Integrated Science I: Physics and Astronomy

Text: Hazen & Trefil, The Physical Sciences, 2nd Ed.

In order to facilitate the involvement of all disciplines in the integrated science sequence, a number of themes have been chosen. Each discipline will bring the concepts and examples from their discipline to bear on the theme. The overall theme which has been chosen is a house with the surrounding grounds and environment. This theme brings variety and familiarity, an almost limitless set of examples of the concepts of science in a context which gaurantees connectedness with the student's experience.

This is a beginning attempt to related the theme to the basic concepts of physics and astronomy.

Week 1
Week 2
Day 1 Aug 23

Measurement Ch 1
Your home in the universe. The universe at various scales.
Day 2 Aug 25

Motion Ch 2
Description of motion. Auto travel to your home. Properties of matter: mass, density.
Day 3 Aug 30

Forces Ch 2
Causes of motion. What causes your car to move? What resistances must be overcome? If you were carrying a box sitting on top of your car, how would you have to drive to get it home without sliding off?
Day 4 Sep 1

Circular motion Ch 2
What additional forces act when your car rounds a sharp curve? Are they real forces?
Week 3
Week 4
Day 5 Sep 6

Day 6 Sep 8

Work, Energy, Power Ch 3
How is force related to work? When you exert a force do you always do work? How can you do the same amount of work with less force?
Day 7 Sep 13

Energy, momentum Ch 3
How is work related to energy and power?
Day 8 Sep 15

Energy, momentum Ch 3
How do you minimize impact force? Dish on floor; car on tree
Week 5
Week 6
Day 9 Sep 20

Heat Ch 4
What does temperature measure? How is heat related to energy? What variables will affect your heating and cooling bill?
Day 10 Sep 22

Heat, Electricity Ch 4,5
What causes electric charge to move through wires, and why are metals so much better at conducting it? What measurements would help you predict your electric power bill? What parts of your electrical system protect against shock? fire?
Day 11 Sep 27

Electricity Ch 5
How do you use electricity to get heat to flow "uphill" from a cold to a hot area? What do refrigerators, air conditioners and heat pumps have in common?
Day 12 Sep 29

Sound waves Ch 6
What comes to your ear when a sound is heard? What does your ear measure when it perceives pitch,loudness and quality? Waves can reflect, interfere, refract and diffract: what sound experiences demonstrate these wave properties?
Week 7
Week 8
Day 13 Oct 4

Light, EM waves Ch 6
Light and other electromagnetic waves are characterized by frequency, wavelength, and power. When you see bright white light in your home, what can you infer about those variables? What other types of EM radiation are present in your home?
Day 14 Oct 6

Light, EM waves Ch 6
What property of light allows you to see clearly? How do glasses act to correct vision defects? What are the similarities and differences of the eye and a camera?
Day 15 Oct 11

Atoms Ch 7
How do differences at the atomic level make one piece of glass clear, another opaque? What is the atomic basis of color? Why does each element have a distinctive "spectral fingerprint" of colors emitted?
Day 16Oct 13

Atoms, Quantum Behavior Ch 7,8
Is light composed of particles or waves? You can't "see" an atom with visible light: why not? What kind of waves would allow you to see an atom?
Week 9
Week 10
Day 17 Oct 18

Quantum behavior Ch 8
Why is there a limit on how precisely you can know the position of an electron in an atom (uncertainty principle)? If everything gets "fuzzy" at the atomic level, how can lasers and atomic clocks be so precise?
Day 18 Oct 20

Quantum behavior Ch 8
Why are x-rays more dangerous than visible light; they are both electromagnetic waves? Is your microwave oven emitting dangerous radiation? Your cell phone? Your TV? How does radiation interact with matter?
Day 19 Oct 25

Nucleus Ch 11

If you scaled up a gold nucleus to the size of a basketball, what would be the size of the gold atom? What is in the nucleus and how do we know? What causes some nuclei to be radioactive?

Day 20 Oct 27

Nucleus, Particles Ch 11,12
How can you get energy from the nucleus? Why is nuclear energy so controversial? What are the common sources of ionizing radiation? Is their radon in your home?
Week 11
Week 12
Day 21 Nov 1

Particles Ch 12
If atoms are made of electrons, protons and neutrons, what are those particles made of? How can we learn about the very small, and what kinds of things have we learned?
Day 22 Nov 3

Relativity Ch 13
Relativity revolutionized our concepts of time and energy, and gave insight into the fundamental forces. How is relativity related to radioactivity? to nuclear energy? Can you really jump to Warp 2?
Day 23 Nov 8

Ch 13
Day 24 Nov 10

Ch 14
Week 13
Week 14
Day 25 Nov 15

Ch 14
Day 26Nov 17

Ch 14
Day 27Nov 22

Ch 15
Day 28 Nov 24

Thanksgiving holidays
Week 15
Week 16
Day 29Nov 29

Ch 15
Day 30 Dec 1

Ch 15
Day 31Dec 6

Ch 16
Day 32Dec 8

Ch 16
Back to topical outline for the first course.

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