Elizabethtown College Professor of Physics Mark Stuckey, Professor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences Tim McDevitt, and Professor of Philosophy Michael Silberstein recently received Honorable Mention for their collaborative essay in the Gravity Research Foundation 2021 Awards for Essays on Gravitation.

The three professors have been collaborating since 2005 to bring their backgrounds in philosophy, mathematics, and physics to bear on the mysteries of modern physics. Their award-winning essay, “’Mysteries’ of Modern Physics and the Fundamental Constants c, h, and G,” reflects on the discoveries they’ve made since the publication of their book, “Beyond the Dynamical Universe,” in 2018. Stuckey says the mystery of modern physics they resolved in this essay resides in Einstein’s theory of gravity called “general relativity,” which the Etown Professor of Physics says, “predicts that observers in different locations in space can measure different values for the mass of one and the same object.”

Stuckey believes the continued collaboration between him and his fellow professors, who all have their own academic expertise, is necessary to both understand and resolve the mysteries of modern physics.

“The success of our collaboration is evidence for the value of pedagogically motivated interdisciplinary research, germane to Etown College,” said Stuckey.

All three professors were pleased to learn that their essay received Honorable Mention in the competition along with papers from well-known physicists working at high-profile R1 institutions.

“Because teaching and research go hand-in-hand at Etown, an interdisciplinary collaboration of its faculty was motivated to show that Einstein was wrong in believing quantum mechanics is ‘incomplete,’” said Stuckey. “Indeed, what our essay shows is that quantum mechanics is, ironically, as complete as Einstein’s own theories of modern physics. Now modern physics can be introduced comprehensively and coherently to Etown students in courses such as How Things Work, Foundations of Modern Physics, College Physics I, II, and III, General Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics.”