R812 Fall 2019 Modern Physics: A Light Approach
Tuesdays, 9:40–11:05, Oct. 22–Nov. 12
Instructor: Steve Greenhouse
At very large or very small scales and masses, the “old” Newtonian physics no longer applies. A little over a century ago, Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity, and Max Planck and others did the early work on quantum theory to fill these gaps. This course will attempt to answer why these topics are so difficult to understand and will explain them in layman’s terms. Among the many paradoxes addressed: How can a cat be alive and dead at the same time? What is entanglement? (Einstein called it “spooky action at a distance”.) Why do moving clocks tick more slowly than stationary ones? What is gravity and spacetime? No math!
After retiring as an electrical engineer, Steve Greenhouse joined OLLI and has been immersed in teaching ever since. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS and The Catholic University of America with an MS and a PhD in electrical engineering. He was employed by the government, several contractors, and as an independent consultant, working in the space communications field for the last 35 years of his career. Retirement has given him time to delve into subjects he has always been interested in; this course is about one of them.