13.7 billion years of evolution from the Big Bang to the Big Brain

by Tony Heyes

Manningham U3A     and     Nunawading U3A


Jump to the    Menu


For 2023 we have two class representatives:
   Michael Howard
   Susan Leong    Tel. 0401 649 515

and an Assistant Tutor
   Graeme Hollis    Tel. 0408 305 385

This U3A course was inspired by the late   Dr John O'Connor

Things happening NOW

Planets visible     TONIGHT     REMEMBER to set your location.

When and where can we see the     International Space Station (ISS)?

The ISS has a     webcam    pointing at the earth. However it is not always switched on!

Reset your sundial using today's Solar Noon


A couple of tips
Two short tutorials - just in case you did not know!
You can look for a specific text string on this (or any other) web page.   To find out how, go to    How to jump to a text string

Artificial Intelligence:  If you would like to try ChatGPT, Here's how


Alternatively you may...

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  Watch    Listen    PowerPoints    Giggle    Useful links    or   Notes for Tutors
For example: To download Stellarium go to   Useful links

Things to Read :    (Links are underlined)


Tony's U3A bio:    or
Do we need to bring Gym Shoes to a Physics Class?

All scientists should be skeptical. but what exactly is   Scientific Skepticism

Australia's Energy Crisis

If you favour renewable energy but have not done the maths read   The Pitchforks are Coming

From Aeon     What is a Law of Nature?

From Nature     Is Fukushima wastewater release safe? What the science says

What Oppenheimer the film gets wrong about Oppenheimer the man

The Expanding Universe     Baryon Acoustic Oscillaions,   a new 'standard candle'

One          Two          Three          Four


Brad Tucker   Why is the universe ripping itself apart?   A new study of exploding stars shows dark energy may be more complicated than we thought.


Darwin Day:  (12th Feburary 1809)  the OUP blog offers Ten things you didn't know about Darwin  I suspect you did know most of them!


An Earthcentric view of Venus     The 5 petals of Venus and its 8-year cycle


In 1716 Edmond Halley  (1656 -1741)   proposed a method for measuring the Astronomical unit  (the distance to the Sun)  by observing the      Transit of Venus   from two different places on the opposite side of the Earth.    Watch the video to see    the mathematics involved    Halley always knew that he would not live long enough to see his technique put into practice.    On 3 June 1769, navigator Captain James Cook, naturalist Joseph Banks, astronomer    Charles Green    and naturalist Daniel Solander recorded the transit of Venus from the island of Tahiti during Cook's first voyage around the world.


Polar ice melt caused by climate change is slowing the Earth's rotation


Australia's inventor of Television    Henry Sutton
      and lots of other things.


Victoria's fossil emblem    Koolasuchus cleelandi
      (Cool-a-SOO-cuss clee-LAN-die)


Carbon Sequestration  Just maybe it might work
A Wikipedia article   Peridotite

The Carbon Rocks of Oman

A video   Turning Carbon Di-Oxide into Rock

Scientific American
How Star Collisions Forge the Universe's Heaviest Elements
An Update on C. P. Snow's "Two Cultures"
Read ahout the great personal debt owed to Lord Snow. Without Snow's intervention, I, Tony, would be totally blind (see Tony's bio)
The Big Think:
Read or listen:

There is very much more to Oppenheimer than the development of the Atom Bomb. This splendid article gives us an insight.     Oppenheimer's forgotten astrophysics research explains why black holes exist

The surprising origins of wave-particle duality

Do gravitational waves exhibit wave-particle duality?

Surprise: the Moon outshines the Sun at the highest energies

10 surprising facts about the Big Bang Theory

The James Webb Telescope     the first image   and how it was obtained.

Einstein and his concerns about Quantum Mechanics

How Einstein challenged quantum mechanics and lost

Quantum mystery: Do things only exist once we interact with them?

Einstein's quantum ghost is here to stay

The weirdness of quantum mechanics forces scientists to confront philosophy

How does Hawking radiation really work?

Lawrence Krauss:
Cosmology without Design
If it were not so, it would not be thus.
Or as our recent President, Geoff Sheldon says, "If King Cnut's son, Harthacnut, had had a son we would all be speaking Norwegian."

