A working knowledge of elementary algebra. No prior study of physics or chemistry is required.
“I liked learning about how everyday things, such as rainbows, prisms, different types of lights, etc. work... I have gained a stronger interest in physics.” — From a program course evaluation
This curricular option familiarizes students with the foundations of physics and chemistry from a modern perspective.
Lectures, discussions, and experiments focus on topics such as electromagnetic radiation, spectroscopy, the interactions between elementary particles, the quantum mechanics of atoms, chemical bonding, special relativity, gravitation, and cosmology. The course also familiarizes participants with classical mechanics and waves in order to help them develop physical intuitions about activity on macroscopic-length scales.
Experiments concentrate primarily on the analysis of stellar spectra, interference of electromagnetic waves, and Hubble’s Law. Students are instructed on how to conduct proper analyses of experimental uncertainties during the course of their investigations.
Philip Frankel earned a B.S. in physics and a B.A. in mathematics from Binghamton University and was awarded an M.S. in physics from New York University, where he conducted soft condensed matter research. He is an adjunct instructor at NYU and teaches physics at Hunter College High School in Manhattan. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award from NYU for his contributions to undergraduate physics education.