PHYS 005. Spacetime and Quanta
This course presents an introduction to the twin pillars of contemporary physics: relativity and quantum theory. Students will explore the counterintuitive consequences of special relativity for our understanding of space and time, and the nature of the subatomic quantum world, where our notions of absolute properties such as position or speed of a particle are replaced by probabilities. It is the usual entry point to majoring or minoring in astronomy, astrophysics, or physics, and is a pre or co-requisite for the sophomore-level physics major curriculum; it welcomes both non-majors and prospective majors who are interested in engaging rigorously and deeply with both the mathematical and conceptual descriptions of physics. Physics 005 will be taught seminar style with student presentation of problem solutions and ideas playing an essential role.
First-year students and any others who have not previously taken a course in the NSE division are required to register for and participate in the Thursday evening problem session, Physics 5X, led by the course instructors and designed to help students develop strong problem-solving skills. Other students are encouraged to participate if their schedules permit.
Not eligible for NSEP credit.
Natural sciences and engineering.
Fall 2017. Graves and Smith.
Fall 2018. Graves.
Fall 2019. Staff.
Catalog chapter: Physics and Astronomy
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/physics-astronomy