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Big Bang, Black Holes, No Math ASTR/PHYS 109 Dr. David Toback Lecture 1. Overview. What this course is really about and why I’m teaching it How the course is organized Stuff you’ll need for the course and the next lecture. Big Picture.
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Big Bang, Black Holes, No MathASTR/PHYS 109Dr. David TobackLecture 1
Overview • What this course is really about and why I’m teaching it • How the course is organized • Stuff you’ll need for the course and the next lecture
Big Picture This course is really designed to teach the wonder and excitement of the universe around us • I want it to be understandable • By the end of the course, I want you to be able to communicate the understanding AND the excitement to others
The Story • I think in terms of stories as well as questions and their answers The story of how the Universe came to be the way is now • We have a good degree of confidence in this story
Some of the Questions • How did the Universe come to exist? • A Big Bang occurred… then what? • How did we get from a Big Bang ~14 billion years ago to the Universe we have today? • What are black holes REALLY? • Should I be worried?
Questions and Evidence • These are important questions for all for humankind • Everyone should know about (some of) these questions and what we know about the answers • You should also know something about the evidence
Aside before we continue • I will admit I have a bone to pick… I think there is WAY too much ignorance about science and too much science phobia • I prefer a world where there is evidence-based decision making • Some of the many problems: • Physics taught for people to USE rather than enjoy (physicists/engineers in training) • Teaching physics requires math, and lots of it, which makes it un-fun for many people • Often taught by people who have forgotten what it was like to not understand
Communicating the Excitement • A great deal of the understanding can be had WITHOUT the math • You can enjoy music without being a musician or a composer • As future leaders I want you to be able to go out into the world and effectively teach your senators, friends, co-workers, etc. why this stuff is exciting and important
Back to the Course This course is designed to teach you about the Big Bang, Black Holes and other stuff, and to do it without the Math Next talk about HOW we’ll do it…
Being a Detective • Want you to use evidence to make decisions like a detective (CSI, NCIS, Bones, House, Law & Order, others…) • Don’t need you know HOW to do DNA tests • Do need you to understand that DNA tests of blood (from the scene of the crime) can tell us whose blood it is • Can we put together evidence that would convince a jury?
What’s the Evidence? • What is the evidence that the Big Bang actually occurred? • What is the evidence that supports our understanding of the “history” of the Universe? • What is the EVIDENCE for little things we can’t see directly with our own eyes? • Atoms, protons, electrons, Dark Matter • Black Holes
Course Content • These are REALLY big questions • We want to know what we observe in the universe • Big and Small • To do this we need to understand some of the most important ideas in science • Quantum Mechanics • General Relativity • Others
Don’t worry • Don’t worry… we aren’t going to do ALL of physics in a semester • We aren’t going to ask you to calculate anything • What we want is for you to understand, and re-tell, the story and explain some of the evidence
How the course is organized Next few slides are on course organization, grades etc…
Class Time • We meet from 5:45PM to 7:00PM • Will use the full time period • I expect you to be on time and prepared for class
Coming to Class • I expect you to be here every time and be proactive!! Get into it and have fun • If you need sugar or caffeine go for it… just do it quietly • Happy to let you use laptops, but I’m not going to tolerate abuse (like using Facebook instead of taking notes)
Course Work You will: • Read about the Big Bang and Black Holes in the books • Ask questions before class • Discuss these topics in class with me and among yourselves • Write about it in various contexts
Course WebSite Course Home Page faculty.physics.tamu.edu/toback/109 Most things can be found there… if you can’t find it, send me email at email@example.com Syllabus is also on Howdy
Frequently Asked Question Page • Can be found on the main course page • http://faculty.physics.tamu.edu/toback/109/109FAQ.shtml • In general, you should check there if you have a question about the course or assignments before emailing • Don’t want to highlight to your professor you haven’t done the reading when you email
