World Science Scholars


Gravitational Waves

100 Years of Gravitational Waves

with Rai Weiss | Nobel Laureate, Physicist | Professor of Physics, Emeritus, MIT

Nobel Laureate Rai Weiss is best known as one of the original creators of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Join him as he explores the history of this amazing project and the technology that made it a reality.

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A New Approach To The Search For Extraterrestrial Life

with Sara Walker | Astrobiologist | Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Astrobiologist Sara Walker challenges our understanding of life and how we might search for life in the universe by looking for signatures of information-generating structures and applying systems-level analysis.

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Accelerate, Collide, Detect

with Barry Barish | Nobel Laureate, Physicist | Professor of Physics, Emeritus, Caltech

Particle physics is a vibrant field entering into a period of profound discoveries. Nobel Laureate Barry Barish explores particle physics and examines the future of particle accelerators for pushing the limits of physics.

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Big Brains, Small Brains

with Suzana Herculano-Houzel | Neuroscientist | Associate Professor of Psychology, Associate Director for Communications, Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Vanderbilt University

Pioneer Suzana Herculano-Houzel discusses the challenges and solutions of comparing brain size and function across species, and shares her groundbreaking insights into the uniqueness, or lack thereof, of the human brain.

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Brain Machine Interfaces

with Miguel Nicolelis | Neuroscientist | Professor of Neuroscience, Duke School of Medicine

Pioneering neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis investigates how brains encode information. His groundbreaking work shows that animals and humans can use their electrical brain activity to control neuroprosthetic devices with Brain Machine Interfaces.

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Computational Language: A New Kind of Science

with Stephen Wolfram | Computer Scientist | Founder and CEO, Wolfram Research

Stephen Wolfram offers a new way to understand the natural world using models of simple programs and shares how computational language has the potential to impact the way humans and computers communicate in the future.

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Einstein’s Astrophysical Messengers

with Gabriela González | Physicist | Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Louisiana State University; Former Spokesperson, LIGO Scientific Collaboration

Gabriela González guides you through the experiments LIGO uses to search for gravitational waves. This course explores the detection processes that led to the first and recent trailblazing discoveries.

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A swirling, glowing mass of gas in outer space

Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang

with Paul Steinhardt | Physicist | Professor of Physics, Princeton University

Paul Steinhardt is one of the biggest critics of the inflationary model. He claims that inflation is "immune" to experiment and discusses a radical alternative to this long-standing paradigm.

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Exploring Our Humanity

with Lee Berger | Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year, Paleoanthropologist | Phillip Tobias Chair of Paleo-Anthropology, University of the Witwatersrand

Explorer and paleoanthropologist Lee Berger is best known for his discoveries of Homo naledi and Australopithecus sediba, two human-like ancestors. Join him on this exploration as he explains the science behind these unprecedented findings.

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Exploring the Warped Universe

with Nergis Mavalvala | Physicist, MacArthur Fellow | Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics and Dean of the School of Science, MIT

On September 14, 2015, LIGO first detected gravitational waves. Join physicist Nergis Mavalvala as she takes you on an incredible journey from LIGO's humble beginnings to its groundbreaking discovery.

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Free Will and Neuroscience

with Alfred Mele | Philosopher | Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University

Has neuroscience all but disproved the existence of free will? Philosopher Alfred Mele argues that free will is still alive and well as he critically analyzes experimental data.

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From Chemistry to Life

with Dimitar Sasselov | Astronomer | Phillips Professor of Astronomy and Director, Origins of Life Initiative, Harvard University

What are scientists looking for when searching for alien life? Astronomer and the founding director of Harvard’s Origins of Life Initiative Dimitar Sasselov examines the physical and chemical phenomenon of life to find the answers.

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From Chemistry to Living Materials: Matter & Sound

with Markus Buehler | Material Scientist | Professor of Engineering, MIT

Professor Markus Buehler discusses how scientists can design new proteins that can revolutionize materials engineering, through manipulating vibrations that have been changed from matter into sound and from sound back into matter.

