the Annenberg Foundation
the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
This is a free online course aimed at secondary teachers and adult learners. It includes 3 components: written text arranged in units, short video segments, and interactive web modules. Topics include fundamental particles and interactions, gravity, and string theory. More advanced learners can explore quantum mechanics, manipulating light, and biophysics. A comprehensive Facilitator's Guide supports teachers with an overview of rapidly-advancing knowledge in subatomic-scale experimentation.
Current titles include:
1. The Basic Building Blocks of Matter 2. The Fundamental Interactions 3. Gravity 4. String Theory and Extra Dimensions 5. The Quantum World 6. Macroscopic Quantum Mechanics 7. Manipulating Light 8. Emergent Behavior in Quantum Matter 9. Biophysics 10. Dark Matter 11. Dark Energy
Each chapter offers a professionally-produced educational video appropriate for undergraduate physics produced in association with the Harvard University Department of Physics. Each video explores with leading scientists a frontier area of physics. The DVD collection is available for purchase, along with a facilitator guide. See Related Materials for a link to digital versions of this resource, available for free download.
9-12: 4D/H5. Scientists continue to investigate atoms and have discovered even smaller constituents of which neutrons and protons are made.
4G. Forces of Nature
9-12: 4G/H6. The nuclear forces that hold the protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom together are much stronger than the electric forces between the protons and electrons of the atom. That is why much greater amounts of energy are released from nuclear reactions than from chemical reactions.
10. Historical Perspectives
10C. Relating Matter & Energy and Time & Space
9-12: 10C/H3. The special theory of relativity is best known for stating that any form of energy has mass, and that matter itself is a form of energy. Even a tiny amount of matter holds an enormous amount of energy. This relationship is described in the famous relativity equation E = mc2, in which the c in the equation stands for the immense speed of light.
9-12: 10C/H5. Einstein's development of the theories of special and general relativity ranks as one of the greatest human accomplishments in all of history. Many predictions from the theories have been confirmed on both atomic and astronomical scales. Still, the search continues for an even more powerful theory of the architecture of the universe.
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Physics for the 21st Century. Annenberg Foundation, November 18, 2010. https://www.learner.org/series/physics-for-the-21st-century/ (accessed 11 December 2023).
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