Einstein's general theory of relativity challenges our classical understanding of gravity, space, and time. New technologies offer modern ways of teaching these abstract relativistic concepts.
The resources make innovative use of interactive and collaborative modes of learning and foster qualitative understanding of key concepts in general relativity.
The design of the learning environment is a result of iterative class room trials in collaboration with physics teachers to guarantee an authentic learning experience for students.
Most models of general relativity, such as the popular rubber sheet model, only use spatial curvature to explain gravity. However, gravitational phenomena stem from deformations both in space and time. We have developed an interactive warped-time model that acts as a convenient supplement to the rubber sheet model and that builds on a relativistic generalisation of Newton's first law. We use Einstein's free fall thought experiment and a classical height-time diagram to explain how warped time gives rise to gravity. Find instructions on how to use the model here.
Curved space and warped time?!
Many relativistic concepts can seem confusing at first. Together with a physics teacher and two experts in modern physics, I have identified three
particlulary confusing issues in general relativity. We explain the conceptually tricky concepts and present instructional strategies that are suitable at the secondary school level. By
combining pedagogical and content-specific perspectives, we hope we can support teachers in deepening their knowledge of relativistic phenomena and teaching these topics in the classroom,
To familiarise teachers with our digital learning resources, I hold professional development workshops. Please get in touch to inquire about upcoming workshops.
Have you used our learning environment in your class room? Please let me know what you think. I would love to hear about your experiences with our resources!