Note: The core book (and thus, the SDG) is intended for non-scientists. There is no math required and no prior background beyond general knowledge. If you want a meatier proposal, I can re-write this using Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity by Carlo Rovelli as the core book. That would turn it into 10 or 14 weeks
Gravity is a weak force, not a strong one. Yet, on a large scale, it is so irresistible that it controls the evolution and fate of the universe. Newton's Theory of Gravitation was a revolution in scientific thought, and it was successful in many ways: explaining the motion of the planets and ocean tides and predicting the existence of Neptune, an undiscovered planet at the time. Newton's theory held sway until Einstein showed that gravity is warped space-time, allowing scientists to explain the anomalous motion of Mercury and to predict the existence of black holes and the big bang. The detection of a gravitational wave in 2015 confirmed Einstein's prediction of it a hundred years earlier.
Today, physicists realize that gravity is still not fully explained by Newton and Einstein, and they are embarking on a search for a deeper theory of gravity: a quantum theory of gravitation. Assembling the pieces in the puzzle of quantum gravity will result in a seismic shift in our understanding of space-time and fundamentally alter our view of reality.
In this SDG, we will discover how we got to this point, standing on the brink of a vast undiscovered landscape of physics. We will begin with Newton, move through the centuries to Einstein and complete the study with a look at physicists struggling to uncover the quantum theory of space-time that will move us beyond Einstein.
Weeks 1-3: Newton
Weeks 4-6: Einstein
Week 7: Beyond Einstein
The Ascent of Gravity: The Quest to Understand the Force that Explains Everything by Marcus Crown (2017).
On Gravity: A Brief Tour of a Weighty Subject by A. Zee (2018).