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  • Law School for Everyone: Constitutional Law

    Professor Eric Berger, JD

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    Americans wage many of today’s fiercest policy debates and culture wars as battles over constitutional meaning. In the 12 lectures of Law School for Everyone: Constitutional Law, Professor Eric Berger offers the same introduction to constitutional law he provides to his own law students. You’ll come away from this course with a better understanding of our founding document’s many nuances and complexities, and the central role it plays in shaping our way of life.

    View Lecture List (12)

    Americans wage many of today’s fiercest policy debates and culture wars as battles over constitutional meaning. In the 12 lectures of Law School for Everyone: Constitutional Law, Professor Eric Berger offers the same introduction to constitutional law he provides to his own law students. You’ll come away from this course with a better understanding of our founding document’s many nuances and complexities, and the central role it plays in shaping our way of life.

    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  Law School for Everyone: Constitutional Law
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      Origins and Functions of the Constitution
      While the U.S. Constitution left many important issues unresolved, it was clearly designed to serve several primary purposes (regardless of disagreements over how it serves those purposes). Travel back to the 18th century and investigate the origins of the founding document of the American experiment—a story of crisis, rebellion, and compromise. x
    • 2
      The Marshall Court and the Constitution
      At the core of most issues in constitutional law is one question: Who decides? So why is it that the U.S. Supreme Court became the ultimate arbiter of constitutional questions? Explore this question by examining a pair of Chief Justice John Marshall’s famous opinions—Marbury v. Madison and McCulloch v. Maryland. x
    • 3
      The Scope of the Executive Power
      Using the 1952 opinion of Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company v. Sawyer, probe the slippery issue of how much power the U.S. president wields under the Constitution. One nuanced perspective comes from Justice Robert H. Jackson and his theory of executive power that views presidential power primarily through the lens of Congressional action. x
    • 4
      Congress and the New Deal Commerce Clause
      Learn how Congress’s power—as we understand it today—was shaped significantly by constitutional transformations that occurred during the 1930s. See how the Court ultimately vindicated robust Congressional powers under the Commerce Clause, and how President Franklin D. Roosevelt packed the courts with judges sympathetic to his transformative New Deal policies. x
    • 5
      Congress and the Commerce Clause Today
      Turn now to the ways the Commerce Clause has been interpreted in the decades since the New Deal era. Discover how the Court expanded Congress's power still further in Wickard v. Filburn, and how the Court revisited the Commerce Clause in cases addressing a variety of pressing social issues, including racial segregation and affordable health care. x
    • 6
      Individual Liberty: Contracts and Privacy
      According to Professor Berger, individual liberty is one of the most doctrinally and culturally controversial topics in constitutional law. Find out how crucial a role the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause has played when it comes to individual rights with a look at famous cases, including Lochner v. New York and West Coast Hotel v. Parrish. x
    • 7
      Liberty Disputed: Abortion and Gay Rights
      Court decisions on some of America's most controversial issues have relied on substantive due process. Take a closer look at how the Court confronted two of these issues: abortion (in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey) and LGBT rights (in Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges). x
    • 8
      Equal Protection and Civil Rights
      Explore the history of the Court’s civil rights decisions—including Korematsu v. United States and Brown v. Board of Education—as a way to better understand the complex relationship between law and culture. Just how did changed attitudes about race help shape seismic changes in constitutional law? x
    • 9
      The Affirmative Action Conundrum
      Here, Professor Berger walks you through the constitutionality of affirmative action, in which public institutions give preferences on the basis of race. Key to this insightful lecture is a look at strict scrutiny, in which the Court reviews policies extremely carefully—and ostensibly without giving the government the benefit of the doubt. x
    • 10
      Sex Discrimination and Women's Rights
      Of all the constitutions in the West, the U.S. Constitution is the only one without a provision that explicitly declares equal rights for the sexes under the law. From Minor v. Happersett in 1875 to United States v. Virginia in 1996, discover how the courts have ruled on sex-based classifications. x
    • 11
      The Nature of the Judicial Power
      Sometimes, the courts don't decide important issues before them. In this lecture, take a closer look at why courts quite often choose not to decide a particular case on its merits. Topics here include justiciability doctrines (court-made decisions under which courts impose limitations on their power), sovereign immunity, and official immunity. x
    • 12
      The Politics of Constitutional Law
      While judges are not (as some people assume) politicians in robes, they are certainly not immune from political influences. Explore the role of politics in constitutional law through the high-stakes confirmation battles over judicial nominees (including the battle over the seat of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia). x
  • Law School for Everyone: Legislation and Regulation

    Professor Peter J. Smith, J.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    A recent addition to the traditional law school curriculum, legislation and regulation are becoming more of a mainstay in some of the country’s top law schools. Law School for Everyone: Legislation and Regulation examines everything from the nature of regulation, to the challenge of interpreting statutes based on the spirit versus the letter of the law, to the role of federal agencies in our legal system.

    View Lecture List (12)

    A recent addition to the traditional law school curriculum, legislation and regulation are becoming more of a mainstay in some of the country’s top law schools. Law School for Everyone: Legislation and Regulation examines everything from the nature of regulation, to the challenge of interpreting statutes based on the spirit versus the letter of the law, to the role of federal agencies in our legal system.

    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  Law School for Everyone: Legislation and Regulation
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      Making Sense of Legislation and Regulation
      Statutes, unlike judicial opinions, tend to be brief—yet they're packed with meaning. Using a deceptively straightforward law about the use of vehicles in a public park, get an introduction to interpreting legislation and regulation. Should a statute’s plain meaning govern? Should we rely on what can be discerned about the statute’s intent? Or should we give effect instead to what seems to be the spirit of the law? x
    • 2
      Regulation by Statute and by Common Law
      What’s distinctive about legislation as a form of regulation? In this lecture, examine how courts have applied common-law tort and contract principles in order to regulate private behavior and choices. As you’ll discover through an in-depth look at environmental regulation and incentives for car manufacturers, things are rarely—if ever—simple. x
    • 3
      Legislation and the Administrative State
      Compared to most other Western democracies, it's much more difficult to pass legislation in the United States at the federal level. Here, Professor Smith uses the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to unpack how the unique features of the U.S. legislative process affect judicial interpretation of statutes. x
    • 4
      Touchstones of Statutory Interpretation
      At the heart of statutory interpretation: the ability to read a legal text. Learn to do just that by thinking about how less formal kinds of interpretation in everyday life can help you interpret legal texts, and discover how 1892's Holy Trinity Church v. United States highlights the differences and similarities between interpreting legal and non-legal texts. x
    • 5
      The Letter versus the Spirit of the Law
      A central problem related to legislation and regulation is the famous conflict between the letter and the spirit of the law. How do we reconcile the words of a statute with the legislature's apparent purpose? Study the famous 1889 case Riggs v. Palmer and 1967's Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and join the debate for yourself. x
    • 6
      When Is Statutory Meaning Plain?
      Consider just how robust our commitment to the plain meaning of statutes should be. Cases like Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill and West Virginia University Hospitals v. Casey illuminate whether departures from the letter of the law in order to enforce the law's spirit should be exceptions or the rule. x
    • 7
      Semantic and Substantive Interpretive Rules
      Focus on the “canons of construction”: the additional set of background understandings that courts rely on to interpret statutes. McBoyle v. United States, from 1931, helps you grasp the difference between “semantic” canons (generalizations about conventional English language usage) and “substantive” ones (presumptions in favor of a particular set of outcomes). x
    • 8
      How Do Courts Really Interpret Statutes?
      Using the famous case of man charged with distributing LSD, probe whether the enterprise of statutory interpretation is hopelessly incoherent and unpredictable. Also, ponder whether it's possible to articulate a theory of statutory interpretation that explains what courts actually do to resolve disputes over the meaning of statutes. x
    • 9
      Federal Agencies as Regulatory Bodies
      Investigate how the U.S. federal government regulates, and the relationship between this regulation and legislation. You’ll focus on how agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission “enforce” federal law—and whether we should permit Congress to give agencies in the executive branch the power to decide important questions of policy. x
    • 10
      Political Control of Agency Decision Making
      What can Congress do when it doesn’t approve of how a federal agency exercises the power Congress gave it? With this lecture, start thinking about how regulation by federal agencies—in hot-button matters such as immigration law and trade—raises critical questions about political control and constitutionality. x
    • 11
      Judicial Review of Agency Rulings
      In the United States, judicial review by the courts is the principal way federal agencies are kept in check. Professor Smith explains two basic forms of review the courts exercise over agency decisions: ensuring that they're procedurally sound, and ensuring they're well-reasoned and based on appropriate considerations. x
    • 12
      Weighing Agency Interpretations of Statutes
      Examine Chevron v. NRDC, the seminal case on the weight courts should give to a federal agency’s interpretation of a federal statute. Then, take a closer look at two other cases that offer a sense of how courts approach statutory ambiguity—MCI Telecommunications v. AT&T and FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco. Conclude by considering the complicated interaction among legislatures, courts, and government agencies by which U.S. law and policy are implemented. x
  • Adobe Photoshop CC:  The Complete Guide

    Instructor Ben Willmore, Photoshop Expert

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    In Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide, photographer and world-renowned Photoshop instructor Ben Willmore will guide you through 21 lessons, starting from the very basics of accessing files and using the most popular effects to gradually progressing into advanced tools and techniques that can open up a whole new world of photo editing possibilities. Whether you want to brighten a family photo, create an amazing photo collage to promote your business, or anything in between, you will be able to easily find and use the right tools for the job.

    View Lecture List (21)

    In Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide, photographer and world-renowned Photoshop instructor Ben Willmore will guide you through 21 lessons, starting from the very basics of accessing files and using the most popular effects to gradually progressing into advanced tools and techniques that can open up a whole new world of photo editing possibilities. Whether you want to brighten a family photo, create an amazing photo collage to promote your business, or anything in between, you will be able to easily find and use the right tools for the job.

