ONLINE: This course will consist of four topics: 1) When Einstein changed the world: The story of 1905, Einstein’s incredible year; 2) The origin of the elements, and why we are, in fact, made of stardust; 3) Einstein’s biggest blunder: The story of the cosmological constant; and 4) Dark matter and dark energy: Unknown forces controlling the universe. The lectures are mainly stand-alone, and no formal training in physics or astronomy is assumed. Students will learn about astrophysics while getting a glimpse of some of the most interesting and perplexing topics facing astrophysics today. The recommended books are not essential for the course but provide good background information. | Lecture + Q&A.
Max enrollment: 50.
Professor Don Ellison obtained a Ph.D. in physics in 1982 from The Catholic University of America. He has been on the physics faculty of NC State University since 1987 and emeritus since 2013. Before that he was a researcher at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, the University of Maryland, and the Service d’Astrophysique, CEA, France. He has taught and done research on the theory of cosmic rays, particle acceleration in high-energy astrophysics and the modeling of supernova remnants.