Physics 102 Atoms to Galaxies

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Physics 102
Atoms to Galaxies
(Lecture Sec. 5 / Lab Sec. 6)

Spring 2011


Dr. Shang-Fen Ren
Moulton Hall 312 C
(309) 438-5246


9:35 am – 10: 50 pm, Tuesday and Thursday

Class Website:

Textbook Companion Site:
Hands on Activities: Open labs, Moulton 202 & 204 (tentative schedule) Monday
Tuesday - Friday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Office Hours:

10:50am -11:50am, 3:15-4:15 pm, Tuesday and Thursday
Moulton 312 C
Make an appointment or stop by at other times

Required Materials:

The Sciences, An Integrated Approach,
6th Edition by James Trefil and Robert M. Hazen,
published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2010, 2007 (or other similar Edition). You can buy the textbook in bookstores on campus or online. You can also choose the WileyPLUS option that will be discussed in class.

Lab Manual: Hands on Activity manual 2007 by Jay Ansher
(You can buy the manual in the bookstores on campus)
A registered TurningPoint remote response pad (clicker) is required. It must be registered on your iCampus site at
https:/www/ (Remember to put in a new battery if you use your clicker from last semester). The clicker will be used in class for practice problems.
Calculator: A scientific calculator is required for class and homework, etc Mallard Instruction (We will use Mallard for homework):
Your login name is your ULID
Your initial Mallard password is your UID
(Please remember your password after you change it, because I will not be able to help you to recover it if you forget).

The goal of this course is to provide an effective science education to students who are not intended to become scientists but who need knowledge of science to function well as citizens in a world that is increasingly dominated by science and technology. You do not have to know how to play music well to love music. Similarly, you do not have to be a scientist and know how to work out all the scientific problems in detail to appreciate sciences. The goal of this course is to provide the students an opportunity to read about and appreciate major discoveries in sciences and to develop the ability to place important public issues such as energy and environment, and medical advancement, in a scientific context. We will help students to develop a habit of learning science through reading, thinking, self-study, and group discussions. We will help students to understand the scientific process and to understand many great ideas in today’s science and technology. We will emphasize the learning process but not the accumulation of facts and memorization of equations. For these purposes, we will actively involve students in classroom activities, and mathematics is kept to a minimum.

Format: The format of this course is designed to provide students with an active learning experience that includes the following:
Classroom Lectures: We will meet in the classroom twice every week. In these class times, we will introduce important science concepts and key terms covered in each chapter. The lectures will be simple and we will spend a lot of time for discussions. The students will be organized into groups each with 3-6 students. The student-groups will discuss class materials in class and may be asked to work out problems in front of the class. The students are also encouraged to present their own studies and understandings in class as an individual or in a group for extra credit. This peer-instruction approach of actively involving students in classroom learning and presentations can make the course materials fun and more accessible to students.

Attendance: Attendance in classroom lectures and participation in discussions are required in this course but they can also be excused as the following: if a student cannot or does not...
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