New(s) @ Axe

News and Events of the Leonard H. Axe Library, and of the
Kansas Technology Center Library - Pittsburg (KS) State University

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Friends of Axe Purchase Science DVDs for the Axe Film Collection

Friends of Axe has appropriated funds to purchase films on physics, science and astronomy for the Axe Film collection. The films on physics are from the Films Media Group (Also known as Films for the Humanities and Sciences) and the ones on astronomy and science are from WGBH.

Physics ~

Albert Einstein and the Theory of Everything -Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku and experts from Cambridge, MIT, and elsewhere discuss Einstein’s revolutionary time/space theories of 1905, the ascendancy of quantum mechanics and string theory, and Einstein’s unswerving belief that the laws of nature—elegant and precise—must reveal a universe of divine predictability down to the last subatomic particle.

Newton’s Revolution: Understanding Motion - Simple experiments and dramatic dialogues with Aristotle, Galileo, and Sir Isaac Newton illustrate how our understanding of motion and gravity has evolved. Students can see how Galileo separated motion into its horizontal and vertical components and how Newton, with his Law of Universal Gravitation, demonstrated that orbits are elliptical and why the Moon does not fall to Earth—but is falling.

Electrostatics - This program explores basic electricity as it was perceived by Benjamin Franklin and other early theorists, as well as the principles of positive and negative charge, conduction and induction, atoms and electrons, and elementary charge. Coulomb’s Law is related in detail. Insulators, semiconductors, and superconductors are also explained and demonstrated. Specific modules include Electricity, Positive and Negative, Conduction and Induction, Atoms and Charge, Elementary Charge, Coulomb’s Law, and Insulators and Conductors.

Astronomy ~

Death Star – This film probes the deep mysteries of gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful celestial explosions since the big bang. Shows how a powerful burst can destroy our planet or even our entire galaxy.

The Elegant Universe - Known as string theory or superstring theory, this startling idea proposes that the fundamental ingredients of nature are inconceivably tiny strands of energy, whose different modes of vibration underlie everything that happens in the universe. The theory attempts to unite the laws of the large -- general relativity -- and the laws of the small -- quantum mechanics -- breaking a conceptual logjam that has frustrated scientists for nearly a century.

The Ghost Particle - Every second, trillions of ghostly particles pass through our bodies without us feeling a thing. These particles, called neutrinos, have no electric charge, so they are invisible to all normal scientific equipment. Physicists John Bahcall and Ray Davis took on the seemingly impossible quest of hunting down the elusive particles and finally found the clues they needed at the world’s deepest nickel mine in northern Canada and a giant tank of ultra-pure water inside a Japanese mountain. And their ultimate conclusion about the true nature of the ghost particle would prove even more bizarre than anyone had suspected.

Monster of the Milky Way - A supermassive black hole is hiding right in the center of our own galaxy. Eventually, it will blast jets of radiation millions of miles its space, incinerating everything in its neighborhood, including planet Earth. The film takes viewers on a scientifically accurate voyage into the belly of a supermassive black hole. When will it erupt and destroy the Milky Way?

Origins - Origins explores new insights into the formation and evolution of our universe - of the cosmos, of galaxies and galaxy clusters, of stars within galaxies, of planets that orbit those stars, and of different forms of life that take us back to the first three seconds and forward through three billion years of life on Earth to today's search for life on other planets.

Saturn’s Titan – Voyage to the Mystery Moon – Scientists think clues to the origins of life or even living microbes could be hidden under the thick orange clouds of Saturn’s largest moon . With that in mind, US and European scientists designed and built the ingenious Cassini-Huygens space probe. As the probe approached Saturn, it captured astonishing images of Saturn’s rings. The film’s climax comes with the touchdown on Titan. As the probe penetrates the orange haze, it unveils a bizarre landscape drenched in liquid methane, more surprising than the scientists ever suspected.

Science ~

Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial - Describes how the issue of Intelligent Design tore apart the small town of Dover, PA in 2004, when the local school board ordered science teachers to read a statement to their high school biology students suggesting that there is an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution called intelligent design. Intelligent design purports that life is too complex to have evolved naturally and therefore had to have been designed by an intelligent agent. The science teachers refused to comply with the order, and alarmed parents filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing the school board of violating the separation of church and state. The film follows the six week trial of Kitzmiller, et al. v. Dover School District, et al., which was closely followed by an international audience via news media from around the world.

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