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, big bang cosmology, and the theory of everything. The intriguing story of these integrated phenomena unfolds over a wide range of distance and time scales.
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 14:10-16:00h in MP606, which is in McLennan Physics (MP) building. Office hours will be held after class on Wednesdays from 16:00-17:45h in my office, MP1118.
Nov.22: Please note: when you give your Final Project presentations on Dec.04, you will not be permitted to show slides. The only thing on the screen during your talk will be your one-page poster. Please ensure that you hand in your Poster electronically by 13:30h on Dec.04 -- at least half an hour before class. That will give me time to load them up onto my laptop ready to display.
Oct.27: a student asked for clarification of expectations about poster format. Please start by consulting the posters and presentations howto guide on the UofT Library website. I recommend choosing 4:3 aspect ratio (wider than square), so that your poster can be displayed on the classroom screen during your oral presentation. (Posters at physics conferences I have attended are often 4ft by 3ft, but I am not asking you to get yours printed because the cost would probably be $70-100!) One source of advice listed in the Library resources is this website on designing scientific posters, which includes templates you can download; the fourth template has 4:3 aspect ratio. Regardless of whether you use someone else's template, for readability please use a plain sans-serif font (e.g. Helvetica, Verdana, Arial, Computer Modern sans serif), aim for 24pt body text, and never use sizes smaller than 18pt. Also, stay away from colour combinations with low contrast, like yellow on white or dark blue on black.
Read the online lecture notes for Week 3. Submit your summary of what you learned, along with your 1-2 questions you want answered in class, via Quercus by 7pm on Tuesday Sep.24.
Get in touch with others in your Final Project Group via Quercus. To communicate with the other members of your team, the best way is to start a Discussion -- only the other students in your Group will be able to see it on Quercus (make sure you have Notifications turned on). At this stage, you should be working together to refine your idea for your Final Project topic. If you want to know what topics other students have already chosen, please see today's Announcement on Quercus which I just posted after class (Sep.18).
Sep.11: It was great to meet you all today. Please ensure that you bring your name badge to class next week and every week -- this will help me learn your names faster, and you will need it to be awarded participation marks. You are very welcome to customize your name badge! To do so, carefully open the enclosing plastic seam along the top of the piece of paper and replace the paper insert with what you want.
Note: this class is full at 30, and the classroom has a maximum capacity of 30. Accordingly, registered students will be given priority in seating in MP606. Waitlisted students will be seated if space is available.
The first class will be held on Wednesday September 11th 2019 from 2-4PM in MP606. To get to the classroom, aim for the tall narrow Burton Tower section of the McLennan Physics building (not the undergraduate wing which is short and wide). Take one of the four elevators up to the 6th floor, and turn right twice; MP606 will be on your left. I look forward to meeting you all. ☺️