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Lecture

THE MAGIC OF PHYSICS.

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Department
Physics
Course
PHY100H1
Professor
Kimberly Strong
Semester
Winter

Description
+ THE MAGIC OF PHYSICS + “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” -Arthur C Clarke http://www.atmosp.physics.utoronto.ca/people/strong/phy100/phy100.html JANUARY 10 th What is science? - It deals with observing and understanding the natural world. - We develop theories based on observations. - We explain how and why things happen and predict what will happen next. - The scientific process attempts to answer why does it happen? Why learn/do science? - To gain an expanded awareness of the universe - To address the problems of modern society and their solutions. - To understand everyday technology. Physics: The study of universal phenomenon. The Scientific Process - Science is based on direct experience and rational thought. - Experience: observations, quantitative measurements - Theory: Well confirmed set of ideas that explains what we observe. - Model: visualization of a theory. - Hypothesis: reasonable, but unconfirmed idea. (becomes theory when confirmed) Theory has predictive power, but theories are not absolutely certain. Science and Pseudoscience: - Science: A set of methods designed to describe and interpret observed and inferred phenomena, past or present, aimed aimed at building a testable body of knowledge open to rejection or confirmation - Pseudoscience: Claims presented so that that they appear scientific even though they lack supporting evidence. Aristotle - Defined “natural philosophy” – a branch of philosophy examining the natural world. - First to devise methods for understanding the world based on detailed observation and cataloging of phenomenon - Developed earliest theories of motion. Aristotelian Physics: A Common Sense view - Natural motion: fall objects, rising air and flames - Violent motion: needing a constant push or pull to continue - Celestial motion: motion of the moon, planets, sun and stars. JANUARY 12 th Galileo’s Thought Experiment - Throw a ball across the room. - Once it leaves my hand, what keeps it moving? - Aristotle says there must be a constant force to keep it in motion - Galileo: let a ball roll down an incline; it will speed up. Let it roll up the incline; it will slow down. Let it roll up the incline; it will slow down. In between on a perfectly flat surface with no friction, the ball will keep rolling at a constant speed forever. Rolls down – speeds up Push upwards slows, stops, rolls down If the plane has no friction, it would roll forever. The steeper the incline, the faster or slower the object goes. Galileo’s Method - experimentation to test hypotheses - idealization to eliminate side effect - consider 1 question at a time - quantitative methods – precise measurements. The Law of Inertia - Descartes imagined turning off air resistance, friction and gravity.
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