Teaching Einsteinian Physics in Schools
An Essential Guide for Teachers in Training and Practice
Magdalena Kersting and David Blair
In our world today, scientists and technologists speak one language of reality. Everyone else, whether they be prime ministers, lawyers, or primary school teachers speak an outdated Newtonian language of reality.
While Newton saw time and space as rigid and absolute, Einstein showed that time is relative – it depends on height and velocity – and that space can stretch and distort. The modern Einsteinian perspective represents a significant paradigm shift compared with the Newtonian paradigm that underpins most of the school education today. Research has shown that young learners quickly access and accept Einsteinian concepts and the modern language of reality. Students enjoy learning about curved space, photons, gravitational waves, and time dilation; often, they ask for more!
A consistent education within the Einsteinian paradigm requires rethinking of science education across the entire school curriculum, and this is now attracting attention around the world. This book brings together a coherent set of chapters written by leading experts in the field of Einsteinian physics education. The book begins by exploring the fundamental concepts of space, time, light, and gravity and how teachers can introduce these topics at an early age. A radical change in the curriculum requires new learning instruments and innovative instructional approaches. Throughout the book, the authors emphasise and discuss evidence-based approaches to Einsteinian concepts, including computer- based tools, geometrical methods, models and analogies, and simplified mathematical treatments.
Teaching Einsteinian Physics in Schools is designed as a resource for teacher education students, primary and secondary science teachers, and for anyone interested in a scientifically accurate description of physical reality at a level appropriate for school education.
Uncovering Einstein’s New Universe
From Wallal to Gravitational Wave Astronomy
David Blair, Ron Burman, and Paul Davies
Einstein gave us a vision of a new universe in which time and space are warped and rippling in response to everything else in the universe. Vast bursts of energy in the form of ripples of pure and empty space are passing through us at light speed, carrying messages about a dying universe and about the places where space, time and matter all cease to exist.
It took a century of struggle to understand Einstein’s prophesy. Einstein doubted his predictions, and eventually, it took 1000 physicists to detect his greatest prophecy of all, gravitational waves.
The definitive proof of Einstein’s new universe began with donkey trains and sailing ships at Wallal in 1922. A century of struggle by an array of eccentric and determined scientists brought us to the era of gravitational wave astronomy where our detectors, like bionic ears, have given us a brand new sense, an ability to hear across the vast scale of the universe.
This book tells the international story from an Australian perspective, from the Wallal Expedition, instigated by Alexander Ross of the University of Western Australia, to the Australia-wide team that participated in the discovery of gravitational waves and continues to lead national efforts in gravitational wave discovery.
By David Blair
This book contains a compilation of most of our plays and songs as well as additional background information and historical context. A physical copy of this book can be purchased via special request (please Contact Us directly if you are interested).