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published by the Annenberg Foundation
content provider: 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.

Please note that this resource requires Flash.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Cosmology
= Dark Energy
= Dark Matter
- Fundamentals
= Gravity
Education Practices
- Curriculum Development
= Course
General Physics
- Curriculum
Modern Physics
- Elementary Particles
Quantum Physics
- Entanglement and Quantum Information
- Foundations and Measurements
- General
- Quantum Experiments
- Beyond Relativity
= Strings
- Informal Education
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Middle School
- Collection
- Instructional Material
= Course
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Interactive Simulation
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
= Sound
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- General Publics
- Educators
- Learners
- text/html
- application/pdf
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Access Rights:
Free access
DVD versions of the web materials are available for purchase through this website.
© 2010 Annenberg Media
Produced by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Science Media Group in association with the Harvard University Department of Physics. Sponsored by Annenberg Media.
ISBN Number:
Standard Model, antimatter, dark matter, matter, quark, strong force, unification theory, weak force, Biophysics
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created September 13, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
September 18, 2020 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
November 18, 2010
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4D. The Structure of Matter
  • 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.
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Record Link
AIP Format
(Annenberg Foundation, 2010), WWW Document, (
Physics for the 21st Century (Annenberg Foundation, 2010), <>.
APA Format
Physics for the 21st Century. (2010, November 18). Retrieved July 25, 2024, from Annenberg Foundation:
Chicago Format
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Physics for the 21st Century. Annenberg Foundation, November 18, 2010. (accessed 25 July 2024).
MLA Format
Physics for the 21st Century. Annenberg Foundation, 2010. 18 Nov. 2010. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. 25 July 2024 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Physics for the 21st Century}, Publisher = {Annenberg Foundation}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {25 July 2024}, Month = {November 18, 2010}, ISBN = {1-57680-891-2}, Year = {2010} }
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%T Physics for the 21st Century %D November 18, 2010 %I Annenberg Foundation %U %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D November 18, 2010 %T Physics for the 21st Century %I Annenberg Foundation %V 2024 %N 25 July 2024 %8 November 18, 2010 %9 text/html %@ 1-57680-891-2 %U

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This resource is stored in 5 shared folders.

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Physics for the 21st Century:

Contains Physics for the 21st Century: The Basic Building Blocks of Matter

A link to Unit 1 of this course: The Basic Building Blocks of Matter.

relation by Caroline Hall
Contains Physics for the 21st Century: The Fundamental Interactions

A link to Chapter 2: The Fundamental Interactions.

relation by Caroline Hall
Contains Physics for the 21st Century: Gravity

A link to Unit 3 of this course, devoted to an an investigation of gravity from Newton's law of universal gravitation through modern physics topics in general relativity.

relation by Caroline Hall

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