Paul Davies    What is life?


Fact or Fiction?    NASA Spent Millions to Develop a Pen that Would Write in Space, whereas the Soviet Cosmonauts Used a Pencil


Niels Bohr   could out-draw almost everybody   The Gunslinger Effect!


Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff      Orchestrated objective reduction (Orch OR)   a biological philosophy of mind that postulates that consciousness originates at the quantum level inside neurons


Katie Mack writes in Aeon      Big Space    Our cosmic horizon is both unreachable and closer than ever.


Quantum Spin      the Stern-Gerlach experiment     The (Often) Overlooked Experiment That Revealed the Quantum World


Dark Matter
Ramin Skibba asks in Aeon      Does Dark Matter Exist?.

David Merritt asks in Aeon      MOND a non-standard model.

From Physics World:     Radio telescopes could give us a new view of gravitational waves


From the OUP Blog:     Super Massive Black Holes: monsters in the early universe


From The Conversation
Vulcanologist   Raymond Cas  delves into sci-fi and explains problems with an episode in Rings of Power:
One cannot simply detonate a volcano to produce Mordor!

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune: why our next visit to the giant planets will be so important (and just as difficult)

Introducing Australotitan:     Australia's largest dinosaur yet spanned the length of 2 buses

Binary Pulsars:    We counted 20 billion ticks of an extreme galactic clock to give Einstein's theory of gravity its toughest test yet

Paul Kyberd of Brunel University, London writes::    Explainer: what are fundamental particles?

Eric G. Cavalcanti of Giffith University writes:     A new quantum paradox throws the foundations of observed reality into question

Michael Howard, our resident acturary, presented The      Australian Actuaries Climate Index; developed to measure whether the frequency of extreme weather conditions is changing over time.
This web site is somewhat demanding but it is well worth the effort.
If you are a little uncertain about the concepts of Normal Distribution, 99% Percentile and Standard Deviation have a look at    
this short Wikipedia article

Michael's own Power Point presentaion may be downloaded      here.


Our tribute to one of Tony's old student friends,
       Stephen Hawking

Video:  Deriving Hawking's most famous equation:
      The Temperature of a Black Hole




Return to the    Menu


Videos to Watch:    (Links are underlined)

An animation     See the planets rotate

What is a     Synchrotron

What is     ITER    An experimental      Fusion Reactor

A most remarkable video:  take a tour of   Mars in High Definition

The James Webb Space Telescope   Seeing The Universe Like We've Never Seen It Before

A great video   Physics Girl   How Rainbows Work


The Mysterious 30 Year Journey of Apollo 12

Carl Sagan

The Pale Blue Dot      Cosmic Calendar

Explains how    Eratosthenes measured the circumference of the Earth

Olbers' Paradox

Why is the Sky Dark at Night?
What makes Legrange Points Special Locations In Space

Yale University, Brian Thomas Swimme takes us on the    Journey of the Universe: the Unfolding of Life


String Theory   a short cartoon.


Brian Greene
String Theory

On The Concept of ENTROPY
       Over Time Everything That Gives Us Meaning Will Be Destroyed

Time travel is possible. Can we go back?

The Whole History of the Earth and Life


COMOS:   South Australia's own Burgess Shale The new national park preserving Earth's earliest life


CERN, the biggest machine ever built: the Large Hadron Collider and  Particle Fever.


Sir David Attenborough
Address to the United Nations Security Council  Climate and Security   23 February 2021

Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life

First Life        Part 1        Part 2

The Natural History Museum Alive

Why Does Life Need Water?

Daniel Dennett

From Bacteria to Bach and Back
Humans and Apes: the   Chromosome mismatch.


London's Natural History Museum
Bill Bailey   on   Alfred Russel Wallace   at London's  Natural History Museum     where he discusses  Wallace's specimens  collected from each side of what is now called the   Wallace Line.

Bill Bailey unveils a  portrait of Wallace   next to   Darwin's statue  at the Natural History Museum.

