Understanding Modern Physics: Download Leonard Susskind Video Lectures

What’s the “the­o­ret­i­cal min­i­mum” for think­ing intel­li­gent­ly about mod­ern physics? Here’s your chance to find out. Below, you will find three cours­es (the first of even­tu­al­ly six) pre­sent­ed by Leonard Susskind, a Stan­ford physi­cist who helped con­cep­tu­al­ize string the­o­ry and has waged a long-run­ning “Black Hole War” with Stephen Hawk­ing (see his new book on that sub­ject here). Freely avail­able on iTunes and YouTube (see below), these video lec­tures trace the begin­nings of mod­ern the­o­ret­i­cal physics, tak­ing you from Isaac New­ton (or New­ton­ian Mechan­ics) to Albert Ein­stein’s work on the gen­er­al and spe­cial the­o­ries of rel­a­tiv­i­ty. Notably, these cours­es were orig­i­nal­ly pre­sent­ed with­in Stan­ford’s Con­tin­u­ing Stud­ies pro­gram, which means that the con­tent was pitched to an audi­ence much like you — that is, smart peo­ple who don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly have an exten­sive knowl­edge of physics. Watch the video below — the first lec­ture that kicks off the series of cours­es — and you will see what I mean.

Final­ly, in case you’re won­der­ing, the next three cours­es (cov­er­ing quan­tum mechan­ics, elec­tro­mag­net­ism, cos­mol­o­gy, black holes, and more) will be pre­sent­ed this com­ing aca­d­e­m­ic year and, once taped, we will give you a heads up. Sign up for our RSS Feed and you will be sure to get an update. Also see our col­lec­tion of Free Online Cours­es for many more cours­es along these lines.

Mod­ern Physics: The The­o­ret­i­cal Min­i­mum

Bonus Mate­r­i­al

In 2006–2007, Susskind taped a sep­a­rate series of lec­tures on Quan­tum Mechan­ics. You can down­load them as free video lec­tures as well:

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