Have you wondered about the origin and workings of the natural world around us? Have you found physical science interesting but inaccessible because it was too full of math and jargon? Have you felt a pull to become more science-literate? If so this seminar course is for you -- or for anyone interested in understanding more about the universe, including our planet, seen through the lens of modern physics.
Ideas on the menu will include: particle physics, space and time, relativity, black holes, quantum physics, unification of forces, string theory, and big bang cosmology. The intriguing story of these integrated phenomena unfolds over a wide distance and a long time.
No prior experience with physical science will be required, but familiarity with Grade 10 mathematics will be assumed. Students from diverse academic backgrounds are warmly welcome.
Discussion-based seminar classes are held on Wednesdays from 1410-1600h in MP606 (our classroom). Office hours will be held on Wednesdays from 1610-1700h in my office, MP1118.
Announcements will be listed here in reverse chronological order to make the latest ones easiest to find.
W13Mar: Essay 3 is posted. It will be due on Mar.27.
W06Feb: Essay 2 is posted. It will be due on Feb.27.
W30Jan: Here is the list of Oral Presentation topics that you can choose from, to present in the final class of the semester. Please peruse it, and google any jargon you find, to help you decide what you would find the most interesting. If googling doesn't help, feel free to ask me to explain what the topic is about myself. Hope you find something you like! ☺️ Please also think about what length of presentation you would be most comfortable with: I propose somewhere between 4-15 minutes. We will decide on that together in class next week.
W23Jan: This is just a reminder that Essay 1 will be due at the start of class next week. If you wish to use one or more of your Grace Days for this essay, please let me know at least 24 hours before the deadline, specifying how many Grace Days you want to use. If you became ill/injured during the two-week timeframe allocated for this essay and need a medical extension, please let me know and I will do what I can to assist. To hand in an essay, please do three things:-
email me a copy of your essay along with [a scan/good photo of] your signed dated academic integrity checklist;
give me a physical hardcopy in person at the start of class, including the checklist;
upload your essay to turnitin.com using the class ID and password given out in class (this is less time sensitive but still needs to be done, to satisfy university regulations).
Please note: I am very happy to give advice about the subject of your Essay 1 via email/Skype/FaceTime before the due date. Please do not hesitate to ask for assistance: I love helping students and I try hard not to be scary in person, whether it is in the classroom, my office, or on video chat. Usually it is easier for me to find a time for a video chat in the evenings or on weekends.
R17Jan: Today I heard about the Doug Ford government of Ontario cutting OSAP as well as university budgets, which will only serve to make university less affordable for non-wealthy students. This makes me very angry. Their attempts to also hollow out student unions, vital student support services, and student newspapers are also despicable, in my opinion. If I can provide extra academic or moral support for you as you negotiate this new BS, please let me know.
Jan.07: Welcome! This website contains all the information students need to know for my PMU199H-S-LEC0341 course. Please read all of it carefully. Our first class will meet on Wednesday 9th January 2018 at 14:10h in McLennan Physics MP606, which is in the tall Burton Tower section of our building. I look forward to meeting you then.