David Attenborough   and Bill Bailey give   brilliant talks  at London's Natural History Museum at the unveilling of    Wallace's Statue

David Attenborough's Natural History Museum Alive :     Part 1 of 2        Part 2 of 2

Bill Bailey 's Jungle Hero:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Bill Bailey on Alfred Russel Wallace

Wallace's Flying Frog

The two long films

Wallace In Borneo

Wallace In The Spice Islands

Bill Bailey unveils portrait of Alfred Russel Wallace at London's Natural History Museum

Bill Bailey unveils portrait of Alfred Russel Wallace at London's Natural History Museum

Alexander Von Humbolt    Expedition in South America

BBC  Walking with Monsters :

Water Dwellers     Reptile's Beginings     A Clash of Titans


BBC   Walking with Dinosaurs :
New Blood     Time of the Titans     Cruel Sea

Giant of the Skies      Spirits of the Ice Forest      Death of a Dynasty


BBC   Walking with Beasts :
New Dawn     Whale Killer     Land of Giants

Next of Kin      Sabre Tooth      Mammoth Journey


BBC  Walking with Cavemen :
First Ancesters     Blood Brothers     Savage Family     The Survivors


The Royal Institution (RI)    have a     youtube channel     full of good stuff including:
Anthony Zee   presents:    A Brief Introduction to General Relativity

John Spence   presents:    How Einstein Abolished the Aether

David Tong  presents:    Quantum Fields: The Real Building Blocks of the Universe

David Tong   The Standard Model   The Most Successful Scientific Theory Ever


Continental drift    Fred Vine explaining Paleomagnetic reversals


Raymond Cas   presentation to the Royal Society of Victoria
Understanding Climate Change: All the natural and human causes.

Ray's talk assesses the impact of long term geological processes, asteroid impacts, Earth's orbital change behaviour, volcanic gas and ash emissions, biological processes, oceanographic and atmospheric circulation processes and how the moving continents affect these, as well as the impacts of anthropogenic gases over the last 250 years relative to the effects of normal/natural greenhouse gases (and how we know this).

Panspermia    Did Life on Earth Come From Space?


Evolution of the Peppered Moth by Natural Selection


Arvin Ash present a number of interesting videos under the title:    Complex questions explained simply   For example:
How did life begin? Abiogenesis. Origin of life from nonliving matter

Why do atoms form molecules? The quantum physics of chemical bonds explained

Quantum Mind: Is quantum physics responsible for consciousness & free will?

Hydrogen Bomb: How it Works in detail. Atomic vs nuclear bomb

and lots more.

Steven Koonin
The Limitations of Climate Change Models

Hot or Not: Steven Koonin Questions Conventional Climate Science and Methodology

Gyroscpes without moving parts
The Fibre-optic gyroscope

The Sagnac effect


Suzie Sheehy       Discoveries that changed our World


GPS, How does it work?


Lewis Dartnell
A Short History of Technology

Origins - How The Earth Made Us

Astrobiology - the hunt for alien life


Alex Philippenko
      A TED Talk on The accelerating expanding universe


Discovery:    The Inside of The Earth.


A guide to the    inside of the International Space Station .


Leonard Susskind
The World as Hologram


Brian Cox
Adventures in Space and Time
Episode 1      Episode 2

Episode 3: What is Gravity      Episode 4

Is the universe 26.7 Billion years old

Brian Cox asks    where are they?   The Fermi Paradox


Jim Al-Khalili
Jim Al-Khalili asks    What is Everything?   and then    What is Nothing?.


Jim Al-Khalili on   The Beginning   and    End Of The Universe


Jim Al-Khalili:   The Secret Life of Chaos.


Jim Al-Khalili:   The Secret Of Quantum Physics: Einstein's Nightmare.


Jim Al-Khalili:   The Secrets Of Quantum Physics: Let There Be Life.


Jim Al-Khalili:   Atom: The Illusion Of Realit.


Jim Al-Khalili:   Gravity and Me.


Jim Al-Khalili:   The Forgotten Legacy of Arabic Science.


Jim Al-Khalili asks: Is Time Travel Possible?   Determinism, Relativity and the Arrow of Time.


Jim Al-Khalili: Having fun and hamming it up:  The Double Slit Experiment   at the Royal Instition, London.


Jim Al-Khalili:   The World According to Physics.


Jim Al-Khalili:   Entropy (Order and Disorder) Energy.


