SCF Physics Library

Discussions on classical and modern physics, quantum mechanics, particle physics, thermodynamics, general and special relativity, etc.

SCF Physics Library

Postby Silkworm on August 13th, 2006, 1:05 am 

This thread is intended to be a database for links pertaining to information covered by this sub-forum. Links to tutorials, videos, interactive media, etc. will be listed and categorized here. Please feel free to submit any additions for this library in this format:

Name of the Website, Link, 1 sentence description and then possibly a suggestion of what category (tutorials, videos, etc.) the link should go in.


The eSkeletons Project,, An interactive examination of primate morphology, Interactive Media

This is an example of how the link will be listed with the name of the contributor in parentheses at the end.

Interactive Media

The eSkeletons Project, An interactive examination of primate morphology. (Silkworm)

Submissions will be listed by category on this particular post, which will be edited to serve as the SCF Physics & Astronomy Library, a living document. And as it is living, it will change. Categories added and links added and removed as there is demand for it.

A few quick notes:

1.Please contribute your links. Our combined efforts will make this a valuable and comprehensive internet resource.
2.Please report broken links, make comments, here.
3.If you feel a site is at the apex of quality please endorse it. Recommended links will have a “*” added to them. These should not be taken lightly and only added to the best of the best.

SCF Physics & Astronomy Library


The Moment in Time: The Manhattan Project, A historical look at the Manhattan Project freely viewable at Google video.

The Tesla Wardenclyffe Project., Our mission is the preservation and adaptive reuse of Wardenclyffe,the century-old laboratory of electrical pioneer Nikola Tesla located in Shoreham, Long Island, New York.


African Summer Theory Institute,

American Physical Society program archives,

Berkeley Lectures, This page includes links to podcast lectures of many courses at Berkeley, including physics courses.

PHYSICS SEMINAR VIDEOS, Site with many links to lectures and seminars.


The Field's Institute, Audio and slides.

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics,


Pacific Institute of Theoretical Physics,


Einstein's Wife, (Clever)

Edward Teller, A video of Edward Teller remembering seeing Einstein.

Tesla: Master of Lightning, Documentary about Nicola Tesla freely viewable at Google video.


Introductory Physics Tutorial, From Boise State.

Mechanics, Thermal, and E&M Problems,

Mechanics, Thermal, and E&M Topics,

Physics 1501 - Modern Technology, [url][url]. University of Winnipeg.

Principles of Astronomy,


Brookhaven National Laboratory,

Case Physics, Lectures by Steve Weinberg and Stephen Hawking.

The Elegant Universe, A look at string theory.

Fermilab Colloquium Page,

THE FUTURE OF THEORETICAL PHYSICS AND COSMOLOGY, Stephen Hawking 60th Birthday Scientific Workshop.

Harvard Astrophysics Colloquia,

Hebrew University of Jerusalem Colloquia,

Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences,

Jet Propulsion Laboratory,

KITP Online,

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, and

NHETC at Rutgers Physics Department, Video and PDF files from the past NHETC Seminars.

Origins: Back to the Beginning, A historical look of Big Bang Cosmology from NOVA and freely viewable at Google videos.

Richard Feynman Colloquium, Simon Fraser University 1977.

SLAC ONLINE VIDEOS, Watch recorded lectures & events online.

Space and Telescope Science Institute,

String Theory Seminar, North Carolina University.

UC-Berkeley Physics Colloquia,

Video Archive of the `Center' for Geometry and Theoretical Physics, Duke University. More here.
Last edited by Silkworm on April 25th, 2007, 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: SCF Physics & Astronomy Library

Postby Marshall on October 17th, 2006, 5:35 pm 

Silkworm wrote:This thread is intended to be a database for links...

The Field's Institute, Audio and slides.

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics,


Hi Silkworm,
Great list of resources! thx for assembling it.

I hope I am not repeating stuff, if so please edit my contribution so it's not redundant.
I just saw a neat graphic tool for visualizing the HYDROGEN ATOM WAVE FUNCTION, where you pick the quantum numbers.
It is from the physics department at Southwestern College, in Kansas.

You mentioned Perimeter Institute in Waterloo Ontario. They have a great library of video seminar talks and they recently changed the URL, so
this is of the nature of an update on something I posted here earlier.
Go here
and in the lefthand menu select PIRSA (perimeter institute recorded seminar archive) and you get ... ars/PIRSA/
and if you want to do an "advanced search" of the archive click on that and you get ... Itemid=167
and if you want for example all the seminars on QG, check the QG box and click "do search"

THIS GIVES WHAT I THINK IS THE MAIN MENU, so I would go there right away and skip the preliminaries.
It is a list of a couple of years of video recorded seminar and colloquium talks
and for any of those things, you click where it says "Windows Media" beside it and you get a split-screen hour or so of what is often a very good seminar, with stills of the current blackboard work or slide on one screen and movie of the speaker on the other screen.

