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The Mechanical Universe

Reviews and Awards


"I have been watching The Mechanical Universe for several months. I feel it is well written, informative, accurate and serves as an excellent supplement for anyone who is either studying or just interested in physics. I offer my personal thanks to the producers and to those associated with the Annenberg/CPB Project for funding it. Keep up the good work!"

Viewer, Idaho Falls, ID

"I have been truly impressed with the quality of the series The Mechanical Universe now showing on Channel 20. My two sons (ages 15 and 12) and I have watched it regularly and enjoy it immensely. I wish that this type of presentation had been available when I took college physics over 30 years ago. I find that I am learning the concepts with a new clarity."

Viewer, Orland Park, IL


West Virginia University Alumni Magazine
October 1990

"Dr. Carl Rotter tunes into one of his favorite programs The Mechanical Universe, a college level, 52-film series that he is modifying for use in high schools. This fall he will use the series to teach a satellite course to teachers to enhance their use of the films in West Virginia public schools."

Irving News, Irving, TX
November 1993

"Dr. Richard Olenick, who spearheaded production of The Mechanical Universe, stated: 'Instead of struggling over lifeless formulas, I wanted my students to experience the laws that govern the physical world. This method not only adds to the fun of teaching, but also enhances the joy of learning. Students will measure the effects of friction by gliding across the ice rink. They'll get a first hand look at rotational inertia while pirouetting like Dorothy Hamill.' "

Gifted Child Today
June 1987

"How could we cope with the intellectual appetites of gifted kids already jaded by age 13? The Mechanical Universe videotapes turned out to be especially useful. Animated graphics make it easy to learn very difficult topics such as motion in circles, angular momentum, and planetary motion."

The Sun-Times

"The Mechanical Universe is an attempt to counter the sweaty palms, palpitations and widespread fear and loathing that the subject of physics so often induces."

"When those quickly flashed and perfunctorily explained formulas bring back the same old dread, The Mechanical Universe is called someplace to turn to for further explanations."

Henderson Home News

" may not be what you expect to learn in a basic course in physics, but it is only one of the many awesome surprises in this unique scientific television series."


American Film and Video Festival
1986 Honorable Mention Award for "Inertia"

Birmingham International Educational Film Festival
1986 Gold Award

Chicago International Film Festival
1985 Gold Plaque Award for "The Quantum Mechanical Universe"

Columbus International Film and Video Festival
1987 Honorable Mention Award for "The Lorentz Transformation"

Houston International Film Festival "Worldfest Houston"
1986 Gold Award for "Inertia"

International Association of Audio Visual Communicators
1986 Finalist "Cindy" for "Inertia"

International Association of Audio Visual Communicators
1987 Gold "Cindy" for "The Atom"

International Association of Audio Visual Communicators
1988 Special Achievement "Cindy" in Computer Animation for "The Lorentz Transformation"

International Film and TV Festival of New York
1985 Gold Award

International Film and TV Festival of New York
1987 Silver Award for "Maxwell's Equations"

Japan Prize
1987 Award for "The Lorentz Transformation"

National Educational Film and Video Festival
1986 Silver Award for "The Law of Falling Bodies"

National Educational Film and Video Festival
1987 Gold Apple Award for "The Lorentz Transformation"

New York World Television Festival
1988 Invited Feature: "The Lorentz Transformation"


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