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PHYS 190


A. Astronomy. P. Physics. Selected topics in astronomy or physics. May be an independent study project. Prerequisites: Depends on the topic. May include a laboratory, depending on the topic. The course may be repeated for credit with different topics.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Science and Mathematics Depends on the topic 1 course

Spring Semester information

Jacob Hale

190PA: Topics in Physics: Molecular Motors

Physics is often connected to moving cars, bouncing balls, or even gravitational orbits. But, can physics be applied to the molecules inside your body? Yes! In this class we will explore one subject of biophysics: the physics of motor proteins in the human cell. From the perspective of physics, the course will cover topics in protein structure and function, walking motors and rotational motors, and man made machines inspired by biological machines. We will explore the physics of these molecular motors at the algebra level and no prior physics knowledge is assumed. Activities will include reading and discussing scientific literature, analyzing motion, forces, and energy of these motors with fundamental principles of physics, in class experiments, and a project in which you will design and 3D print a model machine inspired by the molecules you study.

Fall Semester information

Howard Brooks

190AA: Tps:Observing the Sky

The overall goal of this course is to develop the skills needed to become knowledgeable life-long observers of the night sky. It includes the study and understanding of celestial coordinate systems, motions of the Sun and stars, seasons, phases of the moon, motion of the planets, systems of time keeping, and similar phenomena. The course teaches the skills necessary to observe objects our Solar system (the Moon, the planets, the Sun, comets, and asteroids), and well as objects outside of our solar system (stars, galactic nebulae and external galaxies) through observing with the naked eye, binoculars and telescopes. It includes the use of astronomical reference tools such as star charts and planetarium software. Digital recording of astronomical observations through astrophotography and CCD imaging will be covered.