The Story of Earth: How Life and Rocks Co-Evolved

 Dr. Robert Hazen, Carnegie Institution for Science, Geophysical Laboratory:

The story of Earth is a 4.5-billion-year saga of dramatic transformations, driven by physical, chemical, and—based on a fascinating growing body of evidence—biological processes. The co-evolution of life and rocks, the new paradigm that frames this lecture, unfolds in an irreversible sequence of evolutionary stages. Each stage re-sculpted our planet’s surface, each introduced new planetary processes and phenomena, and each inexorably paved the way for the next. This grand and intertwined tale of Earth’s living and non-living spheres is only now coming into focus. Sequential changes of terrestrial planets and moons are best preserved in their rich mineralogical record. “Mineral evolution,” the study of our planet’s diversifying near-surface environment, began with a dozen different mineral species that formed in the cooling envelopes of exploding stars. Dust and gas from those stars clumped together to form our stellar nebula, the nebula formed the Sun and countless planetesimals, and alteration of planetesimals by water and heat resulted in the approximately 250 minerals found today in meteorites that fall to Earth. Following Earth’s growth and separation into the core, mantle, and crust, mineral evolution progressed by a sequence of chemical and physical processes, which led to perhaps 1500 mineral species. According to some origin-of-life scenarios, a planet must evolve through at least some of these stages of chemical processing as a prerequisite for life. Once life emerged, mineralogy and biology co-evolved, as changes in the chemistry of oceans and atmosphere dramatically increased Earth’s mineral diversity to the almost 5000 species known today.

The Concept of Mass with Jim Baggott

Interesting talk by Jimm Baggott on his latest book “Mass: The quest to understand matter from Greek atoms to quantum fields”. In this Royal Institution Lecture Jimm Baggott tries to answer questions like: Do elementary particles have mass? Does the Higg’s boson exist? 

Q&A: The Concept of Mass – with Jim Baggott

James Beacham: How we explore unanswered questions in physics

James Beacham looks for answers to the most important open questions of physics using the biggest science experiment ever mounted, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. In this fun and accessible talk about how science happens, Beacham takes us on a journey through extra-spatial dimensions in search of undiscovered fundamental particles (and an explanation for the mysteries of gravity) and details the drive to keep exploring. 

Richard Feynman’s Story of Particle Physics

A 40 minute audio recording, restored with visual aids and diagrams, given by the legendary physicist and educator Richard Feynman on the history and development of the search for the fundamental structure of matter, from atomic physics to elementary particle physics.
The story of how humanity’s knowledge of matter, from the Periodic Table to the Standard Model of Particle Physics, developed is a very interesting one and shows that once we think we have found simplicity in physics, more complicated and unexpected phenomena and patterns occur again at a deeper level as nature does not give up its secrets so easily and never seems to let us get too complacent in our assumed mastery of a particular field. This has of course generated more and more discoveries and technological breakthroughs in their wake, accelerating our knowledge of matter and energy and increasing our power to manipulate it.

Particles, Fields and The Future of Physics – A Lecture by Sean Carroll

Although this is an old lecture delivered in 2013 it is a very good one well delivered by Sean Carroll. Thanks to Fermilab for putting this up on the public domain. Recommend all students to watch.

For the Love of Physics – Walter Lewin’s Last Lecture

My favourite Physics Teacher Professor Walter Lewin. Fantastic Teacher! Students and teachers please watch this lecture till the end. He is a true inspiration for teachers, atleast for me he has been a source of inspiration.
On May 16, 2011, Professor of Physics Emeritus Walter Lewin returned to MIT lecture hall 26-100 for a physics talk and book signing, complete with some of his most famous physics demonstrations to celebrate the publication of his new book: For The Love Of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge Of Time – A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics, written with Warren Goldstein.

Lawrence Krauss on the Origins of the Universe

Lawrence Krauss on origins of the Universe at For Thought: Origins

Our fascination with the universe encompasses everything from its scope to its composition. The most fundamental questions concern its origins. Scientific advances now provide fascinating insight into how the universe was formed, and the age- old assumption that something cannot arise from nothing has been turned on its head. How did the universe come into being and what are the elements that set it on the trajectory that brought it to its current state? And what are the implications of our new knowledge for our predictions of the future evolution of our universe, and its possible uniqueness?

Quantum Physics and Universal Beauty – with Frank Wilczek

How simple questions inspired Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek’s groundbreaking work in quantum physics. Nobel laureate, Frank Wilczek’s groundbreaking work in quantum physics was inspired by his intuition to look for a deeper order of beauty in the universe, using simple questions in an attempt to see the whole answer. Wilczek explores how this quest has also guided the work of all great scientific thinkers in the Western world, from Plato to Einstein, and shows us just how deeply intertwined our ideas about perception, beauty and art are with our scientific understanding of the cosmos.

Frank Wilczek is an American theoretical physicist and mathematician. He is currently Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Professor Wilczek shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004 for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction. As well as his academic work, he has written popular science books and is on the board for Society for Science & the Public.

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