My Favorite Universe by Neil deGrasse Tyson
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My Favorite Universe by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Explore scientific theories and discoveries about the origin of the universe, the threats it faces, and its evolution.
4.6 (182 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,293 students enrolled
Created by The Great Courses
Last updated 4/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $170 Discount: 94% off
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  • 6.5 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Discuss a variety of scientific topics, from biology to astronomy, about the cosmos, including its origins and evolution.
View Curriculum
  • In addition to a computer or mobile device with an Internet connection, all you need to take this course is a genuine interest in, and curiosity for, science and its teachings.

This course, which is taught by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the famed astrophysicist, will discuss the most fundamental and fascinating questions that humans have ever asked.

By exploring these questions and their answers, you'll begin to more clearly understand not only Planet Earth, but also the whole universe.

You'll learn from one of the most brilliant minds in science today as you move through 12 lectures, during which you'll dive deep into every aspect of the cosmos, from what shapes our planet, to what happens in the galaxy and beyond.

If you have a genuine curiosity about the way the world works but you've been searching for an easy-to-understand teacher, this course will explain even the most complex scientific concepts in simplified ways.

Understand the Origins, Evolution, and Future of the Universe

  • Comprehend the shared properties of the Earth and the cosmos
  • Discover cosmic catastrophes that could result in the destruction of Earth
  • Learn about the Big Bang and the evolution of the cosmos
  • Realize the possibility of alien life in the universe

Dive into Various Scientific Schools to Learn About the Cosmos and Planet Earth

Throughout this course, Neil discusses his 12 favorite subjects in all of science. These lectures are arranged into four groups.

The first set of lectures is called "On Being," and they present some of the machinery that forms and shapes the cosmos. You'll see that the properties of energy and matter on Earth are found elsewhere in the universe.

The second set of lectures will discuss "Cosmic Catastrophes" that could result in the end of the world. You'll learn about what happens inside black holes, as well as the threat of asteroids and comets.

The third set of lectures, appropriately called "The Big Bang," will move from the Big Bang theory, to how the universe evolved and how it will continue to evolve.

The final set of lectures discusses the possibility of alien life forms, and where life could exist outside of Earth.

Contents and Overview

At the start of this course, you'll dive into the many aspects of the universe that are spherical. You'll also learn about rarefied objects to comprehend what air really is and how it affects life, and you'll tackle objects with density.

In the section on catastrophes, you'll discover what black holes are and how they cause death. You'll also learn about three other scenarios that would make total obliteration of the galaxy possible, before discussing asteroids.

Moving away from death and destruction, you'll view images from outer space and learn how the Big Bang started it all. Concepts from physics, astrophysics, biology, and chemistry are brought together to create a story of the birth and evolution of the cosmos.

Next, you'll tackle the origin of elements, as well as the tools that scientists are using to find out if other planets could be hospitable to life. You'll think about the evidence that has been gathered thus far regarding the possibility of aliens.

By the time you complete this course, you'll have a thorough understanding of some of the most fascinating concepts in science today. You'll be able to comprehend how the universe came to be, the threats it potentially faces, and how it can be expected to evolve.

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone who has asked questions about the way the world works, where the cosmos came from, and what science has predicted can happen to the universe in the future.
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Curriculum For This Course
14 Lectures
On Being
5 Lectures 01:38:02

On Being Round, Part 2

Just how "thin"—low in density—is the "thin air" out of which a magician produces a rabbit? And if the universe contains components that are even thinner, exactly what does that mean to us?

On Being Rarefied

This is a discussion of different levels of density and the inherent mysteries of this property, along with the ways in which an understanding of density helps us think creatively about the world.
On Being Dense
Cosmic Catastrophes
3 Lectures 01:34:40
Take a look at black holes, one of the most fascinating topics in the universe—including the ways in which they would kill a human being, how they wreak havoc in the universe, and some provocative new research.
Death by Black Hole

Here is a detailed look at three scenarios for the destruction of our planet: the death of the Sun, the collision of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, and the heat death of the cosmos.
Ends of the World

We now know that a deposit of energy sufficient to kill off 50 to 90 percent of all species strikes Earth every 100 million years. This lecture looks at our risks of getting hit by an asteroid and what we can do to avoid it.

Coming Attractions
The Biggest Questions of the Cosmos
3 Lectures 01:36:01
Take a break from the death and destruction of asteroids and the end of the universe and wonder, instead, at the enormity of the cosmos and what our place in it might be.
Onward to the Edge

We now know without doubt how the universe began, how it evolved, and how it will end. This lecture explains and defends a "theory" far too often misunderstood.
In Defense of the Big Bang

A synthesis of the greatest discoveries of physics, astrophysics, chemistry, and biology creates a coherent story of the birth and evolution of the cosmos.
The Greatest Story Ever Told
The Search for Life in the Cosmos
3 Lectures 01:39:55
The origin of the elements that make up life is one of the most important discoveries in any field in the 20th century, yet underappreciated by the public because it happened over many decades. This lecture presents a step-by-step explanation of the long path to a Nobel Prize-winning idea.
Forged in the Stars

Before 1995, the planets of our own solar system were the only ones we knew about; the total has now passed 100. This lecture discusses the tools and methods being used to find other planets that might be hospitable to human life.
The Search for Planets

This lecture examines the very real possibility that life exists elsewhere, and speculates about its origins and chemical makeup.
The Search for Life in the Universe
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