Physics for Old People
February 8, 2007 10:00 PM   Subscribe

In 1999, at the age of 93, legendary theoretical physicist Hans Bethe delivered three lectures on quantum theory to his neighbors at the Kendal of Ithaca retirement community (near Cornell University).
posted by panoptican (12 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
via 3qd, as usual.
posted by panoptican at 10:03 PM on February 8, 2007

Can't watch this now, but it looks awesome!
posted by grobstein at 10:21 PM on February 8, 2007

Great post!
posted by Dizzy at 11:02 PM on February 8, 2007

I really hope I'm that lucid at 93. Amazing stuff, thanks
posted by saraswati at 11:04 PM on February 8, 2007

Awesome post panopticon. Thanks.

I love the way he speaks so slowly, clearly and with a kind of Cheshire cat twinkle. It's cool that as the video progresses, the math and salient points are included simultaneously on the right side of the screen.

A little more about Nobel laureate Hans Bethe, Wikipedia, PBS. Born in 1906, he died 2 years ago. Imagine what he experienced as a scientist in his lifetime. wow.

While visiting North Wales in 1994 I became friends with and had the honor of knowing a fellow physicist, professor and militant pacifist friend of Hans Bethe, Mansel Davies.
posted by nickyskye at 11:05 PM on February 8, 2007

Its a fantastic and very personal introduction filled with stories.

And there's a bit of math here and there. By the beginning of the third lecture he's showing you how Heisenberg's Uncertainty relation is a natural outcome of the mathematics of free particle Shrodinger wave functions. But, he runs through it all so well that by the third lecture you know what that means! :)
posted by vacapinta at 11:27 PM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]

In my day we didn't have any of this new fangled gravity. When we finally got it we needed next door's five year old kid to make it work.
posted by vbfg at 2:08 AM on February 9, 2007

posted by solotoro at 4:44 AM on February 9, 2007

"What did he say Ethel?"
"He said the cat is both dead and alive."
"The rat is most red on its side?"
"No, the CAT is both DEAD and ALIVE!"
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:45 AM on February 9, 2007

Does anyone know an easy way I can pull down the audio files so that I can listen to them on an MP3 player during my daily commute?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:06 AM on February 9, 2007

KC, the links to the audio are at:

substitute 2,3 for 1 to get the other two.

Turning the .mov into an mp3 is something that I don't know how to do, but I doubt that it's hard.
posted by atrazine at 7:38 AM on February 9, 2007

I converted the .mov audio files to AAC with itunes and so I could throw them on my ipod.
posted by hafetysazard at 7:51 AM on February 9, 2007

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