Grades • I like for my students to do well and I like giving lots of good grades • It will be a lot of work, so if you don’t want to keep up with the class every day, work hard and stretch your mind, you should drop now • I’ll expect you to keep at it until you get it right • Do all the work I’ll make it worth your while, both in terms of fun and your grade • If you blow off the easy stuff or don’t ask for help when you need it, then I’m unlikely to have much sympathy when you ask for a grade change at the end of the semester
Grades The course grade will be: • Short Papers: 90% • In-class quizzes and Pre-Lecture Reading Questions: 5% • End-of-Chapter quizzes: 5% No in-class exams or final
Requirements to Pass the Course • Some things need to be turned in to pass the course • All the stages for each paper • All the End-Of-Chapter quizzes • Some things MUST get a passing grade to pass the course • All End-Of-Chapter quizzes and Pre-Lecture Reading Questions for Unit 1 • Some things in the course are pass/fail the first time, but are for a grade after that • Unit 1 PLRQ • Note: you are allowed (but not encouraged) to get a zero on the later ones
Papers • Will talk more about the papers as we get closer to doing them • If you want to learn more about them now, go to the FAQ page
Regular and Honors Sections • Regular sections • ASTR 109-501 • PHYS 109-501 • Honors sections • ASTR 109-200 • PHYS 109-200 There is no difference between the Physics and Astronomy sections (All meet together) Students in the honors section will have an extra research paper – See Course WebPage
Class Time • Lecture will be a time where you and I interact, asking lots questions • You will need prepare BEFORElecture • Do the reading assignments • Write down, and turn in online, two questions on the reading • “Pre-Lecture Reading Questions” • Be ready to be answer questions in class • If you don’t understand something, ask a question in class!
Pre-Lecture Reading Questions • To help focus your reading before class you will be asked to write down 4 questions you have about the reading in a special format • Call these the Pre-Lecture Reading Questions (PLRQ) • Will be turned in online using CPR • Will be doing a full Unit at a time • There is a set of guidelines on what we are looking for on the websites. You need to read them • You will be responsible for reading it before next class • First set is Pass/Revise, you have to keep redoing them until you get a passing score • After the submission date, you will finish the CPR assignment • Read the instructions on how to do this
In-Class Quizzes There will frequently be in-class quizzes • Some will be written answers • Bring a sheet of lined paper everyday • Will need an iClicker for others • Can buy the old ones • Register with your UIN at http://www.iclicker.com/support/registeryourclicker/ (we will be using eCampus)
End-of-Chapter Quizzes in eCampus • There are End-of-Chapter quizzes for each chapter • Helps ensure you have a good knowledge of some of the important FACTS for each chapter • Will be done online, using eCampus • Are assigned AFTER we finish the chapter in lecture, and due before the next lecture
End-of-Chapter Quizzes Cont. Bad news: • To pass the course you need to get aperfect score on all of them Good news: • You can take as many attempts as you want until you get a perfect score • I will only count your best score I REALLY want you to learn and get good grades!
More on eCampus Quizzes • There are two free warm-up quizzes before the End-of-Chapter quizzes • Need a 100% on this • There will be a course pre-test called AMS (Astronomy Misconception Survey) AFTER you finish the warm up • Please do your best. Won’t count as part of your grade. We just want to know what you know coming into the course • After this is done you will be able to get to the End-of-Chapter Quizzes • First one is Chapter 2 (no chapter 1 quiz)
Textbooks Required Textbook • Big Bang, Black Holes, No Math (Toback) • Extra credit for students who email me corrections which make it better • Bookstore tells me it will be available later this week • Can order now at bigbang.physics.tamu.edu Recommended books • Briefer History of Time (Hawking) • Theory of Everything (Hawking) • Stephen Hawking’s Universe (Filkin) • The First Three Minutes (Weinberg) • Other readings on the Web Make sure you get the most up-to-date versions of each (see webpage) • Not “Brief History”, Briefer History • I find purchasing them online is much cheaper • Paperbacks available for most
