Welcome to Students
- What does this course sequence have to offer?
Studying physics connects you to a long tradition of contemplating the
building blocks of the universe and the interactions between these objects.
In this course you'll force yourself to unlearn some erroneous Aristotelian
assumptions about motion, replacing them with a new framework that applies
on the human scale (not too small and not too fast). We then extend these
ideas to large systems of particles as a model for liquids or gases,
leading naturally (in the second semester) to thermal physics and its
stunning conclusions about forms of energy. The next stop in our tour is
electricity and magnetism, with applications to simple electrical circuits
and medical devices. The phenomenon of electromagnetic waves leads nicely
into our study of optics, whose instruments enabled many of the early
developments in atomic and nuclear physics. This whirlwind tour of a storied
subject gives you a foundation for further study or for applying its
techniques to another scientific profession of your choice.
- What are some skills that I can take from this class?
- Improved problem solving
- Awareness of uncertainty propagation as laboratory
measurements are substituted into algebraic formulas
- Enhanced appreciation for the creative aspects of
- What are some tips to help me succeed in this class?
Just as you would for any class you take in college, be sure to read the
assigned text before each lecture. Make sure you read actively, with pen or
pencil ready for jotting down the key ideas and vocabulary. Adopt a
skeptical attitude toward the expositions provided, coming up
with questions that force the words on the page to reveal meanings and
connections buried under the surface. After you think you understand a new
concept from all possible angles, attempt to solve the end-of-section
exercises without referring to the example problems in the text.