1 Introduction: What is this course about?

1.1 Some Basic Ideas

1.2 Babylonians and Greeks

1.3 Greek Classics Come to Baghdad

1.4 Monasteries and Universities

1.5 Galileo

1.6 Newton

1.7 From Newton to Einstein

1.8 What about Other Civilizations?

1.9 Plan of the Course

2 Counting in Babylon

2.1 The Earliest Written Language

2.2 Weights and Measures:
60s everywhere!

2.4 Fractions

2.5 Ancient Math Tables

2.6 How Practical are Babylonian Weights and Measures?

2.7 Pythagoras’ Theorem a Thousand Years before Pythagoras

3 Early Greek Science: Thales to Plato

3.1 The Milesians

3.2 Early Geometry

3.3 Early Geometry According to Proclus

3.4 The Pythagoreans: a Cult with a Theorem, and an Irrational
Discovery

3.5 The Square on the Hypotenuse

3.6 Rational and Irrational Numbers

3.7 What’s so Important about Irrational Numbers?

3.8 Change and Constancy in the Physical World

3.9 Hippocrates and his Followers

3.10 Plato

3.11 References

4 Motion in the Heavens: Stars, Sun, Moon, Planets

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Looking at the Stars

4.3 Motion of the Sun

4.4 Motion of the Moon against the Starry Vault

4.5 Motion of the Planets

5 Aristotle

5.1 Beginnings of Science and Philosophy in Athens

5.2 Plato’s Idea of a Good Education

5.3 Aristotle and Alexander

5.4 Aristotle Founds the Lyceum

5.5 Aristotle’s Science

5.6 Aristotle’s Method

5.7 “Causes”

