Courses of Study 2018-2019 
    
    May 26, 2019  
Courses of Study 2018-2019
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PHYS 1203 - Physics of the Heavens and the Earth


(PBS-AS)      
Spring. 3 credits. Student option grading.

For non-science majors.

N. Holmes.

This course offers opportunities to face fundamental issues in scientific thought, and to provide a sense of the profound ideas that form the modern views of our world. Physics is not a collection of laws, or dry mathematical formulas that must be painfully memorized and exercised. Astronomy is not just a collection of fascinating, disconnected facts about our universe. This course introduces physics and astronomy as the development of a basic curiosity about our world, and a grand desire to understand how it works. A significant theme of this course will be: “How do we know?” This will include discussions of how we have come to know and how scientific thought and ideas have evolved as well as who has been involved in that evolution. In this course, we will evaluate the process of science through the lens of “modeling”. In science, we can think of models as simplified representations of a phenomenon that can make new, testable predictions. The process of modeling in science is about iteratively developing, refining, and testing the limits of these models. We will evaluate cases of scientific modeling of the physics of the heavens and Earth, from Tycho Brahe’s detailed observations of the motions of objects in the sky, to Newton’s laws of motion, to Einstein’s theory of general relativity. 



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