ESP Biography

CHARLIE PAYNE, Senior at the University of Waterloo

Major: Mathematical Physics

College/Employer: Harvard

Year of Graduation: 2014

Picture of Charlie Payne

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I am currently a senior at the University of Waterloo in Canada, majoring in mathematical physics with a minor in pure math. This summer I have a research internship from May to August at Harvard. The program I'm in is called co-op, as opposed to regular, in which I have five required 4-month work placements. My past work placements have been at: TRIUMF in Vancouver, LAS in Switzerland, DRAO in Pentiction, and the University of Waterloo for an NSERC USRA.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S7291: Gravity: from Principles to Black-holes in HSSP Summer 2013 (Jul. 07, 2013)
General Relativity is Einstein's theory of gravity, something one rarely has an introduction to in high school, and instead might see in their senior year of undergraduate physics. Its results are fascinating, and its mathematics are advanced. However, the principles from which it can be derived are elegant and inspiring. In this course, I will attempt to make General Relativity attainable for your young mind, without the use of senior-level university mathematics. Our goal is to build your qualitative intuition and get you excited about theoretical physics. We will start with a review of classical gravity theory, explain its faults, then discover Einstein's insights, and detail the extraordinary predictions of General Relativity. Are you prepared to face: gravitational lensing, spacetime curvature, time dilation, black-holes, and cosmology? With time permitting, we will touch on some the modern problems with General Relativity, such as its incompatibility with Quantum Mechanics and the black-hole information paradox. The tentative course schedule is: 1) old gravity theory and a historical overview of Einstein 2) the equivalence principle and the gravitational bending of light 3) spacetime, curvature, and the field equations 4) gravitational time dilation 5) black-holes 6) cosmology and the big bang theory 7) additional topics: quantum gravity, the information paradox