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Morris Bulletin / Division Structure and Course Descriptions

Physical Science (PSci)

This interdisciplinary group of courses is in the Division of Science and Mathematics.

Objectives—PSci 1100, 1101 present basic concepts in physical science and their development and application to present-day experiences. They are for students not majoring in the Division of Science and Mathematics.

PSci 1200 is a course in Western, scientific cosmology suitable for students from all four divisions.

Course Descriptions

PSci 1100f, 1101w. Concepts and Methodology in Physical Science. (5 cr per qtr; 4 hrs lect and rec, 2 hrs lab; offered when feasible)

Topics from everyday experiences in the physical world—to foster an understanding of the development and formulation of the laws of physical science. Use of these laws and principles by individuals and society as a whole emphasized. Such concepts as observation, measurement, motion, and energy are discussed from both the pure and the applied scientific points of view.

PSci 1200. Scientific Cosmologies. (E9; 5 cr; 4 hrs lect, 1 hr rec; recommended for sophomores or more advanced students; not offered 1998-99)

Geocentric universe of Aristotle and Ptolemy. The scientific revolution and the infinite universe: Copernicus to Newton. Island universes. The expanding universe. Big bang cosmologies and the steady-state theory. The standard model: successes, difficulties, and new directions.

PSci 3100Hw. Relativity and Cosmology I. (4 cr; prereq Math 1203, Phys 1200, # for students not in Honors Program; 2 hrs lect, 2 hrs rec per wk; not offered 1997-98)

Special relativity: covariance, Lorentz transformation, Minkowski diagrams, the nature of space-time. The Cosmological Principle. Hubble's Law. The geometry, kinematics, and dynamics of world models, especially the Friedmann cosmologies. Horizons. The age of the universe. Steady-state theory and kinematic relativity.

PSci 3101Hs. Relativity and Cosmology II. (1 cr; prereq 3100, # for students not in Honors Program; not offered 1997-98)

Research paper on a topic in 20th-century cosmology.

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