PHYS 1001w -- Changes

Tue Feb 24 13:15:47 2009

Effective Term: New:  1109 - Fall 2010
Old:  1089 - Fall 2008
Sponsor Name:
New:  James Kakalios
Old:  Priscilla Cushman
Sponsor E-mail Address:
this course fulfills:
New:  PHYS - PHYS Physical Sciences
Old:  ENVT - ENVT Environment Theme
Other requirement
this course fulfills:
New:  ENV - ENV The Environment
Old:  PHYS SCI/L - PHYS SCI/L Physical Science with Laboratory Core
Criteria for
Core Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed core requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or method.

Core courses must meet the following requirements:

  • They explicitly help students understand what liberal education is, how the content and the substance of this course enhance a liberal education, and what this means for them as students and as citizens
  • They employ teaching and learning strategies that engage students with doing the work of the field, not just reading about it.
  • They include small group experiences (such as discussion sections or labs) and use writing as appropriate to the discipline to help students learn and reflect on their learning.
  • They do not (except in rare and clearly justified cases) have prerequisites beyond the University´┐Żs entrance requirements.
  • They are offered on a regular schedule.
  • They are taught by regular faculty or under exceptional circumstances by instructors on continuing appointments. Departments proposing instructors other than regular faculty must provide documentation of how such instructors will be trained and supervised to ensure consistency and continuity in courses.

The course will give students an understanding of basic physical phenomena and principles associated with electrical power generation.
The physical concepts of the Principle of Conservation of Energy, Electricity and Magnetism, the basic principles of Thermodynamics, and the basics of Atomic and Nuclear Physics are described. The applications
of these principles in solar, wind, geothermal and power plant electricity production are elucidated. Students apply the concepts described in lecture, qualitatively and quantitatively solving problems
with mathematical reasoning using math at a level up to and including high school algebra. Students, working in small peer groups in weekly two-hour lab sections, perform hands-on experiments that test and amplify concepts presented in lecture.

The best answere to this question is the syllabus of the course which explicitly addresses the theme which weaves through the entire course in the final week:

Week 1: Definition of Energy, Forms of Energy, Conservation of Energy, Transforming from one form to another. Closed and Open Systems.

Week 2: Kinetic Energy, average and instantaneous velocity.  Heat as kinetic energy. Random vs Ordered, Entropy.

Week 3: Potential Energy: 3 forms done explicitly: Gravitational, Electrical and Mechanical Spring.  Other forms done generally.  Transforming from KE to PE. Worked examples.

Week 4: Work and Power, Examples from all systems. Friction and air resistance introduced. Dissapative vs conservative systems.

Week 5: Transporting Energy: Waves vs particles.  Wave Properties.  Light, Sound, Slinkies, and Water done explicitly

Week 6: Electricity - Circuits and household appliances, resistance and power, etc. Batteries and Storage of energy.

Week 7: Magnetism, E and B fields and EM waves. The EM spectrum and energy of photons, radio waves.  Power Lines (particles) and Antennae (waves) transmit energy.  Examine effect of EM radiation on people and environment.

Week 8: Generators and Motors.  How do we convert Mechanical energy to Electrical. sources: Water, Wind, Waves....Practical Examples.  What is left over? Define "waste" and define "efficiency".

Week 9: Fossil Fuels and conversion of chemical PE to Electricity.  Steam engines vs Internal Combustion.  Entropy examined, Carnot cycle.  Alternate fuels: alcohol, methane, etc.  Efficiency and waste compared, impact on environment.

Week 10: Solar Energy and Heat Pumps.  Passive and Active heating. Storage.  Heat waste and the environment. Radiant vs convective heating.  Revisit energy of EM spectrum. Radiation from the sun, energy deposited in living tissue.

Week 11: Laws of Probability and Risk Analysis. Exponential decay and lifetimes.  Statistics of small numbers.

