Friday, September 2, 2011

Modern Astrophysics for Non-Scientists

iTunes U triumphs again. As I mentioned previously, I have been working (rather slowly) through the Ancient Greek history class given by Yale's Donald Kagan. He is quite enjoyable and it's forcing me to read through Pomoroy et al's Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History. While I was thinking about these lectures, I thought I might look at some of Yale's other courses. I downloaded the first lecture of "Astrophysics Frontiers and Controversies" (Yale Website) taught by Charles Bailyn and I am totally addicted. Although my attention has been divided (he has a very soothing voice so I have been listening to him while I do things like clean my room or work on my Greek study guide), I still understand the concepts he discusses. The class is supposed to introduce non-science majors to modern topics in astrophysics with little math. It's fabulously enjoyable and fun for someone like me who loves astronomy but couldn't get through physics because I only like classical mechanics as they apply to space.

It makes me wonder whether I should have gone into astrophysics as I had originally planned. However, I don't know if I could have spent my entire life crunching data hoping desperately for interesting mathematical irregularities.


  1. Thanks for the link, I had no idea these online courses were so clear, easy to listen to, and well recorded. I'm going to check them out. He does have a soothing voice!

  2. Some online courses are really well done. The Yale one's I have heard tend to be especially good, as are some of the ones from Berkeley. I also found a great program on writing from Stanford where they interview famous authors of different genres and subjects about their process and craft. Enjoy!