Physics at the Cutting Edge (2020-21) -- PHY198S
Instructor: Prof. A.W. Peet
This PHY198S first-year foundations seminar course is intended as an accessible introduction to the world of current physics research, and is centred around the weekly physics colloquium series. Topics we will introduce you to will include: atmospheric/ocean physics, geophysics, biophysics, condensed matter physics, and particle/astrophysics. Seminar classes will be kept at first-year level, so that everyone can understand the material.
Weekly attendance at both class and colloquium is expected.
- Synchronous class: R2-4 (Zoom info)
- Physics colloquium: R4-5
- Office hours: M2-3 (Zoom info), or by appointment
Other useful information:-
Things you need to do are marked with a ⭐️; information is marked with a 🔹.
- Jan.22: 🔹 Our Week 2 speaker has shared an article for those who might be interested to learn a bit more about the link between global warming and intensification of hurricanes. It makes use of the idea of entropy, so I added some brief definitions of that and other terms used (and a wee digression on the Laws of Thermodynamics). Reading this stuff is completely optional.
- Jan.21: Thanks for being such great participants in class today! I really enjoyed discussing with you in this week's seminar.
⭐️ Here are the recommended pre-class readings for Week 3. I hope you find them enjoyable; the level is really accessible and there are no equations.
⭐️ Please start having a think about what topic(s) you might like to research for your Final Project. I would like to get your expressions of interest by about two weeks from now, so that I can get students who are interested in similar topics organized together into small groups. We might try out Piazza's
Search for Teammmates function, but since I haven't used that before, I think a more low-tech method might be better to start with. Please email me with a list of your top three to five topics that you would like to know more about, that don't look like they'll be discussed in Week 2-11 colloquia. Get as specific as you can about what fascinates you, and let me know by Thu.04.Feb.
🔹 The Zoom recording from this week's seminar class turned out to be enormous, so I had to compress it down before I could post it to Quercus on our Seminar Class Recordings page. Also - my apologies - I forgot that my image would be mirrored on the video compared to what I see on my screen, so when I pointed in certain directions I actually meant to point in the mirror image direction. I will endeavour not to make the same mistake in future.
🔹 I decided to allow handing in Final Project individual reports up to five days late without penalty if necessary, to reduce end-semester stress a bit. Apr.13 will be the last possible date for handing these in, because I must submit all final grades no later than five business days after classes end. The Final Project group oral presentation slides will still be due by Apr.08, the last class, because that is oral presentations day. (For the student on the other side of the world, a special separate oral presentation will be held within 24 hours of the others, with me as the audience.)
- Jan.16: ⭐️ The pre-class readings for Week 2 are posted. I recommend reading about ten pages of Knight, and I also wrote about five more pages myself. If you run out of time, you can skip the stuff I wrote. Please give me feedback on Piazza about how the readings are going - I do not want to be a mean old professor who accidentally makes you work too hard! :)
- Jan.14b: 🔹 It was a genuine privilege and pleasure to meet you all today. By popular demand, I restored the passcode for our Zoom classroom back to the one that people liked. See Quercus for details.
- Jan.14a: 🔹 Today in the first half of class I will mostly explain how the course will be organized, and answer student questions or concerns about any aspect of that. We will also pick a time to hold office hours. In the second half of class, we will take a bit of time to introduce ourselves to each other, and start getting comfortable with having active discussions in small groups and amongst the whole class. Then I will say a little bit about some basic physics involved in today's colloquium, so that we can then attend the first part of it together. Then we will come back to class and chat some more amongst ourselves, to ensure that you feel confident that you can handle the work expected in this course going forward.
- Jan.11: 🔹 I look forward to meeting you all in our first Zoom class on Thursday 14th January 2021 at 2:10pm. See Quercus for details.