They have all kinds of people: Roger Penrose, Shahn Majid, Lee Smolin, Martin Bojowald, and the audio quality is usually pretty good or at least adequate. It is nice to be able to see the speaker talking and gesturing and ALSO to see a large still of the projected slide he is gesturing at, or the stuff just written on the blackboard. I am finding PIRSA is a really valuable resource.

another thing I wanted to make sure is here is that CalTech Java graphic tool that draws you a movie of the FIELD OF A MOVING CHARGE. I'll see if i can find the link. You steer the charge around however you like, and accelerate and decelerate. And it makes EM waves and you see those waves (from the accelerating charge) ripple outwards. It is a real visual conception of Maxwell equations. Here is the link: ... harge.html

In the upper right it shows the default setting "linear"----try changing that to circular motion
and then while it is doing circular, play with the slide-switch that controls speed---so you can speed up or slow down the circular motion.
can make very beautiful pictures of the field-lines.

Ned Wright's and Siobhan Morgan's cosmology calculators

Postby Marshall on December 9th, 2006, 11:36 pm 

Ned Wright has 3 versions of his calculator at his COSMOLOGY TUTORIAL website\
one you put in the redshift z and it gives you the light travel time and other stuff
one where you put in the light travel time and it tells you the redshift
and one called the "advanced" version

He is a worldclass cosmolgist and one of the leaders of the WMAP satellite project and famous etc. and at UCLA,
by contrast, Siobhan is at University of Northern Iowa and not famous, but her calculator is in a sense better because it
tells you the SPEED-THEN of the thing when it emitted the light we are now seeing, and also the
SPEED-NOW of the thing on the day when its light reaches us. That can be interesting. Her calculator also tells
other stuff same as Wright's. With Siobhan, remember to put in parameter values Omega = 0.27, and Lambda = 0.73,
and H = 71. These are automatically put in for you as default case by Wright's calculator but you have to type
them into Siobhan's. Here is hers: ... osmos.html

the idea is to play around putting in various redshift z, the most distant quasar IIRC has redshift z = 7,
the Cosmic Background has redshift z = 1100, and so on. The most distant supernovas until recently were around z = 1 or 1.5
but now some have been observed around z = 2 and 2.5. Things like that. Play around and learn the relation between
the redshift number and the actual distance in lightyears.
over in philosophy (in a PCF thread) Bettina suggested this pictorial timeline of the universe, and another member, Den, liked it. Maybe it is a good resource to remember. It is non-technically worded captions on artist-conception renderings of a typical piece of the universe at various stages
out to where there's nothing but dilute radiation and black holes, which evaporate leaving more dilute radiation
maybe its good to have visualizations because many of us think and remember with visualizations
hope I am not making too much bother for you Silkworm as editor in control of this thread. feel free to delete anything I put here without comment.
or to condense anything.

Monster of the Milky Way

Postby Annemieke on December 20th, 2006, 8:58 am 

Very interesting video in 7 parts about the core of our galaxy being a supermassive black hole.

Postby Silkworm on January 11th, 2007, 6:39 pm 

Fantastic, thanks for the contributions Marshall (I didn't see your post until just now) and Annemieke. I'll process them soon.

On the lighter side...

Postby flux on January 12th, 2007, 7:11 pm 

Dr. Bruce Betts, The Planetary Society's Director of Projects, teaches an introductory astronomy & planetary science course at California State University Dominguez Hills; each term it's broadcast online and on local cable TV.

The full course is made available for free courtesy of the Society. It's on the rudimentary side (geared for teens on up), but it's quite current and lengthy. For those wanting to learn or brush up on basics, this would be pretty enjoyable. The only downsides: 1) the files are very large, so dial-up users should avoid them, and 2) because it's a basic telecourse you occasionally sit through a couple minutes of young people asking less-than-astute questions.

You can download all 23 segments here: PHY 195 Astronomy and Planetary Science

Book that have become out of date

Postby Polyology on March 18th, 2007, 3:03 am 

A good question for this topic is what popular books that the general public might buy are now out of date. One example is Q is for Quantum, printed 1998. Is it still accurate for today? Since most people haven't read a book before they buy it they're not sure if it is worth the read with the chance of learning the wrong information. A list of some of the books that are no longer up to date would be a great help to a lot of people.

Postby jshort on May 10th, 2007, 1:24 pm 

I know this thread has been here for a while, but I haven't looked through it untill now. It looks pretty cool, and let me just thank silkworm for the impressive job he's done in providing all the useful links.

