This is a picture of Prof. Lewin, taken by Prof. Lewin. It was the "Astronomy Picture of the Day" (APOD) on September 13, 2004. It was also presented to his 8.03 students as a challenge to obtain extra course credit if they were able to explain this phenomenon. On December 7, Prof. Lewin revealed the physics (and demonstrated it) in lecture 22. Thesolution was also revealed by APOD to the many thousands of people who were puzzled by it and who tried to explain it.
This course features a full set of lecture videos, as well as assignments, exams, and other course materials.
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In addition to the traditional topics of mechanical vibrations and waves, coupled oscillators, and electro-magnetic radiation, students will also learn about musical instruments, red sunsets, glories, coronae, rainbows, haloes, X-ray binaries, neutron stars, black holes and big-bang cosmology.
OpenCourseWare presents another version of 8.03 that features a full set of lecture notes and take-home experiments.
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The following documents were made available to the students. They were shown and discussed during the lecture sessions noted in the table.
Driven Coupled Oscillators (PDF) Analysis of a Triple Pendulum (PDF)
Professor Walter Lewin demonstrating the two normal modes of a coupled pendulum. This demonstration can be viewed on the video of Lecture 5. (Image courtesy of Markos Hankin, MIT Physics Department Lecture Demonstration Group.)