UNT Undergraduate Mathematics Colloquium Presents Dean Quintanilla | College of Science
April 4, 2024

UNT Undergraduate Mathematics Colloquium Presents Dean Quintanilla

Confirming Einstein's Theory of General Relativity with Calculus

Mercury's orbit around the Sun is not a perfect ellipse but a spiral that slowly precesses by 574 seconds of arc per century. In the 19th century, the discrepancy between observation and prediction (531 seconds of arc per century) was the outstanding unresolved difficulty with Newtonian physics. In 1915, this discrepancy of 43 seconds was resolved by Einstein's general theory of relativity. In this talk, by creatively using techniques taught in calculus and precalculus, we will derive and solve the differential equations that predict the precession in a planet's orbit.

John Quintanilla is the Dean of the College of Science and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor. For 28 years, his students have called him "Dr. Q." Prior to becoming Dean, he was Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, a faculty undergraduate advisor for the Math Department, and a founding co-director of Teach North Texas, UNT's program for preparing and supporting secondary teachers of mathematics and science. He also developed UNT's certificate in actuarial science. Both his weekly blog, meangreenmath.com, and his YouTube page have had over 300,000 page views.

After the talk, undergraduate and high school students are welcome to attend the UNT Math 2024 Annual Integration Bee at 3:00pm in GAB 105.