Plus Pilots: Max Planck and the Ultraviolet Catastrophe

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insight ! The professor elegantly presents the resolution to a fundamental problem that became a gateway to understanding nature, quantum physics.
Date published: 2020-09-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from No Favors. Good Lecture. Wrong mental framing. The Great Courses did this guy no favors... First the video starts with bad sound (probably no sound check before recording), second it's visually messed up. Using the Rule of Thirds, he head is WAY TO HIGH in the frame (see attached photo), this make him look too large drawing attention to him, his appearance, and the lack of a tie... more so than what he is saying. The Beige Coat vs. the Beige Wall makes him fade into the background... so audio/visual... it's a jumble. Second... Black Box Radiation & Quantum Mechanics... first, the question isn't framed well... I thought that the Toaster Example was excellent... and while an example of Quantum on the human scale... that's not the meaning of the "if you think you understand it you don't" quote... but that the Mechanics of Quantum Mechanics has not analog above the atomic scale... like, "-1/3 spin".. how can something be spinning in 1/3... either there is rotation or there isn't... but in quanta... Spin can doe weird things which make not sense in our world. About half way through the example it was thinking, "what are we talking about again?" There is no description of the box in which the photons bounce around... I'm thinking they'll hit the walls of this black box, get absorbed, and generate heat. Instead, you have to visually frame the box as mirror-lined with no possible escape except probabilistically at either end... and then reflections... as it applies to wavelengths... couldn't there be some small angular error that could allow photons to bounce around and increase the probability of a stray photon comes out NOT in a quanta frequency... This IS and WAS a good lecture, well worthy of a university... but NOT framed in such a way to keep the focus on WHAT THE PROBLEM IS and WHY IT HAD TO BE SOLVED in this unique quantum way... The spectrum of radiation is fundamental... and since I already understand this stuff its hard for me to figure out just where this went of the rails... I think it was the transition from radiation to fundamental frequencies and the use of the box. It's not a given that such an apparatus would do what it does... more time needed to be devoted to the set-up and how and way it works and why it surprisingly DOESN'T work... unless describe wavelength multiples (or fractions) are used... THEN it would all gel ... And for heaven's sake... don't let him wear brown onto this video set...
Date published: 2020-09-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fascinating problem given too little time I agree with some of the other reviews in that this lecture appears to require a greater background in physics and calculus than I currently have. I would recommend cutting up the content over several lectures to break down some of the more confusing aspects of the problem. Specifically, I was lost at the comparison between the black body and a pipe organ. While I can kind of see where he is going with it, I don't quite follow how light waves would act like sound waves. He also seems to quickly go over some very important points about the math brushing aside some of the complexity by saying "This is why physicists invented calculus." I find that explanation rather unsatisfying, and ultimately I don't think I followed his points. I've watched the video twice and gone over some parts several times to see if I could tease out what he was saying. Alas, I was not very successful. I'm still trying to figure out what the curves on the graph were trying to represent. For me it's a tough slog. I would definitely recommend this lecture to a friend who had the necessary background to understand it, but then I fear they would already understand the ultraviolet catastrophe. I enjoyed the professor very much. I would definitely watch further lectures from him on this subject if they went into more depth.
Date published: 2020-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice if You Have Some Background! This pilot seems promising provided that you have the necessary background to understand what the lecturer is talking about. You don't need a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics to achieve this. I suggest that you take a course on Quantum Theory. There are a couple of courses here on Quantum Theory that might help
Date published: 2020-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Explanation Never quite been able to understand black body radiation and the ultraviolet catastrophe but this lecture definitely advanced my understanding. The mathematics is complicated and probably beyond a level that I am willing to pursue so I enjoyed this professors explanation. Great overview of the underlying concepts and their importance in physics. Definitely liked his presentation style.
Date published: 2020-09-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Too Advanced for Me I stopped about halfway through. Much too advanced for me. BUT this would be a very good course for those with a sufficient background in physics and math. Not a course for basic students of physics. If you are an intermediate or advanced knowledge of physics, this would be a good course to take.
Date published: 2020-09-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another look at Quantum Physics Big picture concept is clear. Use of the few formulas presented would be enhanced by not going over them so quickly. Nature of "oscillators" inside black box needs to be clarified. Overall, stimulating and leaves the feeling in me of at least grasping a rudimentary big picture without understanding with the details.
Date published: 2020-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clearly explains a complicated topic This is not easy subject matter but the professor does an excellent job explaining it and the graphics are very helpful.
Date published: 2020-09-02
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Max Planck and the Ultraviolet Catastrophe
1: Max Planck and the Ultraviolet Catastrophe

Quantum physics is known to be hard to understand; really, really weird; and very far removed from our everyday reality. Join Professor Chad Orzel to demystify the world of quantum physics, starting with all the ways you observe the key phenomena that make up the science of quantum physics. You’ll gain a new appreciation for your toaster!

20 min