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Perspectives on Natural Systems Physical Systems
PH-106      Physical Concepts
Catalog Description

An introduction to the concepts and principles governing the natural physical world and their relation to society. Emphasis on developing an appreciation for the role of science in our life. Does not count on a major or minor.

Course Content

This course shows how we encounter physical principles in our everyday lives. It introduces concepts of matter, space, and time. Methods of measurement are discussed. Concepts of motion are explored from the Aristotelian and Galilean points of view. The concept of energy is introduced. Various forms of energy are described, and the principle of conservation of energy is formulated. Interchanges among heat and work and kinetic, potential, electromagnetic energy are illustrated with applications to our daily experiences. Wave motion is introduced in connection with sound waves and electromagnetic waves. The perception of sound and the perception of color are explained in terms of wave motion. Physical phenomena which seems at odds with our perception of events are explained. Classroom demonstrations highlight the course.

Nature of Course
  1. Emphasis on Reading: In addition to reading assignments in the textbook students may be asked to locate and read relevant journal articles in the library and peruse newspapers for articles relating to topics studied in the course.
  2. Emphasis on Writing: Students will be required to write a paper near the end of the course that exemplifies physical concepts learned in the course.
  3. Group Projects and Out-of-Class Projects: Several of the laboratory experiments and classroom projects will be done in groups or teams. In addition, there may be simple home experiments or projects that are brought to class for presentation and discussion.
  4. Teaching Format: A variety of approaches will be used in the classroom including formal lectures, group projects and discussions, demonstrations, and the use of audiovisual and computer materials. Students are expected to be actively involved in all aspects of the course.
Student Expectations

Student evaluation will be based on student participation in classroom activities and group projects, completion of laboratory exercises, satisfactory completion of homework assignments and satisfactory performance on examinations.





Credit Hours 3