The Mechanical Universe
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This non-calculus physics course, made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation, was designed under the direction of Dr. Richard P. Olenick with a council of 12 prominent high school and college teachers.  These twenty-eight episodes address such physics subjects as the law of gravitation, waves, electric fields and forces, and relativity. All lessons are supported by carefully designed Instructor’s Guides to support student understanding. One of our best sellers!

"Without a doubt the Mechanical Universe High School
Adaptation is one of the most useful teaching
tools I have ever used."

"The video tapes present different concepts in physics
in a lively and Interesting fashion while
the teacher’s manual is invaluable."

Physics Teachers

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Topics Covered in The Mechanical Universe:

1. Newton’s Laws describes Newton’s great work of completing Galileo’s kinematics with dynamics (a theory of the causes of motion).

2. The Apple and the Moon explores how the universal law of gravitation emerged from Newton’s efforts to reconcile Galileo’s new kinematics with Kepler’s new astronomy.

3. Harmonic Motion provides a model which illustrates the scientific process of extracting simple, underlying physical principles from complex behavior.

4. Navigating in Space applies the celestial mechanics of Kepler and Newton to interplanetary travel.

5. Conservation of Energy explains how kinetic energy, heat energy, and the concept of work weave together in the law of conservation of energy.

6. Conservation of Momentum illustrates how Newton’s laws of motion lead to the fundamental law of conservation of momentum.

7. Angular Momentum develops the ideas of angular momentum and torque through applications to planetary motion, whirlpools, tornadoes, and spinning ice skaters.

8. The Fundamental Forces demonstrates how all forces are manifestations of nature’s fundamental forces gravity, electricity, and the weak nuclear force.

9. The Law of Falling Bodies reviews Galileo’s investigation of the law of falling bodies with an emphasis on scientific methods.

10. The Law of Inertia looks at the methods Galileo used to arrive at the law of inertia and its immediate consequence, the relativity of motion.

11. Moving in Circles demonstrates the kinematics of circular motion, and the relationships among radius, velocity, and acceleration.

12. The Millikan Experiment conveys the spirit of scientific discovery through Millikan’s work in determining the charge of the electron.

13. Kepler’s Laws depicts the momentous effort Kepler made to find a mathematical description for the motion of planets, particularly Mars.

14. Introduction to Waves explores the generation and characteristics of mechanical waves.

15. Temperature and the Gas Laws ties the observable properties of gas, such as temperature and pressure, to microscopic events such as gas molecules striking container walls.

16. Curved Space and Black Holes analyzes Einstein’s principle of equivalence and its consequences curved space and black hole.

17. Electric Fields and Forces describes electric force and Faraday’s concept of electric fields.

18. Potential Difference and Capacitance recaptures Franklin’s experiments in electricity which support an understanding of modern capacitors and how they work.

19. Equipotentials and Fields uses contour lines to illustrate the relationships between electric potentials and electric fields.

20. Simple DC Circuits explains Ohm’s law regarding current, voltage and resistance. A water flow metaphor is used to illustrate electric current.

21. Magnetic Fields examines the contributions of Gilbert, Oersted and Ampere in explaining the interaction between magnetic field and a moving charge.

22. Electromagnetic Induction addresses Faraday’s law related to induced electric fields and changing magnetic.

23. Alternating Current explores alternating current and how the rationale was developed for using it for electric power transmission. Program includes the history of the transformer and the contributions of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.

24. The Michelson-Morley Experiment portrays two American scientists’ experiment to detect aether, and the implications of their results.

26. The Wave Nature of Light considers the properties that light shares with other kinds of waves, the unique characteristics of the electromagnetic spectrum, and the fundamental nature of the interaction between light and matter.

26. Wave-Particle Duality tackles the wave-particle duality of light and matter.

27. Models of the Atom follows the development of various models of the atom, starting with Dalton’s chemically-combining spheres, and continuing to the Bohr model and the current electron cloud model.

28. Special Relativity illustrates the postulates of special relativity and how they lead to the failure of simultaneity, time dilation, length contraction, and relativistic mass.

28 Video Series on DVD: $49900
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