Physics 102 astronomy of the planets
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Physics 102 Astronomy of the Planets. Dr. Tyler E. Nordgren. Question. Why did you sign up for this class? I have always wanted to learn about the stars and planets. I have always wanted to learn about my horoscope.

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Physics 102 astronomy of the planets l.jpg

Physics 102Astronomy of the Planets

Dr. Tyler E. Nordgren


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Question

  • Why did you sign up for this class?

    • I have always wanted to learn about the stars and planets.

    • I have always wanted to learn about my horoscope.

    • I am not comfortable with science but since I need the MS1 I heard good things about this class.

    • I am not comfortable with science but since I need the MS1 this looked easier than chemistry or bio.

    • None of the above.


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The MS1 LAF

Students completing an MS1 will demonstrate:

  • knowledge of the basic concepts and accepted theoretical principles in a particular scientific discipline;

  • knowledge of how a particular scientific discipline advances understanding of the physical world through its application of the scientific method;

  • the ability to apply the scientific method through the acquisition and analysis of data within a laboratory or field setting.


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Semester Goals

  • What is science? How does it work?

    • Why is science different from philosophy or religion?

    • Why is a scientific “theory” different from a conspiracy “theory?”

  • Learn about the Scientific Method through study of Astronomy:

    • Are there planets around other stars?

    • Is there life on Mars?

    • Planetary perils:

      • What is global warming?

      • What are the dangers of an asteroid hitting the Earth?


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Grades

Final Grades:

“C Acceptable. The quality of work was acceptable meeting minimal course standards but was not exceptional.”

University of Redlands Catalog 2005-2007 pg 25.


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Grades

  • A – Outstanding

  • B – Exceptional

  • C – Acceptable

  • D – Poor

  • F – Failing

    University of Redlands Catalog 2005-2007 pp 25 – 26.


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Organization

  • Class three days a week (MWF):

    • 1 hour and 20 minutes

    • Lectures available on website ahead of time

  • Labs as part of class

  • “Optional” Activities

    • Evenings and weekends

    • Check the syllabus and website for exact dates and times!


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Structure

  • 9:30 am homework due

  • Short lecture

  • Concept questions – “clickers”

  • In-class discussions

  • Lab experiments

    • Some classes entirely lab experiments

  • New homework assigned.


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Homework

  • Assigned every class.

  • Due 9:30 morning of every class.

  • Three or four questions.

  • Must include a topic of confusion.

  • Class tailored to homework.


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Labs

  • Science is a process, not a body of knowledge!

  • Labs are integrated into the class schedule.

    • Included with discussion and lecture.

    • Classes entirely devoted to lab work.

    • Some “Optional” activities include lab work.


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“Optional” Activities

  • Five (5) optional activities.

  • Accentuate class material.

  • You are required to do three (3).

  • Extra credit for doing more.



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Grading

  • Homework: 15%

  • In-class labs: 10%

  • “Optional” Activities: 10%

  • Class citizenship: 5%

  • Exams: 60%

    • 3 exams, lowest grade dropped


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Class Rules

  • See hand-out and website.

  • You are adults and responsible for ALL rules.

  • A few in particular:

    • No late homework is accepted.

    • No admittance to lab once started.

    • No make-up exams.

    • Cheating will not be tolerated.


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Why should I believe?

  • How do we decide what to believe is true?

    • Astrology.

    • Astronomy.

    • The Face on Mars.

    • Search for life on Mars.

    • Creationism (Intelligent Design).

    • The Big Bang.

  • Why should you believe one over any other?


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Lots of things worth understanding are worth not understanding the first time you are exposed to them.

Find the courage to be confused.


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Homework #1 understanding the first time you are exposed to them.

  • Due Fri 5-Sept: Read Tyson Ch. 2.

    (denoted “Ty2” on Physics 102 lecture web page)

    • What must a scientific theory do?

      • Explain what is seen and tie together a wide range of ideas.

      • Explain what is seen and predict the results of future experiments.

      • Be based on observational data and unify disjointed sets of ideas.

      • Be based on known physical laws and be falsifiable.

      • All of the above.

    • Which of the following is a weakness of the scientific method?

      • A scientific theory is considered correct only as long as the results of new experiments continue to confirm it.

      • A scientific theory that has been widely accepted can still be called into question by the results of new experiments.

      • If one researcher claims a result that can not be reproduced by another researcher, then the first researcher’s results may not be accepted.

      • All of the above.

      • None of the above.

    • The difference between what we used to call Laws and what we now call Theories is:

      • A theory is a guess that becomes a law when it has survived centuries of repeated testing.

      • Nothing, we now realize that what used to be called laws, are still subject to being overturned.

      • Since 1900 no new theories have been sufficiently proved in order to meet the criteria of being a law.

      • All of the above.

      • None of the above.


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