    View Lecture List (21)
    21 Lectures  |  Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide
    Lecture Titles (21)
    • 1
      Introduction to Photoshop
      Begin by looking at what Photoshop is and its many features, starting with your first step: opening files. Then move on to resolution and color settings, file formats, managing panels, creating and using presets, and more. Also gain a valuable understanding of the differences between Adobe Lightroom, Bridge, and Camera RAW. x
    • 2
      How to Use Camera RAW
      Most of the basic adjustments users need to make to their photographs can be done in Adobe Camera RAW (ACR)—an easy, one-stop shop containing the best of Photoshop. Look at the capabilities of ACR and, through several demonstrations, why up to 70% of your image finishing can be accomplished there. x
    • 3
      Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop
      What do you do if you want to alter just a small portion of your photograph at a time? Learn the different editing tools and techniques for making selections in Photoshop, including the lasso, quick selection, and paint tools. Begin with simple shapes and progress to more complex and precise challenges. x
    • 4
      Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop
      Layers in Photoshop comprise the various elements of your image and they are an important concept to understand before moving into more advanced territory. Build a solid foundation in this first of several looks at the concept, as you explore not just the technical how-to aspects, but also how to think about layers and what you want to accomplish. x
    • 5
      Using Layer Masks in Adobe Photoshop
      Adding and removing elements from images is about more than cut-and-paste. When you understand how to use masking via layers in Photoshop, you can manipulate your images in surprising new ways. Watch as Mr. Willmore shows you how to alter specific portions of a single image and how to create a new image by masking and combining several shots. x
    • 6
      Tools Panel in Adobe Photoshop
      Get an overview of the editing tools panel and where to find the tools you need for various adjustments. Resize, trim, and rotate images with the crop tool; match colors with the eyedropper; navigate the color panel and brush panel; set up and store preset elements and swatches in the libraries panel; and more. x
    • 7
      Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop
      Often, you need to make adjustments to a particular part of an image, but without disturbing the other elements. Learn to use adjustment layers in Photoshop to make tonal adjustments to specific portions of your images, as well as how to reduce color noise or adjust brightness and contrast. x
    • 8
      Color Adjustments in Adobe Photoshop
      Learn the essentials of color adjustment in the Properties Panel, including hue, saturation, and lightness (HSL), as well as color matching and manipulation. See how you can isolate colors for adjustment without altering the other colors present and why you should be aware of the settings that can affect your tools. x
    • 9
      Retouching Images in Adobe Photoshop
      Begin your basic photo editing fixes with spot removal in Camera RAW. Then, turn to how to eliminate or downplay unwanted objects using the spot healing brush, followed by a look at how to fill in empty areas with the magic wand tool or the selection tool and the fill option. Also look at the healing brush and using paint tools for retouching. x
    • 10
      Layer Blending Modes
      Explore the layer blending modes menu, which you'll find throughout Adobe Photoshop, which can allow you to change the ways your tools and layers interact with each other. Use this handy tool to create all sorts of eye-catching effects, including how to layer similar images, create repeating patterns, and much more. x
    • 11
      How to Use Filters in Adobe Photoshop
      How do you combine multiple photographs to create a panorama? And how do you avoid making effects look artificial or generic? Learn how to use filters in Adobe Photoshop so you can fix problem areas, heighten contrast and detail, and create special effects, such as making your photos look like paintings. x
    • 12
      Advanced Photoshop Masks
      Take what you have learned about masks so far and turn to more advanced techniques. Learn how to use advanced masks to isolate a part of your photo so you can make targeted adjustments on that portion only. Also get valuable guidance on when you should use complex techniques and when it may be better to keep it simple. x
    • 13
      Using Smart Objects in Adobe Photoshop
      Fundamentally change the way you think about Photoshop as you learn about using smart objects, which allows you to preserve the original properties even after saving and closing. Look at how the function works, when it can help you—and when it can get in your way. x
    • 14
      Photography for Photoshop
      Mr. Willmore helps you consider some things you might shoot with Photoshop in mind, such as taking multiple shots to stitch together as a panorama. Also, see how shooting in HDR can give you multiple versions of the same image that you can combine or adjust according to your needs. x
    • 15
      Photo Retouching in Photoshop
      Learn to do more advanced photo retouching in Photoshop with blend modes, the magic wand tool, the adjustment brush, and more. Understand how to determine which tools are best for the corrections you want to make, and when you should tackle things manually and when you can automate instead. x
    • 16
      Warp, Bend, Liquify
      The ability to warp, bend, and liquify your images is important when you want to place them on curved surfaces, add them to other photos, or make them match a particular perspective. Incorporate some of tools you have learned previously and combine them with new techniques that will allow you to move and combine your images in new ways. x
    • 17
      Advanced Photoshop Layers
      Use what you have learned about layers as you explore some of the hidden features and unique settings in advanced Adobe Photoshop layers that can take your skills to the next level. With these insights, you will be able to do more complex manipulations and adjustments and further increase your photo editing toolkit. x
    • 18
      Photoshop Tips and Tricks
      The more you work with Photoshop, the more you will uncover about its capabilities— and the techniques and workarounds that can make your experience even better. Learn helpful and time-saving Photoshop tips and tricks like scanning photos in bulk, using the histogram to make your adjustments, and automated color correction. x
    • 19
      Photoshop Actions
      Now that you know many of the tools and techniques Photoshop has to offer, learn how Photoshop actions allow you to automate common tasks to make your workflow faster and more efficient. Once you know what you need to accomplish, you can add plugins, shortcuts, and design presets that will make your Photoshop experience even better. x
    • 20
      Troubleshooting Photoshop
      Even the most experienced Photoshop users can run into trouble, and some issues are more common than you might think. Follow Mr. Willmore as he demonstrates some of the things that can go wrong in Photoshop and how to go about troubleshooting in a variety of situations. x
    • 21
      Photoshop Q&A
      Once you know the most important tools—and quite a few tricks and hidden gems— what is the next step? Close the course by looking at specific issues and roadblocks many users encounter as Mr. Willmore holds a Photoshop Q&A, where he fields questions from students via Skype. x
  • Qi Gong for Better Health and Wellness

    Qi Gong Expert Lee Holden,

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    If you’ve been looking for exercise that can improve your health after even the most basic practice and is accessible no matter your age or body type—you’ve found it in Master Lee Holden’s Qi Gong. The practice of Qi Gong, time-tested over thousands of years, will improve your physical fitness, free your mind, and energize your life with renewed vitality. You will feel confident every step of the way as you follow Master Holden’s guidance into a more peaceful and energized life.

    View Lecture List (12)

    If you’ve been looking for exercise that can improve your health after even the most basic practice and is accessible no matter your age or body type—you’ve found it in Master Lee Holden’s Qi Gong. The practice of Qi Gong, time-tested over thousands of years, will improve your physical fitness, free your mind, and energize your life with renewed vitality. You will feel confident every step of the way as you follow Master Holden’s guidance into a more peaceful and energized life.

