The Mechanical Universe and Beyond – Annenberg project

First off…. sorry for the delay in posting (never took three weeks off before).  As the Amateur Radio Emergency Service District Emergency Coordinator, we had a TON of public service events and I had a couple of public speaking engagements (radio related), soooo………….  But I plan on posting several posts to make up for the shortfall – there is just too much interesting stuff for amateur radio ops on the web!

Which brings me to the Annenberg Project and their series “The Mechanical Universe and Beyond”.  Really great series and I’m thinking about purchasing on DVD for some of my classes – there’s a ton of information here that will indeed pertain to hams.

This series helps teachers demystify physics by showing students what it looks like. Field trips to hot-air balloon events, symphony concerts, bicycle shops, and other locales make complex concepts more accessible. Inventive computer graphics illustrate abstract concepts such as time, force, and capacitance, while historical reenactments of the studies of Newton, Leibniz, Maxwell, and others trace the evolution of theories.

But, in the middle of the course are some good videos for new hams (and those that want to reinforce some of the theory in radio physics):

14. Potential Energy
Potential energy provides a powerful model for understanding why the world has worked the same way since the beginning of time.

15. Conservation of Momentum
What keeps the universe ticking away until the end of time?

16. Harmonic Motion
The music and mathematics of periodic motion.

17. Resonance
Why a swaying bridge collapses with a high wind, and why a wine glass shatters with a higher octave.

18. Waves
With an analysis of simple harmonic motion and a stroke of genius, Newton extended mechanics to the propagation of sound.

28. Static Electricity
Eighteenth-century electricians knew how to spark the interest of an audience with the principles of static electricity.

29. The Electric Field
Faraday’s vision of lines of constant force in space laid the foundation for the modern force field theory.

30. Potential and Capacitance
Franklin proposes a successful theory of the Leyden jar and invents the parallel plate capacitor.

31. Voltage, Energy, and Force
When is electricity dangerous or benign, spectacular or useful?

32. The Electric Battery
Volta invents the electric battery using the internal properties of different metals.

33. Electric Circuits
The work of Wheatstone, Ohm, and Kirchhoff leads to the design and analysis of how current flows.

34. Magnetism
Gilbert discovered that the earth behaves like a giant magnet. Modern scientists have learned even more.

35. The Magnetic Field
The law of Biot and Sarvart, the force between electric currents, and Ampère’s law.

There’s more, but this will give you an idea of the valuable resource.  The video clips are viewable online (though rather small).  I haven’t inquired yet as to the cost of the course on DVD.

Available at:

http://www.learner.org/resources/series42.html?pop=yes&pid=587#

Post update:

I have found the link for the cost of the series – \$450. YIKES!

http://www.learner.org/catalog/series42.html

Jonathan Hardy, KB1KIX, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Connecticut, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

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