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Einstein's Relativity

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With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Thursday, December 02, 2010

Dr. Brainerd discusses some of the fascinating, and perhaps unsettling, consequences of Einstein's theories of Special Relativity and General Relativity. How do two observers, one moving with respect to the other, experience different perceptions of time and distance? How does gravity affect time and space? Is time travel possible?

Professor Tereasa Brainerd is the associate chair of the Boston University Astronomy Department and the director of the BU Institute for Astrophysical Research. She received her PhD in Astronomy from Ohio State University in 1992, where her research focused on the use of computer simulations to constrain the growth of dark matter structure in the universe. Professor Brainerd did postdoctoral work at Caltech from 1992 to 1994 and at Los Alamos National Lab from 1994 to 1995. She joined the astronomy department of Boston University in 1995. She is best known for her work on weak gravitational lensing, faint galaxy clustering, and the locations of satellite galaxies relative to their hosts. Her most recent work involves measuring the degree to which galaxies are intrinsically aligned with each other over large scales in the universe.