in this trip back to late 18th- and early 19th-century Europe and America, where iron-framed structures: such as sheds at England's Chatham Dockyard, New York City's Equitable Life Insurance Building,…
Time Travel, Tunneling, Tennis, and Tea
Part of the Series: Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution
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?
Energy - Forms and Conversion for Use
Episode 2 of The Science of Energy
Energy is a fundamental part of our universe--in a sense, the universe is energy. Here, Professor Wysession introduces you to the many fascinating forms energy takes, including potential, kinetic, mechanical, and thermal energy. He also explains how energy is measured…
The Great Skyscraper Race
Episode 19 of Understanding the World's Greatest Structures
The human aspiration to build upward reaches its climax with the skyscraper. Learn the story behind America's great skyscraper race and the increasingly sophisticated buildings it produced. Among the structural masterpieces you examine in depth are the Wainwright Building, the…