Unformatted text preview: UCSD Physics 10 Newton Einstein Physics 10: Concepts in Physics
The Rules of the Universe Tom Murphy UCSD Physics 10 Course Objectives
1. Explore the approach that physics brings to bear on the world around us Reductionism Scientific Method Gravitation and General Relativity as a case study Empiricism & Skepticism Quantitative Models Spring 2008 2 UCSD Physics 10 Course Objectives, continued
2. Appreciate the influence physics has on us all Begin to see physics in the world around you Develop your natural intuition, stimulate curiosity Think into the unknown (ooh that's scary!) Newton's laws of motion, gravitation (even relativity) Concepts of mass, force, acceleration, energy, momentum, power, etc. Electromagnetism Quantum Mechanics Light and optics 3 3. Understand basic laws of physics Spring 2008 UCSD Physics 10 Course Objectives, continued
4. Map out the hierarchy of the Universe The cosmos Earth, Moon, Sun, Solar system Stars, our Galaxy, other galaxies Cosmological scales: clustering, accelerating Universe Molecules, compounds, atoms Subatomic particles, fundamental forces The microcosmos 5. Exposing the limits of our understanding Complexity: chaos, biological systems, economics Unification schemes: string theory, supersymmetry know the difference between science and the supernatural feel encouraged to read popular science articles/books 6. Enhance your scientific literacy Spring 2008 4 UCSD Physics 10 Course Structure Full class meets 3 times per week in WLH 2005 MWF 2:002:50 PM Lectures PowerPoint presentations Lecture materials will be made available on the web Demonstrations (lots of these!) Exams: Midterm May. 2; Final Friday, June 13, 3PM Discussion section meets once per week W 4:004:50 PM: Warren Lecture Hall 2111; Jim Wilson Opportunity for discussions on course material, exam prep, etc. Work out example problems and questions Mock Quizzes Problem sessions once per week Th 8:00-9:50 PM, Center Hall 212; Jim Wilson Primary focus on homework, some exam prep/review Spring 2008 5 UCSD Physics 10 Resources Your Fellow Students! Encouraged to work together on homework, exercises (but not on exams!) Professor : Tom Murphy
Office in SERF building, Room 336, office hours Th 1:302:30 PM, or by appointment, 858.534.1844, [email protected] Teaching Assistant: Jim Wilson
Office in SERF 434, office hours Th 2:30 PM 4:00 PM [email protected] Web: physics.ucsd.edu/~tmurphy/phys10/ Also WebCT for assignments, transmitter registration, etc. Text Conceptual Physics, Ninth Edition, Paul G. Hewitt used text to save you guys $$ Spring 2008 6 UCSD Physics 10 Grading
Weight 25% 10% <30%* <35%* Format Homework Due Comments Boolean (P/F) via transmitter system 2:00 PM, in class 3:00 PM Friday in class No late submissions Question/Obs. by F, WebCT Midterm* Final* May 2 (Fri) Jun. 13 (Fri) up to 15% Class Particip. every lecture * Midterm and Final may count for as little as 15% or 20%, respectively, given extent of classroom participation. Example: if you have 6/10 points for classroom participation, you can deduct 9% from either the midterm or the final weight (whichever grade is worse). Spring 2008 7 UCSD Physics 10 What's with these questions/observations? Science is as much about questions as answers. Every other week, you'll submit a question or observation about the physical world around you. Something you've always wondered about Something you recently noticed Something that class prompted you to think about Will post some from each submission on website with answers (when possible) or discussion Goal is to increase your awareness, observational skills We're immersed in physics: easy to ignore, but also easy to see! You'll begin to think more deeply before shoving problem aside Allow your natural curiosity to come alive Spring 2008 8 UCSD Physics 10 Questions/Observations, continued Examples: Questions What makes velcro stick? Why do my cheerios attract each other into little flotillas? Where do trees get their mass? Out of dirt? Why aren't there holes in the ground around trees if this is the case? Why is the sky blue? Why not purple? Observations I've noticed small rainbow patches in the sky way off to the sides of the sun on hazy winter days. What are those? I've heard that toilets flush the other way around in the southern hemisphere, but on my trip to New Zealand, they flushed the same way as they do here! What's up with that?! Spring 2008 9 UCSD Physics 10 Topics to be Covered What constitutes physics The BIG picture: macro- and micro-cosmos Newton's laws of motion, energy, momentum, etc. Gravity and Relativity: from Newton to Einstein Electromagnetism and Light Quantum Mechanics and associated weirdness The frontiers of physics The role of physics in our society Spring 2008 10 UCSD Physics 10 Transmitter Logistics We will use infrared transmitters in every lecture As a check on understanding To give practice on quiz-like questions Instant feedback (for me and for you) Surveys/opinion gathering Class Participation!!! Available at Bookstore new 13-button ones for $34 (may buy back at end) $26 used; also seek out friends who might have one older 6-button units will NOT work! You'll register your transmitter through WebCT site instructions are posted on the class website Spring 2008 11 UCSD Physics 10 How Much !? This course will largely focus on qualitative, conceptual content That does not mean the ideas are trivial! We will be using Simple graphs Occasional basic algebra Averages Don't let it psych you out when you see it... Spring 2008 12 UCSD Physics 10 Expectations Attend lectures and discussion section Participate! If it doesn't make sense, ask! Everyone learns that way. Don't be bashful about answering questions posed. In-class voting system should make this fun Do the work: It's the only way this stuff will really sink in exams become easier Explore, think, ask, speculate, admire, enjoy! Physics can be fun, enriching, beautiful Spring 2008 13 UCSD Physics 10 Does it Pay to Come to Lecture? No one who came more than 80% of time did very poorly Few who came infrequently got more than a low B Spring 2008 14 UCSD Physics 10 Any Questions on Course Structure? Spring 2008 15 UCSD Physics 10 Digression: Why are you here?! "Because I was born." "My parents made me come." "It's just what you do after high school..." "I want to get a job, man" "I'm here to learn--to think--to build my brain." College is an opportunity: do your best to seize it! What I wish for each of you to come out with: Ability to think critically (not afraid to think indep.) Skepticism about information given to you (agenda?) Willingness to see complexity/multiple sides of issue Spring 2008 16 UCSD Physics 10 What Is Science? Which of the following best describes "science"? A compendium of answers A set of rules about the natural world A methodology Exploration, curiosity; a compendium of questions Observation, experimentation Boring guys in white coats with nerdy senses of humor Science has bits of all these (esp. middle four) Spring 2008 17 UCSD Physics 10 Science = A Process for Change! Discovery Experiment/Observation Hypothesis Prediction Test Theory An ongoing cycle the "scientific method"
Scientific Method: The dynamic interplay between theory and experiment Spring 2008 18 UCSD Physics 10 Science also brings an Attitude
Scientists must accept their experimental findings even when they would like them to be different. They must strive to distinguish between what they see and what they wish to see, for scientists, like most people, have a vast capacity for fooling themselves. People have always tended to adopt general rules, beliefs, creeds, ideas, and hypotheses without thoroughly questioning their validity and to retain them long after they have been shown to be meaningless, false, or at least questionable. The most widespread assumptions are often the least questioned. Most often, when an idea is adopted, particular attention is given to cases that seem to support it, while cases that seem to refute it are distorted, belittled, or ignored. Spring 2008 19 UCSD Physics 10 What is "Physics" An attempt to rationalize the observed Universe in terms of irreducible basic constituents, interacting via basic forces. Reductionism! An evolving set of (sometimes contradictory!) organizing principles, theories, that are subjected to experimental tests. This has been going on for a long time.... with considerable success Spring 2008 20 UCSD Physics 10 Reductionism Attempt to find unifying principles and properties e.g., gravitation:
Kepler's laws of planetary motion Falling apples Universal Gravitation "Unification" of forces Spring 2008 21 UCSD Physics 10 Reductionism, continued
All the stuff you see around you Chemical compounds Elements (Atoms) e,n,p Superstrings? Many thousands Many hundreds Tens 3 An ongoing attempt to deduce the basic building blocks 22 Spring 2008 UCSD Physics 10 An Evolving World View As our understanding grows, theories are supplanted (or subsumed)
Kepler's laws of planetary motion Falling apples Universal General Gravitation Relativity Spring 2008 23 UCSD Physics 10 Should we even pay attention, then? Science is always on the move theories that long stood up to experiment are shot down But usually old theory is good enough to describe all experiments predating the new trouble-making experiment otherwise it would never have been adopted as a theory Ever higher precision pushes incomplete theories to their breaking points Result is enhanced understanding deeper appreciation/insight Spring 2008 24 UCSD Physics 10 Mathematics: the natural language of Physics
Engineering Biology Chemistry Geology Astronomy Physical Reality Abstraction Our Universe Spring 2008 25 UCSD Physics 10 Subdisciplines of Physics Astrophysics Condensed matter physics Atomic/Optical Physics Nuclear Physics Particle Physics Plasma Physics Biophysics .... Experimental vs. Theoretical Spring 2008 26 UCSD Physics 10 Mapping the Intellectual Frontier One (but by no means the only) way to organize our ignorance is in terms of length scales Our intuition and everyday experience spans only a very small range of this scale
Really small Subatomic Particles "ordinary" you Really big Observable Universe Spring 2008 27 UCSD Physics 10 To Start: An Intellectual Roadmap First Up Solar System to the Universe Next Week Atoms and subatomic particles Assignments: Check out course web page: physics.ucsd.edu/~tmurphy/phys10/ also, make sure you have access to WebCT page Reading: Hewitt, pp. 23, pp. 917 (boxes optional) Supplement on the Universe (posted on website) Spring 2008 28 ...
View Full Document