Gordon Research Conference

Relativity and Gravitation: Contemporary Research and Teaching of Einstein’s Physics

Meeting website

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by May 8, 2016.

Albert Einstein published his first paper on gravitation and general relativity 100 years ago. Ten years earlier he had introduced special relativity. Physics, 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 GPS, 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. Relativity is about to be confronted by new experimental tests as the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) explores the physics of black holes and neutron stars. As a result, Physics Education Researchers have focused some attention on the teaching and learning of relativity (special and general) and gravitation.

The presentations and posters at this conference will describe advances in the fields of relativity, gravitation and educational research on the teaching and learning of these topics. They will also highlight how these fields both excite students and promote a deep understanding of these concepts. Discussions describing new laboratory experiments related to gravity and relativity are particularly welcome. In addition, we seek participants who can discuss:

  1. Teaching relativity and gravity to introductory-level students
  2. Research how students at any level come to understand these topics
  3. Critical analysis and reflection 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
  4. Evaluation of the use of contemporary technology in teaching and learning of gravitation and relativity