    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  Qi Gong for Better Health and Wellness
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      Introduction to Qi Gong
      In this lesson, you will be introduced to the flowing movements of Qi Gong, and the deep, slow breath that powers those movements. Qi is the life force that circulates through the body, bringing vitality to every organ and structure. When qi is blocked, the bodily systems can't perform at their peak, and ill health can result. The breathing, stretching, and strengthening techniques in this lesson will help ensure a fresh supply of energy to all parts of your body. You'll learn a variety of simple movements including Shaking, Spreading the Feathers, Opening the Flow, and Centering. x
    • 2
      Qi Gong for Better Breathing
      When we spend our whole day sitting down, slightly slumped over the desk, our life force energy can become pretty low. But when we stand up, pull our shoulders back, open our heart, and breathe deeply with awareness and purpose, we elevate the life force within us. With that goal in mind, this lesson includes the movements of Wave Breathing, Holding Up the Sky, Rooster Spreads His Feathers, Soaring Crane, and Great Bear Swims in the Ocean. At the end of this lesson, you will feel both more relaxed and more energized—almost as if the air were breathing you. x
    • 3
      Qi Gong Mindfulness in Motion
      Mindfulness is the simple-sounding act of being aware of the present moment, and recent research has shown it to have a strong positive effect on both mental and physical health. But for most of us—whose minds tend to wander here and there, over and over—mindfulness can be a challenge. In this series of Qi Gong movements, we use the power of breath and energy circulation to bring our thoughts back to the present, again and again. Movements such as Waterways, Clearing, Tiger Claw, Fireflies in the Lantern, and Lotus help us experience the present moment, exactly as it is. x
    • 4
      Qi Gong for the Upper Back and Neck
      We live in an age of inactivity and repetitive motion, with many of us spending hours every day hunched over our computers and smartphones—all of which causes strain in the upper back and neck. But even if we had proper support, posture, and movement throughout the day, our neck muscles must support and balance our head during every waking moment. In this lesson, you’ll use deep abdominal breathing and strong but gentle movements to help clear tension from the neck, upper back, and shoulders. Movements include Silk Reelings, Water Waves, Clearing, Spreading the Feathers, and Bear Swimming in the Ocean. x
    • 5
      Qi Gong for Healthy Joints
      When we think of our joints, most of us think of the large joints: shoulders, hips, knees, and maybe elbows. But we actually have hundreds of joints in the body, although not all are movable (like those in the skull). The energy in our moveable joints can become stagnant over time through repetitive motion, improper posture, and stress. The simple but effective movements of Qi Gong, combined with deep breathing techniques, can bring energy and suppleness back to all our joints. In this lesson, movements include Spinal Cord Breathing, Turtle Neck, Silk Reelings, and Opening the Flow. x
    • 6
      Qi Gong for Arms, Wrists, and Hands
      This lesson is about opening energy throughout the tendons, muscles, ligaments, and joints of the lower arms, allowing for a greater range of motion and better qi circulation down through the fingers. Although arthritis symptoms often begin in the hands, many types of exercise and movement practices ignore the need to increase strength and flexibility in the hands. In this lesson, you're encouraged to listen to the needs of your body, giving yourself as much or as little stretch as you want. Movements include Silk Reelings, White Crane Soaring, Opening the Flow, and Baby Bird Learning to Fly. x
    • 7
      Qi Gong for Headaches
      Almost everyone has experienced headache pain at one time or another, and many of us experience headaches frequently. The most common type of headache, the tension headache, can be caused by tightened muscles in the back of the neck and the scalp. Qi Gong relieves that tension, increases circulation, and calms the mind—all working together to ease the pain, and leave you feeling refreshed and energized. The movements in this lesson include Wave Breathing, Clearing, Spreading the Feathers, Waterfall, and Pulling Down the Sky to the Six Directions. x
    • 8
      Qi Gong for Strong Bones
      In Chinese medicine, bones are considered to be the energy storage areas of the body, representing deep vitality. They are also the source of our red blood cells, made in the bone marrow. We know that if weight-bearing exercises aren't used to stimulate the bones, our bones can become more porous as we age. This Qi Gong routine uses the force of your own body weight to strengthen your bones. In addition, these exercises will help increase the flow of your qi and your overall vitality. You'll learn movements including Knocking on the Door of Life, Shaking, The Fountain, Opening the Flow, Flying, and Bone Breathing. x
    • 9
      Qi Gong for High Blood Pressure
      When your blood pressure is consistently too high, the heart has to work harder than normal and the vessels can become damaged, resulting in a heart attack or stroke. A recent meta-analysis of studies of more than 2,000 patients concluded that Qi Gong is an effective therapy for hypertension. By using Qi Gong to relieve stress, relax your mind and body, and relieve stagnation to increase the free flow of energy, the risk of high blood pressure can be reduced. In this lesson, you will learn the movements of Water Waves, The Boa, Swimming Dragon, Repulse the Monkey, and Embracing the Tree, among others. x
    • 10
      Qi Gong for Energy and Vitality
      Holding tension in the body—whether or not we’re aware of it—can restrict the flow of qi and dampen our sense of vitality. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to activate your own qi and how to move with strength, flexibility, and intentionality. These slow, meditative movements will strengthen the energy system of the entire body. You’ll learn movements including Knocking on the Door of Life, Chi Massage, Turning a Water Wheel, Between Heaven and Earth, Embracing the Tree, Monk Holding the Pearl, and Bamboo in the Wind. x
    • 11
      Qi Gong for Anxiety
      While occasional anxiety is a normal and expected part of life, anxiety disorders significantly affect the lives of 40 million adults in the United States each year. The opposite of anxiety is flow, a feeling of internal peace and relaxation you can discover through the practice of Qi Gong. This lesson will help you find that equanimity, where the body is relaxed, the mind is at peace, and anxiety is held at bay. This routine is like a mini vacation from all the things in life that pull you off your center. You'll learn movements including Wave Breathing, Cleansing Breath, Drop and Shake, Qi Massage, and Cloudy Hands. x
    • 12
      Qi Gong Five Elements Energy Balance
      There are five elements that represent the energy in nature and in each of us—water, wood, fire, earth, and metal—one energy differentiated into many forms. We ourselves are an extension of the Earth, always lifting up to the sun and the universe. The human body is a powerful conductor of electricity and qi, and when the elements and energy are balanced inside of us, we feel happy, healthy, and at peace. In this lesson, you’ll learn a variety of postures to help balance your energy, including Sword Hand, Snake Spits Out the Tongue, and Embracing the Tree. x
  • Mastering Linear Algebra: An Introduction with Applications

    Professor Francis Su, PhD

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD
    Taught by Professor Francis Su of Harvey Mudd College, this course covers the topics of a first-semester college course in linear algebra, including vector spaces, dot and cross products, matrix operations, linear transformations, determinants, eigenvectors and eigenvalues, and much more. Professor Su introduces many fascinating applications of linear algebra, from computer graphics to quantum mechanics.
    View Lecture List (24)
    Taught by Professor Francis Su of Harvey Mudd College, this course covers the topics of a first-semester college course in linear algebra, including vector spaces, dot and cross products, matrix operations, linear transformations, determinants, eigenvectors and eigenvalues, and much more. Professor Su introduces many fascinating applications of linear algebra, from computer graphics to quantum mechanics.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Mastering Linear Algebra: An Introduction with Applications
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Linear Algebra: Powerful Transformations
      Discover that linear algebra is a powerful tool that combines the insights of geometry and algebra. Focus on its central idea of linear transformations, which are functions that are algebraically very simple and that change a space geometrically in modest ways, such as taking parallel lines to parallel lines. Survey the diverse linear phenomena that can be analyzed this way. x
    • 2
      Vectors: Describing Space and Motion
      Professor Su poses a handwriting recognition problem as an introduction to vectors, the basic objects of study in linear algebra. Learn how to define a vector, as well as how to add and multiply them, both algebraically and geometrically. Also see vectors as more general objects that apply to a wide range of situations that may not, at first, look like arrows or ordered collections of real numbers. x
    • 3
      Linear Geometry: Dots and Crosses
      Even at this stage of the course, the concepts you've encountered give insight into the strange behavior of matter in the quantum realm. Get a glimpse of this connection by learning two standard operations on vectors: dot products and cross products. The dot product of two vectors is a scalar, with magnitude only. The cross product of two vectors is a vector, with both magnitude and direction. x
    • 4
      Matrix Operations
      Use the problem of creating an error-correcting computer code to explore the versatile language of matrix operations. A matrix is a rectangular array of numbers whose rows and columns can be thought of as vectors. Learn matrix notation and the rules for matrix arithmetic. Then see how these concepts help you determine if a digital signal has been corrupted and, if so, how to fix it. x
    • 5
      Linear Transformations
      Dig deeper into linear transformations to find out how they are closely tied to matrix multiplication. Computer graphics is a perfect example of the use of linear transformations. Define a linear transformation and study properties that follow from this definition, especially as they relate to matrices. Close by exploring advanced computer graphic techniques for dealing with perspective in images. x
    • 6
      Systems of Linear Equations
      One powerful application of linear algebra is for solving systems of linear equations, which arise in many different disciplines. One example: balancing chemical equations. Study the general features of any system of linear equations, then focus on the Gaussian elimination method of solution, named after the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, but also discovered in ancient China. x
    • 7
      Reduced Row Echelon Form
      Consider how signals from four GPS satellites can be used to calculate a phone's location, given the positions of the satellites and the times for the four signals to reach the phone. In the process, discover a systematic way to use row operations to put a matrix into reduced row echelon form, a special form that lets you solve any system of linear equations, and tells you a lot about the solutions. x
    • 8
      Span and Linear Dependence
      Determine whether eggs and oatmeal alone can satisfy goals for obtaining three types of nutrients. Learn about the span of a set of vectors, which is the set of all linear combination of those vectors; and linear dependence, where one vector can be written as a linear combination of two others. Along the way, develop your intuition for seeing possible solutions to problems in linear algebra. x
    • 9
      Subspaces: Special Subsets to Look For
      Delve into special subspaces of a matrix: the null space, row space, and column space. Use these to understand the economics of making croissants and donuts for a specified price, drawing on three ingredients with changing costs. As in the previous lecture, move back and forth between a matrix equation, a system of equations, and a vector equation, which all represent the same thing. x
    • 10
      Bases: Basic Building Blocks
      Using the example of digital compression of images, explore the basis of a vector space. This is a subset of vectors that, in the case of compression formats like JPEG, preserve crucial information while dispensing with extraneous data. Discover how to find a basis for a column space, row space, and null space. Also make geometric observations about these important structures. x
    • 11
      Invertible Matrices: Undoing What You Did
      Now turn to engineering, a fertile field for linear algebra. Put yourself in the shoes of a bridge designer, faced with determining the maximum force that a bridge can take for a given deflection vector. This involves the inverse of a matrix. Explore techniques for determining if an inverse matrix exists and then calculating it. Also learn proofs about properties of matrices and their inverses. x
    • 12
      The Invertible Matrix Theorem
      Use linear algebra to analyze one of the games on the popular electronic toy Merlin from the 1970s. This leads you deeper into the nature of the inverse of a matrix, showing why invertibility is such an important idea. Learn about the fundamental theorem of invertible matrices, which provides a key to understanding properties you can infer from matrices that either have or don't have an inverse. x
    • 13
      Determinants: Numbers That Say a Lot
      Study the determinant—the factor by which a region of space increases or decreases after a matrix transformation. If the determinant is negative, then the space has been mirror-reversed. Probe other properties of the determinant, including its use in multivariable calculus for computing the volume of a parallelepiped, which is a three-dimensional figure whose faces are parallelograms. x
    • 14
      Eigenstuff: Revealing Hidden Structure
      Dive into eigenvectors, which are a special class of vectors that don’t change direction under a given linear transformation. The scaling factor of an eigenvector is the eigenvalue. These seemingly incidental properties turn out to be of enormous importance in linear algebra. Get started with “eigenstuff” by pondering a problem in population modeling, featuring foxes and their prey, rabbits. x
    • 15
      Eigenvectors and Eigenvalues: Geometry
      Continue your study from the previous lecture by exploring the geometric properties of eigenvectors and eigenvalues, gaining an intuitive sense of the hidden structure they reveal. Learn how to calculate eigenvalues and eigenvectors; and for vectors that are not eigenvectors, discover that if you have a basis of eigenvectors, then it's easy to see how a transformation moves every other point. x
    • 16
      Diagonalizability
      In this third lecture on eigenvectors, examine conditions under which a change in basis results in a basis of eigenvectors, which makes computation with matrices very easy. Discover the property called diagonalizability, and prove that being diagonalizable is the equivalent to having a basis of eigenvectors. Also explore the connection between the eigenvalues of a matrix and its determinant. x
    • 17
      Population Dynamics: Foxes and Rabbits
      Return to the problem of modeling the population dynamics of foxes and rabbits from Lecture 14, drawing on your knowledge of eigenvectors to analyze different scenarios. First, express the predation relationship in matrix notation. Then, experiment with different values for the predation factor, looking for the optimum ratio of foxes to rabbits to ensure that both populations remain stable. x
    • 18
      Differential Equations: New Applications
      Professor Su walks you through the application of matrices in differential equations, assuming for just this lecture that you know a little calculus. The first problem involves the population ratios of rats and mice. Next, investigate the motion of a spring, using linear algebra to simplify second order differential equations into first order differential equations—a handy simplification. x
    • 19
      Orthogonality: Squaring Things Up
      In mathematics, “orthogonal” means at right angles. Difficult operations become simpler when orthogonal vectors are involved. Learn how to determine if a matrix is orthogonal and survey the properties that result. Among these, an orthogonal transformation preserves dot products and also angles and lengths. Also, study the Gram–Schmidt process for producing orthogonal vectors. x
    • 20
      Markov Chains: Hopping Around
      The algorithm for the Google search engine is based on viewing websurfing as a Markov chain. So are speech-recognition programs, models for predicting genetic drift, and many other data structures. Investigate this practical tool, which employs probabilistic rules to advance from one state to the next. Find that Markov chains converge on at least one steady-state vector, an eigenvector. x
    • 21
      Multivariable Calculus: Derivative Matrix
      Discover that linear algebra plays a key role in multivariable calculus, also called vector calculus. For those new to calculus, Professor Su covers essential concepts. Then, he shows how multivariable functions can be translated into linear transformations, which you have been studying since the beginning. See how other ideas in multivariable calculus also fall into place, thanks to linear algebra. x
    • 22
      Multilinear Regression: Least Squares
      Witness the wizardry of linear algebra for finding a best-fitting line or best-fitting linear model for data—a problem that arises whenever information is being analyzed. The methods include multiple linear regression and least squares approximation, and can also be used to reverse-engineer an unknown formula that has been applied to data, such as U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings. x
    • 23
      Singular Value Decomposition: So Cool
      Next time you respond to a movie, music, or other online recommendation, think of the singular value decomposition (SVD), which is a matrix factorization method used to match your known preferences to similar products. Learn how SVD works, how to compute it, and how its ability to identify relevant attributes makes it an effective data compression tool for subtracting unimportant information. x
    • 24
      General Vector Spaces: More to Explore
      Finish the course by seeing how linear algebra applies more generally than just to vectors in the real coordinate space of n dimensions, which is what you have studied so far. Discover that Fibonacci sequences, with their many applications, can be treated as vector spaces, as can Fourier series, used in waveform analysis. Truly, linear algebra pops up in the most unexpected places! x
  • Theories of Knowledge: How to Think about What You Know

