Start Reading

Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed (Transcript)

Ratings:
845 pages

Summary

Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed is the companion book to the audio/video series of the same name. It contains a full transcript of the series as well as the complete course guidebook which includes lecture notes, bibliography, and more.

About this series:

Why does a curve ball curve? Why does ice float? What's the perfect way to cook egg custard? How do CDs and DVDs work? Why don't your legs break when you jump off a chair? What keeps a moving bicycle from falling over? These questions involve physical principles that relate not only to interesting aspects of our daily lives, but also explain such phenomena as the cause of hurricanes, the formation of neutron stars, the ability of water to dissolve different substances, and other fundamental features of reality.Therefore, this course that explores the physics of everyday events is not just informative and fun, it has the potential to lead to a deeper understanding of the universe. But it takes a superb teacher to make these connections—to start with a nuts-and-bolts description of how a refrigerator works and end up with a profound insight into the ultimate fate of the cosmos.Professor Richard Wolfson of Middlebury College is the ideal teacher to take you on this journey. The New York Times praised him as absolutely stellar in his Teaching Company course on modern physics, Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists. Now he brings the same enthusiasm to everyday physics, dealing with our basic understanding of the physical world as it applies to commonplace technologies and natural phenomena.A Nonmathematical Course Where Seeing Is Believing Physics in Your Life is more than a course in physics and more than a laundry list of how things work. In fact, it combines the two, offering a back-and-forth interplay between everyday applications of physics and the concepts needed to understand them. My approach is entirely qualitative, says Professor Wolfson. I believe you can understand physics, and understand it deeply, without using mathematics. How does he do it? In the spirit of seeing is believing, he uses an impressive array of experiments, gadgets, props, computer animations, short videos, diagrams, and pictures. Like Mr. Wizard of the classic TV science series, Professor Wolfson is a born showman. Among his hands-on demonstrations: A blown-up balloon is bathed in super-cold liquid nitrogen to show the contracting effect that heat loss has on the air inside the balloon. Professor Wolfson cranks a muscle-powered generator to demonstrate the surprising effort required to produce a mere 100 watts. Imagine if you had to generate all your electricity this way! A giant magnetic coil on a rotating shaft reveals the ingenious simplicity of the electric motor, used in everything from electric toothbrushes to locomotives.A curious phenomenon unfolds as a magnet is dropped through a hollow aluminum tube. Aluminum is non-magnetic, which means the magnet won't stick to it. But can you guess what happens? You will also see experiments with lasers, lenses, bowling balls, gyroscopes, musical instruments, and more. And Professor Wolfson walks you step-by-step through the processes by which computers compute—from the level of electrons moving through semiconductors to binary bits, bytes, CPUs, RAM, all the way up to text and pictures appearing on your screen.What You Will LearnThis course is organized into six modules, treating five specific realms of physics and their related applications, plus a sixth area devoted to a potpourri of topics: Sight and Sound begins with the technology behind CDs and DVDs, using these devices as a springboard to study light, sound, and other phenomena. You will explore how these principles relate to such topics as rainbows, optical fibers for communications, musical instruments, and laser vision correction. Going Places looks at motion and its connection to modes of transportation such as wal

Read on the Scribd mobile app

Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.