SAS Honors Seminar "Einstein"
Fall 2012


HW Assignments are due at 12 noon on Monday of the week indicated (except as noted). Submissions must be made electronically through sakai (go to the assignments page).

Readings should be completed before class on Monday, in order to partake fully in seminar discussion and activities.

Week of Reading Assignment HW Assignment
Sept 3 None None
Sept 10 Physics chapter from
"The Development of the Sciences" (Under "Resources" on sakai)
"The World as I See It" (p. 8, "Ideas & Opinions")
Assignment 1
Sept 17 Astronomy chapter from
"The Development of the Sciences" (Under "Resources" on sakai)
"Physics and Reality" (pp. 290-303, "Ideas & Opinions")
"The Mechanics of Newton..." (pp. 253-261, "Ideas & Opinions")
Assignment 2
Sept 24 Chapters 1-5 from "Relativity"
"Dialogues Concerning Two Chief World Systems" (pp. 173-175 in left panel)
Michelson-Morley Experiment: Original scientific paper
Assignment 3
Oct 1 Chapters 6-12 from "Relativity"
"Profiles: Scientist and Mob Idol" from "The New Yorker" Dec 1933 (Under "Resources" on sakai)
Assignment 4
Oct 8 Chapters 13-17 from "Relativity"
"E=MC^2" (pp. 337-341, "Ideas & Opinions")
Article from the NY Times "U.S. Says Iran Could Expedite Nuclear Bomb"
Assignment 5
Outline for paper on an aspect of Einstein's life due
Oct 15 Chapters 18-23 from "Relativity"
"Atomic Peace or War?" (pp. 118-131, "Ideas & Opinions")
Assignment 6
Oct 22 Chapters 24-29 from "Relativity"
"Exchange of Letters...Russian Academy" (pp. 134-146, "Ideas & Opinions")
First draft of midterm paper due through sakai
Oct 29 Review Chapters 18-29 from "Relativity"
Read Appendix III (Exp. Conf. of GR) from "Relativity"
Assignment 7
Final draft of midterm paper through sakai
Nov 5 Classes cancelled No assignment
Nov 12 (Cover material from Oct 29 when classes were cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy) No assignment
Nov 19 Chapters 30-32 and Appendix 4 from "Relativity"
"Einstein: How I Created the Theory of Relativity" (Under "Resources" on sakai)
"Exchange of Letters...Russian Academy" (pp. 134-146, "Ideas & Opinions")
Assignment 8
Outline and reading list for final paper due
Nov 26 Pages 1-11 of "An Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology" (Under "Resources" on sakai)
"Determination of the Deflection of Light...Total Eclipse of May 29, 1919" (Under "Resources" on sakai)
NY Times news report on solar eclipse expedition
Assignment 9
Dec 3 Finish "An Introduction to Galaxies and Cosmology" (Under "Resources" on sakai)
"A Relation between Distance and Radial Velocity among Extra-Galactic Nebulae" (under Resources on Sakai)
Assignment 10
First draft of final paper due
Dec 10 (1) "Hubbles Diagram and Cosmic Expansion"
(2) "The Cosmic Symphony"
(3) "Primordial Deuterium and the Big Bang"
Assignment 11
Dec 21 ...
Final version of Final paper due (absolute deadline)

The address of this page is

Please send any comments to Jack Hughes, jph "at"

Revised September 28, 2012