CONCEPTS IN RELATIVITY AND QUANTUM THEORIES (PL3007)

The nature of reality changed in fundamental ways in the early part of the 20th century. Concepts of duration, length, sequential order, simultaneity, weight, energy, location, mass, substance and void became a matter of perspective or ‘reference frame’. Scientists had been trying to explain apparently ‘absurd’ results, such as Maxwell’s EM wave equations or the photovoltaic effect, within the framework of classical physics. Much like what Ptolemy did with Aristotle’s model of the dynamics of the heavens before Copernicus and Kepler got it right, or, at least, not so wrong. In this course, I will present the basic principles, and derive the implications, of the theory of Special Relativity, I will describe the concepts and equivalences underlying the theory of General Relativity and show you why we know them to be correct (or at least not very wrong), I will introduce quantum theory and the quantum model of the atom and explain why it is better than plum pudding (see J. J. Thomson’s 1904 “plum pudding” model for the atom). In this course, you will learn about time travel, e=mc², black holes and wormholes. Is it true that if you run straight towards a cement wall it is just possible that you will make it through to the other side unharmed? Yes.

Code: 
PL3007
Name: 
CONCEPTS IN RELATIVITY AND QUANTUM THEORIES
Discipline: 
PL (Philosophy)
Type: 
GE115
Level: 
Undergraduate
Credits: 
4
Can be taken twice for credit?: 
No
Pre-requisites: 
None
Co-requisites: 
None