Physics 095: Space, Time, Einstein and Relativity
General Information

Lecturer: Dr. Dennis Clougherty
Address: Cook Physical Science Building A516
Telephone: (802) 656-0063
Email: dennis.clougherty(at)
Office Hours T 11-12, W 1-3


Lecture TR2:00-3:20Cook 402

Course Prerequisites

High school algebra and trigonometry

Course Text

Spacetime Physics: An Introduction to Special Relativity, Taylor and Wheeler

Exploring Black Holes: Introduction to General Relativity, Taylor and Wheeler

Optional References

Flatland, E.A.Abbott,
Mr. Tompkins, G. Gamow,
Special Relativity, A.P. French,
(These are available on reserve in the Cook Science Library.)

Relativity Visualized, Epstein, Lewis Carroll. Insight Press, 1985.
Discovering Relativity for Yourself, Lilley, Sam. Cambridge University Press, 1981
The Birth of the Universe, T.X. Thuan
Relativity Simply Explained, M. Gardner
Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy, Kip S. Thorne
The Inflationary Universe, Alan Guth
A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
Time Travel in Einstein's Universe, J. Richard Gott
Faster Than the Speed of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation, Joao Magueijo (Perseus Publishing, Cambridge, MA 2003)
(These might serve as a starting point in finding potential term paper topics. There are bibliographies in many of these texts that lead to additional references.)


There will be approximately a problem set every two weeks. Solutions will be distributed in class. While you are encouraged to discuss problems with your classmates, the written solution that you hand in must be your own work. Please consult the UVM Handbook concerning the policy of academic honesty.

Term Paper

Topics will be suggested during the semester. During the writing process, you may want to take advantage of the UVM Writing Center. Also, a library orientation will take place in Bailey-Howe on Tuesday, October 28 where you will learn about resources that are available to you at UVM.


How to Build a Time Machine, Paul Davies
Movies of colliding black holes
Meet Albert Einstein- Time's Person of the Century
Faster than light?
LIGO to measure gravity waves
New Type of black hole
Time travel according to NOVA
Think Like Einstein
Proof of black hole at galaxy's center
GPS and Relativity
Measuring the speed of light with marshmallows (here's the experiment we did in class on 9/25)
Modern version of Ives-Stilwell experiment provides the most recent evidence of time dilation
The Cosmic Jerk that sped up the expansion of the Universe
Was light faster in the past?
Einstein's Wife on Vermont Public Television
The Elegant Universe on PBS-NOVA October 28 and November 4!
Michio Kaku on time travel

Course Outline