I. Course description
Physics Big and Small is an introductory course in physics. The emphasis is on laboratory activities and a variety of relevant topics are covered. The course is a blend of demonstrations, lecture/discussion and lab investigations. The intent of the course is to provide the scholars an overview of the science that is physics.
II. Instructor: Mike O’Brien
BS, University of Texas at El Paso, 1987. Master of Educational Administration, Lindenwood University, 1999.
Current employer: The Fort Zumwalt School District, Fort Zumwalt South High School, 8050 Mexico Road, St. Peters, Mo. 63376
III. Rationale for inclusion in a program for gifted students:
Physics is a challenging science which most Missouri Scholars will eventually pursue in their home high schools. Physics Big and Small gives these talented students an opportunity to engage in physics activities in a college setting. These scholars will be better prepared for successful entrance into high school physics and it will assist them if they choose to pursue a degree in the discipline.
IV. Major topics covered:
- History of Physics
- Quantum Mechanics
V. Prerequisite knowledge:
The scholars are in no need of any training in physics but it is expected that they be proficient in algebra.
VI. Learning objectives:
The scholars should gain a solid foundation in, and be able to handle problems, both mathematical and practical in the following;
- Newtonian Dynamics
- Linear Momentum
- Angular Momentum
- Circular Motion
- Special Relativity
- General Relativity
It is further necessary that scholars become proficient with the equipment needed to carry out lab investigations involving these concepts.
VII. Primary source material:
- MU Physics Demo Book-Lee Carlson, University of Missouri Press, 1996
- College and University Physics Lab Manual-C.W. Tompson and H.W. White, University of Missouri Press, 1995
- Fundamentals of Physics-David Halliday and Robert Resnick, John Wiley and Sons, 1988
- Conceptual Physics-Paul Hewitt, Addison Wesley, 1992
VIII. Supplementary source material
- Journey Through the Universe-Jay Pasachoff, Saunders College Publishing, 1992
- Physics: Principles and Problems-Paul Zitzewitz and Robert F. Neff, Glencoe/McGraw Hill, 1990
- Universe-William F. Kaufmann III, W.H. Freeman and Company, 1999