Week 12: Atoms and nuclei. A short history of theories of atomic structure.  Atomic spectra. Alpha, beta, and gamma rays. Geiger counters and particle range. Natural sources of radiation (Uranium, radon, potassium), background rates and risks. Historical misconceptions and present day misconceptions.

Week 13: Nuclear power plants. Fission vs fusion. Efficiency of process.  Manmade radioactive materials. Disposal and related technological problems/solutions.  Safety and the human factor.

Week 14: Evaluate the energy choices discussed. Compare with respect to waste, efficiency, environmental impact, and potential risk.  Examine centralized vs local power generation and its impact on these choices.
Criteria for
Theme Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed theme requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or methods.

Theme courses have the common goal of cultivating in students a number of habits of mind:
  • thinking ethically about important challenges facing our society and world;
  • reflecting on the shared sense of responsibility required to build and maintain community;
  • connecting knowledge and practice;
  • fostering a stronger sense of our roles as historical agents.

New:  This class satisfies the University of Minnesota Liberal Education requirement of the Environment Theme.  Informed decisions regarding the environment cannot be made without an understanding of the scientific issues related to the transformation of energy from one form to another.
By addressing the basic science associated with human energy transformation and utilization, students will be able to assess the costs and benefits of a wide range of energy alternatives and their impact on the environment.
The physical principles associated with energy transformation in human society, including the release of chemical energy in the combustion of fossil fuels, in hydro-electric dams, in geothermal or nuclear power plants will be elucidated.  The technology underlying alternative energy production by solar cells and wind power will be examined and their benefits and limitations will be discussed.  Scientific issues related to electric power transmission via power lines, climate change and the hazards of radioactivity will be examined.  This class will provide students with an introduction to fundamental principles that will enable them to critically evaluate public debates concerning energy and the environment, giving them the foundation on which informed decisions concerning the environment can be made.

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Please provide a provisional syllabus for new courses and courses in which changes in content and/or description and/or credits are proposed that include the following information: course goals and description; format/structure of the course (proposed number of instructor contact hours per week, student workload effort per week, etc.); topics to be covered; scope and nature of assigned readings (texts, authors, frequency, amount per week); required course assignments; nature of any student projects; and how students will be evaluated.

The University policy on credits is found under Section 4A of "Standards for Semester Conversion" at . Provisional course syllabus information will be retained in this system until new syllabus information is entered with the next major course modification, This provisional course syllabus information may not correspond to the course as offered in a particular semester.

