Spring 2014 Final
Be prepared to discuss one of the following topics for 15 minutes with your instructor. You should be able to display a deep understanding of the content related to the topic. I’ve provided additional thoughts on each topic to help you get started. Schedule your final by May 23rd.
Topic 1: Gravity
Students who choose this topic should be prepared to have an in depth discussion of the force of gravity. Be prepared to show your understanding of Newton’s description of gravity, General Relativity, the universal sculpting power of this force, gravitational waves and the current limits of our understanding of this force.
Topic 2: Matter
Students who choose this topic should be prepared to have an in depth discussion of matter. Students should be able to describe what matter is, show an understanding of the different states of matter, understand the theoretical framework that Quantum Theory provides for our understanding of matter, the interactions (electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear forces as well as gravity) that cause matter to behave the way it does, and recent discovery of the Higgs Field as the mechanism for matter to exist.
Topic 3: Space Science
Students who choose this topic should be prepared to have an in depth discussion about humanity’s push into space. Be prepared to talk about current missions into space and what they have taught us about our solar system, our galaxy, and our universe (Hubble, Cassini, Voyager I and II, ISS, Mars Rover, Space X, Stratos Red Bull, Mars One, VLT, ELT, Kepler, the TESS, and the James Webb are some of the missions you could research). Be prepared to discuss our prospects for finding life elsewhere in the universe and our search for exoplanets.
Topic 4: Entropy and time
Students who choose this topic should be prepared to have an in depth discussion about entropy and its relationship to time. Make sure you have a firm understanding of entropy as well as the theoretical model Special Relativity provides for our understanding of time. Review the seminar article by Sean Carroll as it will be important for this topic.
Topic 5: Light
Students who choose this topic should be prepared to have an in depth discussion about light. What is light? What information does it transmit to us about nature? How do we interact with light? How do other life forms? Why are the implications of light as the universal speed limit? Lots to discuss here.
Topic 6: Technology
Students who choose this topic should be prepared to have an in depth discussion about technology in our modern world. What is the relationship between science and technology? What is the relationship between mathematics and technology? Give examples to support your arguments.What is the importance of Moore’s Law in the development of current technologies? What technologies interest you and why? What are the implications of technological development to our society and culture?