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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Physics (PHYS)

PHYS 010 (GN) Physics Behind the Headlines (3) Select topics in modern physics with emphasis on understanding science related articles in the news (For students in non-mathematical fields.)

PHYS 010 Physics Behind the Headlines (3)

Introduction for non-science majors to select topics in the modern physics of quantum mechanics and relativity with the goal of understanding recent technological advances, scientific breakthroughs and social events related to science as they appear in the news. These range from the discovery of the Higgs boson and dark energy to developments in lasers or superconductors. Social events in the news where science played a large role such as the Roswell “UFO” event in 1947 or the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011 will also be discussed. Course objectives include the understanding of the scientific method and scientific reporting; learning the conceptual aspects of the structure of matter from atoms to quarks, waves, energy and light; quantum mechanics and its applications to high tech such as computers and lasers; relativity E=mc2, nuclear forces, gravity and the Big-Bang theory. Particular emphasis will be put on learning the scientific standards for a hypothesis to be truly established as a working theory and how the simple laws of physics apply broadly to many different systems. This class will emphasize conceptual aspects and there is no mathematics prerequisite.

General Education: GN
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2013

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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