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The Nature of Matter: Understanding the Physical World Lecture

The Nature of Matter: Understanding the Physical World

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Publisher's Summary

Matter is the raw material of the universe. Discover how the immense variety of matter - stars, mountains, plants, people - is generated by a limited number of chemical elements that combine in simple, well-defined ways. Consider carbon, a relatively common atom with many faces: diamond, which is the hardest known mineral; graphite, which is among the softest known substances; and carbon nanotubes, which are 300 times stronger than steel and have remarkable electrical properties.

In the 24 engaging lectures of The Nature of Matter, no scientific background is needed to appreciate such miracles of everyday life as a bouncing rubber ball or water's astonishing power to dissolve. Moreover, the study of matter has led directly to such inventions as semiconductor circuits for computers, new fabrics for clothes, and powerful adhesives for medicine and industry. These discoveries were hard won by scientific sleuths, but we can all sit back and enjoy the details - just as we delight in the solution to a good detective story. Since prehistoric times, knowledge of materials has driven the development of civilization. The Stone Age was succeeded by the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Industrial Age, and now the age of silicon - the element that is the basis of the semiconductor revolution.

Where will new methods and materials take us next? Professor Ball notes that the "fun part about being a chemist is that we still have lots of combinations of these raw materials to explore". Join this outstanding teacher and researcher on this exciting journey of discovery into the substance of everyday life.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2015 The Great Courses (P)2015 The Teaching Company, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (19 )
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4.5 (15 )
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Story
4.6 (14 )
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Performance
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  • karstek
    karstek
    03/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "High School or Lower Level"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    If you never had ANY science class at all, this book is for you. If you know what an atom is, have heard of the concept of chemistry, or received higher education than a GED, its profoundly redundant. Way too elementary to be deemed college level.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something that IS education and not an 8th grade refresher lecture.


    22 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Marcin
    Radom, Poland
    07/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mostku material chemistry"

    Do not expect much physical or quantum chemistry here, it's a freshman-level introduction to chemistry with focus on material chemistry. Narration is more than good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • bn
    21/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "one of the most fascinating reads/listens ever"

    just finished it... starting over immediately. I would definitely recommend this, even if you don't follow along with all the details of the chemistry, it's still worthwhile.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anthony Byrne
    07/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well done"

    Recommend you read along with the PDF if possible but if not it's still interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Matthew
    PHILADELPHIA, PA, United States
    06/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "95% Chemistry, 5% Physics"

    Given the title, I expected this books to discuss matter in terms of particle physics, but this is basically a chemistry book. Granted, a discussion of chemistry is warranted when discussing the nature of matter, but I had expected much much less. The book wasn'd bad per se, just not what I expected given the title.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Jim Krumpelman
    03/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Better Than The Title"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is the content for which I've been searching! Dr Ball is clear minded about the complex features of material at its atomic level. He connects the dots so well that the content seems rather simple and wonderful. I've met a few of his students, and they claim that he is spectacular in their chemistry courses. Can Dr. Ball now bring forth physical chemistry in audible form? I'll be waiting and listening.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Greg Lindsay
    Washington, USA
    21/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great for a technical audience"
    What made the experience of listening to The Nature of Matter: Understanding the Physical World the most enjoyable?

    The book covered a very wide variety of chemistry subjects, from sub-atomic, atomic, and molecular interactions to the science of building materials, foods, dyes, aerospace materials, and more. Very educational and well organized. Parts of it were somewhat technical: at least an introductory college level. If you think a chapter is slightly dry, just wait for the later chapters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Florence Christman
    19/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "FTCUA review of the Prof Ball's Nature of Matter"
    What did you love best about The Nature of Matter: Understanding the Physical World?

    I listened first run nonstop; I learned already. Prof Ball delivery was good.
    My physics and chemistry courses were more structured.

    The shell theory of the atom should be termed theory.

    Good you emphasized wave and particle nature of e-m radiation.

    Should touch on non ionizing and ionizing radiation.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Nature of Matter: Understanding the Physical World?

    Explanation of heat capacity, thermodynamics, plastics and thermoplastics; however you missed talking about BIOFUELS and baseline studies for Oil and Natural Gas exploration and the need for alternatives to chemical and hydraulic fracking.


    What does Professor David W. Ball bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    audible is capturing one's attention


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    i will listen for a second time.


    Any additional comments?

    thumbs up

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • S Morehouse
    27/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Excellent program. Well presented and fascinating to listen too. Great subject matter. Highly recommend to explain the knowledge of the world around us.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Deep Reader
    Earth
    13/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It Matters"

    A fascinating journey into the broad science of physical matter. It is chock full of interesting ideas and will leave you wanting more.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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