Here you can find an interview that we conducted with Kaan about his minor in Einstein's physics!
Which minor did you do?
Einstein’s Physics: Space Time and Parallel Worlds (1a)
What made you choose this minor?
I was always fascinated by space and sci-fi, I even considered choosing astronomy as a major but figured it would too much calculus. So this was a perfect opportunity to explore a topic I had an interest in without being burdened by hard mathematics and formulas!
What were the subjects you had in your minor?
You follow three courses in tandem, firstly Einstein’s Universe, which I enjoyed the most. Here you explore the physics that Einstein discovered. The theory of relativity and special relativity especially. The best of this was learning about the dilation of space and time, understandable with minimum physics knowledge. In my year we were graded by weekly assignments and a final exam.
The second course is The Quantum World. This was probably the most difficult course, here you explore the behaviour of light, as a particle and a wave simultaneously. This was purely theory and was very cool once you wrap your mind around it. In my year we were graded by a weekly quiz on the textbook chapters, and a final exam.
Lastly there is Building Blocks of Matter. Here you explore the world of the smallest particles and the history of their discovery. You learn about the structure of atoms, but also smaller particles than that such as quarks and you can even explore string theory in the research paper part! In my year we were graded on a final exam and an essay solo or in pairs.
What was your hardest experience during the minor course?
The quantum world weekly exams were quite tough, but fair. Especially in the beginning it can feel as if you don’t have a clue, but as long as you follow the course properly you should be able to pass everything fine!
What was the best experience during the minor course?
I loved learning about the stretching of time and space! They discuss the basic theory and formulae that time dilution is based upon, so think of the scene from ‘Interstellar’ where everybody aged 20 years and the main characters stayed the same age. This course gives you an easy-to-follow explanation of these sci fi tropes!
Did the course meet your expectations? Yes, why/ No, why not
It did, I expected to learn about the basis of physics in more theoretical terms rather than mathematically. This was important as a lot of people are interested in the subject and theory but can’t really deal with the maths involved. This course did have some maths but that should not intimidate you as everybody passed it!
Which other minor did you consider?
I was also very interested in Neuroscience or arts culture and media (don’t think you can still pick this one)
Do you think that your minor will be useful for your future career?
Yes, why / No, why not
On the surface level there is not a lot linking astronomy and IR, though it offers you vital information about how the world is built up, and it may even be useful if you want to do research into e.g. space policy!
What would you say to future IRIO students who consider this minor?
If you have an interest in physics or if you’re fascinated by sci-fi movies, do consider this minor! Even though it may not be as relevant of a choice as e.g. sustainability, it offers you an amazing chance to peek over to the science faculty and learn about something you would otherwise never have learned! Besides I made good friends here and it is a lot of fun!
Ratings: Rate from 1 to 10
Was the minor doable? (1 very hard <-->10 very easy)
4, probably cannot bullshit your way through, but it is very doable if you participate and put in some effort
Was the workload less/the same/or more than the IRIO programme? (1 much less workload <--> a lot more workload)
5, about the same, you are expected to read chapters and also write a research paper. But again, very doable for the average student
How much would you recommend doing this minor? (1 not at all <--> 10 100% yes)
If you are interested in the topic, a 9!
Even if you aren’t it is good information to know about, so even then a 7!