GE70DSect2Laura

GE70DSect2Laura - The Elegant Nature of Matter Course...

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Unformatted text preview: The Elegant Nature of Matter Course instructor: Laura Griffin ( Physics & Astronomy) The Universe is slowly b ecoming a ware of its own elegance, and it’s using our eyes, ears, and noses to do it. This s eminar will train you to b ecome a ctive agents of Nature’s wakefulness, as you learn h ow to probe and ponder the s mall ­scale structure of the Universe. Our journey will take us from the Ancient Greeks to s cientists in modern ­day S witzerland, from a tomism to the Standard Model of particle p hysics and beyond . Along the way, we’ll encounter fuzzy cheetahs and indistinguishable apples, p lay games with electron dice, take in the flavors of quarks, vibrate ten ­d imensional strings, probe quantum theories of consciousness, and explore an exotic zoo of the Universe’s tiniest building blocks: the subatomic particles. (Just don’t be surprised if you leave the course with a radically different way of envisioning the world around you). Workload In addition to reading Lederman’s book Symmetry and the Beautiful Universe, we will read p eriodicals, scholarly articles from publications like Science and Nature, and excerpts from classical and modern texts addressing the nature of matter and the limitations of human understanding in physics. These weekly readings will supplement class discussions, activities, and videos. You will have a t least four or five short writing assignments d esigned to get you thinking about key concepts in quantum theory, as well as a final project. No prior mathematical background is assumed b eyond that of the high school level. Tentative Grade breakdown: Class participation: 30% Writing Assignments: 50% Final Project: 20% ...
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