The physics of the pizza: how scientists use the laws of nature (Spring term) (SCE 23)

  • Day and time: Tuesday 12:50 - 13:50
    Weekly
  • Length of course: 1 term. Spring (8 Weeks)
  • Number of places: 20
  • Start date: 12 January 2021
  • Description:

    Most popular discussions of physics focus on its frontiers; quantum mechanics, black holes, etc. Before these discoveries, though, were centuries of development of the laws of classical physics: for example, Newton's laws of motion and gravity, Maxwell's equations and the laws of thermodynamics. During this course I hope to show you how these still form the basis of everyday behaviour. We'll look at the laws and simple examples of their use; for example to discover what happens to a pizza when the pizzaiola spins it, or why, after mixing white and wholemeal flours for the pizza, you can't unmix them. At the end, we'll discover what led to the breakdown of classical physics as the 20th century dawned - the so-called Ultraviolet Catastrophe. No equations, and no experience of physics or mathematics is needed - in fact current or ex- practising physicists might not find this very exciting.

  • Format: Lecture

  • Tutor: John Cook
  • I've been studying and using physics for around 50 years, and enjoy trying to make it accessible to everyone.

  • Tutor: John Cook
  • I've been studying and using physics for around 50 years, and enjoy trying to make it accessible to everyone.


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