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The Evidence for Modern Physics cover art

The Evidence for Modern Physics

By: Professor Don Lincoln,The Great Courses
Narrated by: Professor Don Lincoln
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Summary

How do we know the universe is 13.8 billion years old? How do we know the speed of light is 299,792,458 meters per second? How do we know there are subatomic particles that live less than a trillionth of a trillionth of a second? Studying how physicists make discoveries is the best way to understand key developments in modern physics - from quantum mechanics, to the theory of relativity, to cosmology. 

In this 24-lesson course aimed at non-scientists, noted particle physicist Dr. Don Lincoln of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory covers more than a century of progress in physics, describing exactly how scientists reach the conclusions they do. He starts with the atom, which was long hypothesized, but wasn’t definitively proven until a paper by Albert Einstein in 1905. That was just the beginning, as researchers probed ever deeper into the atom’s complex structure, leading to the weird findings of quantum mechanics. Meanwhile, Einstein’s more famous work in relativity overturned conceptions of time and space, especially in the realm of the super-fast and ultra-massive.

Relativity and quantum theory are notoriously counterintuitive, but Dr. Lincoln shows why their conclusions must be true. He does the same for cosmology, which has advanced from the view that the Milky Way galaxy is all that exists, to the realization that there are likely a trillion of galaxies in the observable universe. Along the way, he deals with the Big Bang, black holes, dark matter, dark energy, and cosmic inflation, among other ideas. Some are purely speculative, but he points out what it would take to prove them.

The Evidence for Modern Physics is an intellectual roller-coaster ride that will amaze and enlighten. As Dr. Lincoln says, “You must wonder how we can say with such certainty that the world of the super-fast and ultra-small follow such bizarre rules. Well, you’re in luck, because that’s exactly what this course is about.”

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 The Great Courses (P)2021 The Teaching Company, LLC

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Comprehensive and Comprehensible

This is the second Audible book I have 'read' authored by professor Lincoln. The other was 'The Misconceptions of Science'. Really pleased to say that he has maintained the high standards he set first time around. The book and the accompanying pdf are a great source of information that deals with the most interesting and testing topics in physics, astronomy from early to the most recent developments in both disciplines. Challenging, interesting and made understandable. Would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in science.

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Great for the complete novice.

Well, we know a lot about the Cosmos, even though that is a tiny bit, and we know how a lot of principles work, but we don't necessarily know why, and there are a lot of asumptions about what cannot be!
A great listen for the total lay person put across with sometimes dubious humour! or anybody interested in what and how the most eminent theories came about and are tested.

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some lovely lightbulb moments

Informative, interesting, sometimes fascinating.
would have liked more signposting of how it hangs together. also several chapters seemed to slip in major assumptions without comment or justification (which may just mean I missed that...), eg the 'flat universe gives 1 degree between hot spots' just seems to appear on trust then underpin the rest of the chapter.

But overall educational and worthwhile.

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Superb introduction to modern physics

One of the most engaging presentations I’ve heard on the limits of what we know, and why - and what we know requires further investigation and supporting evidence. The course also provides extensive pointers to subsequent study material.

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Engaging and enlightening

Throughly enjoyed the book. Found all of the topics engaging and kept me fascinated all the way.

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Very interesting and a little deeper than most of the into to Astro physics books on offer

This was the perfect depth for someone interested on going a little deeper into the quantum world. Still able to follow (most) of the detail.

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Fascinating Content

Really well narrated. Well structured into lessons that build upin each other. . Throughly enjoyed this book.

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Seriously impressed! On the second listen.

Incredible content, engaging narration and super interesting content. The way Professor Lincoln breaks down the concepts throughout the book is easy for the layperson to digest (in my opinion). I wish he would create another course.

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