5.8 Biology

5.9 Elements

5.10 Dynamics: Motion, And Why Things Move

5.11 Natural Motion and Violent Motion

5.12 Aristotle’s Laws of Motion

5.13 Planetary Dynamics

5.14 Aristotle’s Achievements

6 Measuring the Solar System

6.1 How Big is the Earth?

6.2 How High is the Moon?

6.3 How Far Away is the Sun?

7 Greek Science after Aristotle

7.1 Strato

7.2 Aristarchus

7.3 Euclid

7.4 Plato, Aristotle and Christianity

7.5 Archimedes

7.6 Archimedes’ Principle

7.7 Archimedes and Leverage

7.8 Apollonius

7.9 Hypatia

8 Basic Ideas in Greek Mathematics

8.1 Closing in on the Square Root of 2

8.2 Zeno’s Paradoxes

8.3 Achilles and the Tortoise

8.4 The Arrow

8.5 Instants and Intervals

8.6 Speed at an Instant

8.7 The Beginning of Calculus

8.8 Archimedes Begins Calculating Pi

8.9 Squaring the Circle

8.10 Eudoxus’ Method of Exhaustion

8.11 Archimedes does an Integral

8.12 Conclusion

9 How the Greeks Used Geometry to Understand the Stars

9.1 Crystal Spheres: Plato, Eudoxus, Aristotle

9.2 Measuring the Earth, the Moon and the Sun: Eratosthenes and
Aristarchus

9.3 Cycles and Epicycles: Hipparchus and Ptolemy

9.4 Ptolemy’s View of the Earth

10.6 The Advent of Islamic Rule

10.7 The House of Wisdom: al-Khwarismi

11 Later Islamic Science

11.1 The Islamic World

11.2 Omar Khayyam

11.3 Al-Tusi

12 Galileo and the Telescope

12.1 Copernicus Challenges Ptolemy’s Scheme

12.2 The Evolution of the Telescope

12.3 Mountains on the Moon

13 Life of Galileo

13.1 Books

13.2 Like Father, like Son

13.6 The Telescope: Heaven Abolished?

13.7 Galileo Wins Over Some Jesuit Astronomers…

13.8 …but Alienates Some Others

14 Scaling: Why Giants Don’t Exist

15 Galileo’s Acceleration Experiment

15.1 Summarizing Aristotle’s View

15.2 Two New Sciences

15.3 Naturally Accelerated Motion

15.4 Galileo’s Acceleration Hypothesis

15.5 Slowing Down the Motion

15.6 Galileo’s Acceleration Experiment

15.7 Actually Doing the Experiment

16.4 Speed and Velocity

16.5 What’s the Acceleration at the Topmost Point?

16.6 The Motion of Projectiles

16.7 Compound Motion

17 Using Vectors to Describe Motion

17.1 Uniform Motion in a Straight Line

17.2 Uniform Motion in a Plane

17.3 Relative Velocities: a Child Running in a Train

17.4 Aristotle’s Law of Horizontal Motion

17.5 Galileo’s Law of Horizontal Motion

17.6 Galileo’s Law of Vertical Motion

17.7 Describing Projectile Motion with Vectors

17.8 Acceleration

18 Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler

19 Isaac Newton

19.1 Newton’s Life

19.2 Projectiles and Planets

19.3 The Moon is Falling

20 How Newton built on Galileo’s Ideas

20.1 Newton’s Laws

20.2 Acceleration Again

20.3 An Accelerating Body that isn’t Changing Speed

20.4 Finding the Acceleration in Circular Motion

20.5 An Accelerating Body that isn’t Moving

20.6 Galileo’s Analysis of Motion: Two Kinds

20.7 Newton Puts Them Together

20.8 Force is the Key

20.9 Newton’s First Law: no Force, no Change in Motion

20.10 Newton’s Second Law: Acceleration of a Body is Proportional to
Force

20.11 What About Same Force, Different Bodies?

20.12 Falling Bodies One More Time: What is Mass?

20.13 Mass and Weight

20.14 The Unit of Force

20.15 Newton’s Third Law: Action and Reaction

20.16 Newton’s Second Law in Everyday Life

20.17 Gravity

20.18 The Law of Gravity

20.19 Weighing the Earth

21 The Speed of Light

21.1 Early Ideas about Light Propagation

21.2 Measuring the Speed of Light with Jupiter’s Moons

21.3 Starlight and Rain

21.4 Fast Flickering Lanterns

21.5 Albert Abraham Michelson

21.6 Sailing the Silent Seas: Galilean Relativity

21.7 Michelson Measures the Speed of Light

22 The Michelson-Morley Experiment

22.1 The Nature of Light

22.2 The Wavelike Nature of Sound

22.3 Is Light a Wave?

22.4 If Light is a Wave, What is Waving?

22.5 Detecting the Aether Wind: the Michelson-Morley Experiment

22.6 Einstein’s Answer

23 Special Relativity

23.1 Galilean Relativity again

23.2 Generalizing Galilean Relativity to Include Light: Special Relativity

23.3 You Really Can’t Tell You’re Moving!

23.4 Truth and Consequences

24 Special Relativity: What Time is it?

24.1 Special Relativity in a Nutshell

24.2 A Simple but Reliable Clock

24.3 Looking at Somebody Else’s Clock

24.4 Fitzgerald Contraction

24.5 Experimental Evidence for Time Dilation: Dying Muons

25 Special Relativity: Synchronizing Clocks

26 Time Dilation: A Worked Example

27 More Relativity: The Train and The Twins

27.1 Einstein’s Definition of Common Sense

27.2 Trapping a Train in a Tunnel

27.3 The Tunnel Doors are Closed Simultaneously

27.4 Or are They?

27.5 Does the Fitzgerald Contraction Work Sideways?

27.6 How to Give Twins Very Different Birthdays

27.7 The Twins Stay in Touch

27.8 Figuring the Observed Time between Flashes

27.9 What does she see?

27.10 What does he see?

27.11 The Doppler Effect

28 Momentum, Work and Energy

28.1 Momentum

28.2 Momentum Conservation and Newton’s Laws

28.3 Work

28.4 Energy

28.5 Kinetic Energy

29 Adding Velocities: A Walk on the Train

29.1 The Formula

29.2 Testing the Addition of Velocities Formula

30 Conserving Momentum: the Relativistic Mass Increase

30.1 Momentum has Direction

30.2 Momentum Conservation on the Pool Table

30.3 A Symmetrical Spaceship Collision

30.4 Just How Symmetrical Is It?

30.5 Einstein Rescues Momentum Conservation

30.6 Mass Really Does Increase with Speed

30.7 Kinetic Energy and Mass for Very Fast Particles

30.8 Kinetic Energy and Mass for Slow Particles

30.9 E = mc²

31 General Relativity

31.1 Einstein’s Parable

31.2 Some Consequences of the Equivalence Principle

31.3 General Relativity and the Global Positioning System