Professor at University of Chicago

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The Importance of the Higgs Boson
Episode 1 of
Why was the discovery of the Higgs boson such a big deal? That's the key question that Professor Carroll tackles in his illuminating introduction. Take a fascinating dive into the world of modern particle physics and see how the Higgs…
Why Time Is a Mystery
Episode 1 of
Begin your study of the physics of time with these questions: What is a clock? What does it mean to say that "time passes"? What is the "arrow of time"? Then look at the concept of entropy and how it…
Quantum Field Theory
Episode 2 of
Toss out the textbook image of electrons circling an atom's nucleus. This lecture explores the big twist of quantum field theory: The world isn't really made of particles. They're fascinating and necessary figments of quantum mechanics created by observing the…
The Rationale for a Space Telescope
Episode 1 of
Begin your exploration of the scientific stories behind 10 of the most fascinating images made by the Hubble Space Telescope. In this episode, learn about Hubble's design and how its operations were almost cut short by a flaw in its…
What Is Time?
Episode 2 of
Approach time from a philosophical perspective. "Presentism" holds that the past and future are not real; only the present moment is real. However, the laws of physics appear to support "eternalism"--the view that all of the moments in the history…
The Second Law of Thermodynamics
Episode 5 of
Trace the history of the second law of thermodynamics, considered by many physicists to be the one law of physics most likely to survive unaltered for the next thousand years. The second law says that entropy--the degree of disorder in…
Big Data—“They” Know Everything about You
Episode 12 of
In the first of two episodes on personal data tracking and privacy, ponder the problem of "Big Data"--where your Internet searches can be tracked, your cellphone can broadcast your geographical location instantly, and your online purchases can be catalogued. It's…
Atoms to Particles
Episode 3 of
Now that you know what particles really are, it's time to walk through the "particle zoo" and explore the roles of photons, gluons, and quarks. Along the way, Professor Carroll looks back on the development of the Standard Model and…
The Multiverse
Episode 23 of
Dig deeper into the possibility that the big bang originated in a multiverse, which provides a plausible explanation for why entropy was low at the big bang, giving rise to the arrow of time. But is this theory and the…
Time’s Arrow
Episode 4 of
Embark on the quest that will occupy the rest of the course: Why is there an arrow of time? Explore how memory and aging orient us in time. Then look at irreversible processes, such as an egg breaking or ice…
Time Travel
Episode 19 of
Use a simple analogy to understand how a time machine might work. Unlike movie scenarios featuring dematerializing and rematerializing, a real time machine would be a spaceship that moves through all the intervening points between two locations in spacetime. Also…
Keeping Time
Episode 3 of
How do we measure the passage of time? Discover that practical concerns have driven the search for more and more accurate clocks. In the 18th century, the problem of determining longitude was solved with a timepiece of unprecedented accuracy. Today's…
International Governance and the Internet
Episode 10 of
Continue exploring rules and regulations about the Internet, this time on the international level. First, Professor Rosenzweig discusses existing Internet governance and the dynamics leading to change. Then, he assesses some of the barriers to effective international governance of the…
The Power of Symmetry
Episode 4 of
Symmetries don't only apply to geometrical objects. They apply to the laws of physics themselves. In this lecture, you may feel your mind twist in asymmetrical ways as you explore how symmetry governs the known forces of nature and how…
The Higgs Field
Episode 5 of
With the basics of particle physics covered, Professor Carroll walks us through the decades-long hunt for the Higgs. You'll meet the many brilliant minds--Anderson, Englert, and Higgs among them--who determinedly set out to solve the mystery of the weak nuclear…
Playing with Entropy
Episode 10 of
Sharpen your understanding of entropy by examining different macroscopic systems and asking, which has higher entropy and which has lower entropy? Also evaluate James Clerk Maxwell's famous thought experiment about a demon who seemingly defies the principle that entropy always…
The Sagittarius Star Cloud
Episode 3 of
Hubble's view of a tiny region of the Sagittarius Star Cloud has an astonishing 12,000 stars. Study this dazzling image and learn how its unprecedented resolution is helping to chart the stellar history and evolution of the Milky Way galaxy.
Particle Accelerators and Detectors
Episode 8 of
Want to build your own particle accelerator? You'll need a lot of money, a lot of room, and the information that Professor Carroll shares in this lecture. You'll learn that particle accelerators aren't simply "atom smashers." They bring into existence…
Time in Quantum Mechanics
Episode 8 of
Quantum mechanics is the most precise theory ever invented, yet it leads to startling interpretations of the nature of reality. Probe a quantum state called the collapse of the wave function that may underlie the arrow of time. Are the…
Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 and Jupiter
Episode 2 of
Shortly after its optics were repaired, Hubble had the opportunity to observe the solar system event of the century: the collision of a string of comets with Jupiter in 1994. Examine Hubble's stunning image of the aftermath of this crash.