A Brief Guide to Everything

The Institute of Art and Ideas


Informazioni importanti

  • Corso
  • Online
  • Quando:

The standard model of particle physics is lauded as the most successful scientific theory ever. But from dark energy to antimatter, cosmological inflation to the stability of empty space, contemporary physics is riddled with holes. In this course, Professor John Ellis gives a grand tour of theoretical physics, and offers his account of where we might be heading.

By the end of the course, you will have learned:

the mechanism of the Higgs boson and how it was found
the evidence and theory behind cosmological expansion
what the Cosmic Microwave Background tells us about our universe
the seven reasons why the standard model is incomplete
how far supersymmetry may help to complete the picture
why the BICEP2 gravitational waves claim may have been ruled out too soon.

As part of the course there are in-video quiz questions to consolidate your learning, suggested further readings to stimulate a deeper exploration of the topic, discussion boards to have your say and an end-of-course assessment set by Professor Ellis.

IAI Academy courses are designed to be challenging but accessible to the interested student. No specialist knowledge is required.

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Informazioni importanti

Dove e quando

Inizio Luogo

Cosa impari in questo corso?

Scientific theory
Dark energy
Contemporary physics
Theoretical physics
Cosmic Microwave Background
Standard Models


Course Syllabus
  • Part One: What We Know About MatterFrom the electron to the Higgs, how does the standard model of the known matter work?
  • Part Two: What We Know About the UniverseHow can we describe the motion of galaxies and the birth of the universe?
  • Part Three: The Known UnknownsFrom the Graviton to Dark Energy, our understanding is far from complete. Why?
Suggested Further Readings

A selection of further readings has been suggested by Professor Ellis as part of this course. 

Explore Further

Our editors have brought together a range of content from across IAI.tv which explore the ideas in this course.

About the Instructor
  • John Ellis

    Clerk Maxwell Professor of Theoretical Physics at King’s College London who has worked extensively at CERN, and advocates the extension of the particle accelerator programme. His research focuses on phenomenological aspects of particle physics. Professor Ellis coined the term ‘theory of everything’, and in 1976 he coauthored the first paper on how to find the Higgs boson.