AAS 195th Meeting, January 2000
Session 106. Education
Display, Saturday, January 15, 2000, 9:20am-4:00pm, Grand Hall

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[106.14] A Mathematically Sound Introduction to Relativity for Math, Physics and Astronomy Majors

R. B. Gardner (East Tennessee State University)

It is often commented that the special theory of relativity can be understood with little more background than high school geometry. This may be debatable, but everyone would agree that the mathematical background needed to understand the general theory of relativity is quite extensive. A course will be outlined which has linear algebra and multivariable calculus prerequisites. The first third of the course covers curvature of curves and surfaces, geodesics, and manifolds. The middle third covers special relativity, simultaneity, Lorentz geometry, and spacetime diagrams. The final third covers general relativity, Einstein's field equations, the Schwarzschild solution, the precession of orbits and the bending of light. The course maintains a high level of mathematical integrity, while still avoiding such complicated topics as tensor calculus. Content and course strategy, along with ideas for offering the course as an internet class, will be presented.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.etsu.edu/math/gardner/aas/relat.htm. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: gardnerr@etsu.edu

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