Odyssey: Introduction to Special and General Relativity

This course will give a basic introduction to Einstein's special theory of relativity followed by a close reading of his classic paper on gravitation and the general theory of relativity, from 1915. Students will learn the basic tenets of both theories and will discuss current issues in black hole physics, gravitational waves, and quantum gravity.

The course will be taught with a minimal amount of mathematics and will stress the conceptual and philosophical issues relating to relativity theory, while remaining formally rigorous. Prerequisites for the course are an interest in relativity theory and a willingness to discuss abstract concepts. No advanced mathematics is required.

The text for this course is Relativity: The Special and the General Theory, 100th Anniversary Edition, by Albert Einstein (Author), Hanoch Gutfreund (Commentary), and Jürgen Renn (Commentary). ISBN-13: 978-0691166339 ISBN-10: 0691166331. And, a recommended text is The Road to Relativity: The History and Meaning of Einstein's "The Foundation of General Relativity" by Hanoch Gutfreund (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017).

914.588.01 Homewood campus Thursdays, March 1 to April 5, 6:45 to 8:15 p.m. Cost: $150 (six sessions)

JHU full-time faculty/staff and spouse/same-sex domestic partners are eligible for tuition remission. You must call 410-516-8516 for questions and registration information.