New:  Physics 1001W: Energy and the Environment
Instructor: J. Woods Halley
Office: 350C Tate Laboratory, 116 Church St. SE
Office Phone:624-0395
Office hours: 4:30-5:30pm M, 2:30-3:30 WF
Class Web Page:
Energy, Its Use and the Environment, R. A. Hinrichs and M. Kleinbach, Brooks/Cole
Energy and the Environment, Physics 1001W, Lab Manual
Goals of this class:
1. Remember and understand what is meant by energy in physics and engineering as applied to technologies of energy delivery and use in today's world. The goal is to permit you think about, discuss and explain energy in terms which which are scientifically correct, though not necessarily as technically as detailed as an engineer or scientist might use.
2. Learn, at a similar level, the basic facts concerning energy production and use and their environmental consequences in society from a scientific and technical point of view.
To lead to these goals you will
1. Read and understand verbally, the concepts set out in the lectures and text.
2. Master the concepts quantitatively so that you can set up and carry out simple calculations at the mathematics level of arithmetic and very simple algebra which provide practise in achieving the goals listed above.
3. Carry out and critically evaluate laboratory experiments illustrating the principles and concepts you are learning in the course.
4. Write short essays demonstrating your understanding of the concepts and your ability to think logically about them. The essays should use language understandable to all college educated adults and should be scientifically correct as judged by a professional scientist.
Work Load:
About 20-40 pages of reading each week (mostly from the textbook).Explicit weekly reading assignments appear in the course schedule below.
A total of about 40 (lab reports plus final paper) pages of writing for the course.
Three in-class exams and a comprehensive Final Exam. Dates are listed in the course schedule.
Fourteen laboratory reports (details from lab TAs). Weekly, as listed in the course schedule.
Seven homework assignments. Due dates are listed in the schedule.
Two short papers and one final paper. Due dates are listed in the course schedule.
Extra credit for correct answers to in-class 'clicker' questions:
During each lecture, you will have an opportunity to answer questions
posed by the lecturer using a radio frequency 'clicker'. Answers are
recorded and you will get 2 extra credit points for each correct answer.
The number of possible extra credit points is not precisely determined
(because some of the questions will be chosen by the lecturer during
the course) but will be between 100 and 200.
Note: Please put your name, student number, and lab section number of each paper that you turn in. Thank you. Homework, inclass exams and papers are to be turned in at the beginning of lecture on Fridays, sorted by lab section. When these papers are graded, they will be returned
in lab sections. Lab reports are to be turned into lab section TA's. No papers or homework will be accepted by email.
No Early, Late, or Make-Up Exams Will Be Given.
Exam Schedule
In-Class Exams: 2/13, 3/13 and 4/24
Final Exam: Saturday, May 16, 2009, 1:30 to 4:30 PM
Grade Determination:
Strictly on a point system. Keep track of your points, and you will know your grade
Fourteen labs 8 points for report; 2 points for preparation 140
Three in-class exams 50 points each 150
Final Exam 100 points 100
Seven homeworks 10 points each 70
Two Short papers 20 points each 40
Final paper 100
Maximum total 600 (plus extra credit 'clicker' points)
Final Grade Assignment:
Total Score > 500 points = A-/A
Total Score = 400-500 = B-/B/B+
Total Score = 300-400 = C-/C/C+
Total Score = 200-300 = D/D+
Total Score < 200 = F
Labs are a very important part of this class. Everyone is expected
to own a lab notebook (of some sort, nothing very formal is required,
but it should include everything you do for the labs in a single bound
book) and read through the laboratory descriptions in the lab book for each weeks lab. You are expected to write down a little bit of preparatory material in your lab notebook before you enter the lab. This might be addressing some of the following questions: What is the purpose of this lab? What are we testing? What do we expect for a result? Nothing long is necessary, just a quick check that you have
prepared for the lab.

Liberal Education Core Requirement
This class satisfies the University of Minnesota Liberal Education requirement of a physical science course with a laboratory component, as part of the Liberal Education Core.  Discoveries and inventions that have profoundly altered the course of human history arose from the physical sciences.  As citizens and voters (whether in the United States or in another country), today’s students will be called upon to make decisions on such topics as global climate change, alternative energy sources and resource management.  A familiarity with the methods and findings of the physical sciences has never been more important and forms a crucial component of a common education.  

This class will expose the student to physical principles and concepts, demonstrate how these principles can be applied to quantitatively describe natural phenomena, and provide the student with an opportunity to perform hands-on experiments and measurements that replicate how physical knowledge is obtained.  All knowledge in the physical sciences is empirically acquired, and a proper exposure to the ways of knowing and thinking in the physical sciences requires a laboratory component to any formal coursework.  The lab component of the class will give you experience in making predictions based upon hypotheses, which are then empirically tested by experiment or observation, through which scientific knowledge is developed.  The language of the physical world is mathematical and students will be expected to employ mathematical reasoning in order to solve problems both qualitatively and quantitatively. Physics is a social endeavor, and the student will gain experience in cooperative problem solving, working in small groups with other students, in the laboratory sections of the course.

Liberal Education Theme Requirement – The Environment
This class satisfies the University of Minnesota Liberal Education requirement of the Environment Theme.  Informed decisions regarding the environment cannot be made without an understanding of the scientific issues related to the transformation of energy from one form to another.
By addressing the basic science associated with human energy transformation and utilization, students will be able to assess the costs and benefits of a wide range of energy alternatives and their impact on the environment.

Student Conduct:
The Institute of Technology assumes that all students enroll in its
programs with a serious learning purpose and expects them to be
responsible individuals who demand of themselves high standards of
honesty and personal conduct. The Institute of Technology expects the highest standards of honesty and integrity in the academic performance of its students. Any attempt by a stAny attempt by a student to present work that he or she has not prepared, or to pass an examination by improper means, is regarded by the faculty as a serious offense, which may result in the immediate expulsion of the student. Aiding and abetting a student in an act of dishonesty is also considered a serious offense. All work you hand in must be your own work. Anyone copying from another student from material obtained from a website or book, and trying to pass this off as their own work, without providing citation and credit, will be penalized, ranging from a zero on the particular assignment to an a grade of F for the class. Cooperative discussion with laboratory partners concerning the performance of experiments and their interpretation is encouraged. However, your laboratory reports should be your own work in the sense described above. Similarly, discussion of homework problems is encouraged but the homework problem solutions you turn in should be your own work and should not be copied from anyone else.
Use of Class Notes for Commercial Purposes:Students may not distribute, via the Internet or other means,lecture notes or instructor-provided materials for compensation or for commercial purposes. This policy is enforced as University rules under the University of Minnesota statement of standards of student conduct and violations may result in sanctions ranging from a warning to
Course Schedule
Week 1(1/20-23): Introduction: Overview of energy flows on the earth
Reading: Chapter 1 of KH, No Laboratory
Week 2(1/26-30): Basic Language of Physics: space, time, velocity, acceleration
force, mass.
Reading: Chapter 2 of KH
Laboratories 1 and 2
1/30- Homework 1 due
Week 3(2/2-6): Kinetic Energy and Gravitational Potential Energy, Power
Reading: Chapter 2 of KH
Laboratory 3
2/6- Homework 2 due
Week 4 (2/9-13) : Thermal Energy and the First Law of Thermodynamics
Reading: Chapters 3 and 4, KH
Laboratory 4
2/13: First In Class Exam
Week 5: (2/16-20) Thermal Energy Transfer, Insulating Houses
Reading: Chapters 4 and 5
Laboratory 5
2/20- Homework 3 due
Week 6: (2/23-27) Solar Energy
Reading: Chapter 6
Laboratory 6
2/27 - Homework 4 due
Week 7: (3/2-6) Engines driven by Thermal Energy, Second Law of Thermodynamics
Reading Chapters 4,7
Laboratory 7
3/6- First paper due
Week 8: (3/9-13) Global Warming and thermal pollution
Reading: Chapter 9
Laboratory 8
3/13: Second in-class exam
Week 9: (3/23-27) Electricity, Circuits and Superconductors
Reading: Chapter 10
Laboratory 9
3/27- Homework 5 due
Week 10: (3/29-4/3) Electromagnetism and the Generation of Electricity
Reading: Chapter 11
Laboratory Laboratory 10
4/3- Homework 6 due
Week 11: (4/6-10)Electricity from Solar, Wind and Hydro
Reading: Chapter 11
Laboratory 10
4/10- Second short paper due
Week 12: (4/13-17) Basics of Atomic and Nuclear Physics
Reading: Chapter 13
Laboratory 12
4/17- Homework 7 due
Week 13: (4/20-4/24) Energy from Nuclear Fission, and, possibly Fusion
Reading: Chapters 14, 15, 16
Laboratory 13
4/24- Third In-Class Exam
Week 14: (4/27-5/1)-Other Possible Energy Technologies of the Future: Biomass, Geothermal energy, Ocean Waves
Reading: Chapters 17,18
Laboratory makeup
5/1 Homework 8 due
Week 15: (5/4-5/8) Review
5/8 Final Paper due
Final Examination is Saturday, May 16, 2009, 1:30 to 4:30 PM
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