Unsung Heroes of the Universe

OSH 815 / Non Credit
Course taught in: English

Course Description:  The story of six individuals who, despite extraordinary achievements in quantum mechanics, general relativity, astronomy, cosmology, and space exploration, remain, for the most part, unknown to the general public.  Come explore their remarkable lives and extraordinary scientific breakthroughs.  Presented in everyday language all can understand.


Week 1

Henrietta Swan Leavitt: Hired as an unpaid volunteer to catalogue star images at Harvard Observatory.  Her ground-breaking discovery was the stepping stone to the 20th century cosmology revolution.

Week 2

Alexander Friedmann: Working alone in Stalin’s Russia.  This brilliant mathematician extended Einstein’s work to show our cosmos could have begun in a singularity -an infinitesimally small, infinitely dense point containing the entire universe.

Week 3

George Lemaitre: A Catholic priest who discovered the expansion of the universe two years before Edwin Hubble.  Monsignor Lemaitre also proposed our cosmos began with a “primeval atom” -what we now call the big bang.

Week 4

 Pascual Jordan: This unheralded physicist invented quantum field theory, the most accurate and strangest theory in the history of science.

Week 5

Fritz Zwicky: This cantankerous astronomer discovered dark matter, supernovae, neutron starts, galactic cosmic rays, and galaxy clusters.

Week 6

Joseph Kittinger: In an act of courage beyond all sanity, “try anything” Joe became the first human in space.


Instructor:  Mr. Mark Egdall



This course is available as part of the following:

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Courses
These courses and programs are available at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Membership is required. Our classes take place in Lau Founders Hall, 1550 Brescia Ave., Coral Gables, FL 33146 unless otherwise noted below.

OLLI 2019-2020 Membership is required to take this course and will be added to your cart upon enrollment. If you already have purchased a membership, you will not be charged for this membership.
OLLI 2019-2020 Membership Added to cart upon enrollment.
Starts: 8/1/2019 Ends: 7/31/2020