« Return to Course Catalog

Physics for the Curious Mind

Course registration will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

Course Description

While most courses in science begin by introducing the theory first, and asking questions later, this course is intended to do just the opposite! “Why is the sky blue?”, “Why does the soccer ball curve in the air?”, “Can we really live on Mars?”, “Is it possible to build a jet-pack using downward firing projectiles?” This course will enable students to view the world through a scientific lens.

Together, we want to become aware of the everyday phenomena in nature, and to become curious. We want to inspire questions such as “What? Why? How? What if”? We will use inquiries to introduce key concepts in a variety of fields -- mechanics of solids and liquids, optics, heat, thermodynamics, electromagnetism, and modern physics.

Student learning will be set in an interactive and engaging environment, complete with theory and experiments. Students will work in teams to come up with scientifically interesting questions, and answer-outlines for those questions. The lectures will be based on an assortment of readings, gathered from a range of books and journals. This will help students develop their critical-reading and thinking skills.

The class-time will be complemented with lab tours, with the aim of providing students a chance to familiarize themselves with specialized equipment and ongoing research. Towards the later part of the course, students will undertake a project to explore a problem in teams and present their understanding before the class. We want to foster a collaborative environment for students to learn and also develop their scientific communication skills.

The course will help students develop an array of skills that will be useful in further study in the field. The course will enable them to get a deep understanding of basic scientific concepts, and ask and answer scientifically relevant questions. They will develop an aptitude to break down complex problems into smaller solvable ones.

Prerequisites: Knowledge of algebra is recommended but not required. All necessary skills will be taught during the course.