2008-09 Catalog

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Program Description

Physics and Calculus: Finding Order in the Physical World

Revised Last Updated: 02/23/2009

Fall, Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Mario Gadea physics, mathematics

Faculty Signature Required: winter quarter & spring quarter

Major areas of study include physics and calculus.

Class Standing: Sophomores or above; transfer students welcome.

Accepts Winter Enrollment: This program will accept new students. Contact faculty at Academic Fair or by email.

Accepts Spring Enrollment: This program will accept new students. Contact faculty at Academic Fair or by email.

Prerequisites: proficiency in high school algebra.

Note: This 8-credit program will meet from 6 to 10 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. First class Spring Quarter will meet in Sem2 A1105.

Physics is concerned with the basic principles of the universe. It is the foundation on which engineering, technology and other sciences are based. The science of physics has developed out of the efforts of men and women to explain our physical environment. These efforts have been so successful that the laws of physics now encompass a remarkable variety of phenomena. One of the exciting features of physics is its capacity for predicting how nature will behave in one situation on the basis of experimental data obtained in another situation. In this program we will begin the process of understanding the underlying order of the physical world by modeling physical systems using both the analytical tools of calculus and the numerical tools provided by digital computers. We will also have significant hands-on laboratory experience to make predictions and explore some of these models.

During fall quarter, we will cover introductory topics in physics and calculus through small-group discussions, interactive lectures and hands-on laboratory investigations. During winter and spring quarters, we will continue with the study of calculus and algebra-based physics. Through our study of physics, we will learn about change, models and the process for constructing them. We will also learn how to use calculus to analyze these models mathematically. We will study some of Galileo's significant contributions to classical mechanics, Kepler's astronomical observations, Newton's work on calculus and laws of motion, Euler's applications of calculus to the study of real-life problems in physics (magnetism, optics and acoustics), Maxwell's development of the unified theory of magnetism, and many others. This program will cover many of the traditional topics of both a first-year calculus sequence and a first-year physics sequence. Covering these topics together allows for the many connections between them to be reinforced while helping make clear the value of each.

Credits: 8 per quarter

Enrollment: 25

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in mathematics, physics, engineering, energy, and education.

Planning Units: Scientific Inquiry, 8-12 Credit Programs

Program Revisions

Date Revision
August 26th, 2008 Added location of first class
December 3rd, 2008 Winter quarter enrollment details added.
January 14th, 2009 Faculty signature requirement added for spring quarter.
February 23rd, 2009 Spring Quarter class location added.
February 23rd, 2009 Spring Quarter enrollment details added.