The Open University since 2006
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
The Secret History of Our Streets - London: Arnold CircusTuesday, 6th December 2016 22:00 - BBC FourThe sixth episode features Arnold Circus, in the East End and the story of a Victorian social experiment that changed... Read more: The Secret History of Our Streets - London: Arnold Circus
The Secret History of Our Streets - London: Arnold CircusThursday, 8th December 2016 00:45 - BBC Four
Vienna: Empire, Dynasty and Dream: Episode 1: The Imperial City 1160-1683Thursday, 8th December 2016 21:00 - BBC Four
Colour: The Spectrum of Science: Episode 2: Colours of LifeThursday, 8th December 2016 23:00 - BBC Four
More or Less: How many cows for a fiver?Available for over a year
Colour: The Spectrum of Science: Episode 1: Colours of EarthAvailable until Saturday, 31st December 2016 23:00
BBC Inside Science - 2016/2017 series: Alzheimer's research, Lucy, Glowing bandage package, Supernovas to HollywoodAvailable for over a year
The Secret History of Our Streets - London: Reverdy RoadAvailable until Saturday, 31st December 2016 01:30
Family Fortunes: Could you help a family in crisis?Families need support for different reasons - and families may need differing approaches to... Launch now: Family Fortunes: Could you help a family in crisis?
Choose Health: Managing long-term conditionsLong-term medical problems can change your life - but you have control. Could you balance your... Launch now: Choose Health: Managing long-term conditions
Dutch painting of the Golden AgeSeventeenth-century Dutch painting stands out from other art of the same period and even more so... Try: Dutch painting of the Golden Age now
Organisations and management accountingThis free course, Organisations and management accounting, examines the nature of organisations,... Try: Organisations and management accounting now
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 in this free course 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.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- explain the meaning of all the emboldened terms introduced in this course
- 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
- Keep on learning
- Further reading
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
The restless Universe
This course 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 course surveys fundamental features of key physical theories and provides the essential context for the further study of physics.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 2 study in
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 16th March 2016
Last updated on: Wednesday, 16th March 2016
- 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 and our FAQs 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 - zeros
- Latest pages tagged - electromagnetism
- Latest pages tagged - relativity
- Latest pages tagged - maths formulae
- Latest pages tagged - probabilities
- Latest pages tagged - perimeters
- Latest pages tagged - S207_1
- Latest comments on this page
All our alternative formats are free for you to download, for more information about the different formats we offer please see our FAQs. The most frequently used are Word (for accessibility), PDF (for print) and ePub and Kindle to download to eReaders*.
- Word (4.4 MB)
- PDF (5 MB)
- ePub 3.0 (3.7 MB)
- ePub 2.0 (3.7 MB)
- Kindle (1.4 MB)
- RSS (429 KB)
- HTML (2.9 MB)
- SCORM (2.9 MB)
- OUXML Package (59 KB)
- OUXML File (187 KB)
- IMS Common cartridge
*Please note you will need an ePub and Mobi reader for these formats.