    Professor Joseph H. Shieber, PhD

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    Delve into the exciting world of knowledge, belief, and truth in Theories of Knowledge: How to Think about What You Know. Taught by acclaimed Professor Joseph H. Shieber of Lafayette College, these 24 mind-bending lectures take you from Plato to Hume to contemporary neurobiologists, and from wide-ranging social networks to the deepest recesses of your own brain.

    View Lecture List (24)

    Delve into the exciting world of knowledge, belief, and truth in Theories of Knowledge: How to Think about What You Know. Taught by acclaimed Professor Joseph H. Shieber of Lafayette College, these 24 mind-bending lectures take you from Plato to Hume to contemporary neurobiologists, and from wide-ranging social networks to the deepest recesses of your own brain.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Theories of Knowledge: How to Think about What You Know
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Philosophy and Transformative Experiences
      What do philosophical “theories of knowledge” have to do with everyday life? If you believe the field of epistemology is esoteric and abstract, you’ll be surprised by how fundamental it is to everyday life. In this opening lecture, reflect on how we make “transformative” experiences—and why common sense might lead us astray. x
    • 2
      Knowledge, Truth, and Belief
      Philosophers have been ruminating on the nature of knowledge for thousands of years. Using Plato as your guide, investigate the relationship between “knowledge,” “truth,” and “belief.” Professor Shieber brings in contemporary psychology and what we know about child development to show how we come to know what we know. x
    • 3
      Foundationalism: Descartes's Evil Demon
      We’re all familiar with Descartes’s cogito, ergo sum, or “I think, therefore I am.” Delve into this powerful analysis of reality to discover what Descartes meant. As you’ll learn, he was trying to develop an infallible explanation for his knowledge of the world, which led him deep inside his own mind. x
    • 4
      The Coherence Theory of Knowledge
      Turn from Descartes's theory of infallible knowledge to fallible yet still internal theories of reality. The most prominent theory is coherentism, a framework for understanding the world in terms of logical cohesion and consistency. While this theory has much to offer, you'll also wrestle with several key challenges. x
    • 5
      Externalist Theories of Knowledge
      Not all theories of knowledge rely on internal justification. Here, you will explore several 20th-century approaches to knowledge that don't require that justification is internally accessible. Consider how to gauge beliefs in terms of external consistency, accuracy, reliability, and validity. x
    • 6
      Problems with Self-Knowledge
      Given all this talk of beliefs and external reality, surely it's safe to say we at least understand ourselves, right? Traditional, Cartesian epistemology may consider self-knowledge the foundation of all other knowledge, but as current research in psychology, biology, and neuroscience shows, our self-knowledge is far from complete or even accurate. x
    • 7
      Does Sense Perception Support Knowledge?
      One of the most significant sources of knowledge comes from sense perception—what we see, hear, smell, and experience of the world. Yet our common-sense way of thinking about sense perception is misleading at best. In this first of two lectures on perception, unpack the role of our senses in justifying beliefs about the world. x
    • 8
      Perception: Foundationalism and Externalism
      Continue your study of sense perception with a look at what it implies about the internalist and externalist theories you have studied so far. After examining several problems with internalist foundationalism, Professor Shieber explores how cognitive psychology supports an externalist view of knowledge. x
    • 9
      The Importance of Memory for Knowledge
      Memory plays a crucial role in knowledge because all of our perceptions are impermanent and fleeting. Here, you will examine the nature of memory. Are memories stored experiences in the mind, or are they past events themselves? And does memory merely preserve belief, or can you gain new knowledge from your memories? x
    • 10
      Confabulations and False Memories
      One of the most intriguing aspects of memory is just how fallible it is as a guide to reality. In this lecture, you will turn to how memory fits into the internalist and externalist theories of knowledge. False memories, confabulations, source theories, and forgotten evidence show just how tricky memory really is. x
    • 11
      The Extended Mind
      We are quickly approaching a future of augmented reality, simulated consciousness, brain implants, and more. These brain enhancements raise a number of philosophical questions: What counts as your mind? And is an enhanced brain a better brain? Consider the role of smart phones and photographs in preserving memory. x
    • 12
      Do We Have Innate Knowledge?
      Step back to one of the Enlightenment's most captivating debates: Do we know the world through our own minds (as Descartes argued) or through empirical evidence (as Locke and Hume argued)? After unpacking this debate, see how Kant came to the rescue to distinguish between a priori and a posteriori knowledge. x
    • 13
      How Deduction Contributes to Knowledge
      Much of our belief system stems from things we have not experienced directly; rather, we infer much of our knowledge through the processes of logical reasoning. Here, tackle the role of deduction, in which inference stems from the logical relationship of a series of steps. Consider syllogisms, “if-then” arguments, and other deductive procedures. x
    • 14
      Hume's Attack on Induction
      Deduction and induction are the two types of logical inference. In this first of two explorations of induction, you will examine the reliability and usefulness of induction. You'll start with David Hume's challenge to induction to see whether it can be used to generate knowledge at all. And even if knowledge comes from inductive inference, are humans any good at it? x
    • 15
      The Raven Paradox and New Riddle of Induction
      Continue your tour of induction by looking at a few logical puzzles. There are no easy answers to the raven paradox or the new riddle of induction, but picking apart these challenges can offer valuable lessons about inductive inference. Revisit Hume's attack, and reflect on how Bayes's theorem of probability applies to inductive reasoning. x
    • 16
      Know-How versus Propositional Knowledge
      So far, this course has tackled “propositional knowledge”—or knowledge that X is true. But knowledge-that isn’t the only kind of knowledge. Although philosophers didn’t think much about knowledge-how (know-how) until recently, it has much to teach us—especially about internalist and externalist theories of knowledge. x
    • 17
      Knowledge Derived from Testimony
      Sensory perception, memory, self-awareness, and logical inference are all personal sources of knowledge, but much of our knowledge comes from consulting others' expertise. Discover the breadth of knowledge that comes from testimony, and find out what perils exist in relying on the word of others. x
    • 18
      Social Psychology and Source Monitoring
      To evaluate knowledge that comes from testimony, you might think we analyze the trustworthiness of the source and weigh our beliefs accordingly. But as social psychology tells us and you will see here, we are very bad at spotting liars, and we tend to accept testimony without consciously monitoring the source of the information. x
    • 19
      Testimony through Social Networks
      Social networks play a powerful role in how we acquire knowledge from others. Here, explore the nature of our social networks—how many close friends we tend to have, and how many people are in our wider social network—and then see how our networks provide us information, and how reliable the information is. x
    • 20
      The Reliability of Scientific Testimony
      Previously, you discovered the “social externalist” theory of testimony. Examples from the scientific world provide evidence for this view of ensuring accurate testimony. Reflect on several scientific achievements made possible by “socially distributed cognitive processes”—processes where the sum is greater than the individual players. x
    • 21
      Testimony in the Media
      The media is a great example of a socially distributed process—but how do we know the information is reliable and accurate? Go inside the world of media fact-checking and how our media consumption impacts our knowledge. Consider the challenge of ensuring accuracy in the age of “click-bait.” x
    • 22
      Pragmatic and Moral Encroachment
      Much of this course has focused on the truth-likelihood of knowledge, without focusing on the particular interests of the knower. In this lecture, survey two key challenges to this approach: First, do your practical interests impact whether you have knowledge? Second, do your moral concerns impact whether you have knowledge? x
    • 23
      Radical Skepticism: The Brain in a Vat
      Return to the beginning, in which you studied Descartes’s radical skepticism. While there are many problems with Descartes’s theory of knowledge, his fundamental skepticism is tough to reckon with. How do we know we are not just a brain in a vat, à la The Matrix? Delve into several arguments against this scenario. x
    • 24
      The Future of Epistemology
      Epistemology is an old field, but in the 21st century there has been an explosion of new ideas, approaches, and applications. Conclude the course with a look at the future of the field, including “formal epistemology,” “epistemic injustice,” and the potential integration of externalist, foundationalist, and coherentist approaches to knowledge. x
  • How to Write Best-Selling Fiction