Re: SCF Physics & Astronomy Library

Postby Silkworm on May 10th, 2007, 2:55 pm 

Marshall wrote:Hi Silkworm,
Great list of resources! thx for assembling it.

I hope I am not repeating stuff, if so please edit my contribution so it's not redundant.
I just saw a neat graphic tool for visualizing the HYDROGEN ATOM WAVE FUNCTION, where you pick the quantum numbers.
It is from the physics department at Southwestern College, in Kansas.

Hahahaha. My sister went to Southwestern College. The campus is just a few miles from my house. I had no clue that anyone at that college had ever even heard of the wave function.

jshort wrote:I know this thread has been here for a while, but I haven't looked through it untill now. It looks pretty cool, and let me just thank silkworm for the impressive job he's done in providing all the useful links.

Thanks. I have a bunch more great links to share, and I haven't updated these libraries for awhile because I'd like for a better organizational structure for these links to evolve.

Re: SCF Physics Library

Postby xcthulhu on May 23rd, 2009, 5:12 am 


Audio/video physics lectures

Postby seouldavid on March 11th, 2010, 7:44 am 

I'd like to share a website providing a comprehensive collection of links to audio/video physics lectures. The lectures cover a variety of topics in physics from classical physics to string theory and from quantum mechanics to quantum information.

Re: SCF Physics Library

Postby Marshall on December 13th, 2012, 11:59 am 

I'd like to share this Vimeo collection from a small two-day conference on quantum gravity and QFT (March 2011 at Nice, France)

Carlo Rovelli:

Matteo Smerlak: (thermal time, time and thermodynamics in general relativity)

Eugenio Bianchi: (black hole entropy in LQG)

Francesca Vidotto: (spinfoam cosmology. first 4 minutes audio deficient)

Ed Wilson-Ewing: (loop quantum cosmology overview)

Muxin Han: (quantum group spinfoam, rough video quality)

Thomas Krajewski: (overview of non-commutative geometry)

Valentin Bonzom: (very rough video quality)
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Re: SCF Physics Library

Postby Marshall on December 13th, 2012, 1:08 pm 

FWIW there is a new book out on quantum gravity/cosmology, edited by Gianluca Calcagni. It's not a book I would wish to own--only a couple of chapters might be useful to me personally. But it is interesting to see what authors and topics have been assembled. The book is not confined to one approach (i.e. not all stringy or LQG). It is one of the Springer Lecture Notes in Physics series.

Quantum Gravity and Quantum Cosmology

Editors: Gianluca Calcagni, et al...

(dead link removed, Jan. 2019)

Re: SCF Physics Library

Postby Marshall on September 22nd, 2014, 11:44 pm 

Paradox shared with us a fine 40 minute YouTube documentary about Quantum Entanglement, the Bohr-Einstein controversy, John Bell's inequality, Alain Aspect's experiment:

It has interviews with John Bell, Alain Aspect, John Wheeler, and historical stills and clips of others of the principals. I wanted to put the link in the Physics Library so that it would always be handy to refer to and share with other SCF members.

It was the 1935 puzzle carefully explored in this documentary that Carlo Rovelli intended to resolve when he developed the "Relational" account of Quantum Mechanics. This is written up in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and there is also an article by Rovelli and Smerlak specifically about the Einstein Podolsky Rosen paradox, called
"Relational EPR". I'll get a link to the article. But I urge watching the full 40 minutes Entanglement YouTube first to fully appreciate the problem, for motivation, before reading the proposed solution:
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SCF Physics Library - Accelerated Rod

Postby BurtJordaan on October 7th, 2014, 2:34 pm 

Lengthwise Accelerated Rod,, A discussion based on a talk by prof. John Mallinckrodt: "Simple, Interesting, and Unappreciated Facts about Relativistic Acceleration", Possibly category Lectures.
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Re: SCF Physics Library

Postby TheVat on January 10th, 2019, 3:13 pm 

Sabine Hossenfelder's new book, ... 0465094252

Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray (Hardcover – June 12, 2018)

A contrarian argues that modern physicists' obsession with beauty has given us wonderful math but bad science

Whether pondering black holes or predicting discoveries at CERN, physicists believe the best theories are beautiful, natural, and elegant, and this standard separates popular theories from disposable ones. This is why, Sabine Hossenfelder argues, we have not seen a major breakthrough in the foundations of physics for more than four decades. The belief in beauty has become so dogmatic that it now conflicts with scientific objectivity: observation has been unable to confirm mindboggling theories, like supersymmetry or grand unification, invented by physicists based on aesthetic criteria. Worse, these "too good to not be true" theories are actually untestable and they have left the field in a cul-de-sac. To escape, physicists must rethink their methods. Only by embracing reality as it is can science discover the truth.

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