Intro to Physics - ISP209 Fall 2008 The Mystery of the...

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ISP209 Fall 2008 The Mystery of the Physical World Professor Joey Huston 3230 BPS
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Syllabus Can be found at course website: www.pa.msu.edu/~huston/isp209_f08/ index.html the web version will be the official one
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Let’s start …with the source of all knowledge, wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) Physics is the science of matter and its motion, as well as space and time. It uses concepts such as energy, force, mass and charge. Physics is an experimental science, creating theories that are tested against observations. Broadly, it is the general scientific analysis of nature, with a goal of understanding how the universe behaves. Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines, and through its modern subfield of astronomy, it may be the oldest of all. Today, physics is a broad and highly developed subject. Research is often divided into four subfields: condensed matter physics; atomic, molecular, and optical physics; high energy physics ; and astronomy and astrophysics Most physicists also specialize in either theoretical or experimental research, the former dealing with the development of new theories and the latter dealing with the experimental testing of theories and the discovery of new phenomena. Despite important discoveries during the last four centuries, there are a number of unsolved problems in physics and many areas of active research.
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What is high energy physics all about ? In high energy physics, we are attempting to understand the fundamental laws and forces which govern the universe, as well as to discover all of its fundamental constituents We do it at large international laboratories such as CERN near Geneva, Switzerland, where the Large Hadron Collider is set to turn on in a few weeks
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…and no, the LHC is not
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…nor will we …but it’s still fun to watch videos
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…but we did
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…and this is the home of First picture ever posted on the web I’ll play some of their music this semester
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Etyomology of physics Φυσιζ ( physis) is a Greek theological, philosophical and scientific term usually translated into English as nature Aristotle spoke of physics (the study of natural things) in contrast to metaphysics (the study of philosophy) Plato Aristotle
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Two Questions The TWO most fundamental questions about the universe are: What is it made of? How is it all held together?
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Four Elements… The Hunt for the answers to those two questions has been going on for a very long time. It really started with the Greeks.
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…and Two Forces There were two fundamental forces: love strife This picture is a tad too simple We’ll try to see something of the current complexity in this course …and keep track of some of the breaking physics news
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Forces We know of four fundamental forces strong weak electromagnetic gravitational this is one of the puzzles; why is gravity so much weaker than the other forces? it may be because of
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Intro to Physics - ISP209 Fall 2008 The Mystery of the...

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