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Physical Science Collection (New York, N.Y.)
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1.

Our Planet Earth [electronic resource]

If Earth's entire history could be compressed into a single year, modern humans would've appeared just 23 minutes ago! Use this video to introduce your students to the concept of geological time (also called deep time); relative age dating of rock via the principles of stratigraphic superposition, original horizontality, and cross-cutting; absolute age dating by radioactive decay; the chemical elements, heavy and light, that make up the planet; and Earth's three main layers: crust, mantle, and core.
Online
2006
2.

Plate Tectonics [electronic resource]

Studies of our planet's crust, or lithosphere, suggest that it's not a single solid layer at all. This video illustrates the process of scientific inquiry by studying the evolution of our understanding of plate tectonics, the dynamics of those ever-shifting slabs of earth we call solid ground. Beginning with Alfred Wegener's hypothesis of continental drift, the program discusses major and minor plates, types of plate boundaries, and the concepts of spreading and subduction. Earthquakes and volcanoes are also addressed.
Online
2006
3.

Rocks and Minerals [electronic resource]

Knowledge of the physics and chemistry of the planet's "bones" is essential to a complete understanding of Earth science. Ranging from the Mohs scale and specific gravity to silicates, carbonates, and halides, this video delves deeply into the composition, properties, and classification of rocks and minerals. An element of forensic-type analysis is also brought into play, since any stony formation represents a portion of the planet's history and local conditions.
Online
2006
4.

Oceans and Seas [electronic resource]

More than 70 percent of the Earth's surface is covered by water. Use this video to impress upon your students the importance of the seven seas to people, the marine food chain, and the planet as a whole. Topics include the various kinds of currents and the forces that influence them, tides and waves (what they are, what causes them, and how they're classified), features of the seabed, and the formation and shaping of coastlines. A basic explanation of how oceans have been affected by human activity is also provided.
Online
2007; 2006
5.

Geocycles [electronic resource]

Planet Earth is an amazing machine, and we-and our future-are riding on it. This video introduces students to the Earth system's primary interacting subsystems (the biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere); the nitrogen, carbon, and water cycles; and three surface processes: weathering, mass-wasting, and erosion. The greenhouse effect, the impact of acid rain on the environment, and diminishing freshwater resources around the world are considered as well.
Online
2006
6.

Atmosphere, Climate, and Weather [electronic resource]

People everywhere are interested in the weather, but how does it all work? Beginning with Earth's atmosphere-its evolution, its gaseous composition, and its four regions-this video takes a close look at how conditions combine to create climate and weather. Topics include the Koppen Climate Classification System; weather prediction; types of clouds and precipitation; thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes; and weather patterns such as El Nino and La Nina.
Online
2006
7.

Energy and Resources [electronic resource]

As the Earth's fossil fuel reserves decline, what forms of energy will come next? After discussing the formation, uses, and consequences of burning coal, oil, and natural gas, this video explores the development of alternative resources that may someday completely replace them: nuclear power, solar energy, biomass, geothermal energy, hydroelectric power, and wind power. Benefits, costs, and environmental impacts are considered.
Online
2006
8.

Environmental Issues and Human Impact [electronic resource]

This video looks at urgent environmental concerns facing planet Earth and what people can do to repair the degradation humans have caused. Air and water pollution, the effects of pollution on health and the environment, deforestation and loss of wetlands, ozone depletion and global warming, and the negative impact of agriculture, construction, and recreation/tourism are discussed. The program ends with anti-pollution initiatives like recycling and greater energy efficiency. The key message? Individuals can make a difference!
Online
2007; 2006
9.

The Planets [electronic resource]

Any study of the universe requires a solid understanding of the solar system-home sweet home and the launching pad for intergalactic exploration. This video explains how the solar system formed and offers plenty of detailed information on the inner and outer planets. The minimum requirements for planetary life as we know it and the specifics of the Sun, asteroids, comets, and the planets' many moons are also given.
Online
2006
10.

The Sun and Stars [electronic resource]

This video looks deep into space to learn how stars are born and how, eventually, they die. Each stage is covered: the formation of proto-stars, the nuclear ignition of main sequence stars, the cooling of red giants, the compaction of white dwarfs, and the final drama: death by burnout as a black dwarf or by supernova. Special attention is given to the Sun-its effect on the Earth, its projected life span, and its various levels, from corona to core, and their characteristics-as well as to spectrographic analysis of starlight and star classification with the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.
Online
2006
11.

Just How Big Is Space? [electronic resource]

This video reveals the immensity of space by showing how its vast distances are measured and by examining the strange effects of Einstein's Theory of Relativity on space travel. Topics include the units of measure in astronomy; how scientists estimate distances through parallax calculations, the inverse square law of light brightness, and the Cepheid variable, Doppler shift, and supernova methods; and time dilation, space dilation, and the distorting effect of gravity on the space-time continuum-all things to take into account as we study the universe.
Online
2006
12.

The Invisible Universe [electronic resource]

In the darkness of space, invisible energy fills the vast regions between the stars. This video sheds light on intergalactic radio waves, microwaves, X-rays, deadly gamma rays, and other forms of energy not visible to the naked eye. Information on technology for seeing the invisible universe such as the Very Large Array radio telescope, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Chandra and Newton X-ray Observatories will give students a new view of the "emptiness" of space.
Online
2006
13.

Black Holes, Pulsars, and Other Odd Bodies [electronic resource]

This video introduces some of the oddest objects in space: black holes, bottomless gravity pits that can trap even light; neutron stars, more massive than our Sun but packed into spheres less than ten miles across; quasars, those beacons from the dawn of the universe; and, for an explosive finale, supernovas. Magnetars and the Local Bubble are also discussed, along with CHIPS, the Cosmic Hot Interstellar Plasma Spectrometer.
Online
2006
14.

Yesterday the Moon, Tomorrow Mars? [electronic resource]

How did we get to the Moon? What have we accomplished in the years since? And what challenges lie ahead? To answer these questions, this video tracks the history of Projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo; touches on Skylab, the International Space Station, the space shuttle, and the crew exploration vehicle; and considers next steps toward colonizing Mars, including robotic data-gathering missions involving the Spirit and Opportunity rovers, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Mars Science Laboratory. Plans to return to the Moon are also discussed.
Online
2006
15.

Living in Space [electronic resource]

This video gives students a dramatic view of what it's like to live and work in space with action footage of the International Space Station, the Buran-Energia Shuttle, the Mir Space Station, and Skylab. The pros and cons of living in an environment lacking Earth's gravity, protective atmosphere, and moderate temperatures (relatively speaking) are considered, and the future of space exploration, as outlined in George W. Bush's "A Renewed Spirit of Discovery" address, is mapped out.
Online
2006
16.

Is Anybody Out There? [electronic resource]

What are the odds that life exists elsewhere in the universe, and what are we doing to find out? Topics in this video range from the meaning of the Drake Equation and assumptions being used to narrow the vast field of stars in which scientists are searching, to the Doppler and transit methods of discovering extrasolar planets, to three initiatives that will help pinpoint probable life-supporting worlds: the Kepler mission, the spectroscopic Life Finder mission, and the Terrestrial Planet Finder observatories.
Online
2006