Jim Al-Khalili:   The Story Of Energy:   Order and Disorder .


Jim Al-Khalili:   The Story of Information  Order and Disorder


Jim Al-Khalili:    Shock and Awe: The Story of Electricity


Jim Al-Khalili:   Science and Islam


Jim Al-Khalili:   The Secret Of Quantum Physics  AKA: Spooky Action
Einstein's Nightmare

Let There Be Life


Jim Al-Khalili:   TED talk.   How quantum biology might explain life's biggest questions.


Jim Al-Khalili: delivers the 2014 Voltaire Lecture:  Lessons from the past: science and rationalism in medieval Islam  to the   British Humanist Association.


Jim Al-Khalili:   interviews   Rowan Williams  the Archbishop of Canterbury.


Brian Cox meets Jim Al-Khalili.
Richard Dawkins
TED Talk     Why the universe seems so strange.

Richard explains      NeoDarwinism.

Denis Noble
Why Dawkins is wrong     better title would be
Why Darwin would not have been a neoDarwinist?
Lawrence Krauss
In conversation with Richard Dawkins
At Arizona State University:    Something from Nothing.

At the Australian National University: Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss:    Something from Nothing. nbsp; Filmed the day after Richard's disasterous encounter with Cardinal George Pell on the ABC program   Q&A.

At the Richard Dawkin Foundtion:    A Universe from Nothing

interviews with Steve Paikin
A Universe from Nothing

Atheism and the Spirit of Science

A short 4 minute explanation   Krauss explains how something can come from nothing

Teaching Creationism is Child Abuse

Max Planck and Quantum Physics

ScienceClic  video channel

A new way to visualize General Relativity

What would we see if we fell into a Black Hole?

Galaxcy, Star and Solar System formation
Professor Dave explains
Star and Galaxy Formation in the Early Universe

The Formation of the Milky Way Galaxy

The Formation of the Solar System and the Structure of the Sun

Kant and Laplace:   Nebular Hypothesis - Origin of the Earth Solar system

Andrew Prentice   from the School of Mathematical Sciences at Monash University:
Modern Laplacian theory of Solar System origin

The Moon and Tides

Tidal Locking: Why Do We Only See One Side of the Moon?

Ocean Tides Explained

Spring and Neap Tides

Philip Ball    Science writer and presenter and for over twenty years the editor of the journal Nature
At the Royal Institution (RI)
An Introduction to Quantum Biology

Why Everything You Thought You Knew About Quantum Physics is Different

Understanding Quantum Entanglement

On Aeon either read or listen to      Life with Purpose
Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Jocelyn Bell discovered pulsars. The Nobel Prize went to her supervisor

A short video      Jocelyn Bell Burnell describes how she discovered pulsars

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell's Institue of Physics Webinar on   Transient Astronomy
         Bursts, bangs and things that go bump in the night.

Paul Lasky's Monash Webinar
         What can a proposed high frequency gravitational wave detector tell us about neutron stars?.


Fine Structure
Fine Structure Constant Explained in 60 Seconds

Fine Structure Constant

Closer To Truth   hosted by   Robert Lawrence Kuhn
Eugene Wigner's question      Why the "Unreasonable Effectiveness" of Mathematics?

Sir Roger Penrose

Is Mathematics Invented or Discovered?

Why did our Universe begin?

Gravity, Hawking Points and Twistor Theory

The Big Bang was not the begining

Mathematics & What Exists

Quantum mechanics and consciousness

His Orch OR theory of consciousness.  His   Mind-Bending Theory of Reality

Stephen Wolfram, Seth Lloyd, Lee Smolin, Francis Collins, and Frank Wilczek:   Complexity from Simplicity?

Lee Smolin:   How Can Space and Time be the Same Thing?

Is the Universe fine-tuned for life and mind?

Does a Fine-Tuned Universe Lead to God?

Michael Shermer    Fallacies in Proving God Exists

What's beyond Physics?

Paul Davies:   What is the Origin of the Laws of Nature?

Paul Davies:   Are the Laws of Nature constant?

David Chalmers:   What are Observers?.

Paul Davies:
Where do the laws of physics come from?

What are the laws of physics?