    Professor James Scott Bell, JD

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD
    Embark on an insightful, intimate, and extraordinarily revealing look at the elements of best-selling fiction. Get a comprehensive, eye-opening, and illuminating survey of the entire writing process, as well as a full breakdown of how dozens of best-selling authors have implemented these best practices in their own writing. As an aspiring author, you will gain a wealth of tools that that will not only improve your ability to write, but will also increase your enjoyment of the craft.
    View Lecture List (24)
    Embark on an insightful, intimate, and extraordinarily revealing look at the elements of best-selling fiction. Get a comprehensive, eye-opening, and illuminating survey of the entire writing process, as well as a full breakdown of how dozens of best-selling authors have implemented these best practices in their own writing. As an aspiring author, you will gain a wealth of tools that that will not only improve your ability to write, but will also increase your enjoyment of the craft.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  How to Write Best-Selling Fiction
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Tell Me a Story
      Mr. Bell introduces you to the seven critical success factors of fiction and shows you how best-selling writers put them into practice. He explores literary genres through the success of best sellers written by authors such as Harper Lee and Gillian Flynn. He then challenges you to see if you have what it takes to be a best-selling author, as he outlines the 10 characteristics that a serious writer must possess. Discover why he surprisingly counts talent among the least important of the traits. x
    • 2
      Anatomy of a Best Seller
      What is a novel? Looking at examples from writers including John Grisham, Michael Connelly, George Pelecanos, J. D. Salinger, Suzanne Collins, Thomas Harris, and more, Mr. Bell analyzes first what makes a novel, and then, what makes a novel successful. He also provides his own insights by looking at the role luck plays in creating a best seller. Learn how you first must “master the pyramid” before you can “try your luck on the wheel of fortune.” x
    • 3
      Developing Ideas
      Jump-start your creativity with a selection of fun exercises, including “What-If Moments” and “The First-Line Game.” Mr. Bell cites best-selling authors such as Alice Sebold and Mickey Spillane to demonstrate the importance of creating unique elements: a twist, a character, a setting, a relationship. Find out how to create the ever-important elevator pitch. x
    • 4
      The LOCK System: A Foundation for Your Novel
      Using a proprietary system of his own invention, Mr. Bell introduces you to the foundational principles of a successful novel: LOCK (Lead, Objective, Confrontation, Knockout). He’ll demonstrate how famous authors such as Stephen King, David Baldacci, John Grisham, Theodore Dreiser, Michael Connelly, and others utilize these fundamental elements. Review the five types of endings and discover the pros and cons of each. x
    • 5
      Structuring Your Novel
      Learn why stories need—and love—structure. By rethinking a structure as a recipe, you realize you can still be original and creative within the template that works for best sellers. Dive into the writing styles of “pantsers” versus “plotters” and get a better understanding of whether you want to aim for a plot-driven or a character-driven story. And using the writings of John Grisham, Ernest Hemingway, James Patterson, Stephen King, E. L. Doctorow, Lee Child, and others, evaluate the traditional mythical structure of a three-act story. x
    • 6
      Act I: The Disturbance
      See how James M. Cain, Harlan Coben, Anne Lamott, Ken Follett, James Clavell, and Dean Koontz often use a jolt or disturbance in the first few pages, if not the very first sentence, to hook a reader in, and how that often contributes to the book becoming a best seller. Look at other elements that you will need to include in the first act that will build up the character bonding and tension, which will keep readers riveted. Mr. Bell reveals an easy-to-use visual map that will help you plot out the most important elements for each act. x
    • 7
      Act II: The Arena of Conflict
      Building out Act Two means creating an “arena of conflict”—this is where your lead realizes he or she needs to overcome a challenge. Mr. Bell introduces you to the concept of a “mirror moment” and provides examples of authors who have demonstrated this technique, such as Margaret Mitchell, Suzanne Collins, Mario Puzo, Harper Lee, Thomas Harris, and Dashiell Hammett. Uncover three other elements that make a great second act and get introduced to the four options which will get your character to the final battle. x
    • 8
      Act III and Resolution
      Mickey Spillane noted, “The first chapter sells the book. The last chapter sells the next book.” Mr. Bell has already provided the tools to get your reader hooked with the first chapter—and potentially the first line! Now, he provides the five strategies that will help you end your book in a way that gets your reader craving your next title. x
    • 9
      Jump-off-the-Page Characters
      Now that you know the secrets of a page-turning plot, Mr. Bell opens the toolbox for creating characters. Learn how to use unpredictability so your readers don’t get bored with cliché characters or trite traits. Calling on the practices used by best-selling writers including Michael Connelly, Richard Stark, David Morrell, Harper Lee, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lee Child, and Janet Evanovich, you’ll see how to develop flaws and baggage to make your characters relatable and human. Plus, get hints about building secondary characters, villains, and what it takes to keep a character interesting through an ongoing series. x
    • 10
      Bringing Characters to Life
      Mr. Bell reveals two ways to bring your characters to life, along with a myriad of techniques you can put into practice, including a list of questions to “ask” your character, a timeline, a voice journal, a simple relationship grid, and the areas you should plan to research. Study famous characters developed by Marcel Proust, Lawrence Block, Jim Butcher, Walter Mosley, Robert Crais, James Lee Burke, Michael Connelly, Joyce Carol Oates, and more to reveal the techniques the best sellers use. Learn how minor details such as patterns of speech, dress, physical appearance, mannerisms, tics, eccentricities, and even names can have a major impact. x
    • 11
      Point of View
      What does your point of view provide? The most important component of a point of view is that it establishes intimacy between a reader and a character. Dive into the concepts of point of view including: first person, omniscient, second person, and third person (limited and open). Study how Henry Fielding, Charles Dickens, Mario Puzo, James Clavell, J. D. Salinger, Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John D. MacDonald, Suzanne Collins, Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Herman Melville, and others use point of view successfully. x
    • 12
      The Essentials of Dazzling Dialogue
      Mr. Bell demonstrates how dialogue is the fastest way to improve any manuscript. He introduces the five functions of dialogue and breaks down the importance of vocabulary, syntax, and specifics like regionalism to help build the character. Examine examples from Orrie Hitt, Margaret Mitchell, John Howard Lawson, Charles Webb, and others. Explore the importance of subtext—what is underneath the words and how it can suggest secrets, fears, memories, yearnings, or hopes. x
    • 13
      Tools for Talk
      Gain insightful tips to keep realistic dialogue from being predictable by learning how to script the unexpected. Mr. Bell challenges you with exercises like determining the opposite of what a reader would assume a response should be, curving the language, and assigning “roles” to your characters to better form relationships, conflict, and realistic conversations. You’ll also gain tips for invoking silence—white space and inner monologues. Dive into the nuts and bolts of grammar in dialogue. x
    • 14
      Voice and Style
      What is voice? Mr. Bell hasn’t found a good definition, so he gives you his own. Citing examples from Janet Evanovich, Elmore Leonard, Douglas Adams, Tom Robbins, Dashiell Hammett, John D. MacDonald, Raymond Chandler, and others, you’ll gain the knowledge to master your voice by getting into your character. Then, delve into the rudimentary lessons of a good writer: showing versus telling, avoiding narrative summaries, writing great descriptions, and using telling details. Mr. Bell demonstrates some easy tools for helping you avoid common pitfalls, such as plotting an intensity scale and a seven-step checklist for creating a setting. x
    • 15
      Make a Scene
      According to Mr. Bell, a scene consists of objective, obstacles, and outcome. A character always has a goal in every scene, and without a challenge to the goal there is no momentum. See how Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Michael Connelly use an emotional beat—emotion, analysis, and decision—to build conflict and tension in a scene and keep it going. Dissect the elements to create and use a successful hook and how to end each chapter on a prompt that will make the reader want to keep reading. x
    • 16
      Subplots and Parallel Plots
      Understand how weaving in smaller conflicts and challenges—subplots and parallel plots—is a great way to expand a story’s range. Learn the three types of subplots. See how authors such as Jim Butcher, Margaret Mitchell, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Michael Connelly, and Suzanne Collins successfully integrate subplots into their main story lines. Mr. Bell introduces a formula for determining how many subplots your book should have and a simple grid you can use to manage multiple plots. x
    • 17
      Deepening the Reader’s Emotional Experience
      Emotions can be tricky. You must walk a fine line to portray enough emotion to make your story and characters gripping and memorable, but also to avoid melodrama where the emotional hook feels contrived. Mr. Bell shows you how to map the hot spots so you don’t get bogged down writing it. He’ll unpack the power of authors who have mastered delivering an emotional punch, such as John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, John Harvey, and Raymond Chandler. He also introduces an exercise that helps you create strong yet concise emotional moments, and examines the power of metaphors to deepen emotional connection. x
    • 18
      First Pages That Grab the Reader
      Starting a scene is one of the most important parts of a book. Mr. Bell introduces you to the different kinds of beginnings and investigates the benefits of using a prologue. With examples from Mary Higgins Clark, Harlan Coben, Ken Kesey, Michael Connelly, Suzanne Collins, John Gilstrap, Mickey Spillane, and David Morrell, you’ll learn how to start your scenes with a bang, raise big questions, and then switch things up in the next scene, so your readers are on the edge of their seats. x
    • 19
      Revising Your Novel
      Learn the two most important rules of writing and then hear Mr. Bell’s corollary to those rules. Revisions are extremely important and take a lot of discipline. Get helpful tips for a revision schedule, learn why you need to take a cool-off period before taking a first pass, gain tricks for helping you re-read with fresh eyes, and use shortcuts for marking places you need to come back to so you can read straight through. Mr. Bell also provides excellent advice about using outside readers, both professionals and “beta readers.” x
    • 20
      Blunders and Baloney
      Mr. Bell provides an overview of the most common blunders that could knock you out of the running for publication before you even get started, including awkward flashbacks, fluffy dialogue, being overly happy, or being too predictable. Using examples from best-selling writers including Sarah Pekkanen, Jodi Picoult, Dan Koontz, Mark Twain, and Toni Morrison, he re-evaluates some of the most common writing advice, busting common misconceptions and myths. x
    • 21
      Getting Published
      Mr. Bell unpacks the most important parts of a book proposal that you would send to an agent or a publisher: query, synopsis, and sample chapters—defining each, and breaking down what you should and shouldn’t do. He investigates the pros and cons of using an agent and publisher and gives invaluable advice on what to look for in an agent, how to negotiate a publishing contract, the importance of copyrights, how to protect yourself, and the most important component: getting paid! x
    • 22
      The Self-Publishing Option
      Is self-publishing a viable option? Are the writers who make a living through self-publishing simply lucky? Do you have what it takes to become an “author-preneur?” Mr. Bell spends an entire lecture breaking down the pros and cons of the self-publishing alternative. Gain a plethora of tips of how to find success when self-publishing and learn how to sort through the details like covers, formatting, picking a platform, marketing, and how to price your book. x
    • 23
      Marketing Your Work
      Even if you have an agent, you are still responsible for some aspects of marketing. But you don’t have to have an MBA or be a professional marketer to be a successful advocate for your work. Mr. Bell introduces you to the most important marketing tools. Get tips on selecting a marketable title, creating taglines, finding customers, using social media, building a website, using emails and newsletters, and knowing which self-publishing tools are worth the investment. x
    • 24
      Conquering the Mental Game of Writing
      Look at the most common reasons for writer's block and get tips for how to change your mental state when you feel blocked—see how something as simple as changing your location can change your mood and your mindset. Discover how to find inspiration in unusual places. And finally, Mr. Bell provides advice for dealing with rejection, which all writers face on occasion. Learn how to set your expectations and rejection won’t defeat you. x
  • The Agency: A History of the CIA

