Affiche Superstring Theory, The DNA of Reality
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One of the most exciting scientific adventures of all time is the search for the ultimate nature of physical reality, a hunt that in the past century has yielded such breakthroughs as Einstein's theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, two theories that radically altered our picture of space, time, gravity, and the fundamental building blocks of matter. The latest advance in this epic quest is string theory—known as superstring or M-theory in its most recent versions. The "M" of M-theory is an arbitrary label, but some physicists believe it stands for mysterious or magical. Marvelous also qualifies, because there is something quite wonderful about this beautiful and startling idea.


Saisons & épisodes Les résumés de tous les épisodes de Superstring Theory, The DNA of Reality

S01E00 About The Professor 00/00/0000
S01E01 The Macro-Micro-Mathematical Connection 00/00/0000 Professor Gates opens with a survey of the goals of the series and introduces the concept of strings, which are incredibly tiny objects that may be the most fundamental objects in the universe. String theory is not yet experimental physics; it is theoretical physics, based on sophisticated mathematical ideas.
S01E02 Who is Afraid of Music? 00/00/0000 Mathematics will play an important role in this course because string theory is purely mathematical. But instead of studying equations, you will explore the mathematics of strings through computer images and animations. These are comparable to the music generated by notes on a musical score.
S01E03 Apropos Einsteins Perfect Brainstorm Year 00/00/0000 This lecture explores Einstein's general theory of relativity, which led to a new understanding of gravity and sparked Einstein's quest for a theory of everything. Building a mathematical theory of everything is like confronting a complicated toy on Christmas Eve, whose box states some assembly required.
S01E04 Honey I Shrunk to the Quantum World Part 1 00/00/0000 In the first of two lectures on the quantum world, you start at the level of the atom and dig deeper, discovering the following: leptons (electronlike objects); nuclear matter (protons, neutrons); quarks (subnuclear matter); and force carriers (photons, gluons, W and Z bosons, and gravitons).
S01E05 Honey I Shrunk to the Quantum World Part 2 00/00/0000 You investigate more properties of the quantum world, including spin, the Pauli exclusion principle, quantization, vacuum polarization, and quantum tunneling. You are also introduced to the Higgs boson, sometimes called the God particle" for its apparent role in imparting mass to other particles.
S01E06 Dr Hawkings Dilemma 00/00/0000 Any object that possesses a temperature above absolute zero must give off thermal radiation. But how is this possible with a black hole, which is so massive that not even light can escape from it? In 1975, Stephen Hawking forced a crisis in theoretical physics with a stunning theory addressing this problem.
S01E07 I'd Like to See a Cosmos Sing in Perfect Harmony 00/00/0000 In trying to explain black holes in a way consistent with Hawking's 1975 theory, scientists had to combine two pillars of physics; quantum theory and the general theory relativity. The resulting mathematics predicted a surprising form of matter: strings.
S01E08 Einstein's Hypotenuse and Strings - Part I 00/00/0000 String theory may involve extra dimensions beyond the familiar three of space plus one of time. But how are physicists able to think about extra dimensions? The Pythagorean theorem provides a model, showing that it's possible to calculate the properties of objects in higher dimensions without having to visualize them.
S01E09 Einstein's Hypotenuse and Strings - Part II 00/00/0000 Einstein incorporated the fourth dimension of time into the Pythagorean theorem and came up with an idea known as the Einstein hypotenuse. This led to the famous equation E = mc2, which can be interpreted as a statement about areas in a four-dimensional world. You see how Einstein's hypotenuse led to an object that could have destroyed the world of physics: the tachyon.
S01E10 Tying Up the Tachyon Monster with Spinning Strings 00/00/0000 This lecture explores the phenomenon of spin, which is ubiquitous in the quantum world. Spin was well known to particle physicists in the 1970s, but it presented problems for the first generation of string theory. A new generation of spinning strings solved the problem and also dealt with the tachyon threat.
S01E11 The Invasion of the Anti-Commuting Numbers 00/00/0000 Starting with the frustum (a truncated pyramid) on the back of a dollar bill, you explore some intriguing properties of numbers, including anti-commuting Grassman numbers. Anticommutivity is useful in quantum mechanics and manages to banish the tachyon from certain versions of string theory.
