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    Vassar College
  Sep 26, 2017
Catalogue 2017-2018
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STS 105 - 20th Century Revolutions in Physics

1 unit(s)
(Same as PHYS 105 ) Lord Kelvin, one of the most distinguished physicists of the 19th century, is famous for his 1900 proclamation: “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now.” In the fall of that same year Max Planck provided the spark that would become the revolutionary fire from which a new physics was born. The multiple revolutions in physics that proceeded Kelvin’s proclamation are the subject of this class. We examine the developments of Quantum Theory, Special and General Theories of Relativity, and Modern Cosmology studying each in its proper historical context. From both primary and secondary sources we learn the basic concepts that became the fabric of today’s physics. Along the way, we are sure to unearth both the undeniable impacts these discoveries have had on society and the contingency surrounding the nature of these scientific revolutions. José Perillán.

Not offered in 2017/18.

Two 75-minute periods.

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