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Fundamental Lessons from String Theory

with Cumrun Vafa | Breakthrough Prize Winner, Physicist | Professor of Mathematicks and Natural Philosophy, Harvard University

Breakthrough Prize winner Cumrun Vafa, with world-renowned string theorist Andrew Strominger, developed a way to calculate black hole entropy. Follow Vafa as he guides you through the incredible things we have learned since string theory’s inception.

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A three-dimensional image of several atoms connected to form a molecule, set against a blue background

Hacking Biology for Nanotechnology

with Rein Ulijn | Nanochemist | Director, Nanoscience Initiative, Advanced Science Research Center at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York

Rein Ulijn, Director of the Nanoscience Initiative of the City University of New York, explores nature's use of simple biological and chemical building blocks to solve complex problems and build new technologies.

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History and Mysteries of The Universe

with Max Tegmark | Physicist, AI Researcher | Professor of Physics, MIT

Max Tegmark, cosmologist and Professor of Physics at MIT, delivers a comprehensive look at the study of our universe, examining both the origin of our cosmos and the infinite questions waiting to be answered.

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A swirling mass of mass falling into a black hole

Illuminating Black Holes

with Veronika Hubeny | Theoretical Physicist | Professor of Physics, University of California, Davis

Theoretical physicist Veronika Hubeny explores the fundamental nature of spacetime using the gauge/gravity duality in order to develop a deeper understanding of black holes and their mysterious links to quantum information theory.

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Two sibling strands of matter encircling each other in a spiral

Inflationary Cosmology

with Alan Guth | Breakthrough Prize Winner, Kavli Prize Laureate, Cosmologist | Professor of Physics, MIT

Breakthrough Prize and Kavli Prize Laureate, Alan Guth is renowned for his discovery of inflationary cosmology, which for decades has been the dominant paradigm for the origin of the universe.

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Loop Quantum Gravity

with Carlo Rovelli | Theoretical Physicist | Director, Quantum Gravity Group, Center for Theoretical Physics

Carlo Rovelli is the discoverer of a theory that attempts to bridge the divide between quantum mechanics and general relativity. Join him as he gives a detailed overview of loop quantum gravity.

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Mathematics, The Language of Nature

with Edward Frenkel | Mathematician | Professor of Mathematics, UC Berkeley

Join mathematician Edward Frenkel as he discusses how the elegant mathematical formulation of symmetry has been used throughout math and physics and could, through the Langlands program, give rise to a grand unified theory of mathematics.

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Nature’s Constituents

with Maria Spiropulu | Physicist | Shang-Yi Ch’en Professor of Physics, Caltech

With the discovery of the Higgs particle, the Standard Model came closer to being a complete theory. Maria Spiropulu examines the theory, and looks at the future of particle physics.

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New Ideas About Dark Matter

with Justin Khoury | Physicist | Professor of Physics, University of Pennsylvania

Physicist Justin Khoury explores how quantum effects in dark matter could produce non-Newtonian gravitational force within and between galaxies, ultimately providing a hypothesis for how the observed structure of the universe might have arisen.

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Oceans in Peril

with Sylvia Earle | Oceanographer, Marine Biologist | President, Chairman, Mission Blue

Explore the challenges facing our oceans today, and why we should care. From industrial fishing to pollution to climate change, the damage to the seas risks becoming irreversible. Learn how we can still make a difference.

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Probing Gravity’s Secrets Through Quantum Entanglement

with Mark Van Raamsdonk | Physicist | Professor of Physics, University of British Columbia

Physicist Mark Van Raamsdonk explores deep, unanswered questions in fundamental physics at the intersection of gravity and quantum mechanics and how black holes and quantum entanglement provide insights into general relativity.

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Rewriting the Code of Life with CRISPR

with Samuel H. Sternberg | Biochemist | Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University

Sam Sternberg explains the breakthrough genetic engineering tool CRISPR, exploring the exciting leap from basic science to translational development of human therapeutics, along with the ethical ramifications of this novel technology.

