Philosophy for our times

1000+ debates from the world's leading thinkers

more
How the Graviton gets in

Massive Gravity

Claudia de Rham

What is a graviton, and how might giving it mass fix age-old problems in physics? Award-winning theoretical physicist Claudia de Rham outlines her new theory of gravity.

Instructor
  • claudia de rham headshot 250x375.jpg 445x564 q85
    Claudia de Rham

    Claudia de Rham is a Swiss theoretical physicist working at the interface of gravity, cosmology and particle physics.

Categories

About the Course

 

The standard model of physics says that gravity is a constant and universal force, pulling everything together. Yet the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate. In General Relativity this problem is fixed by dark matter - but there may be another answer.

In this course, award-winning theoretical physicist Claudia de Rham concisely outlines the history of gravity and general relativity, before putting forward a theory that could fix some of General Relativity’s seemingly unfixable problems.

 

By the end of the course, you will have learned:

  • What Minkowski Coordinates are, and how they relate to four-dimensional geometry
  • About the planet Vulcan, and how its non-existence displayed the limitations of Newtonian physics
  • Why time moves differently in different parts of space
  • Why Einstein got in a dispute trying to disprove his own theory
  • What a graviton is, and why we can't detect it
  • How gravitational waves can allow us access to the early universe
  • How a radical new theory of gravity could eliminate the need for dark matter

 


As part of the course, there are in-video quiz questions to consolidate your learning, and discussion boards to have your say.

IAI Academy courses are designed to be challenging but accessible to the interested student. No specialist knowledge is required.

About the Instructor

  • Claudia de Rham

    Claudia de Rham is a Swiss theoretical physicist working at the interface of gravity, cosmology and particle physics. She is based at Imperial College London. She was one of the UK finalists in the Physical Sciences and Engineering category of the Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists in 2018 for revitalizing the theory of massive gravity, and won the award in 2020. 

Course Syllabus

  • Part One: From Newton to Einstein
    From Newton to Einstein, gravity has fascinated and bewildered physicists. Claudia takes us through a history of gravity and looks at the implications of Einstein's General Relativity.
  • Part Two: Gravity and the Particle Within
    Does gravity act at the speed of light? What is a graviton, and what does it do? Claudia draws on her groundbreaking research to reveal how gravity is starting to be understood.