STEM Lessons for College Students

What is Relativity? An Introduction to Einstein’s Theory with Dr. Jeffrey Bennett

The year 2015 marks an important milestone in the history of physics: the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity (published November 25, 1915), which redefined human understanding of space, time, and gravity. The Einstein Centenary is being celebrated as the International Year of Light 2015, and to help build public understanding of relativity and its impact on our lives, astrophysicist/educator Dr. Jeffrey Bennett has embarked on a yearlong “relativity tour.” The tour formally opened with three sold-out shows at Fiske Planetarium in Boulder. This video shows Dr. Bennett’s presentation at Fiske from March 6, 2015.

Discussing the goals of his tour, Dr. Bennett says, “Most people assume that Einstein’s theory of relativity is beyond their comprehension, so they find it empowering to realize that it’s actually based upon simple ideas that anyone can understand. Moreover, the ideas of relativity change the way we view ourselves as human beings in a vast universe, so learning these ideas opens your mind in new and unexpected ways. I’ve chosen to embark on the tour during this 100th anniversary of general relativity, because I believe it’s time to take Einstein’s ideas out of the realm of obscure science and into the realm of general public consciousness.”

Dr. Bennett’s tour presentations are based on his book What is Relativity? An Intuitive Introduction to Einstein’s Ideas and Why They Matter (Columbia University Press, 2014).

If you would like to book Dr. Bennett for a “relativity tour” event (e.g., at your college, science museum, or theater), please contact him directly; see the links at

The tour is sponsored by Big Kid Science, Columbia University Press, Fiske Planetarium, and Story Time From Space.

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