In this course, we’ll explore fundamental concepts associated with classical, relativistic and quantum mechanical physics. What does that mean? Well, we’ll see. However, broadly, we’ll work to understand the world (and universe!) around us by understanding the underlying physical concepts that govern its behavior. Some of these concepts are intuitive, but many are not. My goal is to use modern teaching techniques, informed and validated by current physics education research, to guide you through the material. This course help you to appreciate the physical universe we live in as well as help you to develop tools to excel in whatever field you decide to pursue.
Physics 141 represents a departure from the traditional teaching pedagogy for the introductory physics sequence. When instructors and students in other majors are polled on what their expectations are from this course we consistently come away with three main goals, which are (not coincidentally) our goals for this course:
1.) Prepare critical thinking skills for future challenges
2.) Frame physical phenomena in a way to stresses qualitative and conceptual understanding
3.) Introduce students to interesting (and dare I say fun) physical phenomena