Relativity, Cosmology, and Quantum Physics
Listed in: Physics and Astronomy, as PHYS-14
Kannan Jagannathan (Section 01)
Beginning with the roots of the principle of relativity in the work of Galileo and Newton, the course will discuss Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity in quantitative detail. The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century developments in electrodynamics and optics will be explored along the way. A qualitative outline of general relativity will be presented. The next topic will be the study of the structure of matter and forces on the small scale and the challenges posed by the quantum theory that best describes the microworld. The last topic of the semester will be the application of relativity and quantum physics to the early universe. The approach will be elementary but rigorous. The course is designed for the non-specialist audience; no advanced mathematics or prior physics will be required. The work will include readings and regular problem sets as well as a few essays. High school algebra and geometry will however be used extensively in class and in the problem sets. Fall semester. Professor Jagannathan.