Course 1:  ~Einstein's Space and Time~

           WEEK 1: Welcome and Overview - We will discuss Einstein's youth, his attitude problems at school, and his inability to get a            professorship. Find out what Einstein knew in coming up with his special theory, including Maxwell's breakthrough on electricity            magnetism and light.

WEEK 2: The Two Postulates of Special Relativity - Einstein based his radical theory on two simple postulates which            revolutionized our concept of space and time. Learn what Galileo 's dictum "all speeds are relative" means. Einstein imagined himself            sitting on a light beam (at age 16!), which led to the discovery of the absolute nature of the speed of light.

WEEK 3: The True Nature of Time - Does time shrink with motion? We will discuss the famous "light clock" thought experiment              and how it leads to the notion that we are all time travelers.

WEEK 4: Simultaneity and Length Contraction - Learn why two events that happen at the same time for you may not happen            at the same time for me. Is the shrinking of real space an illusion? Find out how to fit a 20-foot pole into a 10- foot barn.

WEEK 5: The World's Most Famous Equation - Are mass, momentum and energy affected by motion? We will discuss                            how the phrase "every breath you take, every move you make" tells us the true meaning of E=mc2. What happens when matter and            anti-matter collide?

WEEK 6: The Spacetime Continuum - We will discuss the concept of spacetime, the four dimensional "fabric of the universe".            Learn how the math teacher who called Einstein a lazy dog discovered the spacetime interval; the universal ruler for all events in the            cosmos.

Textbook: Brian Greene, The Elegant Universe, Vintage Books                                    ISBN #0-375-70811-1 (pbk.)    Price about $15

           Optional: Richard Wolfson, Simply Einstein, Relativity Demtstified, Norton                                                           ISBN #0-393-05154-4