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Physics Courses


IHSC 300: Synthesis of Premedical Concepts

This course aims to hone skills necessary to synthesize and integrate knowledge across multiple subject areas, and to assist in preparing for health professional school admission, such as the MCAT. The course is team taught to include faculty expertise in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, English, mathematics, physics, psychological sciences and sociology. Critical analysis and reasoning skills will be emphasized. Completion of introductory courses in all subject areas above is strongly recommended before taking this course. MCAT materials from the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) will be used to guide and enhance a student’s ability to synthesize across many fields, and increase critical reasoning and analytical competencies.

For summer 2021, this course will be offered in-person. For more information, please reach out to the instructor. 

Dates: May 21 - June 11, 2021

Session: May Session

Time: MTWRF 9:30-1:30

Instructor: Rebecca Benard, Susan Burden-Gulley, Greg Tochtrop, Kim Emmons, Harsh Mathur, Jennifer Butler, Jessica Kelly

Credits: 3 credits

Departments: Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, English, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics, Physics, Psychological Sciences, Sociology

PHYS 115: Introductory Physics I

First part of a two-semester sequence directed primarily towards students working towards a B.A. in science, with an emphasis on the life sciences. Kinematics; Newton’s laws; gravitation; simple harmonic motion; mechanical waves; fluids; ideal gas law; heat and the first and second laws of thermodynamics. This course has a laboratory component. Students may earn credit for only one of the following courses: PHYS 115, PHYS 121, PHYS 123.

Visit this page for detailed information about the introductory physics sequences.

For summer 2021, this course will be offered remote-asynchronous. For more information, please reach out to the instructor. 

Dates: June 1 - July 2, 2021

Session: 5 Week Session

Instructor: Diana Driscoll

Credits: 4 credits

Department: Physics

PHYS 116: Introductory Physics II

Electrostatics, Coulomb’s law, Gauss’s law; capacitance and resistance; DC circuits; magnetic fields; electromagnetic induction; RC and RL circuits; light; geometrical optics; interference and diffraction; special relativity; introduction to quantum mechanics; elements of atomic, nuclear and particle physics. This course has a laboratory component. Students may earn credit for only one of the following courses: PHYS 116, PHYS 122, PHYS 124.

Visit this page for detailed information about the introductory physics sequences.

For summer 2021, this course will be offered remote-asynchronous. For more information, please reach out to the instructor. 

Dates: July 6 - August 2, 2021

Session: 4 Week Session (2)

Instructor: Diana Driscoll

Credits: 4 credits

Department: Physics

PHYS 121: General Physics I – Mechanics

Particle dynamics, Newton’s laws of motion, energy and momentum conservation, rotational motion, and angular momentum conservation. This course has a laboratory component. Recommended preparation: MATH 121 or MATH 123 or MATH 125 or one year of high school calculus. Students who do not have the appropriate background should not enroll in PHYS 121 without first consulting the instructor. Students may earn credit for only one of the following courses: PHYS 115, PHYS 121, PHYS 123.

This course is co-taught by Harsh Mathur and Corbin Covault.  The laboratory is taught by Diana Driscoll.

Visit this page for detailed information about the introductory physics sequences.

For summer 2021, this course will be offered remote-synchronous, remote-asynchronous, and in-person. For more information, please reach out to the instructor. 

Dates: June 1 - July 2, 2021

Session: 5 Week Session

Time: MTWR 9:30-11:20; lab TBD

Instructor: Corbin Covault, Harsh Mathur, Diana Driscoll

Credits: 4 credits

Department: Physics

PHYS 122: General Physics II – Electricity and Magnetism

Electricity and magnetism, emphasizing the basic electromagnetic laws of Gauss, Ampere, and Faraday. Maxwell’s equations and electromagnetic waves, interference, and diffraction. This course has a laboratory component. Students may earn credit for only one of the following courses: PHYS 116, PHYS 122, PHYS 124.

This course is co-taught by Harsh Mathur and Corbin Covault.  The laboratory is taught by Diana Driscoll.

Visit this page for detailed information about the introductory physics sequences.

For summer 2021, this course will be offered remote-synchronous. For more information, please reach out to the instructor. 

Dates: July 6 - August 2, 2021

Session: 4 Week Session (2)

Time: MTWRF 9:30-11:20; lab TBD

Instructor: Corbin Covault, Harsh Mathur, Diana Driscoll

Credits: 4 credits

Department: Physics

PHYS/PHIL 261: Our Knowledge of Climate Change: What do we know and how do we know it?

Traditional theories of knowledge have concentrated on the actions and beliefs of individuals, and how they marshal evidence from the world to support or refute their scientific hypotheses. This traditional epistemological framework has been challenged by the developments of the modern era of Big Science, resulting in the development of new approaches to a social epistemology of science. Reflective of how science is done, this epistemological framework in turn can provide guidance for the robust prosecution of the scientific enterprise. Perhaps nowhere is this more important than in climate science, where on the one hand the underlying dynamics of climate change pose an existential threat to our civilization, and on the other, there are active and well organized efforts to derail the scientific process and to denigrate the scientists.

This course will first develop classical notions of the epistemology of science, including the role of models and issues of uncertainty (statistical, systematic, and gross) as well as the challenges of developing a robust scientific process resistant to fraud. These issues will be illustrated by consideration of various classical experiments. The course will then expand the epistemological framework to the collaborative context of modern big science, illustrating the issues by examples from the field of high energy physics (which saw the development of the World Wide Web by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, to allow physicists from around the world to share and collectively analyze data). With this in hand the course will explore the history and current state of climate science in the framework of a social epistemology of big science. Students will develop a good understanding of the role of hierarchical models of climate science, the empirical basis for our current understanding of anthropogenic climate change, the role and development of international coordination of climate science and its implications for policy, and the challenges posed by hostile, well-organized efforts to disrupt the scientific process, the public understanding of the science, and ultimately the processes necessary for addressing the challenges of climate change.

Offered as PHIL 261 and PHYS 261.

For summer 2021, this course will be offered remote-synchronous. For more information, please reach out to the instructor. 

 

Dates: June 1 - June 28, 2021

Session: 4 Week Session (1)

Time: MTWR 1:30-3:45

Instructor: Cyrus Taylor & Chris Haufe

Credits: 3 credits

Departments: Interdisciplinary, New 2021 Summer, Philosophy, Physics

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