Course Syllabus (with links to Lectures, Homeworks, Answers to homeworks, Quizzes, Exams, etc. when appropriate -- UserID and Password will be needed after 22 April 2014;
REMINDER to refresh or empty the cache of your browser often to get updated materials from links).
Ferris, T. Coming of Age in the Milky Way --- I found this book to be a truly enjoyable book about galaxies and cosmology -- highly recommended. (Q125.F425 1988)
Greene, B. The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory -- A must read at the popular level for those interested in multidemensions (QC794.6.S85 G75 1999)
Greene, B. The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality -- has outstanding discussion of space and time, including relativity, quantum mechanics, multidimensions, etc. (QB982 .G74 2004 - available ONLINE)
Kaku, M. Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel --- this books sounds like alot of fun for those interested in UFOs to time travel; I have not read it myself but other students have enjoyed this author's books (QC75 .K18 2008)
Shu, F. The Physical Universe --- This book is introductory astronomy geared for physics majors and would be a good resource who want more advanced material than that in Universe. (QB43.2.S54 1982)
Rees, M. Our Cosmic Habitat --- This is written for the popular level and should thus be fun and easy (QB981 .R369 2001)
Smolin, L. The Life of the Cosmos --- This book is written for a popular level and presents an interesting view of how the universe of Universes evolve to produce one that has life such as our own. (QB981.S694 1997)
Guth, A. H. The Inflationary Universe --- This is a popular account from the originator of the inflationary scenario. (QB991.I54 G88 1997)
Bartusiak, M. Archives of the Universe: 100 Discoveries that transformed our Understanding of the Universe --- (available ONLINE) and The Day We Found the Universe (QB15 .B37 2006eb), which is a popular account of the discovery by Hubble that we live in a vast, expanding Universe -- should be a wonderful read -- let me know what you think, since I have not read this one yet, but her previous books were delightful.
Written Report & Oral Presentation:
The course will also require a five page, single-space, written report, worth 20% of your total grade on a scientific article, an idea of your own, a small research project, or whatever topic that each of you and I agree to NO LATER than Thursday 1 May 2014. The purpose of these reports is to enable each student to explore a relevant topic of their own choosing, to give a personal account of that exploration (why topic, how explored, what reactions, etc), and to communicate your ideas clearly in written form. These reports are NOT to be dumps of information from books or internet. I will be grading these reports partly on their quality of presentation and writing and will down-grade if it is not a personal account of the exploration. These reports will be due by Thurs 29 May 2014 -- the third (3rd) to the last class; late reports will be given only partial credit, 10% less per weekday until 50% by 5 pm of the last class day on Thursday 5 June 2014. Reports received after this date and time will not be accepted. In addition, any student may volunteer to give a 5 minute oral presentation of their report during the last class on Thursday 5 June 2014; this presentation may count up to 3% extra credit toward the total grade.
One midterm and one final exam will be given, worth 20% and 30% of your grade, respectively Although the exams are closed book and notes, all essential equations will be provided so you do not need to memorize them. No calculators will be allowed or needed. The final exam will be cumulative in the coverage of the course materials, so that it will cover the entire course, but with a heavier emphasis on the materials since the midterm exam. The midterm exam will be aimed for the full 90 minutes of a class. Some class time will be provided before the midterm to permit any last minute questions. The final will use the entire 3 hours. Note the final exam is on Thu 12 June 2014 from noon - 3pm.
2) 5 Page Report (20%)
5 min Report presentation (up to 3% EXTRA CREDIT) ......
3) Best 2 of 3 pop-quizzes (10%)
4) Closed-Book Exams (midterm 20% + final 30% = 50% ) ......
The course may be taken on a pass/no-pass but the default is for a grade. Nominally, 74% or above will be considered to be passing, i.e. equivalent to a grade of C or above. There is no reason that anyone should fail or get a no-pass in this class if you do the homeworks, take the quizzes, and keep up with the lectures and reading, and study for the exams. This is especially true since extra credits will be possible. For example, if you feel the need for some extra credits to make up for a bad midterm exam, come see me and we can arrange something. BUT the specification of the extra credit work must be agreed upon with me, i.e. specified by Thurs 15 May 2014 and will be due by the next to last class Tuesday 3 June 2014. These extra credits are limited to help a student pass (no-pass to pass) or to improve a grade by one sub-unit (C+ to B- , B- to B, B to B+, or B+ to A-, etc.) and are not intended to move by larger amounts such as from a C to B-, B+ to A, etc.
Lecture 2 Notes -- 3 Apr 2014
Lecture 3 Notes -- 8 Apr 2014
Lecture 11 Notes -- 6 May 2014
FINAL EXAM : Thursday 12 Jun 2014 NS Annex 102 noon - 3pm
a Spectroscope - Homework 2 Due 24 Apr 2014