FALL 2002 COURSE GUIDE
These courses focus on basic scientific principles and examines the way these principles were developed through gradual evolution, the elimination of competing ideas, and scientific revolution. A lab or field experience is required. These courses focus on cultures and civilizations generally perceived as alternatives to those in Category 1, and based on traditions prevalent in Africa, Asia, Latin American, the Middle East, Native America, and elsewhere. For additional enrollment information, see the Fall 2002 Schedule of Classes.
MWF, 2:00 - 3:10
This course will present a survey of the universe, starting with the earth and planets, and then moving outwards to larger and larger scales; to comets, stars nebulae, galaxies and finally the structure and evolution of the universe as a whole. The lab for this course will give students hands-on experience making astronomical observations. This experience will range from the construction and use of a sundial to making observations of the planets and stars with high quality telescopes. Celestial observations may include both on campus observations and off-campus (dark-sky) observations.
Grading and Course Requirements
This course description belongs to Professor Henyey.
This course examines the geologic structure and evolution of the planet earth.
Grading: 650 points total
Note: For the most recent information about this course, see the instructor's website.
This course introduces students to oceanographic and geologic processes active at the Earth's surface and their relationship to the human environment. Processes include plate tectonics, oceanic and atmospheric circulation, the hydrologic cycle, marine sedimentation, marine biology, and physical aspects of climate including Global Change issues. The course also surveys relationships between oceanographic processes and the availability of mineral/energy resources and pollution problems.
Please contact the department for reading and assignments list.
This course will explore the impact of Earth's natural evolution on civilization and the impact of our growing population on the Earth's ecosystems and resources. As leaders of tomorrow, students of today face unprecedented challenges that include both ethical and technical issues regarding our planet and its environment.
The Earth is a "restless" planet. Without volcanism and earthquakes, it would not have evolved to a state supportive of biologic life. Yet, the success of our species is leading to an increasing number of natural disasters. From floods to earthquakes to landslides, such forms of planetary instability are natural. They have always occurred but can become disasters when we fail to understand what is natural.
The course will consider how the Earth came to be where it is today and how humans fit into its natural evolution. Human population trends are increasing geometrically. Although it took two million years for our population to achieve the first billion mark, today our population grows by a billion every decade. As result, our impact on Earth is becoming severe with remarkable effects on the balance of nature in areas such as global warming, acid rain and pollution, and high atmosphere ozone depletion. Other topics include the Earth's diminished ability to provide through its water, mineral, and energy resources.
Because of such issues, students of today and our leaders to tomorrow need to be educated about the Earth, including the natural aspects of its instability and the ways that humans are unnaturally affecting its continued evolution. Are we to be part of the problem or part of the solution? These are global problems that carry into every corner of the world.
Note: For the most recent information regarding this course, see the instructor's website.
This course is designed for anyone with an interest in science, and will consider (1) our current knowledge of selected fields in the physical sciences (relativity, quantum mechanics, chaos theory, and planetary/solar system development); (2) the nature of scientific inquiry which has led us to that current knowledge, and (3) the relationship of scientific inquiry to other aspects of human knowledge and experience. We will explore current scientific ideas, how these ideas have evolved - how new scientific paradigms (broad scientific hypotheses) are developed (and older paradigms junked), and what are the limitations of science. By the end of the semester, we hope that all students acquire a more 'modern' scientific view of the natural world around us, both what we know and what we don't know, and also develop a more questioning attitude with regard to the learning process and observation of the world around us.
This course description belongs to Professor Haas. Please contact the Physics department for Professor Kresin's course description.
This course presents some of the advances in modern physics in the 20th century from a conceptual point of view. It is intend as a cultural enrichment course rather than a technical course. It is primarily addressed to non-specialists, but would also be enriching for students majoring in technical fields. Topics will range from the Big Bang cosmology of the Universe to the microscoping structures of matter including atoms, nuclei, quarks, superstrings, black holes, superconductivity, etc. Attempts will be made to explain the deeper theories of Physics by making analogies and relating them to commonly encountered events in daily life. The lab for this course will help to demonstrate the relationship between concepts learned in lecture.
Grading and Course Requirements:
Note: For the another PHYS 100Lxg course, see the next entry.
Please contact the department for course description.