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Thursday, January 05, 2023

Review: Great Courses - The Theory of Everything

 I started watching The Theory of Everything as a bit of a lark --- Dr. Don Lincoln of Fermi Lab is an experimentalist, and I that it's a very different perspective from the purely theoretical physicists' take. The video covers everything from Relativity to Quantum Chromodynamics, Quantum Electrodynamics, the Standard Model the Electroweak Unification, and all the details therein. What it provided that's somewhat unique in terms of presentation is a perspective on the difference between (for instance) Grand Unified Theory (GUT) and the Theory of Everything (TOE). It also provides a historical perspective on physics and all the successful unifications in the past, as well as the unanswered mysteries such as Dark Energy, Dark Matter (they're not related), why we still don't have a theory of Quantum Gravity, why we still don't know what caused inflation and what topics of ongoing research are happening. The approach is light on math (though yes, equations still happen) but the presentation is engaging.

It's a great way to consolidate the lots of little pieces of understanding I picked up here and there, and was definitely worth my time. It's available on Kanopy, and therefore free to most people who have access to a library.

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