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Eric Laithwaite 1974 RI Christmas Lectures, Lecture 1: "Looking Glass House"

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 Physics   |   Science
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Professor Eric Laithwaite presents his second televised series of CHRISTMAS LECTURES exploring the world of engineering.

A sequel to his 1966 series, 'The Engineer in Wonderland', Laithwaite was the first person to present two series of Lectures on national television.

His overriding theme running through series is that Science is exciting, curiosity its bait. Just as Lewis Carolls Alice peered down the rabbit hole and went through the mirror, Laithwaite describes the engineers target as the seemingly impossible.

As he states in his programme notes: "There may be no crown at the end for those who step through the glass, as there was for Alice, but if the delight is there, the journey itself is the reward".

His five lectures explore the varied work of engineers across gravitation, inertia and electromagenitism, including the controversial Lecture Four where Laithwaite used the behavioural gyroscopes in an attempt to challenge the validity of Newtons Laws of motion and the laws of thermodynamics.

In his first lecture, Professor Eric Laithwaite explores the concept of 'reflection', from concepts of the smallest particle to those of the whole universe.

On the way we are introduced to a variety of optical mirrors, consider the "mystery" of being left- or right-handed, and examine advanced physical concepts of matter and anti-matter.

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