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. […]
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. […]
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. […]
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. […]
Flowering plants arrived relatively late in geological time, between 290 to 145 million years ago. But once here, they evolved quickly and often displaced many other types of plants. In fact, in terms of species, flowering plants are the dominant plant form on Earth today with more than 300,000 types. Learn how their unique reproductive mechanisms led to this explosion of speciation in such a relatively short time.