||Einstein for Everyone
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- Monday/ Wednesday 1:00 pm - 1:50pm, CL 232
- (Register for one.)
- Tuesday 12-12:50pm, CL 135
- Tuedsay 4-4:50pm, CL 135
- Wednesday 10-10:50pm, CL 129
- Wednesday 11-11:50pm, CL 129
- John D.
Norton, 412-624-1051, firstname.lastname@example.org
Room 817 CL. Office hours: Monday 2-3pm.
Eric Hatleback, email@example.com
Room 901 CL. Office hours: Monday 12-1; Tuesday 11-12.
- Course website
- Course materials will be posted at the course website
We will communicate grades through the Blackboard website at
These websites will be the primary means of obtaining course material,
so, to take this course, you must be able to access the internet.
- Special relativity: The
two postulates and their strange consequences: rods and clocks run
amuck. The light barrier. Relativity of simultaneity: the confusion of
when and where and the puzzles it solves. Spacetime: time as the fourth
dimension. Origins of special relativity: how did Einstein do it?.
Puzzles and paradoxes. The most famous equation: E=mc2. The
- General relativity: Straightening out
Euclid. Acceleration provides the clue: gravitation is just spacetime
bent. General relativity passes the tests. Applications of general
relativity: Goedel universes and the like: could we take a journey into
the past? Cosmology: the biggest picture possible; a beginning and end
for time? Black holes: when the fabric of spacetime collapses.
- Quantum theory: The puzzle of black
body radiation: light comes in lumps. The Bohr atom: where electrons
jump. The perversity of matter in the small: both particle and wave.
The uncertainty principle. The failure of determinism. The puzzle of
Schrödinger's cat: neither alive nor dead.
There will be 7 short in-class test, one each two weeks. (Schedule) The grade is the best 6 of
An assignment is due each
week in the recitation. The grade is the best 11 of 14.
The term paper is due in
the final recitation, Tuesday April 17/Wednesday April
- Short Test
- The short tests will examine material covered roughly in the
preceding two weeks. They will be held in the first 15 minutes of class
and consist of a series of 3-4 related questions requiring a few
sentences each as answers.
- Policy on Missed Tests and Late Assignments
- No make up tests will be offered. Since the test grade is the best
6 or 7, one missed test is automatically forgiven. It is strongly
recommended that this one forgiven test be used only when illness or
emergencies preclude class attendance.
Assignments are due each week at the start of the recitation. Late
assignments are not accepted. Since the assignment grade is the best 11
of 14, three missed assignments are automatically forgiven. It is
strongly recommended that these forgiven assignments be used only when
illness or emergencies preclude class attendance.
For added flexibility, a universal makeup assignment is offered to
all students. The makeup assignment is a second term paper conforming
to the term paper guidelines, but only 500 words in length, due in the
final recitation, Tuesday April 17.
- In addition to lectures summaries provided on the website:
- J. Schwartz and M. McGuinness, Einstein for Beginners. New
- J. P. McEvoy and O. Zarate, Introducing Stephen Hawking.
- J. P. McEvoy, Introducing Quantum Theory. Totem.
- Special Needs
- If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an
accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and
Disability Resources and Services, 216 William Pitt Union, 412-648-7890
or 412-383-7355 (TTY) as early as possible in the term. For more
information, see http://www.drs.pitt.edu/
Last update: February 26, 2007.