Physics 3020 Great Scientists Spring 2012 Instructor: Richard Quay Teacher’s Assistant

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Physics 3020

Great Scientists

Spring 2012

Instructor: Richard Quay

Teacher’s Assistant: Brett Bostrom

Office hours: By Blackboard: Online chat room T,Th 7:00 – 9:00 PM.
Email Addresses: Instructor-

Teacher’s Assistant-

Website: Blackboard Physics 3020 page.

The class syllabus and class grade sheet will be available here. Please check this site on a daily basis for class announcements and schedule changes.

To Login into Blackboard: Your ID is your A number used in the Banner/Access system. It is case sensitive. Your password is the six number Pin also used with Banner/Access.
Texts: The Double Helix, Five Equations That Changed The World(ISBN 0-7868-8187-9), Selections from Nobel Women in Science(ISBN 1-55972-146-4), What do you care?(ISBN 0-393-32092-8) and QED by Peter Parnell(No ISBN).

  1. Text Reading: as indicated on Assignment Schedule. Please notice that some are considerable longer than others. Please plan accordingly.

  1. Web or library: On these assignments you use your own resources to do some reading on the scientist. Please reference your sources in all papers. Points will be deducted for failing to document your sources. Wikipedia is not an acceptable source.

  1. Short paper: For each topic you must prepare a short paper reacting to your reading. It should not be longer than one page: a full paragraph will do if it is well done. Your response should include information about the scientist’s main contribution as well as some insight on the scientist’s colleagues, relationships, families, personal characteristics etc. Your response should always include one adjective giving your oversimplified sense of the person you are reading about. Box this adjective in the upper right hand corner of your paper. If you would not like your material shared with the class please so state; but I hope you will not use this option often because an important part of the class is based on students thoughts. This is a class where we learn together.

  1. Submission of Assignments: Assignments are generally due before the person or theme is discussed. Please refer to the assignment list below for the specific due dates. Assignments more than one week late will not be accepted. Points will be deducted for late assignments (less than one week) by a rate of one point per day. Each paper is worth a maximum of ten points. Assignments must be posted to Blackboard prior to 8 PM on the due date and they must be sent in Microsoft Word. Assignments sent in other file types will not be recognized. This is your responsibility!

  1. Term Paper: A term paper is required as the major project for this course. This can be about a scientist, several scientists, a scientific principle, a theme, or – well whatever! It should be professionally done and its evaluation will constitute a considerable portion of your grade. A abstract for the term paper must be emailed to me by 8 PM on the due date noted on the assignment list. It is essential that your topic be a focused one. A broad theme will be rejected. Also please avoid echoing back to me what we have already covered in class. Please make sure that you obtain my OK before you proceed. Paper should be a minimum of eight double spaced pages excluding title page, sources and abstract. Format should be APA. A minimum of six sources should be used of which at least three should be library based. A grading rubric is provided on Blackboard. This rubric must be attached to your term paper or a ten point penalty will be applied.

  2. Five minute presentations: It is recommended that you give a short presentation to the class as part of your project. A maximum of ten bonus points will be awarded for this. Please send me an email letting me know your intentions if you plan on doing a presentation. Please explore the use of media other than the most used ones (PowerPoint etc.) for maximum credit.

  1. Attendance is extremely important for this class. I will draw heavily on the discussions for test questions. Please come to class ready to discuss the scientists indicated. If you miss a class please get your notes from a classmate.

  2. Do not email me by Blackboard! I will not respond! Use only the Yahoo email account. Any questions regarding homework should be sent to the class TA.

Exams: There will be two exams scheduled as indicated on the assignment list. These are closed-note tests. Make ups exams are allowed only under special circumstances.
Lecture Schedule:






Manhattan Project


No School

Martin Luther Day



Manhattan Project



Richard Feynman, Werner Heisenberg



Robert Oppenheimer, Edward Teller



Neils Bohr, Lise Meitner



Andrei Sakharov, Johanne Kepler



Galileo Galilei



Isaac Newton


No School

Spring Break



Daniel Bernoulli, Michael Faraday, Rudolf Clausius



Charles Darwin



Darwin, Marie Curie



Emmy Noether, Rosalind Franklin (Watson & Crick)



Albert Einstein



Albert Einstein, Class Presentations, Term Papers Due


Comprehensive Final Exam

Assignment List:



Assignment Due Date (by 8PM)

1- Manhattan Project

Web or library research Optional- The Making of the Bomb by Richard Rhodes

Friday, January 20, 2012

2- Richard Feynman

What do you Care? 1-112 and 240-248 including preface, QED.

Friday, January 20, 2012

3- Werner Heisenberg

Web or library research, Bohr's letter to Heisenberg (Blackboard) Optional- Copenhagen DVD by PBS

Friday, January 27, 2012

4- Robert Oppenheimer

Web or library research (see Blackboard for Oppenheimer resource site), Oppenheimer quote on Blackboard

Optional-American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Martin Sherwin

Friday, February 03, 2012

5- Edward Teller

Web or library research

Friday, February 03, 2012

6- Neils Bohr

Web or library research

Friday, February 10, 2012

7-Lise Meitner

Nobel Prize Women, 37-64

Optional- Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics by Ruth Sime

Friday, February 10, 2012

8- Andrei Sakharov

Web or library research

Friday, February 17, 2012

9- Johanne Kepler

Web or Library research Optional- Kepler’s Witch by James A. Connor

Friday, February 17, 2012

10- Galileo Galilei

Web or library research Optional- Galileo's Daughter book or DVD

Friday, February 24, 2012

11- Isaac Newton

Five Equations, 9-63

Friday, March 02, 2012

12- Daniel Bernoulli

Five Equations, 65-119

Friday, March 9, 2012

13- Michael Faraday

Five Equations, 119-165

Friday, March 9, 2012

14- Rudolf Clausius

Five Equations, 165-214

Friday, March 9, 2012

Abstracts Due by 8 PM


Monday, March 19, 2012

15- Charles Darwin

Web or library research

Friday, March 23, 2012

16- Marie Curie

Nobel Women, 11-36

Friday, March 30, 2012

17- Emmy Noether

Nobel Women, 64-89

Friday, April 06, 2012

18- Rosalind Franklin

Nobel Women, 304-332 Optional- Rosalind Franklin-The Dark Lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox

Friday, April 06, 2012

19- James Watson and Francis Crick

The Double Helix

Friday, April 06, 2012

20- Albert Einstein

Five Equations, 215-266, minimum of 2 Web or library research sources.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Term Papers Due

Hard Copy Only

Monday, April 23, 2012

Grading: Midterm Exam 100

Final Exam 100

Short Papers 150

Abstract 35

Term Paper 150

Total 535 points

Grade Scale: Grades will be based upon the following.

A 94 % C 74 %

A- 90 % C- 70 %

B+ 87 % D+ 67 %

B 84 % D 64 %

B- 80 % D- 60 %

C+ 77 % F Less than 60%

If there is any student in this class who has a disability that will require some accommodation by the instructor, that student should contact the instructor and the Disability Resource Center (797-2444) as soon as possible.

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