Radical Physics is a video series about FUNDAMENTAL science. Radical means root-like: deep, nourishing, and supportive. Physics is the study of matter and energy, space and time, stability and change; it supports all of science just as a root system supports a mighty tree.
A straightforward exploration of introductory physics lies along the Radical Physics (RP) "taproot." Taproot episodes are labeled RPn, where "n" is a counting number.
Not-so-central "tendril" episodes are referenced in -- and linked to -- taproot episodes. Tendrils are labeled RPna, where "a" is a letter of the alphabet. For example, RP1 is the first taproot episode of Radical Physics. RP1a is the first tendril episode of RP1; RP1a is linked (both literally and conceptually) to RP1.
Along with the taproot and its tendrils, Radical Physics presents interviews, movie critiques, and other fun videos that provide a *wonder*ful scientific vision of the world.
Physics is the science that goes deep and whose influence is felt just about everywhere. Radical Physics goes deep, too. As the months go by, it will grow and spread, helping to ground a beautiful and powerful understanding of the world. I hope you enjoy Radical Physics!
Taproot and Tendrils
- Radical Physics Intro: God’s Thoughts & the Awesome Machinery of Nature (RP1) Wonderfest presents the first episode of Radical Physics (RP), RP1 – God’s Thoughts and the Awesome Machinery of Nature. This engaging introduction to physics reveals the power, scope, and beauty of humankind’s deepest understanding of nature. Please join me for a rewarding, mind-opening experience. As Jack Conte sings in the RP introduction: “See the universe ...
- Deep Mysteries of Science: Not Taking the World for Granted (RP1a) Here is a video “tendril” of RP1, the first Radical Physics taproot episode. RP1a – Deep Mysteries: Not Taking the World for Granted presents some of reality’s most profound mysteries. Brace yourself for an exploration — or at least a listing — of the great unknowns! //
- Speed in Physics – Meaning, Calculation, & Relativity: From Usain Bolt to Voyager (RP2) The second taproot episode of Radical Physics is RP2 – Need for Speed: From Usain Bolt to Voyager. Here we explore speed, AND we lay a firm foundation for understanding relativity theory. //
- She Has a Need for Speed (Relative to What?) (RP2a) This is a “tendril” episode of Radical Physics’s second taproot program. It explores the deep ambiguity of this seemingly simple question: How fast are you going? //
- Inertia, Mass, & a Bad Law of Physics – Newton’s 1st Law Clarified (RP3) This is the third taproot episode of Radical Physics. The “bad law of physics” in the title refers to a common misstatement of Newton’s first law of motion (N1). Once inertia is properly understood, then the power, scope, and surprise of the real N1 can be appreciated. //
- Significant Figures & Scientific Notation (RP2b) Accuracy in measurement and calculation is crucial to science. This Radical Physics (RP) tendril episode introduces scientific notation and “sig figs,” two important tools for maintaining and displaying accuracy.
- Innumeracy, Part 1: Triple Powers of Ten (RP2c) Innumeracy is the numerical equivalent of illiteracy: an inability to deal with numbers, particularly large numbers. This Radical Physics (RP) tendril episode introduces a solution to the important social(!) problem of innumeracy. //
- Force, Inertia, & Newton’s First Law of Motion (RP4) This 4th Radical Physics (RP) “taproot” episode clarifies the concept of force and properly introduces the Law of Inertia (aka Newton’s 1st Law of Motion). //
- Laws vs. Definitions in Physics: Revelation vs. Convention (RP4a) It’s important to distinguish physical laws from definitions. DEFINITIONS have a local, human source; they are made by convention. However, in physics, LAWS come from the universe; they are revealed. //
- Types of Force in Physics: Diversity, Meaning, & Measurement (RP5) Many types of force exist. Besides the four fundamental interactions (gravity, electromagnetism, weak & strong nuclear), there are numerous everyday forces that are human-scale manifestations of the fundamental interactions. //
- Velocity in Physics: Meaning, Measurement, & Calculation (RP6) Velocity is the rate of change of position. This sixth RP taproot episode lays the 1-dimensional foundation for the study of velocity, acceleration, and all the laws of kinematics. //
- How to Convert Units of Measurement in Physics & Chemistry (RP6a) Measurement is crucial to science. And the ability to convert measurements from one set of units to another is crucial for science students! This Radical Physics (RP) tendril episode teaches how units conversion works. //
- Acceleration in Physics: Meaning, Measurement, & Calculation (RP7) Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity. This seventh Radical Physics (RP) taproot episode gets at the heart of kinematics and lays the foundation for much of mechanics.
Movie Action Critiques
- Radical Physics Movie Action (RPMA) Rating System From the hallowed GP (“Good Physics”) rating to the dreaded NP-17 (“No Physics; no one under — or over — 17 should view”) designation, here is the Radical Physics Movie Action (RPMA) Rating System. //
- Mission:Impossible IV – Tom Cruise’s Freeway Bail-Out (RPMA) Here is the Radical Physics Movie Action (RPMA) analysis of a scene from Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, wherein Tom Cruise bails out of a speeding car. Don’t miss the excitement and insight of RPMA – Mission:Impossible IV – Freeway Bail-Out. //
- Mission:Impossible IV – Tom Cruise’s 100-meter, 100-mph Drop (RPMA) Here is the Radical Physics Movie Action (RPMA) analysis of a scene from Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, wherein Tom Cruise falls 100 meters. Don’t miss the excitement and the science of RPMA – Mission:Impossible IV – 100-meter, 100-mph Drop. //
- Mission:Impossible IV – Crash Pad in a Can (RPMA) Here is the Radical Physics Movie Action (RPMA) analysis of a scene from Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, wherein an IMF agent survives a fall from a tall building. Check out the excite and the science of RPMA – Mission:Impossible IV – Crash Pad in a Can. //
- Andrew Fraknoi on the Origins of Our Atoms Astronomy expert Andrew Fraknoi explains the exotic origins of every atom on Earth (except hydrogen).
- Andrew Fraknoi on Falling Into a Black Hole Astronomy expert Andrew Fraknoi explains the harrowing experience of someone who falls into a black hole.
- Andrew Fraknoi on Pluto’s Exit from the Planet Club Astronomy expert Andrew Fraknoi explains the reasoning behind Pluto’s apparent demotion to “dwarf planet” status.
- How Humans Got Smart Posted on: Feb 5th, 2014
- Understanding Pain, April 15 (tax day!)
- Dr. Jared Diamond, Apr 9
- Watch: The Extreme Life of the Sea
- Watch: The African Origins of Human Intelligence
- Watch TED-Ed: How fast?