2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Undergraduate Research in Scientific Inquiry with E. Zita

Fall 2012, Winter 2013 and Spring 2013 quarters

EJ Zita physics, mathematics, astrophysics
Fields of Study
astronomy and physics
Preparatory for studies or careers in
astronomy, physics, climate studies.

Rigorous quantitative and qualitative research is an important component of academic learning in Scientific Inquiry. This independent learning opportunity allows advanced students to delve into real-world research with faculty who are currently engaged in specific projects. Students typically begin by working in apprenticeship with faculty or laboratory staff and gradually take on more independent projects within the context of the specific research program as they gain experience. Students can develop vital skills in research design, data acquisition and interpretation, written and oral communication, collaboration, and critical thinking that are valuable for students pursuing a graduate degree or entering the job market.

E. J. Zita (physics) studies the Sun and the Earth.  What are the mechanisms of global warming? What can we expect in the future?  What can we do about it right now?  How do solar changes affect Earth over decades (e.g. Solar Max) to millennia? Why does the Sun shine a bit more brightly when it is more magnetically active, even though sunspots are dark? Why does the Sun's magnetic field flip every 11 years? Why is the temperature of the Sun’s outer atmosphere millions of degrees higher than that of its surface? Students can do research related to global warming in Zita's academic programs and in contracts, and have investigated the Sun by analyzing data from solar observatories, and using theory and computer modeling.  Serious students are encouraged to form research contracts, and may thereafter be invited to join our research team.

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