Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition : The Great Courses: Physics

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Richard Wolfson
  • Series: The Great Courses: Physics
  • 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

"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 comprehensible by anyone. These dynamic and illuminating lectures begin with a brief overview of theories of physical reality starting with Aristotle and culminating in Newtonian or "classical" physics. After that, you'll follow along as Professor Wolfson outlines the logic that led to Einstein's profound theory of special relativity and the simple yet far-reaching insight on which it rests. With that insight in mind, you'll move on to consider Einstein's theory of general relativity and its interpretation of gravitation in terms of the curvature of space and time.
From there, you'll embark on a dazzling exploration of how inquiry into matter at the atomic and subatomic scales led to quandaries that are resolved-or at least clarified-by quantum mechanics, a vision of physical reality so profound and so at odds with our experience that it nearly defies language.
By bringing relativity and quantum mechanics into the same picture, you'll chart the development of fascinating hypotheses about the origin, development, and possible futures of the entire universe, as well as the possibility that physics can produce a "theory of everything" to account for all aspects of the physical world. But the goal throughout these lectures remains the same: to present the key ideas of modern physics in a way that makes them clear to the interested layperson.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Pitched at just the right level, very engaging.

I've always rather regretted dropping physics at the age that I did, but assumed that my lack of advanced mathematics was probably a barrier to investigating the subject further by myself. I'm ecstatically happy to be proven wrong.

I couldn't really be happier with this course. It seems to be pitched towards an undergraduate non-scientist level, which is to say that it assumes that you don't know any physics already, but *does* assume that you have a few brain cells to rub together. So far so perfect.

The content is no doubt simplified and focused on the conceptual (Advanced physics without maths? How could it not be?), but Professor Wolfson is superb in how he takes the listener through the evolution of various theories in engaging logical steps.

NOTE: There are references throughout the lecture series to occasional diagrams and course materials, which are *not* available for Audible customers to download form the Great Courses website. A quick google search however will usually provide you with similar diagrams if you just throw in the relative topic keywords.
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- C. Mccartney

Enjoyable and informative, but...

An enjoyable telling of the story of how the physical world works, which should prompt anyone to look for more, not least to look further into the mathematics underpinning it all. The lecturer speaks enthusiastically and quickly and sometimes loses track (entertaining in itself) but topics are well paced and points are repeated and reinforced so you don't have to continually backtrack if your attention strays. Unfortunately this offering is purely audio, with no apparent links to important supplementary visual aids (even the most basic diagrams and equations) which would be available if the audiobook was purchased from the original producer.
This is simply wrong and unfair never mind the (usual) claim that they arent necessary given at the beginning. I'm writing this having studied these topics at undergraduate level - I feel that others are missing out. But as I said in the end it should encourage anyone to look for more elsewhere, which can only be a good sign.
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- Sparding

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses