P120 Provides the physical basis for understanding interaction of technology and society, and for solution of problems, such as energy use and the direction of technological change. In particular we will try to understand some of the physical limits mandated by scientific laws on humankind's use of environmental resources, energy resources in particular.
By the end of the course students should:
1. have a grasp of some of the fundamental theories which underlie our current understanding of the physical world.
2. be able state why scientists have come to think these few simple ideas accurately explain most physical phenomena in the physical world.
3. be able to analyze a physical situation (described in words and/or pictures) and apply the relevant concepts in a qualitative or quantitative way (whichever is appropriate) to predict or explain the behavior of the system being examined.
4. understand that the science world view is not a belief system but is a very useful tool for understanding, explaining and predicting how many events in the world around us occur.
5. see that the problem solving skills learned in the course are transferable to other venues.
6. have some idea of the limitations of science, that scientific answers do not yet exist for many phenomenon in the world.
1. Attend class. More than two absences for reasons other than illness, etc., will be reflected in the grade. If you know you are going to miss a class, let the instructor know ahead of time. Please note that regulations now require instructors to report students who have stopped attending; this may require repayment of aid that students have received.
2. Read the assigned reading. The assigned reading is listed on the course Schedule page. Any changes to the schedule will appear on that web page. We will discuss the material in class as a group; the material will not be presented to the class so it is important that you come to class having read the assignment. There may be a few extra reading assignments during the semester.
3. Contribute to class discussion. You learn a lot more if you come prepared and speak up about your views of the course material. Class discussion helps you remember course material. You are free to express any opinions you have about energy, climate, etc. but you should be prepared to back up those opinions with scientific facts.
4. Turn in written assignments. There will be short weekly assignments to be handed in during class (see the Schedule page for updates) as well as homework exercises.
5. Pass the Tests. There will be a short (15min) weekly quiz every Wed.
6. Pass the Final. There will be a
comprehensive take home final. You may use outside sources but be sure you do
not plagiarize (you can be dismissed from IUS for plagiarism). Either put the
ideas in your own words or, if you quote other sources be sure to put an exact
reference to where you found the information. If two students have the same
wording to their answers they both will recieve zero credit for that
Your grade will be based on:
1. Class Participation: 5%
2. Class Assignments: 25%
3. Weekly quizzes: 50%
4. Final: 20%
If you have specific physical, psychiatric or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please let me know early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You will need to provide documentation of your disability to the Office of Disability Services in Library Building Room 006, 941-2243.
Please remember to turn off cellular phones and pagers before class. You may use a computer to take notes but please email me a copy of your notes at the end of class.
I appreciate feedback during the semester. Please feel free to give me comments or suggestions. If you want to make these comments anonymously you can do so from the physics anonymous feedback site.
Readings, in-class assignments, homework and
any schedule changes will appear on the Schedule
Page, which will be updated weekly.