The Great Courses No.1252: The Physics Of History
24 lectures | 30 minutes each | Year Released: 2008
MPEG-3 | 128 Kbps, 44.1 KHz, 2 channels | English | 671 MB
In April 1991, two Alpine hikers stumbled across the well-preserved body of a Copper Age hunter half-buried in a glacier on the border between Italy and Austria. This accidental discovery, nicknamed Ötzi the Iceman, possessed a trove of invaluable information about the origins of prehistoric people. Yet while standard archaeological techniques revealed many interesting aspects of Ötzi's life—including his diet and his dress—it was only through the use of physics that more microscopic clues were uncovered; clues that, decades earlier, might have remained hidden. The strontium-to-lead ratios in Ötzi's teeth matched the ratios found in the Eisack Valley, northeast of present-day Bolzano, Italy, suggesting that was where he spent his childhood. Varying ratios of oxygen 18 to oxygen 16 in Ötzi's bones indicated that he spent much of his later life at higher altitudes. And the presence of excess copper and arsenic in Ötzi's hair suggested that he played an active role in copper smelting.
01.The Vast Reaches of Time and Space
02.Fundamentally, What's the World Made Of?
03.Energy in the Atomic World
04.The Atomic Basis of the Senses
05.Radioactivity—Nature's Imperturbable Clock
06.From Detecting Forgeries to the First Art
07.Watching Plaster Dry—And Dating It
08.We Are What We Eat—The History of Diet
09.A Plant Is What It Eats—Tracing Agriculture
10.Tree Rings—Seasons of the Past 12,000 Years
11.Ice Cores—Climate Records for 800 Millennia
12.Ocean Sediments Reveal 5 Million Years
13.A Bad Day in June—Death of the Dinosaurs
14.The Origin and Early History of Life
15.The History of Earth's Atmosphere
16.The Age of the Solar System
17.What Happened before the Sun Was Born?
18.Atoms Are Star Stuff—Cooking Up Carbon
19.The Lives of Big Stars—Cooking Up Big Atoms
20.Relativity—Space and Time Become Spacetime
21.(Almost) Everything Is Relative
22.Matter Vanishes; Light Speed Is Breached?
23.The Limits of Vision—13.7 Billion Years Ago
24.The First Few Minutes—Where It All Began
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