AJP 2016 Theme Issue Call for Papers

The American Journal of Physics (AJP) invites you to submit papers for a special theme issue focused on Relativity and Gravitation: Contemporary Research and Teaching of Einstein's Physics. 

Albert Einstein published his first paper on gravitation and general relativity 100 years ago; ten years earlier he had introduced special relativity. The teaching and educational research related to these topics continue to expand both our understanding of nature and our knowledge about how we can teach them to a broad spectrum of students and the general public. Applications and technologies, such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) of navigational satellites, have shown that concepts which were thought to be only of academic interest have far reaching consequences that affect and influence the science community, the education of future scientists and engineers,and the general population. As a result, Physics Education Researchers have focused some attention on the teaching and learning of relativity (special and general) and gravitation.

We wish to publish papers from introductory to advanced levels that describe advances in the fields of relativity and gravitation and highlight how these fields both excite students and promote a deep understanding of these concepts. Papers describing new laboratory experiments related to gravity and relativity are particularly welcome. In addition, we seek papers that: 1) focus on teaching relativity and gravity to undergraduate students, 2) research how students at any level come to understand these topic, 3) critically analyze and reflect on what are the most important ideas to teach to students—both those who will become specialists in relativity or a related field and those who will not—and report and evaluate the use of contemporary technology in teaching and learning of gravitation and relativity.

Our invitation is a challenge:

  • to physicists to describe discoveries, technologies, and experiments that excite students and emphasize the physics content of relativity in teaching at all levels;
  • to teachers of physics to develop new laboratories, visualizations, and curricula by infusing them with relativity-related topics;
  • to physics education researchers and teachers of physics to reflect on: the type of content that is appropriate and motivational for students at all levels and the types of resources that exist for teaching gravitation and relativity (e.g. textbooks, labs, assessment tools,etc.). 

This theme issue will be published in the spring of 2016. The deadline for the submission of articles is August 15, 2015; papers submitted after this date will continue to receive consideration if time permits. Manuscripts should be submitted in the usual way with your interest in being considered for the theme issue specified in a cover letter. Contact the guest editors Dean Zollman(dzollman@phys.ksu.edu) or Duncan Brown (dabrown@syr.edu) with any questions, comments,or suggestions about the AJP theme issue.Relativity and Gravitation: Contemporary Research and Teaching of Einstein's Physics will be the topic of the next Gordon Research Conference on Physics Research and Education to be held June 5-10, 2016 at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI. The co-chairs are Duncan Brown, Syracuse University, and Dean Zollman, Kansas State University;the vice chairs are Nancy Ruzycki, University of Florida, and Dawn C. Meredith, University of New Hampshire