Concepts of physics for the
humanities and social sciences

Spring 2014: M/Th 11:30 AM-12:50PM


Over the past 300 years, research into basic science has led to the development of transformative technologies that have completely revolutionized the way we live our lives. All of this development has been the direct result of advances in our understanding of how the universe works, and the rules by which it evolves.

In this course, we will focus on applying the scienti c method towards developing a deep conceptual understanding of the principles that underlie our current picture of the universe. Starting with Newton's laws and our earliest successful description of nature, we will move on to explore the fundamental role of information in describing the world around us. We will then learn about the revolutionary ideas of the 20th century that transformed our picture of the universe into the modern understanding we have today, and nish with an astronomical perspective on where we stand in relation to the vast cosmos that we have uncovered through careful observation over the last half century.

Course Objectives

  1. To cultivate an interest in physics and science in general, and to value physics as an essential aspect of our society.

  2. To develop basic skills in scientific reasoning, specifically building and testing scientific models, and understanding the strengths and limitations of these models.

  3. To build knowledge of some of the basic principles and big ideas in physics.


 For all inquiries please email us at:


Don't forget to check out the

Blog Topics Page!

(I have put it in an iframe for your convienence below, but if it gives an error or appears blank click here.)

Why is this site so small?

This site is only intended as a cover page. All practical information, assignments and resources will be posted on Sakai.


Brief course description

Who is this course for?

Any social science and humanities major interested in learning about modern physics and its impact on society.

Worried about the math?

If you can do this problem you should be fine:

3+2 x =13 solve for x


Saurabh Jha

Luke Hovey

August Krueger

Michael Park

Tahir Yusufaly

Download the  syllabus here