Physics Final

Physics Final

Fall 2013

 The final in physics will be based on the following set of questions. We will discuss approximately 7 – 8 questions in a 10 – 12 minute time period. Brian will choose 5 of the questions. You will choose two to three. Brian will choose one question from each category. You may use a 5”x8” card with notes on it for the conversation. The more prepared you are and the more comfortable you are talking about each category, the easier this will go. You may schedule your final at any point moving forward. You must schedule it by Dec. 4th.

General Science

  1.  Describe in your own terms (or using those of Richard Feynman) what the scientific method is.
  2. What is the significance of mathematics to science?
  3. What is the difference between a theory and a hypothesis?
  4. What are the four fundamental forces of nature? Give an example of each.
  5. What is energy? How is it measured?
  6. What is matter? How is it measured?
  7. What is momentum? How is it measured?
  8. What is force? How is it measured?


Electromagnetic Spectrum


  1. What is the electromagnetic spectrum?
  2. What  are the names for the different types of waves found within the electromagnetic spectrum?
  3. What are some technologies that work by using the electromagnetic spectrum?
  4. What is the speed of light in a vacuum? 
  5. What is the speed of a radio wave in a vacuum?
  6. Why are gamma rays or ultraviolet rays potentially dangerous to humans?
  7. How does light interact with matter?
  8. Why are leaves green (in general)?
  9. How are electromagnetic waves different from other types of waves?


Newton’s Laws and Motion

  1. What are Newton’s three laws of motion?
  2. Aside from his three laws, what was the major fundamental force Newton developed a model for in his 1687 paper?

20. What is Newton’s law of Universal Gravitation and what does each character in it mean?

  1. What is the nature of space in Newton’s conception of reality? What is the nature of time?

22. Given a starting velocity, a constant acceleration and a time over which an object is accelerating, you must calculate its velocity (use vf=vo+at).

23. What is the major flaw with Newton’s conception of gravity? What was missing from his theory? How did it conflict with our observations of reality?

24. What is the acceleration due to gravity on earth? What does that number mean?


Quantum Theory

  1. Why is quantum theory named quantum theory?

26. What is the significance of a Higgs boson? Why did we spend billions of dollars looking for it?

  1. Describe the wave – particle duality?

28. What is the uncertainty principle?

29. Describe the Bohr model of the atom (through a picture or in words).

  1. 30.  What is the periodic table? Why is it significant?
  2. What is the double slit experiment? Why is it significant?
  3. 32.  What is a proton, neutron, and electron? How are they arranged to make matter?




33. Of your three audio lessons, what topic did you find most interesting? Why?

34. What is the science that you used in your Radio Drama? How did it drive your story? What do you find interesting about this science?

  1. What questions do you have in physics that you’re interested in exploring?

36. What are your thoughts on the possibility of AI surpassing human intelligence? Would you choose to enhance your own intelligence if given the opportunity? Why or why not?

  1. What physics idea did you find most intriguing this semester? Why is it significant to you?


Science & Technology Sci-Fi Design

On Wednesday, November 20th you’re rough draft of your science/tech design is due. You must have an in process image based on the science within your story (this will also form the backdrop for your Radio Drama as it plays on Exhibition Night). You also need a 250 – 500 word essay addressing a science topic within your Radio Drama. The essay must be cited where appropriate using footnotes. I would highly recommend using Google Docs to write the essay. 

Students must develop an appropriate question based on their story. This again has to be done individually. Students should then research their topic and write a short explanation of the science used. 

Appropriate questions might include:

  • What does science teach us about the feasibility of time travel and how is it significant in my story?
  • What are necessary conditions for alien life to arise and how does this concept drive my story?
  • What is a type 1 civilization and how does this idea play a role in my Radio Drama?

I hope you’re getting the point here. I want you to address an issue in science and connect it back to the story you are telling. You will have to write concisely because 250 – 500 words is a few paragraphs to a page max. 

The final document needs to have citations as well. Please footnote the citations within the text using the Chicago Manual Style. For more information on how to cite specific texts, films or articles go to their website. For citing websites, use the following information from the Chicago Manual of Style organization website:


A citation to website content can often be limited to a mention in the text or in a note (“As of July 19, 2008, the McDonald’s Corporation listed on its website . . .”). If a more formal citation is desired, it may be styled as in the examples below. Because such content is subject to change, include an access date or, if available, a date that the site was last modified.

1. “Google Privacy Policy,” last modified March 11, 2009,
2. “McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy Safety Facts,” McDonald’s Corporation, accessed July 19, 2008,
3. “Google Privacy Policy.”
4. “Toy Safety Facts.”
Google. “Google Privacy Policy.” Last modified March 11, 2009.
McDonald’s Corporation. “McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy Safety Facts.” Accessed July 19, 2008.”

See the attached model if you want more information on how the paper should look, how it should read, and what the citations should look like.

You can find a sample document here.

Audio Lesson 3 Submission

Please submit a YouTube of your third audio lesson along with the following reflection questions to your blog by Monday, Nov 4th, 2013.

  1. How is the science you studied significant to your science fiction story?
  2. What are your expectations for your Radio Drama? Are you excited? Do you feel like you have a strong start? What support do you feel you need?
  3. What questions do you have about science based on what you have researched and taught about this semester? What are you interested in learning more about?