The physics of time

Course Dates: 29/11/20 - 06/12/20
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online
Radmila Topalovic

We'll explore the concept of time in everyday life, using the theories of special and general relativity. We'll investigate its nature in the quantum world zooming out to the large scale Universe.

Radmila Topalovic holds a degree in Physics with Astrophysics and a PhD in Astrochemistry. She has written articles for The Guardian Starwatch column and The Mercury Night Sky column, and is a co-author of Stargazing: A beginner's guide to astronomy. Radmila was an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, she is currently Programme Leader for Science and Engineering at Kaplan International College.

This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.


What is the course about?

We will explore the concept of time in everyday life, and how it changes via the theories of special and general relativity. We will look at real life examples of time dilation and how it must be accounted for. We will investigate the nature of time in the quantum world from the particle perspective and we will discover the future of the Universe via the fundamental law of entropy.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

• History of timekeeping (sundials to atomic clocks) – links to the Earth, Sun and Moon.
• Time dilation (special relativity) and examples
• Gravitational time dilation (general relativity) and examples
• The nature of time for electrons and photons
• Planck time and the Big Bang
• The second law of thermodynamics and the fate of the Universe.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• describe how we keep track of time and why our calendar is the way it is
• explain the concept of time dilation and its relevance to everyday life
• explain how time slows down in a gravitational field
• describe the arrow of time from the perspective of elementary particles
• State the Planck time and it’s connection to the Big Bang
• State the second law of thermodynamics and explain how it governs the evolution of the Universe.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No previous knowledge is required. However an enthusiasm for learning and an open and critical mind will enhance your enjoyment and benefit from this course.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Lecture - all information will be supplied via Powerpoint slides which will be made available for download. Be prepared to contribute to class discussion and group work.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no other costs but you will require a notepad and pen if you wish to take notes.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

HS160 Physics the fundamental science
HS155 Introduction to quantum physics
HS003 Exploring the quantum world
HS168 Physics of life
HS212 Astrophysics day.


Customer Reviews 9 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

This course has fascinating content and is entertainingly and informatively presented by an excellent tutor who has a talent for conveying difficult concepts in a way the layperson can relate to
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 02/12/2019)
Very interesting and well presented
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 01/12/2019)
A long day but interesting
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 26/07/2019)
Go for it. Covers a great deal of ground yet keeps it simple.
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Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 22/07/2019)
Reading about the topic to some extent will help you get more out of it but the quality of teaching means this isn't necessary. Interesting and thought provoking.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 20/07/2019)
Educational course helping to explain the basics of time and relativity.
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Review by Anoop Sharma / (Posted on 06/12/2018)
If you're fascinated by space and time this course is great, whatever your level of scientific knowledge.
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 06/12/2018)
This is an excellent course which would suit anyone but which those with a basic understanding of physics would get the most from
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 03/12/2018)
A good overview of the nature of time
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 02/12/2018)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: HS136

Sun, day, 29 Nov - 06 Dec '20

Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)

Full fee: £59.00
Senior fee: £47.00
Concession: £30.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

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