1905 -- EINSTEIN'S AMAZING YEAR -- DICK JACKSON
Einstein received his Nobel Prize for relativity, right? Wrong! Come to the class to find out for what work he was honored.
At the end of the 19th century it was generally agreed that physics (now called "classical physics") had discovered all that there was to know. There were a small number of problems still to be explained, such as: How can the sun be as old as the geologists and evolutionist are saying? Why does black body radiation theory run into the ultraviolet catastrophe? Where the heck is the ether? It was generally agreed though that with a little more work these questions too would be fully understood and that then physics would come to an end.
In 1905 Einstein published three papers, each on a different subject, and in so doing pulled the rug out from the classical physics apple cart -- thereby setting the stage for quantum mechanics and new ways of looking at the world. The class will explain each of his papers and how the world of physics would never be the same again
The class will first describe the highlights of classical physics from Isaac Newton to James Clerk Maxwell (hallowed be their names) and its remaining problems, and then introduce Einstein's revolutionary ideas. A short coda will cover Einstein's work after his magical year such as his explanation of gravity and his invention of the laser.
Attendees need have no prior knowledge of physics, classical or modern, all will be explained clearly and patiently. Equations just represent ideas in shorthand, and the few that appear in this class will be translated into humanspeak. This minimal number of equations will be mitigated by videos and human interest stories.
Although Dick Jackson cannot now understand his own PhD thesis, he can can remember much of what he learned from 11 years of physics lessons. He is interested in the history of science and enjoys sharing this interest with anyone who will listen.
Tuesay, February 16 2016, 1pm-3pm SLO Adult School
Adult School, room B3 (View)
1500 Lizzie Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|