My Favorite Universe
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He is also a research associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the museum. Professor Tyson earned his undergraduate degree in Physics from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in Astrophysics from Columbia University. Dr. Tyson has written prolifically for the public, including a series of essays in Natural History magazine on which his previous Great Course, My Favorite Universe, is based. His books include Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier; a memoir, The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist; and One Universe: At Home in the Cosmos (coauthored with Charles Liu and Robert Irion), winner of the 2001 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award to a Scientist. Dr. Tyson is host of The Cosmos, a science documentary series televised on the Fox network, and former host of the PBS television series NOVA scienceNOW. His contributions to the public appreciation of the cosmos have been recognized by the International Astronomical Union in their official naming of asteroid 13123 Tyson."
01: On Being Round
What forces tend to make objects round? And why is a sphere the most efficient shape an object can take? The answers will lead us across the cosmos.
02: On Being Rarefied
Just how "thin"-low in density-is the "thin air" out of which a magician produces a rabbit? And if the universe contains components that are even thinner, exactly what does that mean to us?
03: On Being Dense
This is a discussion of different levels of density and the inherent mysteries of this property, along with the ways in which an understanding of density helps us think creatively about the world.
04: Death by Black Hole
Take a look at black holes, one of the most fascinating topics in the universe-including the ways in which they would kill a human being, how they wreak havoc in the universe, and some provocative new research.
05: Ends of the World
Here is a detailed look at three scenarios for the destruction of our planet: the death of the Sun, the collision of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, and the heat death of the cosmos.
06: Coming Attractions
We now know that a deposit of energy sufficient to kill off 50 to 90 percent of all species strikes Earth every 100 million years. This lecture looks at our risks of getting hit by an asteroid and what we can do to avoid it.
07: Onward to the Edge
Take a break from the death and destruction of asteroids and the end of the universe and wonder, instead, at the enormity of the cosmos and what our place in it might be.
08: In Defense of the Big Bang
We now know without doubt how the universe began, how it evolved, and how it will end. This lecture explains and defends a "theory" far too often misunderstood.
09: The Greatest Story Ever Told
A synthesis of the greatest discoveries of physics, astrophysics, chemistry, and biology creates a coherent story of the birth and evolution of the cosmos.
10: Forged in the Stars
The origin of the elements that make up life is one of the most important discoveries in any field in the 20th century, yet underappreciated by the public because it happened over many decades. This lecture presents a step-by-step explanation of the long path to a Nobel Prize-winning idea.
11: The Search for Planets
Before 1995, the planets of our own solar system were the only ones we knew about; the total has now passed 100. This lecture discusses the tools and methods being used to find other planets that might be hospitable to human life.
12: The Search for Life in the Universe
This lecture examines the very real possibility that life exists elsewhere, and speculates about its origins and chemical makeup.