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

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

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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.

©2000 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2000 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (1769 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Paul Hooker, OK, United States 01-29-15
    Paul Hooker, OK, United States 01-29-15 Member Since 2016

    I like apocalypse, zombies, and orcs stories. Also new ideas in fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    "Not overly complicated"

    Very well done. Not overly complicated and very good for causing your mind to expand.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey 01-23-15
    Jeffrey 01-23-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting"

    The narrator spoke in such a way to emphasize the importance of certain concepts yet kept the over place of lecture from slowing. Very enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NickInProvo 01-18-15
    NickInProvo 01-18-15 Member Since 2016

    grad student in Electrical Engineering

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great overview of 20 century physics"
    What did you love best about Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition?

    I loved the journey through modern physics, it was very inspirational to hear about the understanding of the world around us revealed by modern physics and some philosophical implications. Very short lectures, easy to follow if you're familiar with the topic but very profound.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Einstein dugh


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JM 01-14-15
    JM 01-14-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    6
    3
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    "Wonderful!"

    I took quite a few physics courses a few years ago, and this was a wonderful refresher on the theories I studied. The lecturer does a great job of presenting complex theories in an easy to understand format.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yogeshwar 01-14-15
    Yogeshwar 01-14-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very good lectures."

    Very easy to grasp. Wish they included the bibliography and the pictures he was talking about. This is not very mathematical, so you may need to look for other sources for those...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom San Jose, CA, United States 12-22-13
    Tom San Jose, CA, United States 12-22-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delightful lecture, I disagree with the disclaimer"
    What did you like best about Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition? What did you like least?

    Good lecturer, it's almost as if he knows he's being recorded for replay in audio only format.


    What does Professor Richard Wolfson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I presume a "book" would have been a transcription of these lectures. This is a good lecture, I don't imagine the book version, a transcription, would be better. Transcripts are never better than a good lecture just as movies aren't as good as the original book.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    probably not. I can't watch a movie while walking.


    Any additional comments?

    I completely disagree with this disclaimer in the product description: "Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase". I don't expect the books he says are in the bibliography but I do expect to not have to stop and write down the book title and instead refer to the bibliography. To not even include a bibliography saves nobody anything but causes intense dissatisfaction on the part of me, the consumer. I don't want to listen to an entire lecture just to get the name of the book he mentioned somewhere in the last 50 minutes of walking. The bibliography is essential. If I wanted only the audio content I'd go look for the torrent (why should I not look there for my next book? the service is equivalent).

    23 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirk 12-30-14
    Kirk 12-30-14

    Like: James Rollins, authors that are similar

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great listen"
    If you could sum up Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition in three words, what would they be?

    Very easy listen for such a complex topic. Enlightening, interesting, and strange


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition?

    most memorable topic for me was gravitational time deviation & the effects of velocity on time as well.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The concepts are clearly explained and, via interesting analogies, create a good understanding of them.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Ive listened to it twice now and looking for another from this professor, great teacher.


    Any additional comments?

    If this topic interests you, this is the book you want

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Smith 09-23-16
    ratings
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    4
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    "Very basic information"

    I can't believe how very little is known by our scientific community who thinks they know so much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 09-17-16
    John 09-17-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    1
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    "Great course"

    Interesting, fast-paced but thorough, and seldom a dull moment. This is a great course and the lecturer does a very good job of explaining relatively complex concepts to the average person.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Braughton 09-06-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    4
    1
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    Story
    "Dated"

    These lectures are 20 years old. Lots has happened in the world of Physics since then. Too bad Audible doesn't warn the buyer in advance that this is dated material!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • C. Mccartney
    Cambridge, UK
    8/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Sparding
    Ire
    4/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • James Shields
    London, UK
    1/31/15
    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    Who needs religion when you have such a wonderful scientific real world out there, described so clearly and enthusiastically in these lectures. A real pleasure from beginning to end.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Patrick
    2/21/16
    Overall
    Story
    "l"

    Good but 20 years out of date. the content included was well presented but constant references to a future already passed proved frustrating

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • E
    CULLOMPTON, United Kingdom
    1/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Look forward to listening again"
    Would you listen to Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition again? Why?

    I think listening again will help me understand further this complex subject!


    What other book might you compare Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition to, and why?

    Perhaps Stephen Hawkings brief history of time


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Adrian
    Tralee, Ireland
    12/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The title says it all. Emphasis on non-scientists"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The lectures are well structured and progressive in approach.


    What other book might you compare Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition to, and why?

    None that I have come across as yet.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Richard Wolfson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    It felt a little slow in the first few lectures but as we got further into the subject, as a reader, I found that the repetition of the concepts kept me grounded and I never felt lost. Excellent examples and I found his diction and style to be crystal clear.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    11/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very clear, logical and easy to digest"
    Any additional comments?

    These lectures explain the relatively straight forward principals from which flow some very complex and bewildering physics. This is done in a clear and easy to follow way where much of the time the listener is lead to draw the conclusion that the lecturer is about to posit just in advance of it being stated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    9/5/16
    Overall
    Performance
    "excellent"

    This is a very good course, especially if you're trying to expand and refresh your knowledge. however, without the course text book it'll be difficult for people who haven't come across many of the ideas before. it's also a little out of date but it's quite nice to hear about the potential excitement of discovering the Higgs Boson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Only me
    8/30/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great but missing visuals somewhat diminish value"

    The narrator was superb. He covered a lot of ground always in context. I just wish I had access to the visuals. This is possible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • anoop
    8/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent primer "

    An excellent rendition. It's easy listening and the narration keeps you hooked. Brushes up and enlightens you on Relativity and Quantum mechanics.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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