A Visual Guide to the Universe with the Smithsonian (The Great Courses)

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For the first time in human history, we can see the full splendor and mystery of the universe, thanks to instruments on scores of planetary probes and observatories that have been launched into space since the 1990s. From Saturn’s rings to the heart of the Milky Way, and from colliding galaxies to cataclysmic gamma-ray bursts […]

Physics and Our Universe: How It All Works (The Great Courses)

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Physics is the fundamental science. It explains how the universe behaves at every scale, from the subatomic to the extragalactic. It describes the most basic objects and forces and how they interact. Its laws tell us how the planets move, where light comes from, what keeps birds aloft, why a magnet attracts and also repels, […]

Cosmology: The History and Nature of Our Universe (The Great Courses)

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Evidence for the birth of the universe is raining down on you. It’s called the cosmic microwave background, and it’s had quite a journey. Born in the stupendous annihilation of matter and antimatter seconds after the big bang, trapped in the hot plasma of the expanding universe for 380,000 years, and then suddenly released when […]

Dark Matter, Dark Energy: The Dark Side of the Universe (The Great Courses)

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There’s more to the universe than meets the eye—a lot more. In recent years, scientists have discovered that 95% of the contents of the cosmos are invisible to our current methods of direct detection. Yet something is holding galaxies and galaxy clusters together, and something else is causing space to fly apart. Scientists call these […]

Thermodynamics: Four Laws That Move the Universe (The Great Courses)

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What is heat? What is temperature? What is energy? What is time? When we look beneath the surface of these everyday terms to learn how scientists understand them, we encounter a realm of fundamental processes that rule the universe. This is the domain of thermodynamics, the branch of science that deals with the movement of […]

Physics and Our Universe: How It All Works (The Great Courses)

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Physics is the fundamental science. It explains how the universe behaves at every scale, from the subatomic to the extragalactic. It describes the most basic objects and forces and how they interact. Its laws tell us how the planets move, where light comes from, what keeps birds aloft, why a magnet attracts and also repels, […]

My Favorite Universe (The Great Courses)

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In My Favorite Universe, the astrophysicist who directs the nation’s most famous planetarium takes you on a spirited and intellectually engaging journey through the cosmos and all its history, from before the Big Bang to the most likely ways in which Earth, and perhaps the entire universe, might end. Clear Science Teaching to Set the […]

Understanding the Universe: An Introduction to Astronomy, 2nd Edition (The Great Courses)

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This visually rich course is designed to provide a nontechnical description of modern astronomy, including the structure and evolution of planets, stars, galaxies, and the Universe as a whole. It includes almost all of the material in my first two astronomy courses for The Teaching Company, produced in 1998 and 2003, but with a large […]

The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries (The Great Courses)

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Everything we now know about the universe—from the behavior of quarks to the birth of entire galaxies—has stemmed from scientists who’ve been willing to ponder the unanswerable. And with the advent of modern science, great minds have turned to testing and experimentation rather than mere thought as a way of approaching and grappling with some […]

Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe (The Great Courses)

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A few hundred miles above Earth, there is a remarkable telescope with a crystal-clear view across the universe. For two decades, the Hubble Space Telescope has been amassing discoveries that rival those of history’s greatest scientists and explorers, making it the most important and productive scientific instrument ever built. Although it never ventures beyond low-Earth […]