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									     Physics 102
Astronomy of the Planets

             Dr. Tyler E. Nordgren


•   Why did you sign up for this class?
    a. I have always wanted to learn about the stars and
    b. I have always wanted to learn about my horoscope.
    c. I am not comfortable with science but since I need the
       MS1 I heard good things about this class.
    d. I am not comfortable with science but since I need the
       MS1 this looked easier than chemistry or bio.
    e. None of the above.

              The MS1 LAF
Students completing an MS1 will demonstrate:
• knowledge of the basic concepts and accepted
  theoretical principles in a particular scientific
• knowledge of how a particular scientific
  discipline advances understanding of the
  physical world through its application of the
  scientific method;
• the ability to apply the scientific method through
  the acquisition and analysis of data within a
  laboratory or field setting.

            Semester Goals
• What is science? How does it work?
  – Why is science different from philosophy or
  – Why is a scientific “theory” different from a
    conspiracy “theory?”
• Learn about the Scientific Method
  through study of Astronomy:
  1. Are there planets around other stars?
  2. Is there life on Mars?
  3. Planetary perils:
     1. What is global warming?
     2. What are the dangers of an asteroid hitting the

Final Grades:
  “C Acceptable. The quality of work was
  acceptable meeting minimal course
  standards but was not exceptional.”
 University of Redlands Catalog 2005-2007 pg 25.


•   A – Outstanding
•   B – Exceptional
•   C – Acceptable
•   D – Poor
•   F – Failing
University of Redlands Catalog 2005-2007 pp 25 – 26.

• Class three days a week (MWF):
  – 1 hour and 20 minutes
  – Lectures available on website ahead of time
• Labs as part of class
• “Optional” Activities
  – Evenings and weekends
  – Check the syllabus and website for exact dates
    and times!


•   9:30 am homework due
•   Short lecture
•   Concept questions – “clickers”
•   In-class discussions
•   Lab experiments
    – Some classes entirely lab experiments
• New homework assigned.

•   Assigned every class.
•   Due 9:30 morning of every class.
•   Three or four questions.
•   Must include a topic of confusion.
•   Class tailored to homework.


• Science is a process, not a body of
• Labs are integrated into the class
  – Included with discussion and lecture.
  – Classes entirely devoted to lab work.
  – Some “Optional” activities include lab work.

         “Optional” Activities

•   Five (5) optional activities.
•   Accentuate class material.
•   You are required to do three (3).
•   Extra credit for doing more.

               Calendar of Activities
Activity                                              Date
1. Dark sky telescopic observing                      Friday, Oct 24
(Joshua Tree, time TBA)
2. Movie: Roving Mars                                 Tuesday, Oct 28

3. Movie: An Inconvenient Truth (Mandatory)           Wednesday, Nov 12
4. Movie: Deep Impact                                 Monday, Nov 24

5. Lunar telescopic observing (Astrodeck, time TBA)   Thursday, Dec 4

•   Homework: 15%
•   In-class labs: 10%
•   “Optional” Activities: 10%
•   Class citizenship: 5%
•   Exams: 60%
    – 3 exams, lowest grade

                 Class Rules

• See hand-out and website.
• You are adults and responsible for ALL
• A few in particular:
  –   No late homework is accepted.
  –   No admittance to lab once started.
  –   No make-up exams.
  –   Cheating will not be tolerated.

           Why should I believe?
• How do we decide what to believe is
  –   Astrology.
  –   Astronomy.
  –   The Face on Mars.
  –   Search for life on Mars.
  –   Creationism (Intelligent Design).
  –   The Big Bang.
• Why should you believe one over any
 Lots of things worth understanding
are worth not understanding the first
   time you are exposed to them.

 Find the courage to be confused.

                               Homework #1
•   Due Fri 5-Sept: Read Tyson Ch. 2.
    (denoted “Ty2” on Physics 102 lecture web page)

    1.   What must a scientific theory do?
         a.   Explain what is seen and tie together a wide range of ideas.
         b.   Explain what is seen and predict the results of future experiments.
         c.   Be based on observational data and unify disjointed sets of ideas.
         d.   Be based on known physical laws and be falsifiable.
         e.   All of the above.
    2.   Which of the following is a weakness of the scientific method?
         a.   A scientific theory is considered correct only as long as the results of new experiments
              continue to confirm it.
         b.   A scientific theory that has been widely accepted can still be called into question by the
              results of new experiments.
         c.   If one researcher claims a result that can not be reproduced by another researcher, then
              the first researcher’s results may not be accepted.
         d.   All of the above.
         e.   None of the above.
    3.   The difference between what we used to call Laws and what we now call
         Theories is:
         a.   A theory is a guess that becomes a law when it has survived centuries of repeated
         b.   Nothing, we now realize that what used to be called laws, are still subject to being
         c.   Since 1900 no new theories have been sufficiently proved in order to meet the criteria of

              being a law.
         d.   All of the above.
         e.   None of the above.

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