Week 1

Read: Scaling in Art and Nature (ASGv2 Chap. 1) and The Coherence of Substances (ASGv2 Chap. 2).

Key topics: Dimensional analysis, units, scaling, early modern views of the nature of matter
  1. Scaling of a sphere (Ex. 1.1)
  2. Kleiber's Law (Ex. 1.2).
  3. Water breaking (Ex. 2.1),
  4. Wire breaking (Ex. 2.2)
  5. PHY 201 folks: find a mathematical formula for the frequency of vibration of a mass M attached to a spring with spring constant k.

Lab: Water coherence (Ex. 2.4). This lab exercise can be found in the course textbook (just like the homework exercises). I did this lab myself a while back and recorded my findings. If you are unsure how to keep a laboratory notebook, ,you might check out my lab notebook for this exercise. It can be found here (pdf file). You will need to bring your own laboratory notebook to class. Here is a nice place to buy them (external link). I've also prepared some notes on propagating experimental uncertainty. These can be found here (pdf file).

Chapter 1 (4 videos):

Chapter 2 (5 videos):

The first video below is 18 minutes long. You can stop at the 8 minute mark if you'd like. In the remainder of the video (which is optional viewing), I talk in some detail about two different philosophies of physics. Galileo's character Simplicio believes that inanimate objects (like rocks) can act for purposes (or "ends"). Galileo's character Salviati, on the other hand, believes that inanimate objects can not act for purposes (or "ends"). Simplicio and Salviati are presenting the famous conflict between ancient/medieval science (the via antiqua) and modern science( the via moderna). According to ancient/medieval science, nature has final causes (things act for a goal or purpose); according to modern science, nature does not have final causes (things do not act for a goal or purpose)

Lectures on Dimensional Analysis (2 videos for phy 201 folks):

Physics 1