F803 Fall 2018 Introduction to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
Tuesdays, 2:15–3:40, Oct. 16–Oct. 30
Instructor: Mark Dodge
In 1905, Albert Einstein introduced the world to a new understanding of how the universe works. Ultimately this became his theory of relativity. We’ll explore the historical reasons why this theory was needed, then experience the brilliant “thought experiments” by which Einstein developed it. We’ll look at the (admittedly rather weird) new understandings of our universe the theory gives us. Along the way, we’ll meet Einstein the man, a somewhat eccentric but always fascinating genius. There will be a little bit of math in the course, but we’ll keep it simple. This is a class taught regularly to eighth graders, so don’t worry!
Mark Dodge taught high school physics for 24 years in Arlington. He has been fascinated by astronomy since gazing through his first telescope when he was in seventh grade. He is also interested in the history of science, which helps us understand how humanity has arrived where it is today.