American Association of Physics Teachers  

 James Hartle's TALK  The Case for GR for Undergrads

from the AAPT Topical Workshop:
Teaching General Relativity to Undergraduates
Syracuse University, July 20-21, 2006

James Hartle

Five web pages present Hartle's talk. Click on the indicated subject to go to the relevant page.

pg. 1 the case for GR for undergrads

pg. 2 two ways to present GR: logical order, physics first

pg. 3 advantages of physics first; a flow chart guide to the background, tools, and concepts needed to teach about:

  1. Gravitational Waves
  2. Black Holes  and
pg. 4
  3. Cosmology

and should you use frames or not.

pg. 5 presents some important considerations for a successful course:

A list of the colleges and universities that have adopted his text shows how widely GR is now being taught. 




Here Hartle distinguishes between two approaches for teaching GR: the logical approach and
the 'physics first' approach.

On the next page he argues that 'physics first' is pedagogically better.

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