How does a Frisbee work? Why does my violin/tuba/bagpipe sound the way it does? What color would oceans on other planets be? What is the big deal with the Large Hadron Collider? Physics can help us to answer these questions that enrich our lives by explaining experiences we have and offering a window to those we don’t. Its power to explain is furthermore applied to fields as diverse as medicine, climate change, astronomy, art history, and paleontology and it therefore enhances and complements many other studies.
This course seeks to enrich students’ understanding of their world and to help them transition to college. We will qualitatively learn fundamentals of physics and apply them to explore a variety of topics both inside and outside of science. This will include the physics of sports, music, and astrophysics as well as other topics in which there is student interest, such as environmental science, optics, and particle/quantum physics. Because students’ interests and physics background (or lack thereof) will influence the content, anyone curious to learn more about physics, and thereby the world, is encouraged to enroll. Format will be lecture/discussions with some labs and out-of-class readings and some problems designed to provoke thought and deepen understanding.
Meets Sept 13, 20, 27, Oct 4, 11, 25, Nov 1, 8, 15