Fall 2014

Relativity, Cosmology, and Quantum Physics

Listed in: Physics and Astronomy, as PHYS-114

Formerly listed as: PHYS-14

Moodle site: Course (Guest Accessible)


Kannan Jagannathan (Section 01)


This course will discuss Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity in quantitative detail, beginning with the roots of the principle of relativity in the writings of Galileo and Newton. We will then examine a qualitative outline of general relativity. We will next study the structure of matter and forces on the small scale and the challenges posed by the quantum theory, which provides the best description of the microworld. The last topic of the semester will be the application of relativity and quantum physics to the early universe. The course is designed for the non-specialist audience and will take an elementary but rigorous approach. No advanced mathematics or prior physics will be required; high school algebra and geometry will, however, be used extensively in class and in the problem sets. The work will require readings and regular problem sets, and students will also write a few essays.

Fall semester. Professor Jagannathan.


Quantitative Reasoning, Science & Math for Non-majors


2017-18: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Spring 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2014