A last look at where we've been and a peek into the future.
Electron waves attracted to the nucleus of an atom help account for the periodic table of the elements and ultimately lead to the search for quarks.
The debate created by quantum mechanics over the properties of light.
Ideas on the atom, from the ancient Greeks to groundbreaking theories of J.J. Thomson and Ernest Rutherford.
The discovery that all substances can exist in all other states of matter.
The Carnot engine and the second law of thermodynamics.
Using the Carnot engine to understand the first law of thermodynamics.
The work of Boyle and Charles on the behavior of gases and the link between temperature and heat.
A new formula for the conservation of momentum following Einstein's work on space and time.
Einstein's view of the meaning of space and time, including the transformation of velocities, time dilation and the twin paradox.
If the speed of light is to be the same for all observers, then the length of a meter stick, or the rate of a ticking clock, depends on who measures it.
The 1887 measurement of the earth's motion through the ether resulted in failure.
The properties of light waves, including reflection, refraction and diffraction.
James Clerk Maxwell's development of displacement currents that allowed the production of electromagnetic waves.
Generating alternating currents through electromagnetic induction.
The discovery of electromagnetic induction in 1831 creates an important technological breakthrough in the generation of electric power.
Making a distinction between action at a distance and the field of force.
The law of Biot and Sarvart, the force between electric currents, and Ampère's law.
How the Earth acts like a magnet; the motion of charged particles in a magnetic field.
The work of Ohm, Kirchhoff and Wheatstone in developing parallel circuits and capacitors.
Alessandro Volta's first electric battery that turned chemical energy produced from metals into electricity.
The potential danger of electric charges, currents, fields and forces; the electric potential and its gradient.
Franklin proposes a successful theory of the Leyden jar and invents the parallel plate capacitor.
Michael Faraday's influence on fields of force; Guass' law.
Understanding Coulomb's law and the principles of static electricity.
Electricity and magnetism.
A last lingering look back at mechanics to see new connections between old discoveries.
From Kepler's laws and the theory of tides, to Einstein's general theory of relativity, into black holes, and beyond.
Voyages to other planets use the same laws that guide planets around the solar system.
The precise orbit of a heavenly body a a planet, asteroid, or comet a is fixed by the laws of conservation of energy and angular momentum.
The deduction of Kepler's laws from Newton's universal law of gravitation is one of the crowning achievements of Western thought.
The discovery of elliptical orbits helps describe the motion of heavenly bodies with unprecedented accuracy.
From spinning tops to the precession of the equinoxes.
Kepler's second law of planetary motion.
With an analysis of simple harmonic motion and a stroke of genius, Newton extended mechanics to the propagation of sound.
Why a swaying bridge collapses with a high wind, and why a wine glass shatters with a higher octave.
Music and mathematics of nature.
Newton's laws that provide a principle for analyzing momentum.
The nature of stability.
According to one of the major laws of physics, energy is neither created nor destroyed.
A dramatic recreation of Millikan's classic oil-drop experiment to determine the charge of a single electron.
Newton's laws suggested connections between electricity and magnetism. Acting on scientific hunches, Maxwell saw the matter in an entirely different light.
All physical phenomena of nature are explained by four forces: two nuclear forces, gravity, and electricity.
A look at the Platonic theory of uniform circular motion.
The first real steps toward space travel are made as Newton discovers that gravity describes the force between any two particles in the universe.
Newton and Leibniz arrive at the conclusion that differentiation and integration are inverse processes.
Newton lays down the laws of force, mass, and acceleration.
The use of vectors in describing quantities such as displacement and velocity.
Galileo risks his favored status to answer the questions of the universe with his law of inertia.
From a theoretical concept to a practical tool, the derivative was accepted as the method to determine the instantaneous speed and acceleration of a falling body.
The experiments of Galileo.
Revolutionary ideas, from Copernicus through Newton.