    Professor Hugh Wilford, PhD

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD

    Few organizations are as fascinating, as mysterious—and as controversial—as the Central Intelligence Agency. In The Agency: A History of the CIA, Professor Hugh Wilford transforms decades of research into an engrossing 24-lecture course that helps you better understand the role the CIA has played in recent American history, from the Cold War to the War on Terror.

    View Lecture List (24)

    Few organizations are as fascinating, as mysterious—and as controversial—as the Central Intelligence Agency. In The Agency: A History of the CIA, Professor Hugh Wilford transforms decades of research into an engrossing 24-lecture course that helps you better understand the role the CIA has played in recent American history, from the Cold War to the War on Terror.

    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  The Agency: A History of the CIA
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Secrecy, Democracy, and the Birth of the CIA
      Why did the United States create a secret foreign intelligence service in the first place? For the answer, examine three key periods of U.S. government intelligence before the birth of the CIA: the American Revolution to the late 1930s, World War II, and the postwar years from 1945 to 1947. x
    • 2
      George Kennan and the Rise of Covert Ops
      Professor Wilford reveals how the CIA transformed from an intelligence agency to housing the United States’ premier covert-action unit in the space of just two years. Central to this conversion is George F. Kennan, who declared “political warfare” against the Soviet Union through his policies of both containment and “rollback.” x
    • 3
      The CIA, China, and the Korean War
      Discover how the CIA, with its attention drawn to Asia, failed to rein in the growing emphasis on covert operations and restore its focus on intelligence gathering and analysis. Two factors you'll focus on: the lack of public scrutiny of the CIA's actions and the arrival of future CIA director Allen Dulles. x
    • 4
      The Iran Coup of August 1953
      More than any other operation, the 1953 Iran Coup created a culture of covert action that would shape the CIA's future. First, study the shifting political attitudes toward Iranian nationalism. Then, learn about the Iran operation itself (TP-AJAX). Finally, ponder who was most responsible for Mohammad Mosaddeq's fall from power. x
    • 5
      Regime Change in Guatemala
      In this lecture, explore the CIA’s role in the Guatemalan coup (the operation codenamed PB-SUCCESS) that brought about a new era of murderous dictatorship to the country—and a surge of anti-American sentiment across Central and South America that has haunted U.S. relations with the region to this day. x
    • 6
      Operation Rollback in Eastern Europe
      One of the CIA’s first major setbacks was the tragic failure of the Hungarian uprising, despite the agency’s attempts to liberate the Eastern Bloc countries during the early 1950s. Here, investigate CIA efforts to organize anti-communist Eastern European émigrés to liberate their homelands and the creation of Radio Free Europe to counteract communist-controlled media. x
    • 7
      U-2 Spy Missions and Battleground Berlin
      Focus on the CIA’s efforts to gain intelligence about its chief Cold War enemy: the Soviet Union. Professor Wilford covers how the CIA employed human agents as spies (HUMINT), how the CIA attempted to intercept Soviet signals (SIGINT), and how the CIA used advanced technology—like the U-2 spy plane—to gather intelligence (TECHINT). x
    • 8
      The CIA in Syria, Indonesia, and the Congo
      Go inside the CIA's three major covert ops setbacks of the late 1950s. The first was a follow-up attempt at regime change in Syria (1957), the second was an attempt to unseat the Indonesia leader Sukarno (1958), and the last was the effort to remove the Congolese prime minster, Patrice Lumumba (1960). x
    • 9
      Under Orders: The Agency Targets Castro
      Why were both Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy so dead-set on removing Fidel Castro from power? How did the CIA plan to use hallucinogens to assassinate the communist dictator? What made the CIA’s Bay of Pigs covert operation such a resounding—and public—disaster? x
    • 10
      Missile Crisis in Cuba and at Langley
      The Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was arguably the defining moment in the Cold War: 13 days in which the world came closest to a nuclear confrontation. Using recent scholarship, Professor Wilford unpacks the CIA's performance during the crisis and how it sparked a return to traditional intelligence work instead of covert ops. x
    • 11
      Unquiet American: Edward Lansdale in Vietnam
      Get a more complete understanding of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War by including the CIA in the larger narrative—specifically the fascinating and controversial Edward Lansdale. Learn how the CIA tried to win the war through nation-building and counterinsurgency, and how it provided the military with tactical and strategic intelligence. x
    • 12
      CIA Fronts and the Ramparts Exposé
      Why did the CIA secretly fund groups of Americans at home in the United States—the longest-running and most expensive operation of the Cold War era? What did the groups themselves think of the roles they played? Investigate how the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union quickly became a global ideological battle. x
    • 13
      Spies in Hollywood: Romance and Thriller
      Since its inception, the CIA has deliberately tried to influence the purveyors of culture in film, television, and literature. Visit the cultural front of the Cold War as the CIA becomes a secret patron of American musicians, artists, writers, and filmmakers. Also, take a closer look at how popular culture, in turn, shaped the CIA. x
    • 14
      Nixon, Kissinger, and the Coup in Chile
      Professor Wilford challenges the dominant narrative of the CIA's involvement in the Chilean coup of 1973. Learn why the organization was less responsible than other U.S. players (such as Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger), and why the coup illustrates the agency's decline during the 1970s as a chief weapon of the Cold War. x
    • 15
      Watergate, Nixon, and the Family Jewels
      Using recently released government records, unpack the domestic CIA operations of the Nixon era and discover a systemic culture of secret government overreach—with the CIA at the center. Topics include the program known as MH-CHAOS, the CIA’s contributions to Watergate, and journalist Seymour Hersh’s 1974 exposé of CIA domestic intelligence operations. x
    • 16
      James Angleton and the Great CIA Molehunt
      Explore intelligence officer James Angleton’s dramatic hunt for Soviet moles inside the CIA, a story of deception, betrayal, and tragedy. Angleton’s story—and his ultimate fate—hold powerful lessons for our own time, when secret state power is the source of renewed public debate and concern. x
    • 17
      Colby, Church, and the CIA Crisis of 1975
      The 1970s saw a growing movement against the CIA, from congressional joint-oversight committees to whistleblowers like Philip Agee. Was the CIA out of control? What forces drove the antagonism toward the agency, and why were they so powerful in the spring of 1975? Discover the answers here. x
    • 18
      The CIA, Carter, and the Hostage Crisis in Iran
      Go inside the story of the 1979 Tehran hostage crisis that wracked Jimmy Carter's presidency, with a particular focus on the CIA's failure to anticipate Iran's Islamic revolution. Despite the geopolitical gloom, spend some time examining the one bright spot for the CIA: the successful rescue of six diplomats who avoided capture. x
    • 19
      Reagan, Casey, and the Iran-Contra Scandal
      The start of the Reagan presidency saw a return to the unchecked freedom of the CIA's golden age. Then came the Iran-Contra Scandal, which culminated in criminal charges, convictions, pardons, and dismissals. As you'll learn, the potential for 1970s-style conflict between Congress and the CIA remained. x
    • 20
      Afghanistan, the Soviets, and the CIA
      Turn now to the final years of the Cold War and the CIA's adventures in Afghanistan during the 1980s. Also, investigate the agency's intelligence about the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and the Soviet Union a decade later. Do covert operatives deserve credit for bringing these events about? x
    • 21
      Intelligence Failure: The Road to 9/11
      First, follow the rise of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda during the final decades of the 20th century and the dawn of the terrorist organization’s war with the United States. Then, Professor Wilford addresses the provocative question of why the CIA failed to predict—or disrupt—the terrorist attacks of September 11. x
    • 22
      CIA Advance in Afghanistan, Retreat in Iraq
      Trace the CIA’s role in the first years of the War on Terror—years that were among the darkest in the agency’s history. Focus on the agency’s major setbacks in the War on Terror, including the failure to capture Osama bin Laden and the faulty evidence that led to the Iraq War. x
    • 23
      CIA Renditions, Interrogations, and Drones
      Examine the CIA’s role in two phases of the War on Terror: the capture and interrogation of suspected terrorists and, after those methods were discredited, the killing of terrorists using drone strikes. By the end of the Obama era, the agency had regained some of its stature—and had become more vulnerable. x
    • 24
      The CIA Balance Sheet: Wins and Losses
      What does a balance sheet of the CIA's wins and losses since its creation look like? As Professor Wilford reveals, the CIA's intelligence performance hasn't been as poor as some have argued. But there still remains, in the world's largest democracy, an abiding tension between secret government power and accountability. x
  • The Great Tours: Washington D.C.

