Berkeley Physics for Future Presidents Lectures

Click here to go to the Physics for Future Presidents lecture links.

These physics lectures are fantastic... I highly recommend them!! Besides, where else could you get a good education about all sorts of cool stuff for free?

Summary for Lecture 1: Atoms and Heat I - Learn why a chocolate chip cookie has more energy than a stick of TNT, about the efficiency of hybrid cars, and how an internal combustion engine works.

Summary for Lecture 2: Atoms and Heat II - Learn about molecules and heat, why the TV has snow when there's no signal, and about absolute zero and the different laws of thermodynamics.

Summary for Lecture 3: Gravity and Satellites I - Learn how to get into space, how to get into orbit, how a GPS works, and how satellite TV works.

Summary for Lecture 4: Gravity and Satellites II - Learn about satellites, rockets, orbits, why spy satellites are not efficient, and my favorite: Why an airplane REALLY flies (hint: It DOESN'T have anything to do with Bernoulli!). Also, see if you can find something that Professor Muller screwed up... (Want to know what it is? Click here)!

Summary for Lecture 5: Radiation I - Learn why you should NOT eat organic foods (unless you just like the way they taste!), and some great information for everyone who has cancer, has had cancer, or knows someone who has or has had cancer should know.

Summary for Lecture 6: Radiation II - Learn why it is NOT dangerous to hold cell phones up to your ear, C-14 dating techniques, why anthrax is more dangerous than plutonium, and even a little bit about freewill and quantum physics...

Summary for Lecture 7: Nukes - Learn how to build a nuclear bomb... Both the uranium kind and the plutonium kind. Lots of good, scary stuff... Stuff from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Oak Ridge, Livermore, Berkeley, Pakistan, North Korea, Saddam Hussein, politics, Teflon, etc. The lecture is nicely balanced with a good introduction on how to build a nuclear powerplant... and some great commentary on nuclear waste at the end.

Summary for Lecture 8: Review Session - Chain reactions, bird flu, population growth, standards of living, rabbits, OJ Simpson, Sally Hemmings, DNA, PCR, more nukes, etc... How about a natural nuclear reactor and The Witch of Yucca Mountain?? Learn why dirty bombs are a really stupid way to try and kill people, and a little about cold fusion and Tokamaks.

Summary for Lecture 9: Electricity and Magnetism I - Learn about magnets, static electricity, and limelight!

Summary for Lecture 10: Electricity and Magnetism II - Learn more about magnets, transformers, metal detectors, and levitation!

Summary for Lecture 11: Waves I - This is what got me hooked! What do the Roswell Incident, the Hunt for Red October, and slinky's have in common? Also some neat information about sofar spheres... Finish up with atmospheric inversions, thunderstorms, and weather balloons. Fascinating!

Summary for Lecture 12: Waves II - More about waves... Earthquakes, tusnamis, tidal waves, noise cancelling headsets, music, and how all this works. Good explanation of how 2 different waves and cancel or amplify each other. He even ties Osama Bin-Laden in at the end! Watch and find out how!

Summary for Lecture 13: Light I - Learn how AM radio, fiber optics, and mirages work! Also find out how the Haunted House in Disneyland works, as well as cameras, telescopes, and spy satellites! Fascinating stuff about cameras, lenses, and some cool psychology experiments!

Summary for Lecture 14: Light II - Learn how red-eye reduction works in a camera, about retro-reflectors, and all kinds of cool optics stuff... Stealth technology and radars, too! Rainbows, digital cameras, and the best part... Why to buy cubic zirconia fake diamonds instead of "real" diamonds. This will really piss off deBeers! Oh yea, find out why spy satellites really won't work that well from low Earth orbit, and especially from geosynchronous Earth orbit!

Summary for Lecture 15: Invisible Light I - More about blurring, spy satellites and why it makes sense to put cameras on RPV's to spy on people. Infrared radiation and how IR field glasses work. Ultraviolet radiation is also covered, and you can learn why laundry detergents can get clothes brighter than white. Learn also about sunburn, windburn, ozone holes, and why we don't use Freon and CFC's anymore.

Summary for Lecture 16: Invisible Light II - How the seasons work, plus tritium exit signs and ex-Berkeley physics professors who became city council members. Also learn why you get covered with dew when sleeping under the stars at night and why you don't get covered with dew when you sleep under a tree. Also learn about the greenhouse effect and why CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere are increasing. Another look at using alternative sources of energy for power and automobiles. Finish up with a good explanation of the differences between CAT scans and PET scans, and an MRI teaser at the end!

Still watching Lectures 17-26... Stay tuned!

This is a great series of lectures, and Professor Muller provides a fantastic insight into the world of physics and all it has to offer... I only wish I had had a class like this when I was going through school!

Click here to go to the Physics for Future Presidents lecture links.