Models of Motion
Revised Last Updated: 03/01/2010
Winter and Spring quarters
Faculty: Mario Gadea mathematics, physics
Faculty Signature Required: Spring quarter.
Major areas of study include physics and calculus.
Class Standing: This all-level program accepts up to 25% freshmen as well as supporting and encouraging those ready for advanced work.
Accepts Spring Enrollment: This program will accept new enrollment, with signature. Students must have an appropriate background of 1 quarter of calculus and 1 quarter of physics; admission will be based upon an entry test. Students should contact Mario Gadea at email@example.com or (360) 867-6548 or meet with him at the Academic Fair, December 2, 2009. Qualified students will be accepted on a space available basis.
Prerequisites: Proficiency with college-level precalculus.
Careful observation of the physical world reveals an underlying order. One of the goals of science is to build models that explain the order we see. Crucial among such models are those that explain the interactions between objects and the changes in motion those interactions bring about. The history of physics is one of creating, refining and enhancing such models and that quest is an ongoing process today. With the development of new physical models also come new mathematical methods that are needed for describing them. Calculus, for example, was born out of the efforts to make predictions from Newton's models of motion and is an enormously successful tool for analyzing simple models of reality. However, for more complex situations, such as the interaction between three moving objects, approximate methods are needed. We can simulate these situations on a computer using numerical methods in order to understand their behavior.
We will explore the theme of scientific model building through small group workshops, interactive lectures, hands-on laboratory investigations, computer labs and seminar discussions on the history and philosophy of physics. Through our study of physics we will learn about models of motion and other dynamic processes and the associated methods for constructing them. We will also learn how to use the tools of calculus and computer modeling to understand what those models predict. By the end of the program, students will have completed a full year of calculus and calculus-based physics.
Credits: 16 per quarter
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in physics, mathematics, engineering, astronomy and education.
|July 14th, 2009||Faculty member updated.|
|July 16th, 2009||Spring enrollment details added.|
|March 1st, 2010||Spring is offered for 16 credits only; 12-credit option removed.|