Dr. Rolf Schlichenmaier, Astrophysicist

Course taught: The Earth in the Universe

What motivates you to teach in the EES major at UCF?

I teach the course “The earth in the Universe”. As an astronomer I want to share the knowledge of how physicists and cosmologists envisage our universe and how our planet Earth is embedded in it. I consider this to be essential philosophical knowledge, and see it as a unique chance to enlighten students. My ambition is not to elaborate on delicate physical problems, but to give an overall understanding of ‘how the world goes round’. How did our view of the world evolve in time, and what makes cosmologists convinced today that it all started with a Big Bang? How did the universe evolve and what was needed to create the Solar System? Physics and Astrophysics have long separated from the field of philosophy, but I want to stress the philosophical aspects of Astrophysics and give insights into how modern astrophysics explains the universe that we are embedded in.

Briefly describe the course you teach at UCF.

It is essential to grasp how our planet Earth is embedded in the universe. This course is about astronomical distances and how to measure them. It’s about matter and radiation in the universe and about the forces that act. About how the chemical elements form in the Big Bang as well as during the evolution of stars. It’s about what we understand, and about our limits of understanding.
Link to website: click here.



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