PHY 120: Revolutionary Concepts in Physics

Course Description

    This course is intended for non-majors who wish to know something about some of the fundamental and
glamorous topics of modern physics without getting deeply involved with lots of mathematics. It is our one
term "Physics for Poets" course.

    Topics will include models of the solar system (Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler), concepts of space-time and motion (Einstein, Galileo, Newton), causality, determinism, and uncertainty (Heisenberg, Schroedinger) and some of the
concepts such as symmetry which underlie elementry particle physics (Feynman, Gell-Mann, Wigner and others).

Grading Criteria

    The course grade is based on two or three short answer-essay exams, a few conceptual homework problems and questions, and class discussion.

Course Materials

    The Cornell Library has quite a few good supplementary reading materials for this course.  A few of them are:

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Last modified October 9, 1998  by Richard Jacob