Michio Kaku:
The Universe in a Nutshell

There are 2 types of god. Only one is within the boundary of science.

Francis Collins
Asks    Is religion a threat to science?    and makes the distinction between deism and theism.

Here he explains   Why he became a Christian    and, in the first half, gives a very good explanation as to why we should not dismiss deism, then, in the second half gives less than convincing reasons as to why we should embrace theism.

Nobel Prize winner, Brian Schmidt, discribes    The Accelerating Universe


The Mathmatics of    Tipping Points    by Thomas Bury.


Bryan Magee on the    Philosophy of Science   one has to admire Magee's clarity of expression.


Kirk Sorensen on Thorium reactors:
LFTRs in 5 minutes.
and    LFTR vs nuclear waste.   - Plutonium, americium, curium (transuranics) can be fissioned ie. consumed.
and the latest news   Chinese molten-salt reactor cleared for start up .


Sabine Hossenfelder
Hydrogen Will Not Save Us. Here's Why.

Is Nuclear Power Green?.

Rainforest Carbon Offsets Ineffective, New Investigation Reveals.

Nuclear Fusion: Who Will be the first to make it work?

Renewable Energy Storage

Is nuclear power really that slow and expensive as they say?

Carbon dioxide and the Greenhouse Effect

Life might be more common in the universe than we thought

I Think Faster Than Light Travel is Possible. Here's Why

Climate Change
Steven Koonin Questions Conventional Climate Science and Methodology

The Truth about Hydrogen

A brilliant series of short films   The Energy Transition Crisis   outlining the problems with wind and solar and pointing the way forward.

Sergio Pellegrino    Space Solar Power: A New Beginning.


David Eagleman
David Eagleman's   TED talk    Can we create new senses for humans?    in which he makes reference to the pioneering work of        Paul Bach-y-Rita.

David Eagleman asks    Brain over mind?.

David Eagleman   makes a plea for humility in science in this somewhat misnames TED talk    God vs No God.

Andrei Linde   on    Universe or Multiverse.
NOTE: The first 14 minutes are welcome speeches. if you switch on the sub-titles, you will notice that they are computer generated and hence have some very curious spelling!


Derek Muller     from      Veritasium     the element of truth.
Black Hole: How Scientists Took This Impossible Space Photo

How One Supernova Measured The Universe

How Trees Bend the Laws of Physics

Why the Fahrenheit scale is so wierd

The Magnus Effect    Backspin Basketball Flies Off Dam.

The design of the    Mars Helicopter

Spooky Action at a Distance   the best explanation I have ever seen of    John Bell's   inequality.

Half the universe was missing... until now

Neutron Star Merger Gravitational Waves and Gamma Rays

The Most Radioactive Places on Earth

The Baysian Trap   Everyone should watch this, it is so interesting because it is counter intuative

Everything That Happens Has Already Been Determined.

The Big Misconception About Electricity

The wind powered car, 'Blackbird', and     The $10,000 bet

The Man Who Accidentally Killed The Most People In History

What Actually Expands In An Expanding Universe?

How UV Causes Cancer and Aging

Your Mass is NOT From the Higgs Boson

How to make a Quantum Qbit

Why No One Has Measured The Speed Of Light

Is This What Quantum Mechanics Looks Like?

The SAT Question Everyone Got Wrong

Immune System: Innate and Adaptive Immunity Explained

The 2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry went to two young ladies who invented    CRISPR

TED talk by Nobel winner   Jennifer Doudna

TED talk by Ellen Jorgensen   What you need to know about CRISPR

bozeman presents   What is CRISPR?


Spooky Action at a Distance:    The Universe Isn't Real - Nobel Prize in Physics 2022   Bell's inequality.


Helen Czerski
The Science of Bubbles   Yet another Physicst with a Mancunian accent. Both interesting and entertaining.

The Incredible Science of Temperature

1    Frozen Solid

2   A Temperature for Life

3    Playing with Fire

Suzanne Simard:   TED talk    How trees talk to each other


Iain Stewart:   Scotland's Einstein:   James Clerk Maxwell     The Man Who Changed the World.


Richard Feynman:   Way of Thinking    The Cosmological Reality


Allan Duffy  ANZAAS lecture   Dark Matter


BBC: The Sky at Night:      The Real Star of Bethlehem     A Christmas Special.