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Space, Time, and Einstein

with Brian Greene | Physicist, Author | Co-founder, World Science Festival; Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Columbia University

Join a visual and conceptual introduction to Einstein's spectacular insights into space, time, and energy. For a mathematical introduction, check out Special Relativity.

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Special Relativity

with Brian Greene | Physicist, Author | Co-founder, World Science Festival; Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Columbia University

Special Relativity upended our understanding of space, time, and energy. You only need algebra to grasp this math-based introduction. For a conceptual introduction, check out Space, Time, and Einstein.

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A hand holding a dividing cell

Synthetic Biology’s Industrial Revolution

with Drew Endy | Synthetic Biologist | Bioengineering Professor, Stanford University

Synthetic biology gives us the power to redesign biological systems from scratch, providing them with capabilities not found in nature. In this course, Drew Endy discusses how synthetic biology can reshape the global economy, as well as life itself.

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The Accelerating Universe

with Adam Riess | Nobel Laureate, Astrophysicist | Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University

Nobel Laureate Adam Riess walks you through his team's incredible discovery of dark energy and our accelerating universe. Explore one of the biggest mysteries in modern cosmology.

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The Biology of Consciousness

with Christof Koch | Neuroscientist | Chief Scientist, MindScope Program, Allen Institute for Brain Science

How can we experimentally probe consciousness? Neuroscientist Christof Koch guides you through the research he conducts at the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

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The Black Hole Information Paradox

with Samir Mathur | Physicist | Professor of Physics, The Ohio State University

String theorist Samir Mathur has been working for years to resolve the apparent violation of conservation of information that arises from the quantum nature of black holes. He has developed a radical solution to the so-called information paradox.

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The Challenging Search for Elusive Dark Matter

with Katherine Freese | Cosmologist | Professor of Physics, University of Texas at Austin

Astrophysicist Katherine Freese explores the origins and composition of our universe, a quarter of which is thought to be comprised of dark matter, and how scientists are searching for the elusive particles that might comprise dark matter.

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The Dark Side of the Universe

with Michael Turner | Theoretical Astrophysicist | Bruce V. & Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, Senior Strategic Advisor, The Kavli Foundation

In 1998, theoretical cosmologist Michael Turner coined the term "dark energy." Since then, he has worked to combine cosmology and particle physics to understand the origin and evolution of the universe.

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The Edges of the Universe

with Andrew Strominger | Breakthrough Prize Winner, Physicist | Professor of Physics, Harvard University

Breakthrough Prize winner Andrew Strominger and string theorist Cumrun Vafa formulated the origin of black hole entropy. Join Strominger for an overview of how string theory has allowed us to understand how, and where, black holes store information.

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The Monster at the Heart of our Galaxy

with Andrea Ghez | 2020 Nobel Laureate, Astrophysicist | Professor of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA

2020 Nobel Laureate and astrophysicist Andrea Ghez explains how supermassive black holes warp space time and the role they play in the formation and evolution of our galaxy.

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The Past and Future of Unification

with Robbert Dijkgraaf | Mathematical Physicist | Director and Leon Levy Professor, Institute for Advanced Study

Theoretical physicist Robbert Dijkgraaf explores how physicists are striving for the long-sought unification of quantum mechanics and general relativity, with string theory being a leading contender.

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Universe or Multiverse?

with Andrei Linde | Kavli Prize Laureate, Cosmologist | Professor of Physics, Stanford University

Cosmologist and Kavli Prize winner Andrei Linde, one of the pioneers of eternal inflation and the inflationary multiverse, examines the evolution of these ideas and what the future of cosmology holds.

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A selection of conical terrebrid (auger) snail shells -- Mande Holford. Credit Robert Clark

Venom: Kill or Cure?

with Mandë Holford | Biochemist | Associate Professor, Hunter College

Biochemist Mandë Holford explores the transformative powers of venom in biomedical research from its evolution in animals to its breakthrough use for treating pain, epilepsy, and hypertension and its untapped potential for future therapeutics.

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