This course focuses on the modern scientific conception of the universe, including its composition, size, age, and evolution. We begin with the history of astronomy, tracing the development of thought that led ultimately to the big bang theory. This is followed by a closer look at the primary constituent of the universe--galaxies. We end with consideration of the origin and ultimate fate of the universe.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture||Grading Mode: Credit/Unsatisfactory|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
||Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%
|Special Attributes: FYS|
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Kuhn, Thomas, THE COPERNICAN REVOLUTION
Kirshner, Robert, THE EXTRAVAGANT UNIVERSE
Hawking, Stephen, A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME: FROM THE BIG BANG TO BLACK HOLES
|Examinations and Assignments: |
As a First-year seminar (FYS) course, there will be an emphasis on writing. Exercises will focus on scientific writing, particularly as it refers to clear communication of scientific results, without jargon, to a general audience and to other investigators. There will be several writing assignments during the semester based on observational work and reading culminating in a final paper. Approximately 20 pages of polished writing will be required over the semester. There will also be homework assignments and quizzes. Night time viewing sessions will be scheduled so that all students will have an opportunity to view objects of discussion through a telescope.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This is a general education course intended primarily for non-science majors. It does not require mathematics beyond a modest high school preparation. There are weekly laboratory assignments and meetings associated with the course, some of which will be at night so that objects may be viewed through telescopes at the Van Vleck Observatory.
This class will be graded on a pass/no pass basis and students must achieve a minimum cumulative grade of C+ (78.5) in order to pass the course. Students will receive letter grades on all assignments and, while invited to office hours at any time, will also be required to meet with the instructor once around mid-term to discuss progress in the course. In lieu of a final grade, students will receive written comments available also to her/his advisor; the instructor hopes the comments will serve as the basis for a conversation about intellectual growth and curiosity, objectives, and skills and their assessment.
|Instructor(s): Herbst,William Times: ..T.R.. 02:40PM-04:00PM; Location: VVO110; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 15||SR major: X||JR major: X|| || |
|Seats Available: 1||GRAD: X||SR non-major: X||JR non-major: X||SO: X||FR: 15|
|Web Resources: Syllabus |
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 7||1st Ranked: 3||2nd Ranked: 1||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 1||Unranked: 2|