Millau Viaduct: World's Tallest Bridge

Isambard Kingdom Brunel


Intelligent Design
Tantamount to "God of the Gaps": a theological concept that emerged in the 19th century and revolves around the idea that gaps in scientific understanding are regarded as indications of the existence of God.
Well known historical candidates: Newton - aspects of the solar system, the complexity of the eye.
These days the main candidates are complex molecular machines and the values of the fundamental constants. The history of science tells us that, in time, these 'gaps' will be filled. Notwithstanding, the God of the Gaps argument continues to thrive, as George Santayana put it, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

DNA Replication: Is it evidence for Intelligent Design?

By all means watch these four guys getting excited about things we do not yet uhderstand    Darwin DEBUNKED: Using Modern Science  wait and see.

The Paradigm Project: Intelligent Design

Stephen C. Meyer   Senior Fellow and Director for the Center for Science and Culture in the Discovery Institute puts     The case for Intelligent Design

An example of poor design   The stupidest nerve in the mammalian body   the Laryngeal Nerve   and especially in the   Giraffe.




Return to the    Menu
Audio links for us to Listen:    (Links are underlined)


Melvyn Bragg tells the story of the Nobel-winning physicists William and Lawrence Bragg.


The Science Show
Sir David Attenborough    His 97th Birthday.

Roger Short   tells   Robyn Williams   of his surprise on learning about    The God Gene.

A brilliant raconteur, one of the very best Science Shows:   The full Roger Short Interview.   Almost an hour but every minute a gem.

Science Show Biographical specials
Beatrix Potter   an English writer, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist; she was best known for her children's books featuring animals. Less well know she was an amateur pioneer mycologist (the study of fungi)

Hedy Lamarr    the actress and inventor who helped develop the modern world - Frequency Hopping.

Sir John Eccles   the Australian Nobel laureate who devoted his life to unravelling the complexities of the human brain

Sir John Eccles   one of the big brains in neuroscience

Sir John Eccles   and the invaluable work of his daughter Rose

Howard Florey   the Australian Nobel laureate who developed penicillin.

The Boyer Lectures
2023     Professor Michelle Simons
1. The Atomic Revolution

2. The Quantum Promise

3. Imagination and Mindset

4. The Importance of Doubt

Q&A with Professor Michelle Simmons

In Conversation with Richard Fidler
Paul Davies       The mystery of the hole in the universe   Paul's new book.

Palaeontologist John Long    discusses missing links:    How a fish with tiny fingers changed history

Palaeontologist Diego Garcia-Bellid    Ancestors like aliens:    Clues from the Cambrian explosion

Islamic science, Medieval medicine and the history police:    When fake facts go viral    a podcast from the ABC's "Science Friction".


The COVID Conversation from   The NewDaily
Facing up to the   ethical challenges of who survives, and who keeps their jobs,    Dr Simon Longstaff - Executive Director of    The Ethics Centre  - says there are no easy answers, or certainties, when looking to do the right thing.

Our famed Nobel Laureate    Peter Doherty  talks about    why we will get a vaccine and what happens if we don't.   He teases apart why our immune system so often lets us down and explains some of the complicating factors of a virus that he says isn't so mysterious. He also lets fly with what's making him angry.




Return to the    Menu


PowerPoints:    (Links are underlined)

Ray Cas

Assessing the factors that cause climate change
Embedded links:
Plate Tectonics, 540Ma - Modern World - Scotese Animation
Volcanoes     Why do they form, what are the hazards, and - Do we have any in Australia?
Alexander (Sandy) Robb
Nuclear Power     What is it?     Where is it now?     Where is it going in the future?
Tony Heyes
Measuring the Universe
Embedded links:
The Star That Redefined the Universe

The age of the Universe and Hubble's Constant

If the universe is only 14 billion years old, how can it be 92 billion light years wide?

Standard Candles

Cepheid variables

Type Ia supernova

The Galaxcy Song   from Monty Python

Black Holes

Embedded links:
Gravity Waves: the first detection

Simulation of the neutron star coalescence

The first image of a Black Hole

The Science of Renewable Energy

Embedded links:
Unobtainable: What's Wrong with Wind and Solar?

