# Mechanical Universe from Caltech

Here's a great series from CalTech from the mid-1980s called “The Mechanical Universe". It's a series of 52 thirty-minute videos covering the basic topics of an introductory university physics course. From the YouTube intro:

"Each program in the series opens and closes with Caltech Professor David Goodstein providing philosophical, historical and often humorous insight into the subject at hand while lecturing to his freshman physics class. The series contains hundreds of computer animation segments, created by Dr. James F. Blinn, as the primary tool of instruction. Dynamic location footage and historical re-creations are also used to stress the fact that science is a human endeavor.

"The series was originally produced as a broadcast telecourse in 1985 by Caltech and Intelecom, Inc. with program funding from the Annenberg/CPB Project. The online version of the series is sponsored by the Information Science and Technology initiative at Caltech. http://ist.caltech.edu ©1985 California Institute of Technology, The Corporation for Community College Television, and The Annenberg/CPB Project."

You can watch the whole thing, of course, but the ones that we especially like are:

*Electromagnetic Induction*

*Maxwell's Equations*

And for you completists, here's the whole list:

1 | "Introduction" | Brief overview of the material in the first 26 episodes. | |

2 | "The Law of Falling Bodies" | How falling bodies behave and an introduction to the derivative. | |

3 | "Derivatives" | Review of the mathematical operation the derivative. | |

4 | "Inertia" | How Galileo used the law of inertia to answer questions about the stars. | |

5 | "Vectors" | Vectors not only have a magnitude but also a direction. | |

6 | "Newton's Laws" | Newton's first, second and third laws. | |

7 | "Integration" | Integration and differentiation are inverse operations of each other. | |

8 | "The Apple and the Moon" | An apple falls and the moon orbits the earth because of gravity. | |

9 | "Moving in Circles" | A body in uniform circular motion has both constant speed and constant acceleration. | |

10 | "Fundamental Forces" | Gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. | |

11 | "Gravity, Electricity, Magnetism" | How electricity and magnetism relate to the speed of light. | |

12 | "The Millikan Experiment" | Millikan's demonstration to accurately measure the charge of an electron. | |

13 | "Conservation of Energy" | Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed. | |

14 | "Potential Energy" | Systems that are stable are at their lowest potential energy. | |

15 | "Conservation of Momentum" | Momentum is conserved when two or more bodies interact. | |

16 | "Harmonic Motion" | Disturbing stable systems will produce simple harmonic motion. | |

17 | "Resonance" | Resonance is produced when the frequency of a disturbing force comes close to the natural harmonic frequency of a system. | |

18 | "Waves" | Waves are a series of disturbances that propagate through solids, liquids and gases. | |

19 | "Angular Momentum" | Objects traveling in circles have angular momentum. | |

20 | "Torques and Gyroscopes" | A force acting on a spinning object can cause it to precess. | |

21 | "Kepler's Three Laws" | Kepler discovered the orbits of the planets are ellipses. | |

22 | "The Kepler Problem" | Newton proved that an inverse-square law of gravity implies that celestial bodies move in orbits that are conic sections. | |

23 | "Energy and Eccentricity" | The conservation of energy and angular momentum help determine how eccentric an orbit will be. | |

24 | "Navigating in Space" | The laws that describe planetary motion are used to navigate in space. | |

25 | "Kepler to Einstein" | Einstein used Newton's and Kepler's laws to work on his theory of relativity. | |

26 | "Harmony of the Spheres" | Harmonizing music to the orbits of the planets. | |

27 | "Beyond the Mechanical Universe" | An overview of the subject matter for the latter half of the series. | |

28 | "Static Electricity" | Introducing the concept of electric charge. | |

29 | "The Electric Field" | Michael Faraday gave science the image of the electric field. | |

30 | "Capacitance and Potential" | The basics of the capacitor, with a historical emphasis on Benjamin Franklin. | |

31 | "Voltage, Energy, and Force" | Furthering the understanding of how electric charges exert forces and do work. | |

32 | "The Electric Battery" | Thanks to Alessandro Volta's invention of the electric battery, we can have steady electrical current. | |

33 | "Electric Circuits" | The "nuts and bolts" of how electrical circuitry was made practical, featuring Wheatstone, Kirchhoff and Ohm. | |

34 | "Magnetism" | William Gilbert found that the earth itself is a magnet, a discovery built upon by modern science. | |

35 | "The Magnetic Field" | Electric currents create, and are influenced by, magnetic fields, per the Biot–Savart and Ampère laws. | |

36 | "Vector Fields and Hydrodynamics" | Some concepts apply generally to all vector fields and are useful both in electromagnetism and in the study of fluid flow. | |

37 | "Electromagnetic Induction" | A changing magnetic field creates an electric current: electromagnetic induction, demonstrated by Faraday in 1831. | |

38 | "Alternating Currents" | In order to make the distribution of electric power practical over great distances, transformers are used to change the voltages of alternating currents. | |

39 | "Maxwell's Equations" | By finding the missing conceptual piece in the mathematics of electricity and magnetism, Maxwell discovers light is an electromagnetic wave. | |

40 | "Optics" | Understanding light as a wave makes sense of reflection, refraction, and diffraction. | |

41 | "The Michelson–Morley experiment" | If light is a wave, what is waving? By careful and precise measurement, Michelson and Morley tried to detect the Earth's motion through this medium, the "luminiferous aether", and found nothing. | |

42 | "The Lorentz Transformation" | Einstein realized that, if the speed of light is to be the same for all observers, then distances in space and durations of elapsed time must be relative. | |

43 | "Velocity and Time" | Einstein arrived at the Lorentz transformation from a deeper conceptual understanding, creating a theory full of surprises like the twin paradox. | |

44 | "Energy, Momentum, and Mass" | The conservation of momentum still applies in special relativity, but with new implications. | |

45 | "Temperature and the Gas Law" | The study of thermodynamics begins with gases. | |

46 | "The Engine of Nature" | An introduction to the Carnot engine, an idealized machine for converting thermal energy into mechanical work. | |

47 | "Entropy" | Further investigation of Carnot engines leads to the concept of entropy. | |

48 | "Low Temperatures" | Faraday makes chlorine gas into a liquid, kicking off the pursuit of lower and lower temperatures, culminating in the liquification of helium. | |

49 | "The Atom" | The ancient Greeks introduced the notion that matter is made of atoms. In the early 20th century, spectral lines and the discovery of the atomic nucleus forced the development of new ideas. | |

50 | "Particles and Waves" | Light, which had been thought to be a wave, was found to act in some circumstances like a stream of particles. This puzzle led to quantum mechanics. | |

51 | "Atoms to Quarks" | Understanding the wavefunctions that can be assigned to the electron in a hydrogen atom illuminates the shape of the periodic table of the elements. | |

52 | "The Quantum Mechanical Universe" | A review of the series. |

Big thanks to Other Editor for pointing this out to us!

**Author : **Unknown Editor

**Source : **Caltech