2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Physics and Calculus: Finding Order in the Physical World

Fall 2012, Winter 2013 and Spring 2013 quarters

Mario Gadea civil engineering
Fields of Study
mathematics and physics
Preparatory for studies or careers in
mathematics, physics, engineering, energy systems, education
Entrance in fall requires proficiency in high school algebra.  Entry in winter or spring requires satisfactory completion of the equivalent levels of physics and calculus that are covered in previous quarters.

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. 

In this thematically-integrated program, students will cover a full year of calculus and algebra-based physics through small-group discussions, interactive lectures, and hands-on laboratory investigations. In physics, we will learn about motion, energy, models, and the process for constructing them. 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, Einstein’s relativity, 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.

Advertised Schedule
6-10p Tue/Thu
Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During