    Professor Richard Kurin, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD
    Washington DC is a world-class city, offering a multitude of unforgettable sights. In this travelogue, you’ll discover the many layers of history and human endeavor that created DC’s urban environment, such as departments of the U.S. government, monuments and memorials, world-class museums, lesser-known historic gems, neighborhoods and historic homes, and contemporary DC’s range of culinary and recreational activities.
    View Lecture List (24)
    Washington DC is a world-class city, offering a multitude of unforgettable sights. In this travelogue, you’ll discover the many layers of history and human endeavor that created DC’s urban environment, such as departments of the U.S. government, monuments and memorials, world-class museums, lesser-known historic gems, neighborhoods and historic homes, and contemporary DC’s range of culinary and recreational activities.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  The Great Tours: Washington D.C.
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      How Washington DC Came to Be
      To begin your journey to this world-class city, uncover the origins of the District of Columbia and how the location for our national government was chosen. Learn about the original design and vision for the city by artist/engineer Pierre Charles L’Enfant. Then trace the creation and colorful history of the National Mall, and the building of the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. x
    • 2
      The White House and the Presidency
      Track the history and the dramatic fortunes of the White House, from its building, expansion, burning, reconstruction, and further expansions down to the present. Then visit the White House, beginning with the Oval Office and Cabinet Room and following the route of a White House tour. Also visit the parks adjoining the White House, and the Jefferson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorials on the National Mall. x
    • 3
      The Capitol Building and the Legislature
      At the seat of the U.S. legislature, learn how the Capitol building was designed, constructed, and expanded in the early years of the nation. Tour the architectural and artistic wonders of the building, from the Capitol Rotunda to the Statuary Hall, Brumidi Corridors, Hall of Columns, and other key features. Conclude with the House and Senate Chambers, and the surrounding parks and gardens. x
    • 4
      The Supreme Court and the Law of the Land
      Study the founding and history of the Supreme Court, from its early era as an itinerant legal body to the completion of the Court building in 1935 under William Howard Taft. Tour this extraordinary structure, its interior features, court facilities, and artistic decoration. Then explore the Court in action, encompassing courtroom procedure and how cases are selected, adjudicated, and ruled upon. x
    • 5
      The Nation’s Knowledge: Library of Congress
      Visit the stunning premises of the world’s largest library, starting with the story of the library’s creation in the 18th century. Begin your tour with the monumental Jefferson Building, with its glorious Beaux Arts décor, followed by the remarkable facilities of the Adams and Madison buildings. Also visit the extraordinary Folger Shakespeare Library, and DC’s beloved Eastern Market. x
    • 6
      The State, Treasury, and Justice Departments
      Look into the origins and functions of the State Department, and visit the United States Diplomacy Center, as well as the stellar Diplomatic Reception Rooms. Continue with the Treasury Department’s Federal Reserve buildings, the beautiful Treasury Building, and the operations of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Then take in the fascinating history and headquarters of the FBI. x
    • 7
      Veterans Memorials on the Mall
      At the first of three iconic war memorials, learn the poignant story behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, and how this once controversial monument is now considered a masterpiece. From there, take account of the artistically conceived Korean War Veterans Memorial, and finally the World War II Memorial, and its moving tribute to the “Greatest Generation.” x
    • 8
      Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon
      Grasp the historic connections between Arlington National Cemetery and the American Civil War. At the Cemetery, begin by visiting some of the gravesites of famous citizens, and the former mansion of Robert E. Lee. Among landmark sites at Arlington, see the Memorial Amphitheater, the Tomb of the Unknowns, the Marine Corps Memorial, Air Force Memorial, and the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. x
    • 9
      George Washington’s Mount Vernon
      At the home and estate of George Washington, trace Washington’s early life, and his inheritance and expansion of the plantation now known as Mount Vernon. Tour the estate, highlighting the impressive interior features of the mansion, a major focal point of social and political life in Virginia. In nearby Alexandria, visit historic sites associated with the life and career of George Washington. x
    • 10
      Ford’s Theatre and Lincoln’s Washington DC
      This lecture considers how the Civil War and the Lincoln presidency transformed the city. Among key sites of the era, explore the historic Willard Hotel and its dramatic connection with Lincoln; Fort Stevens and its wartime role; the Clara Barton National Historic Site; and President Lincoln’s Cottage, the “summer White House.” Then visit Ford’s Theatre, the site and memorial of the Lincoln assassination. x
    • 11
      Washington’s Civil Rights Landmarks
      Witness the impact on Washington of the civil rights movement, beginning with the life and work of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and the national historic site of his home. As the focus of the lecture, take an in-depth tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, its major galleries, and 36,000 artifacts that tell the nation’s story through the lens of the black experience. x
    • 12
      The Holocaust Museum
      Study the background of the extraordinary United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, its mission to preserve the history of Nazi atrocities against Jews and other persecuted groups, and the movement to memorialize these events through a museum and education center. Observe how the museum poignantly evokes pre-war Jewish experience, the horror of the Holocaust, and its aftermath and legacy, through images, personal objects, and oral histories. x
    • 13
      Museums on the Mall: Smithsonian and Beyond
      In a panoramic overview of the Smithsonian Institution, begin at the National Museum of American History, and its collection of historical treasures. Continue with the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the phenomenal collections of the National Air and Space Museum. Conclude with the wealth of art museums on the National Mall. x
    • 14
      Washington, City of Scandal
      Delve into the history of political scandals in Washington, and how the nation has come to terms with them. Learn first about the 19th-century Burr Conspiracy, focusing on former Vice President Aaron Burr. Then take stock of the scandals under President Ulysses S. Grant, the infamous Teapot Dome scandal, and finally the Watergate scandal, finishing at the Newseum, a media history museum. x
    • 15
      The Kennedy Center and the DC Arts Scene
      Within Washington’s hotbed of live entertainment, visit the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, with its multiple performance spaces. Then learn about the National Theatre, The Shakespeare and Folger theatres, DC’s outstanding regional theaters, and music offerings from the National Symphony Orchestra to venues featuring jazz, rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, and alternative music. x
    • 16
      Neighborhoods of Northwest DC
      DC’s Northwest Quadrant is home to some of the city’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods. Take in the beautiful architecture of Embassy Row, and that of two magnificent nearby mansions. Visit the Dupont Circle neighborhood and its extraordinary museums, as well as those of The George Washington University. Finish with a first look at the history and cultural richness of Georgetown. x
    • 17
      Washington’s Historic Homes and Gardens
      Washington’s private homes provide a fascinating window into the city’s history. Begin at the pre-Revolutionary colonial building of the Old Stone House, which shows how early DC citizens lived. Then discover three grand and storied mansions in Upper Georgetown. Visit the remarkable Octagon House; the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Garden of Marjorie Merriweather Post; and Woodlawn Plantation, which became a “free labor colony” with lots owned and farmed by free African Americans. x
    • 18
      Spiritual DC: The National Cathedral and More
      Take account of the plethora of religious institutions in Washington and consider the role of faith in the city’s history. Stop first at St. John’s Episcopal Church, closely associated with the presidency, and DC’s architecturally rich Catholic churches. Visit Jewish and Muslim houses of worship, and finally take in the historic and artistic treasures of the Washington National Cathedral. x
    • 19
      Smithsonian’s National Zoo
      Trace the history and mission of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, a Smithsonian institution now housing 300 animal species. Learn about the National Zoo’s remarkable exhibits of zoological rarities, from the clouded leopard to the giant panda. Take note of the National Zoo’s approach to recreating natural habitats, and the institution’s deep involvement with animal research and conservation of endangered species. x
    • 20
      Dining Out in Washington DC
      Washington offers an astonishing wealth of dining experiences, from historic to contemporary. First discover two of DC’s longstanding food traditions: seafood and soul food. Visit treasured historic restaurants around the city, and delve into the city’s world cuisine, from Ethiopian and Mediterranean to global fusion. Also take note of food festivals that take place in DC throughout the year. x
    • 21
      Washington’s New Waterfront
      Investigate the history of DC’s riverfronts on the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, and the outstanding revitalization programs now underway. Stop at Kingman and Heritage Island Park, and Anacostia Park, featuring trails, boat tours, and wildlife watching. Then visit National Harbor, District Wharf, and the Georgetown waterfront, with their many dining, shopping, and cultural offerings. x
    • 22
      Washington for Sports Fans
      Sports have a longstanding place in the history and culture of DC. Track the backstory of baseball, football, and basketball teams in Washington, and learn where to watch and play these highly popular sports now. Delve also into DC’s hockey and soccer scene, and the abundance of “imported” sports in the capital, from rugby and cricket to Irish hurling and Gaelic football. x
    • 23
      Exploring Washington’s Great Outdoors
      DC contains an array of beautiful green spaces, offering an alternative to the urban landscape. Among many, discover the story and the amenities of historic Rock Creek Park, and the riverfront walks and outdoor activities along the Potomac Heritage Trail. On the Anacostia River, visit Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, with its plethora of wildlife, and the botanical riches of the United States National Arboretum. x
    • 24
      The National Archives and the Future of DC
      Finally, learn about the treasures within the National Archives, including original copies of America’s founding documents, historic murals, and the poignant “Records of Rights” exhibit. Revisit the history of DC, and consider city plans that were never realized, “disappeared” Washington, and proposals for the city’s future. Conclude with thoughts on the dynamic, changing environment of DC. x
  • Understanding the Quantum World

