PHYS 1905    Einstein in the 20th Century and Beyond  FALL 2006
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2005 Year of Physics

AIP's Einstein history

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Schedule: 9:40 - 10:30 am, MWF

Location:  JFB 103

Instructors:         Ben Bromley  Maria Cranor
Office:          INSCC 218   SP 214  
Hours:          10:30am-noon MWF   Hours 10:30am-noon
Phone:          581-8227   (581-6901)

Course Description.

Consideration of Einstein's life and thought allows us to address some of humanity's most persistent and profound concerns: the nature of space and time, the structure and history of our Universe, war and peace, the role of the individual in society. We will discuss Einstein's great contributions to modern physics: the photoelectric effect and the foundations of quantum mechanics, special relativity, and his monumental theory of gravity, general relativity, as well as his role in the development of nuclear weapons and the establishment of the state of Israel in the aftermath of World War II. We will conclude by examining the exciting implications of Einstein's ideas for 21st century science : black holes, gravitational waves, dark energy, and the origin of the Universe itself. Gen Ed Science Foundation course. Three lectures.

Recommended prerequisite: None.
Recommended corequisite: None.


  • To introduce the physics of Einstein's key contributions to relativity and quantum mechanics.

  • To place Einstein's work in an historical context, focusing on the Einstein's own writings regarding social and political issues of his time.

  • To survey key elements in the development of nuclear weapons, with emphasis on Einstein's role.

  • To examine Einstein as a scientist-citizen, and to apply his ideas to contemporary issues including nuclear proliferation, genetic engineering, and bioterrorism.

  • Finally, to explore future developments in physics along avenues opened by Einstein, such as black holes, dark energy, and a Theory of Everything.

Administrative issues.

Important dates related to this course are listed below. Should any of these deadlines apply to you, you should confirm them with the official, up-to-date entries in the UofU Academic Calendar

  • The last day to register for classes is Tuesday, 7 September.
  • The final day to drop (delete) classes with no tuition penalties is Friday, 1 September.
  • The last day to withdraw is Friday, 20 October ("W" on transcript, tuition is charged).

Disabilities Services.

The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 581-5020 (V/TDD). CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations. All written information in this course can be made available in alternative format with prior notification to the Center for Disability Services.

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Last updated: Thu Dec 7 04:10:49 MST 2006