Independent Studies: Special & General relativity

Caroline Goldenberg

On Monday, Luca Koval (12) presented his independent study on special and general relativity.
Koval discussed special relativity, which involves how frames of reference like velocity and altitude affect time and general relativity, gravity’s effect on the energy and location of objects.
This trimester, Koval explored the math and applications of special and general relativity, he said.
To begin his presentation, Koval asked attendees to write whatever came to mind when he mentioned the topic. Answers included object comparison and Einstein.
“He taught information by applying it to real world situations …the most compelling part of science for me,” Zoe Mavrides (12) said.
Benjamin Parker (12) learned that general relativity actually applies to the functioning of GPS’s, he said.
Koval began the project in the summer from ideas he’s been interested in for years, which “allowed [him] to learn more about those subjects, especially when they aren’t taught much in school,” he said.
Math teacher Charles Garcia helped Koval understand the math involved, Koval said.
Koval learned how to “communicate ideas effectively when they are extremely technical,” and will study subjects connecting to relativity in the next trimesters, he said.