Swain Hall West 007
TIME: 9:30 - 10:45 a.m. TR
CREDIT: P110 is a 2 credit hour 10 week course (Aug. 31 - Nov. 4, 2004)
P120 is a 3 credit hour 15 week course (Aug. 31 - Dec. 16, 2004)
MY OFFICE: Swain West 233 OFFICE: Swain West 340
MY TELE: 855-0303 TELE:
MY E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org E-MAIL: email@example.com
MY OFFICE HOURS: Mornings, T & R
and by appointment.
STUDENT SERVICES SECRETARY (drop & add):
Beverly (BEV) Carson, SW 132, Tel: 855-3973
COURSE SECRETARY (other questions): Donna Martin, SW 256, Tel: 855-2785
LAST AUTOMATIC WITHDRAWL DATE: Wednesday, October 27, 2003
P120 FINAL EXAM CONFLICTS? Please check and let me know some time during the first week of class.
RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY CONFLICTS? Please check and let me know some time during the first week of class.
THREE OBJECTIVES OF THIS COURSE: You and I are deeply imbedded in a highly technological society and, at the root of our understanding of our society is the pervasive concept of energy. As one might guess, there is a strong correlation between the energy used by a country like the US and measures of the size of its economy such as the gross domestic product (GDP). Not surprisingly, a detailed economic assessment of essentially any project is also linked to the flow of energy in that project. Understanding both the energy flow in a project and the costs associated with this use of energy are of great value. This leads to three objectives for this course.
Objective I - ENERGY: One objective of this course is to provide an opportunity for you to view civilization through its use of energy. How rapidly are we running out of our usual nonrenewable energy resources like oil, coal, and gas? Are there other sources of energy available for reasonable cost? What are they? Are they also nonrenewable sources? Aren't there any resources that are truly sustainable? As we utilize energy sources, are there nasty consequences that arise from our use of these resources? Do we have the technology to respond to these consequences? If so, how much do these technologies cost? How do energy resources such as nuclear energy, and solar power fit into our future? Is there a sustainable answer or will we always be forced from one fuel source to another?
Objective II - YOUR NUMERICAL FLUENCY: This course should also put you in position to present and substantiate your own views more effectively using quantitative methods. At the end of this course you will be able to do a wide variety of quantitative calculations concerning energy. This quantitative approach to energy will, in my opinion, be far more useful to you than a strictly descriptive approach.
Objective III - DOING RESEARCH: There is a rich literature on environmental problems we are facing. This literature includes excellent books, journal articles, and an increasingly valuable and up-to-date body of knowledge on the internet. Finding out about a new idea (research) will almost certainly be part of your future. For example, as an employee in the automobile industry, you may be asked to investigate the impact of reduced availability of oil on your company. Knowing how to approach such a problem will be most useful. The estimated increase in human population from 6 billion to 9 or 10 billion during your lifetime guarantees that you will be asked to address all sorts of environmental problems that your elders (like me) never had to face. Knowing about potential environmental problems before they become critical will give you an edge in business, for example. The behavior of the (highly coupled) earth system is already showing signs of strain with related environmental problems. It is essential that you have a substantive understanding of these crucial problems, especially as they have impact on most aspects of your economic future. Through out the course, look for ways that capabilities developed in this course add to your repertory of strategies for problem solving, strategies that others who are unaware of these trends may not have.
THE TEXT: Energy Its Use and the Environment , by Robert Hinrichs and Merlin Kleinbach provides an overview of available energy and the environmental problems that arise when we try to use that energy.
HOW THIS COURSE WORKS: Conveniently, the course can be divided into three parts with an exam at the end of each. A few of you are taking the course P110 (2 cr). You will complete only the first two thirds of the course and will be graded on the basis of two tests and weekly quizzes and homework. Most of you are taking P120 (3 cr) and will do a third test (during finals week). If you are registered for P110 (2cr) and decide that it might be fun to complete P120 (3 cr), let me know. It is not difficult to add the third hour of credit.
Exam I 100 100
Exam II 100 100
Exam III --- 100
Homework 80 (8 assignments) 90 (9 assignments)
Quizzes 60 (6 quizzes) 60 (6 quizzes)
TOTAL 340 450
THE EXAMS: Each exam will be made up of short questions and problems. These questions are occasionally drawn from the text but, more often, come from class discussions, and homework. This suggests that both attending lectures and becoming completely familiar with the homework are important. As in the homework assignments, the examination questions will be a mix of calculations and ideas. I shall, of course, avoid exam questions that are greatly time consuming. To pass the course you must take the exams. In the event of serious personal illness or a death in your family requiring your absence from an examination, please talk with me before the exam (Office Tel: 855-0303 or 855-2959).
HOMEWORK: On Tuesday's I will give you homework problems. The following Tuesday I will collect these problems, and give you new problems for the following week. To give you a specific deadline, I shall ask for the problem solutions at the beginning of Tuesday's class, a week after they are assigned. Every week I shall hand back your solutions to the problems from the previous week. These problems with your responses make a lovely study guide for the exams. After you hand in your homework, I'll put a set of my own homework responses on the web. Your efforts spent understanding the homework problems will serve you well. Homework Strategy: A useful homework strategy begins with a reading of the text followed by your best attempt to work the problems. At that point, I encourage you to discuss them with others in the course, and, as needed, with me in office hours where we can discuss those remaining problems that are still confusing you. I am a great believer in collaborative learning. A particularly convenient environment for discussing your homework for this course with others is provided by the Physics Forum, of which more below.
5-MINUTE QUIZZES: On six Thursday's I will ask you to answer a simple question from Tuesday's lecture. These questions will be short and really straight-forward. They don't count very much but will provide both an incentive to attend class and a provide a way for me to be sure that you are understanding the lecture. The best preparation for the quizzes is simply to attend the lectures.
TUTORS: A list of tutors is available from Beverly Carson in the Student Services Office in Swain West 132. These are typically physics graduate students who charge an hourly fee.
ENJOYING THE COURSE: I will make every effort to make this course an enjoyable experience for you. If you are not satisfied with your progress in the course, please, come see me during my office hours, or stop me after class to set up a time when we can talk. The course should be not only interesting and informative but also valuable for your future career. If it isn't for you, I'd like to know that. There are lots of ways to increase your understanding of the problems of energy and the environment. I am here to facilitate that understanding.