2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Physics and Calculus: Finding Order in the Physical World

Winter and Spring quarters

Faculty: Mario Gadea civil engineering

Fields of Study: mathematics and physics

Winter: CRN (Credit) Level 20311 (8) So - Sr  Conditions Prerequisite: proficiency in high school algebra  

Spring: Enrollment Accepting New Students  CRN (Credit) Level 30260 (8) So - Sr  Conditions Students entering in spring must have prior educational experience in physics and calculus.  

Credits: 8(W); 8(S)

Class Standing: Sophomore - Senior

Offered During: Evening

Prerequisites: proficiency in high school algebra.


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 winter quarter, we will cover introductory topics in physics and calculus through small-group discussions, interactive lectures, and hands-on laboratory investigations. During spring quarter, 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 models. Through our study of calculus, we will learn how 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.

Maximum Enrollment: 24

Advertised Schedule: 6-10p Tue/Thu

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

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com