1 session / week, 2 hours / session
What sorts of things get physicists (or wannabe physicists, like the teacher of this class) excited? Is it the dream of building grand intellectual edifices capable of describing the Universe with amazing accuracy and elegance? Or, perhaps, discovering something so unexpected that it totally blows your mind? Maybe it's simply the act of doing physics! Whatever the case, there are certainly many things in physics to get excited about, and we'll explore some of them in this class.
Topics to be discussed include the following: quantum weirdness, the mind-bending (and spacetime-bending!) ways of relativity, black holes, time travel, the Universe as a whole, parallel universes, extra dimensions of space and time, unification in physics, theories of everything, the connection between physics and mathematics, quantum immortality, and the nature of reality.
I'll be covering these topics as conceptually as possible, so don't worry if you don't know much math. There are no prerequisites for this class besides being curious about the world.
There are no grades for this course.
This course was offered through the High School Studies Program (HSSP), a project of the MIT Educational Studies Program. HSSP offers non-credit, enrichment courses to 7th-12th grade students on Saturdays at MIT. This program is designed to give these students a chance to take courses in a wide variety of topics. Courses cover both academic and non-academic subjects. The classes are designed to be fun and interesting for students and to offer them an opportunity to learn about something in which they're interested.