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Physics for Future Presidents
November 7, 2006 6:06 PM   Subscribe

Physics for Future Presidents is a class taught at UC Berkeley by Physics professor Richard Muller. It's a class specifically for non-physics majors and teaches the real world results of the sometimes impenetrable math involved in university physics. After every lecture, you should come away with the feeling that what was just covered is important for every world leader to know. I just sat through the entire hour and 13 minute nukes lecture and was riveted.
posted by quite unimportant (26 comments total) 85 users marked this as a favorite

 
I know what I'm doing tonight.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:10 PM on November 7, 2006


So ... you're saying we should just writeoff Bush, then??

Just checking.

Quick question for anyone intending to skip the nukes section: First atomic explosion at Alamogordo: U-235 or Pu-239?

posted by Twang at 6:52 PM on November 7, 2006


Totally rad, though kind of a double, since the the Berkeley section of Google Video was posted recently.
posted by MetaMonkey at 7:05 PM on November 7, 2006


Twang: The trinity test used Pu-239, becasue the implosion type of bomb was more complex than the U-235 "bullet" type.
posted by bruceo at 7:09 PM on November 7, 2006


There just needs to be a Biology for Future Presidents.
posted by wobh at 8:00 PM on November 7, 2006


These are bad ass.
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:09 PM on November 7, 2006


man... i spent a lot of time in that lecture hall. good ol' PSL. i guess it has a different name now?

when apple releases the iTV this google video hookup is going to be huge. i'm going to be kickin' it in front of the plasma watchin' me some PHYSICS, beotch!
posted by joeblough at 8:10 PM on November 7, 2006


Very awesome, thank you!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:12 PM on November 7, 2006


Maybe if the president better understood nukes, he might be slower to put instructions for building them on the internets.
posted by homunculus at 8:27 PM on November 7, 2006


Absence will be excused if email is sent to me before the missed lecture, and if it contains a reasonable excuse (e.g. you were killed in a terrorist incident, you have to be away to compete in a sporting event, or your boy/girl friend had to be picked up at the airport).
posted by mds35 at 8:33 PM on November 7, 2006


Kudos for this post!
posted by storybored at 8:43 PM on November 7, 2006


Superb stuff. If only all science lecturers were this understandable, and did such a good job relating to current events.
posted by Joe Invisible at 9:10 PM on November 7, 2006


when apple releases the iTV this google video hookup is going to be huge. i'm going to be kickin' it in front of the plasma watchin' me some PHYSICS, beotch!

It's a shame you have to wait for Apple's solution to enjoy computer videos on your big screen TV. The rest of us have been doing it for years.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:24 PM on November 7, 2006


Awesome post! I wish I had found it.
posted by jmhodges at 9:33 PM on November 7, 2006


This is seriously awesome. Good thing I have too much free time.
posted by thermogenesis at 9:43 PM on November 7, 2006


is this podcasted anywhere?
posted by blue_beetle at 10:13 PM on November 7, 2006


Ah, that takes me back (all the way to Spring 2006).

I had the pleasure of taking this class with Professor Muller very recently, in my last semester of school, and it was simply excellent. He was the first and only person in the world so far to explain quantum physics and the importance of the energy gap in a way that made it possible for me to understand. He put on great experiments that closely connected to the material presented. Most importantly, Professor Muller was, and, I am sure, still is extraordinarily committed to being a good lecturer and teacher. (Alas, this did have a downside in that he would get extremely pissed off when students didn't show up to his 8 a.m. class.)

I miss his lectures. There are absolutely podcasts somewhere, as I distinctly remember catching up on the lectures I've missed via my iPod. I'll check and see if I still have it bookmarked somewhere.
posted by Pontius Pilate at 10:34 PM on November 7, 2006


Yup, thought so.

PffP Podcasts.

Definitely check out Radioactivity, Nukes, Waves, and Quantum series of lectures.
posted by Pontius Pilate at 10:36 PM on November 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


It's a shame you have to wait for Apple's solution to enjoy computer videos on your big screen TV. The rest of us have been doing it for years.

really? boy, do i feel dumb that i've been using mythtv for about 3 years now. or wait... maybe you feel dumb for jumping to conclusions about someone's technical acumen just because they mention apple.
posted by joeblough at 11:23 PM on November 7, 2006


Anyone know what that grey box thing is on his desk?
posted by RufusW at 12:15 AM on November 8, 2006


Awesome. This guy is a good teacher.

"the best way to think of light is as a wave that can be emitted or absorbed only in quanta--but that in between, it is a wave."

That is so much better than the typical "well, sometimes light behaves like a particle, sometimes it behaves like a wave, but it's complex, and you're too stupid to understand" explanations of wave-particle duality I've heard from physicists.
posted by blenderfish at 3:07 AM on November 8, 2006


very nifty post quite unimportant
posted by Smedleyman at 3:02 PM on November 8, 2006


Lecture 9 (Electricity and Magnetism) disappeared! anybody willing to trade?
posted by LanTao at 6:15 AM on November 9, 2006


Thanks for posting this. I can now proceed to not do homework for my actual classes because hey, I'm still learning, right? Right?
posted by ztdavis at 8:04 AM on November 9, 2006


Cheating:. Two years ago I flunked two students who were talking to each other on the final exam. (They said that they were only discussing how to spell a word.) I consider that very light punishment. In the future, I am determined not to be so lenient.

You will lose credit if you have more than one mispelling, or have any error in grammar (run-on sentence etc.).

So, Herr Muller, what if you misspell misspell? Or resistance?
Gitmo? Waterboarding? The Gimp?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:24 PM on November 9, 2006


Lecture 9 is back. *turns off air sirens*
posted by LanTao at 3:15 AM on November 10, 2006


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