S01E12 It's a Bird - A Plane - No, It's Superstring 00/00/0000 In 1977 three physicists; Gliozzi, Sherk, and Olive observed that it is supersymmetry (the equality of bosons and fermions) that kills the tachyon monster. Supersymmetry is the child of string theory and the parent of superstrings. But why are there five versions of superstrings.
S01E13 Gauge Theory - A Brief Return to the Real World 00/00/0000 While working on supersymmetry around 1982, physicists Schwarz and Green found a solution that required 496 charges, implying a world in which there are 32 possible ways to rotate. The resulting string was called the SO(32) superstring, and was the world's first unified field theory, achieving a dream of Einstein.
S01E14 Princeton String Quartet Concerti - Part I 00/00/0000 Circular polarization of light possesses a mathematical property useful in superstring theory. Standing waves, left-moving waves, and right-moving waves are introduced in this lecture. Recognition that all three exist in superstring theory led to a new heterotic string constructed by a group of four physicists at Princeton in 1984.
S01E15 Princeton String Quartet Concerti - Part II 00/00/0000 The initial work of the Princeton String Quartet led to two strings from different dimensions: a left-moving superstring and the old bosonic right-moving string. But this work did not incorporate the requisite 496 charges. This lecture explores a new description of the heterotic string that produces that magic number.
S01E16 Extra Dimensions - Ether-like or Quark-like 00/00/0000 It is often said that string theory requires extra dimensions, but that's not quite true. The mathematics of the heterotic string can be interpreted with extra dimensions or without. What appear to be extra dimensions can be understood as angular variables associated with the change of force-carrying particles.
S01E17 The Fundamental Forces Strung Out 00/00/0000 This lecture shows how superstring theory provides mathematical support for Hawking's theory of black-hole radiation, which was discussed earlier in the course. Observational proof of string theory may come not by looking at nature's smallest structures but by looking at its largest: the universe itself.
S01E18 Do-See-Do and Swing Your Superpartner - Part I 00/00/0000 Why does the universe observe a dichotomy, in which beams of matter obey the Pauli exclusion principle but beams of energy do not? The universe may be more symmetrical than this model suggests. Here, you look at evidence for supersymmetry that points to the existence of superpartners for ordinary matter.
S01E19 Do-See-Do and Swing Your Superpartner - Part II 00/00/0000 Supersymmetry implies that every known matter particle has a superpartner that has yet to be observed in the laboratory. In fact, it is much more likely that superpartners will be discovered indirectly than in the lab. This lecture covers a technique for detecting them.
S01E20 A Superpartner for Dr. Einstein's Graviton 00/00/0000 Can physicists find a consistent way to introduce mass to the superpartners so that they become very heavy while ordinary matter remains very light? The Higgs mechanism is one such method and may offer an explanation for the mysterious dark matter that is key to the formation of galaxies.
S01E21 Can 4D Forces (without Gravity) Love Strings 00/00/0000 This lecture follows current attempts to use concepts from string theory to understand the forces and structures of matter inside the proton and neutron. You also visit the strange world of branes, and explore the type IIB string, which is one of five types of superstrings.
S01E22 If You Knew SUSY 00/00/0000 If you were to pick up a physics journal from the last 20 years, you would likely come across the word SUSY, which means supersymmetric. In this lecture, you study an unusual aspect of SUSY, superspace, and learn how it accounts for the five types of superstrings.
S01E23 Can I Have that Extra Dimension in the Window 00/00/0000 Strings supposedly describe everything. But if that's true, how can there be five different everythings? This lecture investigates a possible solution in 11-dimensional supergravity, which may be part of a larger and even more mysterious construct, M-theory.
S01E24 Is String Theory the Theory of Our Universe 00/00/0000 String theory weaves together an amazing story with contributions by several generations of mathematicians and physicists. Professor Gates closes with a review of the current state of the field, and he looks at some denizens of the world of supersymmetry that he and his colleagues have recently identified.
S00E01 About The Professor 00/00/0000
S00E02 Credits 00/00/0000

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