An Introduction to Newtonian Mechanics and Electromagnetism

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This course is under review for 2021. Course registration will open to accepted students once courses are confirmed.

Course Description

This course is designed specifically for English Language Learners interested in further developing their English skills in a challenging college-level academic setting.

This course will provide an overview of Newtonian Mechanics. We will be studying one and two dimensional motion, forces, momentum, energy, rotational motion, periodic motion and light. Starting with the concepts of vectors we will move on to studying Newton's laws of physics. Learning about the conservation of energy and momentum will then lead to the analysis of circular motion. We will learn about periodic motion, waves and light, which will lead to the developments of some concepts in modern physics and electromagnetic theory.

Instead of using complicated laboratory equipment, we will use an app and the sensors in a mobile phone or tablet to measure heights, angles, g-forces, position, velocity and acceleration, periodic motion, light and sound.

Smartphones and tablets in use today have sensors that are able to measure lengths, positions, velocities, accelerations, light and sound as well as many other physical phenomena such as vibrations and magnetic fields. We will be using our smartphones as i/o devices to take measurements that will help us understand Newton's laws of physics. We will study the mechanics of solids, physics of waves, electromagnetism, optics and thermodynamics using a smartphone or tablet as our main measurement device.

Learning will be interactive, starting out with simple experiments leading us to concepts in mechanics. We will learn the theory behind our experimental results, and develop our experiments further to increase accuracy. The students will require some background reading, which will develop their critical thinking skills. They will work in groups, develop collaborative skills, and how to present their data in a way that highlights the concepts they have learned.

We will visit some of the laboratories at Brown University, and observe the applications of introductory physics concepts in an advanced research environment.

The learning objectives for this course are for students to develop creative and critical thinking skills, and learn to identify critical information that help them in problem solving. The students will appropriately reason, synthesize knowledge and evaluate information necessary to solve problems and form perspectives on issues facing the world today.

Prerequisites: Some knowledge of algebra is recommended. A smartphone or tablet is recommended.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEPI0801
  • Length: 2 weeks

Program Information

[email protected] for English Language Learners

A select group of non-credit courses in the liberal arts and sciences supplemented with English language learning, two weeks long, taught on Brown’s campus. For University-bound English language learners completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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