    Professor Erica W. Carlson, PhD

    Available Formats: Video Download, DVD
    Quantum theory baffles even physicists, but it also gives them unprecedented insight into nature—and it can do the same for you, once you understand the fundamentals. Open your mind and broaden your scientific horizons with this 24-lecture course on the quantum world.
    View Lecture List (24)
    Quantum theory baffles even physicists, but it also gives them unprecedented insight into nature—and it can do the same for you, once you understand the fundamentals. Open your mind and broaden your scientific horizons with this 24-lecture course on the quantum world.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Understanding the Quantum World
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Particle-Wave Duality
      Begin your journey into the quantum world by focusing on one of its most baffling features: the behavior of quantum entities as both particles and waves. Following her approach of presenting analogies over equations, Professor Carlson gives a handy way of visualizing this paradox. Then she takes you further into quantum weirdness by using a slinky to show how waves can be quantized. x
    • 2
      Particles, Waves, and Interference Patterns
      Investigate one of the most famous demonstrations in physics: the double-slit experiment. See how electrons behave as both particles and waves when passing through two parallel slits in a plate and then striking a screen. Bizarrely, the wave properties disappear when the electrons are monitored as they pass through each slit, showing our inability to have complete information of a quantum state. x
    • 3
      Observers Disturb What They Measure
      Consider what life would be like if quantum effects held at our everyday scale. For instance, there would be no trouble sitting in three chairs at once! Learn what happens when a particle in such a mixed state is forced by measurement to assume a definite position—a situation known as wave function collapse. This leads to the important quantum principle that observers disturb what they measure. x
    • 4
      Bell’s Theorem and Schrödinger’s Cat
      Ponder two celebrated and thought-provoking responses to the apparent incompatibility of quantum mechanics and classical physics. Bell’s theorem shows that attempts to reconcile the two systems are futile in a certain class of theories. Next, Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment implying that a cat could be both dead and alive if the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics holds. x
    • 5
      Quantum Paradoxes and Interpretations
      Review the major theories proposed by physicists trying to make sense of the paradoxes of the quantum world. Look at the Copenhagen interpretation, Einstein’s realist view, the many worlds interpretation, quantum Bayesianism, non-local hidden variables, and other creative attempts to explain what is going on in a realm that seems to be governed by probability alone. x
    • 6
      The Position-Momentum Uncertainty Relation
      Heisenberg's uncertainty principle sets a fundamental limit on how much we can know about an object's position and momentum at the same time. Professor Carlson introduces this simple equation, showing how it explains why atoms have structure and come in the diverse forms of the periodic table of elements. Surprisingly, the stability of our everyday world rests on uncertainty at the quantum level. x
    • 7
      Wave Quantization
      Electrons don't just orbit the nucleus—they simultaneously exist as standing waves. Go deeper into what standing wave modes look like in one, two, and three dimensions, discovering that these shapes explain the quantization of energy states in an atom. As usual, Professor Carlson introduces useful analogies, including the standing waves produced in a vibrating drum head. x
    • 8
      Quantum Wave Shapes and the Periodic Table
      Focus on standing waves of electrons around nuclei, seeing how the periodic table of elements results from what electrons do naturally: fall into the lowest energy state given the total electric charge, existing electron population, and other features of an atom. Learn the Pauli exclusion principle and a handy mnemonic for remembering the terminology for atomic orbitals, such as 1s, 2p, 3d, etc. x
    • 9
      Interference of Waves and Sloshing States
      Watch what happens when electrons are put into wave forms that differ from standing waves. Your goal is to understand why some of these superposition states are unstable. Professor Carlson notes that the sloshing of an electron back and forth in an unstable state causes it to act like an antenna, radiating away energy until it falls to a lower energy level. x
    • 10
      Wave Shapes in Diamond and Graphene
      What accounts for the dramatic difference between diamond and graphene (a sheet of graphite one atom thick), both of which are composed of pure carbon? Study the role of electrons in molecular bonds, applying your knowledge of electron standing waves. In carbon, such waves make possible several types of bonds, which in diamond and graphene result in remarkably different physical properties. x
    • 11
      Harmonic Oscillators
      A clock pendulum is an example of a classical harmonic oscillator. Extend this concept to the atomic realm to see how quantum waves behave like harmonic oscillators. Then learn how quantum physics was born at the turn of the 20th century in Max Planck’s solution to a paradox in the classical picture of oscillating atoms. His conclusion was that the energies of oscillation had to be quantized. x
    • 12
      The Energy-Time Uncertainty Relation
      Return to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle from Lecture 6 to see how quantum uncertainty also extends to energy and time. This has a startling implication for energy conservation, suggesting that short-lived “virtual” particles can pop into existence out of nothing—as long as they don’t stay around for long. Consider evidence for this phenomenon in the Lamb shift and Casimir effect. x
    • 13
      Quantum Angular Momentum and Electron Spin
      Continue your investigation of the counterintuitive quantum world by contrasting angular momentum for planets and other classical objects with analogous phenomena in quantum particles. Cover the celebrated Stern–Gerlach experiment, which in the 1920s showed that spin is quantized for atoms and can only take on a very limited number of discrete values. x
    • 14
      Quantum Orbital Angular Momentum
      Having covered electron spin in the previous lecture, now turn to orbital angular momentum. Again, a phenomenon familiar in classical physics relating to planets has an analogue in the quantum domain—although with profound differences. This leads to a discussion of permanent magnets, which Professor Carlson calls “a piece of quantum physics that you can hold in your hand.” x
    • 15
      Quantum Properties of Light
      Among Einstein’s insights was that light comes in discrete packets of energy called photons. Explore the photoelectric effect, which prompted Einstein’s discovery. See a do-it-yourself project that demonstrates the photoelectric effect. Close by surveying applications of the quantum theory of light to phenomena such as lasers, fluorescent dyes, photosynthesis, and vitamin D production in skin. x
    • 16
      Atomic Transitions and Photons
      Dive deeper into the interactions of light with matter. Starting with a hydrogen atom, examine the changes in energy and angular momentum when an electron transitions from one orbital to another. See how the diverse possibilities create a “fingerprint” specific to every type of atom, and how this is the basis for spectroscopy, which can determine the composition of stars by analyzing their light. x
    • 17
      Atomic Clocks and GPS
      Peer into the structure of a cesium atom to see what makes it ideal for measuring the length of a second and serving as the basis for atomic clocks. Then head into space to learn how GPS satellites use atomic clocks to triangulate positions on the ground. Finally, delve into Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity to understand the corrections that GPS must make to stay accurate. x
    • 18
      Quantum Mechanics and Color Vision
      Probe the quantum events that underlie color vision, discovering the role of the retinal molecule in detecting different frequencies of photons as they strike cone cells in the eye’s retina. Also investigate the source of color blindness, most common in men, as well as its inverse, tetrachromacy, which is the ability to see an extra channel of color information, possessed by some women. x
    • 19
      A Quantum Explanation of Color
      Now turn to the sources of color in the world around us, from the yellow glow of sodium street lights to the brilliant red of a ruby pendant. Grasp the secret of the aurora, the difference between fluorescence and phosphorescence, and the reason neon dyes look brighter than their surroundings. It turns out that our entire experience of color is governed by the quantum world. x
    • 20
      Quantum Tunneling
      Anyone who makes use of a memory stick, a solid-state hard drive, or a smartphone relies on one of the most baffling aspects of the quantum world: quantum tunneling. Professor Carlson uses a roller coaster analogy, combined with your newly acquired insight into wave mechanics, to make this feat of quantum sorcery—the equivalent of walking through walls—perfectly logical. x
    • 21
      Fermions and Bosons
      Investigate why two pieces of matter cannot occupy the same space at the same time, reaching the conclusion that this is only true for fermions, which are particles with half-integer spin. The other class of particles, bosons, with integer spin, can be in the same place at the same time. Learn how this feature of bosons has been exploited in lasers and in superfluids such as liquid helium. x
    • 22
      Spin Singlets and the EPR Paradox
      Study the most celebrated challenge to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics: the paradox proposed by Albert Einstein and his collaborators Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen—later updated by David Bohm. Is quantum mechanics an incomplete theory due to hidden variables that guide the outcome of quantum interactions? Examine this idea and the experiments designed to test it. x
    • 23
      Quantum Mechanics and Metals
      Analyze how metals conduct electricity, discovering that, in a sense, electrons “surf” from one metal atom to the next on a quantum mechanical wave. Probe the causes of electrical resistance and why metals can never be perfect conductors. Finally, use the Pauli exclusion principle to understand the optimum distribution of electrons in the different quantum states of metal atoms. x
    • 24
      Superconductivity
      Close with one of Professor Carlson’s favorite topics: superconductivity. As noted in Lecture 23, when electrons flow through a metal, they lose energy to resistance. But this is not true of superconductors, whose amazing properties trace to the difference between bosons and fermions. Learn how quantum stability allows superconductors to conduct electricity with zero resistance, then step back and summarize the high points of your quantum tour. x