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History of Science

Einstein’s Equivalence Principle: Expanding Our View on Gravity

October 20, 2019

The special theory of relativity, brilliant as it was, still had some holes to account for after its initial conception. Einstein’s equivalence principle would help to address these issues, though the equations would take years to refine. Discover how Einstein’s findings challenged conventional beliefs about the nature of gravity as well as geometry. […]

earth's gravity bends space around it

Einstein’s Grand Achievement: A General Theory of Relativity

July 18, 2019

In his quest to develop a general theory of relativity, Einstein spent many years working to resolve inconsistent and, at times, incorrect math. Another mathematician, David Hilbert, was also working toward solving the equations. So, the year of 1915 became a race to see who would be the first to complete the greatest and most celebrated theory in the history of physics. […]

Albert Einstein

From Special to General Relativity

July 18, 2019

Take a look at what was incomplete about the special theory of relativity, and what conceptual elements Einstein used to formulate his general theory of relativity. […]

Photograph of handwritten forumula for relativity surrounded by equations

Explaining Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity

July 18, 2019

Einstein’s theory of special relativity clarified a lot of confusion circulating in the scientific community about the nature of light waves. This theory is still quite difficult to wrap your head around, though. We’ll use some mind-boggling, yet concrete, examples to illuminate this theory that forever changed our understanding of space and time. […]

The universe within. Silhouette of a man inside the universe, physical and mathematical formulas.

How Do We Measure the Speed of Light?

July 18, 2019

Before Einstein introduced his theory of special relativity, the science community was perplexed about how to measure the speed of light. Einstein proposed that light waves did not behave like sound or water, and he was right. Discover how he came up with a solution to this puzzling phenomenon. […]


How Einstein Challenged Newtonian Physics

July 18, 2019

For centuries, Newtonian physics was the dominant worldview. However, Einstein shook up the scientific community with his groundbreaking papers on light quanta; atoms; and, eventually, his special theory of relativity. […]

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The Great Courses Blog

The Great Courses Professors Remember Stephen Hawking

April 2, 2018

On Wednesday, March 14 2018, the world lost physicist, author, and director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge, Stephen Hawking.

We reached out to a handful of our professors for their thoughts on the man that forever changed our understanding of the physical universe. […]

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