Lately there’s been a curious resurgence in people’s interest in physics thanks to pop culture appropriation by movies like Interstellar and TV shows like Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. What was once the province of science nerds has now become a source of fascination by the mainstream.
The thing is, unless you really know your quarks from your leptons and have a full understanding of why E=MC2 is a thing of elegant beauty, comprehending advanced concepts is still out of reach for most people, if only for the breadth and complexity of material one needs to absorb before things even begin to make the tiniest bit of sense.
If you’ve ever wondered what’s so exciting about string theory, why time stands still at the surface of a black hole, or how it’s possible that we are all living in a hologram in just one of countless parallel universes, then you’re going to love World Science U.
Created by renowned author and theoretical physicist Brian Greene, World Science U is a digital education website that aims to teach anyone the fascinating world of theoretical physics anytime, anywhere, for free. According to the site, their goal is:
The site is divided into 3 sections, depending on how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go.
Covering a wide range of questions and topics, Science Unplugged provides a casual entry point for anyone looking to just test the waters or maybe quickly clarify a concept or two. Questions are grouped together into similar categories such as General Relativity, Basic Physics, and Cosmology and are answered by Brian Greene himself in a succinct, easy-to-understand 1-minute video.
For those who would like to take their understanding of physics to the next level, World Science U has put together a series of guided lessons that places you in a virtual one-on-one session with distinguished lecturers from Princeton, Stanford, and MIT to name a few.
Using a mix of video, animation, and community discussions, these Master Classes are truly inspiring and is the next best thing to being under the tutelage of some of the most brilliant scientific minds of our generation. While the subjects are pretty deep, they require no formal training or experience in science, you work at your own pace, and get a certification upon successful completion.
This is probably the most exciting offering of World Science U: actual university courses that will take several weeks of committed studying to finish. These courses are graded and will challenge you with exercises and problems that require a thorough understanding of the subject.
There are currently two courses available, both an introduction to Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity.
The first one is called simply “Special Relativity.” This is a math-based approach that requires knowledge of at least high school level physics, algebra, and calculus in order to fully appreciate.
The second one is a shorter, conceptual course called “Space, Time and Einstein” and is suitable even for those with no formal background in mathematics and physics.
Similar to the Master Classes, these university-level courses are absolutely free, can be taken at your own pace, and comes with certification.
So if you are motivated by a genuine desire to learn about how our universe works, go to www.worldscienceu.com right now to register for your free account. An understanding of physics (and science, in general) will immensely enrich your life and shape how you think and view the world around you.
Images courtesy of: World Science U, Geekfill, DIYlol, Erin Patrice O’Brien for the Wall Street Journal