PHYSICS 112 - Cosmology: The Science of the Universe
Section: 001
Term: FA 2007
Subject: Physics (PHYSICS)
Department: LSA Physics
Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Although no science prerequisites are required, high school physics would be helpful. Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The course examines the conceptual foundations underlying our current scientific understanding of the origin and evolution of the universe. The subject is viewed through four astrophysical windows: the universe as a whole; galaxies; stars; and planets. We explore how these various settings provide the essential ingredients for the genesis of life. Finally we examine the evolution of scientific thought that enabled humans to develop an understanding of the universe around them.

Textbooks: All key concepts will be covered in my class notes that will be distributed to you, free of charge!

I strongly recommend that you buy the following, relatively inexpensive books for further reading and a broader understanding of the material:

1) "A Short History of the Universe" by Joseph Silk Scientific American Library (W.H. Freeman) (1997)

ISBN 0-7167-6020-7 (paperback)

2) "Blind Watchers of the Sky" by Rocky Kolb Basic Books, Member of Perseus Book Group (1997)

ISBN 0-201-15496-X (paperback)

3) "Our Living Multiverse" by Fred Adams Pi Press (2004)

ISBN 0-13-145133-2 (paperback)

Grades: Course grade will be based on the following:

Homework..............25% Paper.................25% Midterm Exam..........25% Final Exam............25%

Philosophy: The theme of the course is to have fun exploring what we know about our universe. The course will stress scientific concepts and introduce simple quantitative and mathematical reasoning to relate these concepts.

Short homework assignments are meant to strengthen your understanding and contact with the material. Homework will be graded and solutions provided.

You will be asked to write a short paper (total length about ten pages including figures, tables, references) that focuses on a topic of special interest to you.

The exams will cover general aspects of the course material. You will be given specific information regarding topics to be covered by the exams.

PHYSICS 112 - Cosmology: The Science of the Universe
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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