Great Ideas of Classical Physics : The Great Courses: Physics

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Steven Pollock
  • Series: The Great Courses: Physics
  • 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Classical physics is about how things move, why they move, and how they work. It's about making sense of motion, gravity, light, heat, sound, electricity, and magnetism, and seeing how these phenomena interweave to create the rich tapestry of everyday experience. It is, in short, the hidden order of the universe. And if it sounds complicated to you, Professor Pollock hopes you will think again - because you already know more physics than you think, In this mind-expanding series of 24 lectures, Professor Steven Pollock takes you step by step through the great ideas of classical physics, demonstrating that its landmark concepts - such as Newton's laws of motion - are intuitively understood by anyone who has ever ridden a bike, thrown a ball, slid across ice, or simply picked up an object and set it down.
Created over the course of three centuries by a series of brilliant thinkers, including Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, and James Clerk Maxwell, classical physics is an elegant system of ideas that connect a range of seemingly unrelated phenomena - everything from the acceleration of a car, to the orbit of a planet, to the deflection of a compass needle, to the baking of a cake, to the flow of electricity through the light bulb illuminating these words.
All these - and much more - are linked by the basic principles you will learn in these lectures - presented largely without math. Instead, Professor Pollock relies on metaphor, life experience, ordinary logic, and common sense to present the discoveries, theories, insights, methods, and philosophical points of view at the heart of classical physics.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Enthusiastic Professor Captured My Interest

Would you consider the audio edition of Great Ideas of Classical Physics to be better than the print version?

This series of lectures is not available in print.

What other book might you compare Great Ideas of Classical Physics to and why?

This is my first comprehensive survey of classical physics. But, I can compare it to a very good Coursera class I took on the principles of mechanical physics. That course focussed on the way things work. This lecture series puts the discoveries of the principles of motion, fields, thermodynamics, and other areas of basic physics into the context of each discoverer's life and personality, the historical thinking at the time, and the impacts of the discoveries. These contexts enriched my understanding of physics in ways I did not expect. The discovered principles are all the more interesting when seen in their human contexts. I learned that what I thought of as"old fashioned" classical physics is the very same modern physics that takes us into space, to the moon, the planets and beyond. I think that "readers" with more knowledge of physics than I have (and those with less) would equally enjoy this lecture series.

Have you listened to any of Professor Steven Pollock’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I would be happy to listen to him again.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Physics? No.

Any additional comments?

My only wish would be that there were twice as many lectures. I was left hungry for more. Although this series is not meant to leave you filled with mathematical formulae and the "rules" of physics, the professor does refer you to an excellent website with animated details of the physical details. And, I found myself searching the web after every lecture to follow up on his enticing information.

Read full review

- C. D. White

Not my favorite physics lecture. Still good.

What did you love best about Great Ideas of Classical Physics?

It sheds new and renewed light on high school science class. Goes into more detail. I loved learning more about Newton's upbringing and life.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Great Ideas of Classical Physics?

I more enjoyed the ending when he begins to talk more about modern physics. But, that may have more to do with my personal preferences than a review of the lecture overall.

Which scene was your favorite?

It's non-fiction. So, this question doesn't make sense. But, I enjoyed learning about conservation of momentum.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Learn the things you forgot to learn in high school science.

Any additional comments?

It's a good listen. I recommend it if you are interested in classical physics and Newton.

Read full review

- Adam

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses