Earth Science

Fossils: Life Cast in Ancient Stone

How can you turn a soft, organic, squishy organism into a fossil that can survive earthquakes, rising mountains, closing oceans, and colliding continents for millions, perhaps even billions, of years? Just what are the chances of some organism becoming a fossil? Learn about the necessary conditions required for a fossil to form and just how unlikely it is to happen. […]

Image of big bang timeline
Physics

The Big Bang Theory Explained

Most people think of the Big Bang as the moment that the universe “exploded” and came into existence. As Professor Don Lincoln explains, the reality is more complicated.  […]

Engineering

Breaking the Sound Barrier and Beyond

During and just after World War II, the quest for ever faster fighter planes reached an apparent natural barrier—the speed of sound. Yet, on approaching this limit, aircraft became unstable and uncontrollable. In this full lecture, discover how a new approach to aircraft design solved the problem of compressibility and shock waves in this transonic region, paving the way for supersonic flight and paved the way to breaking the sound barrier. […]

History

Biological Anthropology—Unpacking Race and Biology

What does it mean to be human? Where did we come from? And what unites us in our diversity today? As the world population continues to explode, these big questions about humanity become increasingly important, and biological anthropology is the field of study that tackles them. […]

Image of Copmuter Code on Screen
Science

Computer Programming: Understanding Variables

The leap from traditional calculators to the power of computer programming begins when we turn to variables, operations with variables, and input/output commands. When we combine variables with other operations or input/output commands, we get statements that let the computer do virtually everything we regard as impressive. […]

Solar Eclipse
Astronomy

Eclipse Glasses Not Required

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory has created a free Smithsonian Eclipse app, allowing users to watch a live NASA stream of the eclipse as it moves across the country. […]

image of extra dimensions
Physics

Big Mysteries: Extra Dimensions

Extra dimensions, which may well be an incorrect hypothesis, are one possible explanation for why gravity is so much weaker than the other forces.  In this video, Great Courses professor Dr. Don Lincoln explains it all with the help of a talking rabbit. […]

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