‘Dr. Dave’ Shares Weird World of General Relativity With Pinon Students

Dr. Dave (Schiferl) and students use crack-the-whip (in slow motion) to demonstrate how moons too close to Saturn can disintegrate to form the rings. Courtesy photo

PAC 8 News:

“Dr. Dave” Schiferl explored the “Wonderful, Weird World of General Relativity” with teachers and students at Pinon Elementary School Wednesday, Jan. 15.

The retired Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist and president of the PAC 8 Board of Directors put together the presentation, geared toward elementary school students.

“There are all sorts of weird, beautiful and dangerous things in the world of general relativity ─ black holes, stars bending light, gravitational lenses, tidal forces, wormholes and more,” Schiferl said.

Acceleration is the key concept in his demonstration, Schiferl said. “The concept of acceleration, whether by rockets or gravity, is simple but not easy. Once the kids get the idea, they start to see what incredible accelerations can do.”  

Dr. Dave applauded the enthusiastic encouragement of Pinon Elementary School Principal Jill Gonzales. The presentation was recorded by PAC 8 and Schiferl will edit it and make it available to Pinon School. Schiferl plans on creating more science presentations in the near future.