Physics: Relativity

Summer 2017 quarter (Second Session)

Taught by

Allen Olson
physics, education
  • UG

Ever heard that the speed of light is the universal speed limit? What are the consequences of taking the speed of light to be constant? And what evidence do we have that the world actually works that way? Take a quick 5-week tour of Einstein's theory of relativity by completing a close reading of Richard Wolfson's book, Simply Einstein: Relativity Demystified supplemented with mathematical models and analogies that illustrate the concepts. We will focus on special relativity though we may have time for a quick look at general relativity at the end of the tour. We will use some basic trigonometry and algebra, but the focus is conceptual, and the concepts are suitable for all levels. It will be helpful if you are interested in science from a philosophical perspective (or perhaps interested in philosophy from a scientific perspective).

Program Details

Fields of Study


Preparatory For

science and education



Summer Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

9a-12:30p Saturdays and Sundays,  Aug. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, and Sep. 2-3

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning