1. Theory. Students will understand that a theory is only as good as the present data and observations by following the evolution of a theory such as that of the solar system. Through this they understand how history impacts this process and the predictive ability of a theory.
2. Atomic theory of matter. Students will study the historical reasons for the acceptance of the atomic theory. They will see how Dalton, Brown, and Einstein influenced the acceptance of this theory. In this process they investigate the smallness of things and learn about the metric system and powers of ten.
3. Motion. Students measure the motion of things through classroom activities and determine position versus time plots. Through this experience they can understand speed and velocity and change in velocity which is acceleration. They study Galileo’s law of falling bodies and the law of inertia.
4. Change in motion. Newton's laws and how a net force is determined by acceleration. The notion that forces occur in pairs.
5. Newton's law of gravitation and weight. The connection between orbits and gravity is found through demonstrations like "shoot the monkey" where an object is observed to fall from a straight line path. Students understand the function of the law of Gravitation between masses. The effects of gravity on the universe are presented and explored.
6. Work-Energy Theorem. The definition of work, kinetic energy, and gravitational potential energy are stated. Students understand the relationship between work and energy through conceptual exercises. Various toys show the relationship between different types of energy and how they transform from one mechanical form to another. The law of conservation of energy is concluded as an extension of the conservation of mechanical energy. Different energy forms are discussed as well as the definition of power.
7. Thermodynamics. The different statements of the second law of thermodynamics are explored in terms of heat flow, machines, and entropy through exercises or thought problems. Temperature and heat are defined through examples and demonstrations. The relevance of the second law is made to the automobile and power plants.
8. Light and Global Warming. The definition of frequency, wave speed, intensity, amplitude, and wavelength are presented. The connection between Faraday's law and moving magnetic fields is shown experimentally to show the electromagnetic properties of light. Light is an electromagnetic wave and it interacts with matter. The concept of trace gases in the environment and their interaction with light is explored. The impact of this interaction on the earth's temperature is studied.
9. Special Relativity. The constancy of the speed of light and conservation of energy as used building blocks to show the postulates of special relativity. This shows that time is not an absolute but depends on the observer. Discussion of experiments that shows the time dilation.
10. The Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence(SETI). The vastness of the universe is explored in terms of the number of stars and their separation distances is explored. The necessary ingredients for beginning of life are explored. These lead to possible scenarios for life in the Milky Way galaxy.
11. Nuclear Physics. Nuclei can be stable or unstable. Unstable nuclei decay into another excited nucleus upon emission of a particle after a half life. Students simulate and study the half life of nuclei. The nuclear processes of fission and fusion are discussed and their uses as energy sources are shown.
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