Physics I Science Content, PLED 535
About this Course:
Physics is the subject that attempts to explain the basic underlying concepts behind how the universe works. Topics include mechanics, thermodynamics, waves, electricity and magnetism, astrophysics, relativity, quantum mechanics, and modern physics. Participants will demonstrate their understanding of the topics through a variety of methods, including participation in class discussions, written descriptions of phenomena using both conceptual and mathematical means, exams, and laboratory explorations in both group and individual formats. After completing the explorations and assignments, participants will be assessed in a number of ways, including assessment of laboratory work, graded written assignments, and examinations. Data collection and interpretation will be a vital component of every lab exploration, as the participants must be able to make sense of data that they themselves collect. Upon completion of this course, the participant will have a strong base of knowledge and abilities to allow them to pursue a variety of subjects at the university level.
State Certified Science Teacher.
Who Should Attend:
This physics course is designed to be a college level introductory physics course. The intended population to be served will be teachers seeking a middle grades endorsement in science.
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Describe motion in one and two dimensions with the use of vectors, diagrams, kinematics equations, and graphs;
- Make accurate and precise measurements and calculations with those measurements, using the correct number of significant figures and appropriate error and uncertainty measurements;
- Describe and explain concepts of thermal physics, including heat transfer, phase change, heat capacity, and ideal gas behavior;
- Describe the concept of energy, and explain the transfer of energy in terms of mechanical energy, thermodynamics, and waves;
- Describe and explain electromagnetism in terms of their fields, electric potential, and circuits;
- Describe and explain the basic structure, functions, and changes of subatomic particles;
- Plan a laboratory investigation, including planning, predicting, and evaluating the above phenomena;
- Design procedures and equipment to model the all of the above phenomena in a laboratory setting.
Physics and physical measurement
Nature of physics / Nature of science; Measurement and uncertainties; Mathematical and graphical techniques; Vectors and scalars.
Kinematics; Forces and dynamics; Inertial mass, gravitational mass and weight; Momentum; Work, energy, and power; Uniform circular motion.
Thermal physics, atomic and nuclear physics
The atom; Ideal gases; Force, area, and pressure; Thermal concepts; Thermal properties of matter.
Traveling waves and their relationship to the medium; Wave properties, standing waves, interference, resonance; Sound waves.
Light and color
Wave nature of light; The electromagnetic spectrum.
Electricity and magnetism
Electrostatics; Electric current and electric circuits; Magnetism; Electromagnetic induction.
Reflection at a plane surface; Refraction at a plane interface; Refraction by lenses; Optical instruments.
Introduction; Concepts and postulates of special relativity; Relativistic kinematics; Some consequences of special relativity; Evidence to support special relativity.
Atomic and Nuclear physics
Quantum mechanics and the particle nature of light; Radioactive decay; Nuclear reactions, fission and fusion; Elementary particles; Modern physics topics including string theory.
The content and pedagogy of the course will focus on how to bring real physics content to life with interesting and useful activities. The course will be similar to a workshop or conference, in that it will be in a condensed form instead of spread out for a semester. Participants will be immersed in the course, so it can come together more naturally. There will be homework each day, but the assignments will be primarily readings from Hewitt, which is quite readable and not at all bogged down with impenetrable mathematics.
Textbook: Conceptual Physics by Paul Hewitt, 8th ed., ISBN 0321009711. Textbooks may be purchased from the instructor for $10 at the first class session
3 Graduate Credits