Splash at Northwestern
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Splash at Northwestern: May 25th, 2024!

NU Splash Biography

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College: Northwestern University

Major: Physics

Year of Graduation: 2014

Picture of Daniel Douglas

Brief Biographical Sketch:

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Past Classes

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S77: An Exploration of Eintein's Special and General Relativity in Splash 2011 (Apr. 02, 2011)
The universe; our experiences; the time we feel; our reality. Life appears to be guided by universal rules. Perhaps you have heard the story of the apple falling on Newton's head, leading to one of the great revolutions of human thought: the pursuance of gravity. Well, whether or not such a story is true, Newton's developments led to a paradigm shift in the way people study the world around them. Later, in the early 1900's, a patent clerk named Albert Einstein initiated one of the most impactful revolutions in all of history regarding how humans should view gravity, and their reality; this view is called the special and general theory of relativity. I want you to feel free to come to this lecture, regardless of your background in math or physics, so that we may explore the pleasures of this great theory together. We will discover the fascinating -- and sometimes incredulous -- behavior of light: how its speed appears the same whether you're standing still on Earth or flying at Mach 2 on a jet plane, how it becomes bluer while falling towards Earth (this is NOT why the sky is blue!) and redder while escaping from it, and how it curves in the gravitational field of the Sun, the Earth, and even you! We will explore the special relativistic effects known as time dilation and length contraction, where moving clocks read time slowly and fast-moving space ships become compressed laterally. Finally, we will conclude with an exiting discussion regarding the exotic stellar objects known as black holes and, given the time, much more incredible phenomenon! On behalf of my group, I hope to see many of you there so that we may share our knowledge and learn together!