Community battery renewable energy storage

Rolls-Royce Small modular reactors

LFTRs in 5 minutes - Thorium Reactors

LFTR vs Nuclear Waste - Plutonium, americium, curium (transuranics) can be fissioned / disposed

See also this TED talk by   Michael Shellenberger      Why renewables can't save the planet

And this TED talk by   Kirk Sorensen      Thorium can give humanity clean, pollution free energy

China's Molten Salt Thorium Reactor

Radio Carbon and other Dating


A video explaining The Isochrone Plot

Dating the Viking Settlement in Newfoundland

From The Big Think     World's oldest trees reveal the largest solar storm in history

The Adams Event

The Adams Event Film:  Stephen Fry   on   Paleopocalypse

Velocity of Light and the Doppler Effect

Velocity of Light

How to find the speed of light     The Fizeau experiment

Video explaining     Stellar Aberration

Stellar Aberration used to measure the velocity of light     Read how Bradley did it

The Doppler Effect
Our Restless Earth: Plate Techtonics etc.
Our Restless Earth

Embedded links:
Paleopocalypse! - Narrated by Stephen Fry.    also known as    The Adams Event

Plate Tectonic animations

    A slow one     A more rapid one

How Ice Ages Happen:

      Milankovitch Cycles

Sheldon debunks     Astrology

The Philosophy of Science
Our Changing View of Reality A Scientific Perspective
Embedded links:
Thomas Kuhn: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
The Physics of Fat
Tony's Power Point        and Rubin Meerman's    Ockham's Razor Program    that inspired it.



Return to the    Menu


Videos to make us Giggle:    (Links are underlined)

Moments of Wonder      Philomena Cunk
On Philosophy

On Greek Statues

On Time


Sir Simon Rattle  and  Mr Bean     Chariots of Fire


Michael Shermer's    amusing TED talk   Why people believe weird things


The Two Ronnies  nothing to do with Cosmology but a fine example of British humour    Four Candles


David Mason   plays the trumpet for    Penny Lane


Clarke and Dawe    The Energy Market Explained


Dave Allen explains Cosmology and    The Garden of Eden


Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl   The Philosophers' Song


The Griswolds at Stonehenge


Symphony of Science - the Quantum World!


Who needs a goldfish in a bowl when you can stare at this all day   A decade of Sun   Ten years pf tbe Sun, each second represents a day. From NASA's    Solar Dynamics Observatory.   Totally mesmerizing.


Victor Borge
Inflationary Language


Tom Lehrer
The Elements

That great Russian mathematician   Nicolai Ivinovich Lobachevsky

I got it from Agnes.

Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield singsDavid Bowie's   Space Oddity}  recorded in the International Space Station.
Chris Hadfield's   ABC interview   on how David Bowie responded to Space Oddity cover and what it takes to be an astronaut.


Sheldon, from Big Bang Theory, debunks    Astrology.


The Galaxcy Song   from Monty Python   and   the DNA Version







Return to the    Menu


Useful Links:    (Links are underlined)


The Feynman Lectures on Physics, the most popular physics book ever written, are completely online:

         Volume 1      Volume 2      Volume 3


University of Central Florida    clear and comprehensive Course on   Astronomy

Right Ascension & Declination: Celestial Coordinates for Beginners

Australian National University    Library of Resources   ANU TV

Planck Units    well, what are they   Find out here

Stellarium the best astronomical software we know:

a Download      Stellarium for Windows.    (a free download - I think!)
Download      Stellarium for an Apple Mac.    (a free download - I think!)
Download      the Stellarium App for an iPad.    (Not free $14.99 well spent)
An advantage of having the iPad version is that is has a setting whereby one can hold the iPad up at arms length and see, on tbe screen, the stars in the sky in that direction - with their names.
Stellar Photography
A good friend who has moved to the outback is taking great pictures having followed this Youtube course:     Nightscape images .
Stellar Magnitude
What is stellar magnitude? Ancient to modern .
If you are an iPad owner we can strongly recommend the following Astronomical Apos:
SunSeeker  also available for Android users


People on Quora who answer some tricky questions:
John Mark Fernee

Victor T Toth

Dr Becky's astrophysics Youtube Channel

John Maddox   was to the BBC what   Robyn Williams   is to our ABC. The    John Maddox Prize   recognises the work of individuals who promote science and evidence, advancing the public discussion around difficult topics despite challenges or hostility. See the list of   Previous Prize Winners.


