Explorations in Physics: Special Relativity

II - July 20–August 6, 2021
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 9:10 –11:00 a.m. and 1:10–4:00 p.m.
Yury Deshko

Algebra and trigonometry as well as a year of physics are required. Most importantly, students should have inquiring minds and be enthusiastic about working independently on challenging quantitative problems.

“[I gained] a solid understanding of special relativity and problem-solving skills that can be applied to any future scientific endeavors.”  – Anubha M. | Noida, India

Course Description

This course offers an intensive exploration of one of the fundamental principle of physics –relativity. Both Galilean and special relativity are discussed, with an emphasis on the latter. Using algebra and space-time diagrams, students arrive at Lorentz transformations and explore their most significant consequences.

Through examples, exercises, and problems, participants acquire an understanding of one of the most fundamental theories of modern physics. They discover how special relativity changes our conceptions of time and length measurements. We also examine the experimental basis for Einstein’s theory of special relativity and look at how general relativity helps us to understand concepts such as black holes, gravitational waves, and the evolution of the universe. In addition, students take part in developing a computer game simulating relativistic effects of high-speed intergalactic travel.

In the process of exploring these challenging topics, course participants expand their capacity for creative problem solving and their ability to think critically and independently.



Yury Deshko

Yury Deshko holds a master’s in theoretical physics (with a focus on general relativity) from Belarus State University and a doctorate in physics from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). His research at CUNY focused on experimental spectroscopy and diamond photonics. He served as a research associate at City College until joining the semiconductor company Elenion Technologies as a photonics engineer.

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.