2012-13 Catalog

Decorative graphic

Offering Description

Science Seminar: The Universe and Beyond

Winter 2013 quarter

EJ Zita physics, mathematics, astrophysics
Fields of Study
astronomy, environmental studies, natural history, philosophy of science, physics and sustainability studies
Preparatory for studies or careers in
science, teaching, philosophy of science, politics and law.
Good reading, writing, and thinking skills. Willingness to work in teams and use computers for web-based assignments and information. There is no prerequisite in physics or math.

We are interested in symmetries in nature and the universe, and in human understanding and interaction with nature. We will read books and articles on astrophysics, cosmology and/or the environment to explore topics such as these. Physicists have discovered new puzzles which your generation will solve. Why is the expansion of the universe accelerating? What are dark matter and dark energy? Why is there matter, space, and time? Why do these take the forms that we observe?

We will read about and discuss the beauty and importance of quantitative study of nature and our place in the natural world. Students will gain a deeper physical understanding of the universe, with little or no math.

We will share our insights, ideas, and questions about the readings and our wonder about the universe. Students will write weekly short essays and many responses to peers' essays. Students will meet with their team (of 3 peers) at least one day before each class to complete pre-seminar assignments.

Learning goals include deeper qualitative understanding of physics, related sciences and the scientific method; more sophisticated capabilities as science-literate citizens; and improved skills in writing, critical thinking, teamwork and communication.

Program webpage:

Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning 25 - 49% Delivered Online
Greener Store
Offered During