General relativity: gravitation and curvature of space-time


Event details

Date and time 05.07.2021 09.07.2021  
Speaker Dr Nicolas Michel accompagné d'étudiants de l’EPFL
Category Sciences Activities for Youth

This Summer School is offered jointly by EPFL’s Education Outreach Department and the Swiss Study Foundation from July 5-9, 2021.

Is Newton’s apple attracted to the Earth by a force or does it follow a “straight line” in the space-time curved by the Earth? How can a photon, which has no mass, be deflected by gravitation? And why do objects of different masses fall at the same speed?

In this context, how did Galileo’s discoveries guide Einstein to the theory of special relativity, and then to the theory of general relativity? Does the latter encompass the former? And in what cases are these theories applicable?

These are all questions that the Summer School participants will try to answer during one week. From Newton’s first law of motion to special relativity, and then from Newton’s second law of motion to general relativity, the high school students will follow the footsteps that led to discoveries at the basis of today’s work on the origin of the Universe, gravitational waves, and black holes. In order to explain the conceptual trajectory that will lead us from Galileo-Newton space-time to the space-time of special relativity and then general relativity, the Summer school will very much rely on mathematics, which are at the very heart of our modern understanding of physics. 

Online registration before 15.05.2021

Practical information

  • General public
  • Registration required


  • Service de promotion de l'éducation (SPE), Section de physique de l'EPFL et Fondation suisse d'études