from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
The Hunt: Episode 4: Hunger at SeaSunday, 29th November 2015 16:50 - BBC OneHow do predators find prey in the open ocean - a vast watery desert where food is scarce and widespread? Blue whales,... Read more: The Hunt: Episode 4: Hunger at Sea
Ireland with Simon Reeve: Episode 2Sunday, 29th November 2015 20:00 - BBC Two
Power to the People: Episode 3: The Customer is Always RightTuesday, 1st December 2015 21:00 - BBC Four
Power to the People: Episode 3: The Customer is Always RightWednesday, 2nd December 2015 02:25 - BBC Four
The Hunt: Episode 4: Hunger at SeaAvailable until Tuesday, 29th December 2015 17:50How do predators find prey in the open ocean - a vast watery desert where food is scarce and widespread? Blue whales,... Read more: The Hunt: Episode 4: Hunger at Sea
Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story: Traces Of GuiltAvailable until Tuesday, 29th December 2015 00:00
BBC Inside Science: Astronomy Q&A, CERN and ancient genomesAvailable for over a year
All in the Mind: Mindfulness, porn addiction and slothfulnessAvailable for over a year
Star Wars VII: Myth and fairy taleWhat storytelling styles and genres can be applied to Star Wars. Sarah Haslam investigates... Read more: Star Wars VII: Myth and fairy tale
The HuntNew ground-breaking OU/BBC natural history series The Hunt, narrated by Sir David... Read more: The Hunt
Can renewable energy power the world?Renewable energy sources are gaining an increasing share of world energy supplies. In the next... Try: Can renewable energy power the world? now
English: skills for learningThis course is for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to... Try: English: skills for learning now
The restless Universe
The restless Universe introduces you to major achievements and figures in the history...
The restless Universe introduces you to major achievements and figures in the history of physics, from Copernicus to Einstein and beyond. The route from classical to quantum physics will be laid out for you without recourse to challenging mathematics but with the fundamental features of theories and discoveries described in sufficient detail to whet your appetite for further physics study.
By the end of this free course you should be able to:
- explain the meaning of all the emboldened terms introduced in this unit;
- explain what is meant by a physical world-view and describe some of the major world-views that have emerged during the evolution of physics;
- describe some of the major concepts of physics, give brief biographical sketches of some of the major contributors to the development of physics and name some of the major events that have helped to shape the subject;
- comment on some of the philosophical issues that are raised by the study of physics.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Physics and the physical world
- 2 World-views
- 2.1 The lawful Universe
- 2.2 The clockwork Universe
- 2.3 The irreversible Universe
- 2.4 The intangible Universe
- 2.5 The uncertain Universe
- 2.6 Closing items
- 3 Appendix: Some highlights of physics
- 4 Suggestions for further reading
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
The restless Universe
This unit offers a fascinating overview of the ‘big ideas’ that have shaped physics from the time of Kepler to the present day. Using little mathematics, the unit surveys fundamental features of key physical theories and provides the essential context for the further study of physics.
This free course is an adapted extract relevant to The Open University course S207 The physical world, which is no longer taught by the University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 17th May 2011
Last updated on: Wednesday, 10th December 2014
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.
- Latest OpenLearn pages
- Latest pages from OpenLearn - Physics and Astronomy
- Latest pages tagged - negative numbers
- Latest pages tagged - energy
- Latest pages tagged - thermodynamics
- Latest pages tagged - zero
- Latest pages tagged - electromagnetism
- Latest pages tagged - relativity
- Latest pages tagged - formulas
- Latest pages tagged - probability
- Latest pages tagged - perimeters
- Latest comments on this page