2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Modern Models of Motion

Spring quarter

Faculty: David McAvity mathematics, physics, Rachel Hastings linguistics, mathematics

Fields of Study: mathematics and physics

Spring: CRN (Credit) Level 30161 (16) So - Sr; 30432 (4) So - Sr; 30466 (12) So - Sr; 30537 (1-16) So - Sr  

Credits: 16(S)

Class Standing: Sophomore - Senior

Offered During: Day

Academic Website: http://academic.evergreen.edu/curricular/modern-motion/

Prerequisites: two quarters of calculus and two quarters of calculus-based physics


In the first half of the 20th century there was a remarkable revolution in physics that gave birth to new ways of thinking about the physical laws of the universe. Newtonian ideas of a deterministic, clockwork universe of absolute time and space gave way to a strange new world of quantum mechanics and relativity. These new models describing the motion and interaction of particles at all scales raised as many questions as they answered, and we are still grappling with the consequences today.

This program will provide a mathematical introduction to the laws of quantum physics and relativity. We will start with some of the key issues in classical physics that lead to the changes in physics and will end with look at some of the remaining problems confronting modern physics today. The main topics in physics we will cover are special relativity, quantum theory, and some topics in cosmology and particle physics. We will learn topics in calculus relevant to this study, including an introduction to differential equations and infinite series. The program will also include individual student projects and seminar discussions on the history and philosophy of modern physics.

Student entering this program should have a confident grasp of the usual material in the first two quarters of calculus-based physics and the first two quarters of calculus.

Maximum Enrollment: 31

May be offered again in: 2011-12

Preparatory for studies or careers in: mathematics, physics, chemistry and engineering.

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online

Books: www.tescbookstore.com

Program Revisions

Date Revision
February 14th, 2011 Rachel Hastings has joined the teaching team; enrollment has been adjusted.
March 17th, 2010 New program added.