Astronomy at    Swinburn University.


Click to see which Planets are      visible from Melbourne today.


Do visit the   MorningtonPeninsula Astronomical Society, they have monthly open evenings, the first Friday in the month.
To see videos of some of their lectures go to the Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society YouTube site.


The Institue of Physics (UK)   YouTube Channel.  Interesting things to do on the kitchen bench


The Royal Institution (UK)
YouTube Channel   a huge number of splendid videos.

Christmas Lectures  in which eminent scientists present their field of study to a young audience. Suitablle for children of all ages.

Dr Derek Muller's splendid short videos from   Veritasium


Sean Carroll  presents a series of informal videos talking about the biggest ideas we've come up with to describe our natural world.    The Biggest Ideas in the Universe.


What every Cosmologist needs   a Pocket Sundial.  And, yes, they tell me it works in both hemispheres.


An on-line   Calculator  for the real nerd.


Look in detail at the surface of another planet; a great film taken by the   Mars Rovers.
Read about the making of this film   here.


If you are interested in a scientific view of Comlimentary or Alternative Medicine, and a host of otber things, visit   The James Randi Foundation.


Find more medical good sense here:   Friends of Science in Medicine.


Since it is becoming increasing obvious that very few countries will achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions without the inclusion of nuclear energy within the mix, it behoves us to keep abreast of what is going on in the outside world. I recommend signing up for a weekly, free, email copy of     World Nuclear News


Did you know:
In our galaxy of a hundred billion stars, only three supernovas have been recorded by astronomers: in 1054, in 1572, and in 1604.


If you have grandchildren or young friends who are looking for a different party idea, how about a Cosmology Party.   Look at:   Stones, Bones and Stars
The children will get to handle crystals, a meteorite, dinosaur teeth and to see rock from the moon.


And a very clear definition:  Scientific Theory

An interlocking and consistent system of empirical observations and testable hypotheses that has never failed scrutiny.
And a homage to science from Bertrand Russell
It is science that has destroyed the belief in witchcraft, magic and sorcery. It is science that has made the old creeds and the old superstitions impossible for intelligent men to accept. It is science that has made it laughable to suppose the earth the center of the universe and man the supreme purpose of the creation. It is science that is showing the falsehood of the old dualisms of soul and body, mind and matter, which have their origin in religion. It is science that is beginning to make us understand ourselves, and to enable us, up to a point, to see ourselves from without as curious mechanisms. It is science that has taught us the way to substitute tentative truth for cocksure error.

Bertrand Russell, The Art of Philosophizing (1968), Essay One, The Art of Rational Conjecture (1942), p. 11

Arguments for atheism     Russell's Cosmic Teapot.





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Notes for Tutors/Lecturers:    (Links are underlined)

It is possibleto stream these links live to the class but it is frought. It is much better to download the link to your own computer prior to your presentation.

The best download software I have found is    Airy   It is available for use both on PCs and the Apple Mac.


Hybrid Zooming

Small Meeting Hybrid Tech Setup

Large Meeting Hybrid Tech Setup

Going Hybrid: Buying Guide

Zoom system requirements


Inviting Guest Speakers

To enable guest speakers to find their way to Manningham U3A copy the following URL and paste it into an email...

To see the URL for yourself go to HERE
Any comments or suggestions, or if you spot any spelling mistakes, please contact
Tony Heyes by email:


For parsimonious reasons I have tacked this web page on to my existing web site.
The address of this page is
if this is hard to remember simply go to
and follow the links starting with the link to "U3A Resources" in the cyan box very near the top of the page.


HOWEVER: Manningham U3A has a   New Web Page  and a link to this page - and other Class Posts - can be found at the top.


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This web page has been written by Tony Heyes
of Perceptual Alternatives


Besucher auf meiner Webseite        This counter is in Germany so Today becomes Yesterday in the middle of our Australian morning.|   Verstehen Sie?