Dec 08, 2022  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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PH 342 - Relativity and Cosmology

3 lecture hours 0 lab hours 3 credits
Course Description
This course is a survey of topics related to relativity and cosmology: the 1905 Special Theory of Relativity, the 1916 General Theory of Relativity, and Big Bang Cosmology. Lectures will highlight the concepts and present some detailed examples. Discussions will seek to reconcile the paradoxes and conundrums that befuddle these topics. Homework involves reading an inexpensive paperback aimed at understanding the essence of these concepts, and working a few basic problems. (prereq: junior standing or consent of instructor)
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  • Understand the conventional modern views of relativity and cosmology
  • Understand alternative views about relativity and cosmology

Prerequisites by Topic
  • Basic algebra: The mathematics required within this survey of topics involves only basic algebra with the expectation that most MSOE students will not be challenged by the mathematics, but will be challenged by the conceptual essence of the survey topics themselves

Course Topics
  • Topics include geometry (Euclidean geometry, non-Euclidean geometry, curved space, Minkowski space, geodesics)
  • Relativity (space, time, E=mc2, mass, energy, neutrinos)
  • The fourth dimension (time dilation, black holes, the Big Bang, causality and time travel)

Dr. Steven Mayer

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