Physics students learn relativity theory at the Albert Einstein Institute

The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Golm offers a comprehensive introduction to the theory of relativity

February 27, 2002
Holiday course from 4 to 15 March 2002; Photo session on 4 March, 10.30 a.m. in the foyer of the Central Building on the Max Planck Campus, Am Mühlenberg 1, 14476 Golm

“While American and English universities attribute great importance to the theory of relativity, this is unfortunately not the case at German universities. This is why staff members of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics are now conducting a corresponding holiday course for the fourth time together with the University of Potsdam,” says Prof. Bernd Schmidt, the head of the holiday course.

Word has got around about the quality of the course at the world's only institute that unites all research areas of relativity theory under one roof. “The prerequisite for participation in the holiday course is a passed intermediate diploma,” says Schmidt. “We can admit 50 students, of whom about half always come from the Berlin-Potsdam region. That's our full capacity.”

A compact course introduces students to the basic concepts and mathematical principles of relativity. In addition, annually changing special courses provide insights into astrophysical and cosmological topics or quantum gravity. This year, the numerical theory of relativity is presented, which was used at the institute to simulate the merger of two black holes, for example.

For a specific preparation of the participants, this year for the first time, scripts on differential geometry, mechanics and gravitation were put on the Internet.

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