Plan for Each Chapter Example for Next Time • Before Lecture: • Read Chapters 1-4 in BBBHNM (Unit 1) • Write down FOUR questions (will give more instructions on how to submit CPR next time) for Unit 1 • During Lecture • Listen & Ask Questions • Take clicker and other quizzes • After Lecture • If we finish Chapter 2, then take End-of-Chapter quiz 2 in eCampus • Finish CPR for PLRQ for Unit 1
Recitation • No recitation for this course • However, there are assistants who are here for you to ask questions, get help with your eCampus work and give you feedback on your paper drafts • Teja Upadhyayula and George Morales
Lab – ASTR/PHYS 119 • You are not required to take the Lab for this course • Useful if you want to use this course as a Tier 2 science course, or just want to learn more/get more in-depth • Two different sections, pick one • Tuesday: 1:00PM-3:00PM • Wednesday: 12:45PM-2:45PM • Will meet this week • You need to read the lab Manual and do the prep work BEFORE lab
Just for Fun… • We have created a “just for fun” Facebook account for students (past, present and future) who want to stay in touch with the course • Learning about the Big Bang and Black Holes Without the Math • It’s not part of the course, but I try to post fun, related things there periodically • If you send me something fun (and appropriate) I’ll post it for everyone • If you send me something fun, but inappropriate, I’ll say thank you and just enjoy privately • Also, lots of fun stuff on http://people.physics.tamu.edu/toback/109/Video/
Next Time… • In class written quiz and Clickers quiz • Talk more about End-of-Chapter Quizzes in eCampus • Talk more about PLRQ • Lecture about Chapter 2 • The Very Big
Prep for Lecture 2 Pop Quiz The in-class quiz at the beginning of the next class on will contain at least two of the following questions: • Why are you taking this class? • What do you most want to know about? • Be prepared to answer these two honestly (there are no right answers, and don’t tell me what you think I want to hear) • How many pages are there in the “Pre-Lecture Reading Question Grading Guidelines”? • Are you taking ASTR/PHYS 119? Why/Why not?
Prep for Next Time – L1 • Reading: • Required: BBBHNM: Chapter 1-4 • Recommended Reading: • BHOT: Chap. 1-3 • SHU: Chap. 1-2 • TOE: Chap. 1 • Pre-Lecture Reading Question Instructions • Write down Four questions from Unit 1 (Chapters 1-4) or the recommended reading • Will do more instructions next time • eCampus: • Read eCampuswebpages on the main course page • Complete Warm-up quizzes and AMS • Other Prep: • Make sure you are receiving email using neo, will use it for class announcements • Bring lined paper and your iClicker to the next class
Full Set of Readings So Far • Required: BBBHNM: Chap 1-4 • Recommended: • BHOT: Chap. 1-3 • SHU: Chap. 1-2 • TOE: Chap. 1
Prep for Lecture 2 Pop Quiz The in-class quiz at the beginning of the next class on will contain at least two of the following questions: • Why are you taking this class? • What do you most want to know about? • Be prepared to answer these two honestly (there are no right answers, and don’t tell me what you think I want to hear) • How many pages are there in the “Pre-Lecture Reading Question Grading Guidelines”? • What is the webpage for the “physics department eCampus instructions?” • What is the website for the BBBHNM book? • Are you taking ASTR/PHYS 119? Why/Why not?
End-of-Chapter Quizzes in eCampus • There will be End-of-Chapter quizzes for each chapter • Will help ensure you understood each chapter • Are assigned AFTER we finish the chapter in lecture, and due before the next lecture • Will be done online, using eCampus • Before we start on them, we will do some practice in eCampus
NetID Account You will need a netID account • You are responsible for checking it periodically for email • Will use it for eCampus stuff and turning in your papers
Books continued… • Again, the goal of this course isn’t to understand Everything about the Universe (that would mean understanding ALL of physics) but to be able to understand enough of it to be able to tell the story • If you don’t understand something, ask a question in class!
The Big Questions • What do we really know about the universe? How do we know it? Where did the universe come from? Where is it going? • Did the universe have a beginning? If so, what happened before then? • What is the nature of time? Will it come to an end? • Can we go backward in time?
Just getting started… • It’s tough to be energetic this time of the day!! • I like enjoying class, so I’ll work hard for this to be fun for all of us • I’ll try to take one break per class for humor, and often show short video clips at the beginning (please be on time) • You guys will need to send me good videos and jokes, I don’t have enough!
Stuff You’ll Need for the Course • In general • For the next lecture and the weeks after that