Syllabus for Freshman Seminar on Extra Dimensions
- At NIF, a Quest for Fusion Energy (or Maybe Folly) - New York Times
- Large Hadron Collider (LHC) - New York Times
- Biggest Supernova - New York Times
- David Kestenbaum:The search for supersymmetry- video lecture
- Gliese 581c - New York Times
- Stephen Hawking Plans Prelude to the Ride of His Life - New York Times
- Light Speeds Up an Asteroid as it Spins - New York Times
- Cosmic-Ray Detector May Be Shelved - New York Times
- Large Hadron Collider and Black Holes - Los Angeles Times
- Large Hadron Collider and Black Holes - New York Times
- Flatland: A romance of many dimensions
Location: Physics Rm. 432.Time: Tue. Thu. 10:0-10:50 pm
Lecturer: John Terning
Office Hours: T 11:00-11:50
Web Page: http://particle.physics.ucdavis.edu/teaching/FRS/
This course will examine traditional and current thoughts about extra dimensions and how to test for their existence. Popular discussions of extra spatial dimensions date back over 100 years, but have recently attracted renewed attention. What we mean by an extra dimension will be examined; as well as why we regard time as the fourth dimension. Ideas about how extra dimensions of space (the fifth and higher dimensions) can be hidden from our view will be covered, including the latest suggestions inspired by string theory. The role of experiment in probing extra dimensions will also be surveyed. No mathematics will be used. High school physics will be helpful, but not required.
In addition to the 2 weekly meetings, students will be expected to do weekly reading, mostly from the book "Warped Passages", by Prof. Lisa Randall.
Discussion Schedule:You should come to the seminar prepared to discuss or (ask questions about) the current reading. At least one hour before class time you should send a "tweet" about something you want to discuss during the seminar. This will require that you sign up for a free Twitter account. Your "tweet" should contain the hashtag #xdim.
April 4: Chap. 2 - Chap. 3
April 9: Chap. 4
April 11: Chap. 5
April 16: Chap. 6
April 18: Chap. 7
April 23: Chap. 8
April 25: Chap. 9
April 30: Chap. 10
May 2: Chap. 11 - Chap. 12
May 7: Chap. 13
May 9: Chap. 14
May 14: Chap. 15 - Chap. 16
May 16: Chap. 17 - Chap. 18
May 21: Chap. 19
May 23: group work
May 28: Chap. 20 - Chap. 21
May 30: group work
June 4: Chap. 22 - Chap. 23
June 6: Chap. 24 - Chap. 25
April 16: summary of chapter 2
Aril 30: first essay
May 2: choice of final essay topic
May 21: draft of final essay
June 6: final essay
Students will be graded on:
the quality of their participation in class discussion (20%),
in-class assignments (10%),
a 400-500 word summary (5%),
a short midterm paper , 750-1000 words (15%),
draft of final paper , 750 words minimum, (10%),
and on a final paper , 1200-1500 words (40%).
New York Times Science
Matter: Was a Tiny Mummy in the Atacama an Alien? No, but the Real Story Is Almost as Strange: Known as “Ata,” the six-inch-long skeleton was discovered in Chile and may have had genetic mutations causing a bone disorder never before documented.Trilobites: What Makes Some Hair Curly? Not Quite What Scientists Thought: After testing two theories about what makes sheep’s wool kinky, researchers found flaws in existing ideas about how different types of cells contribute to curliness in hair.Trilobites: Robotic Fish to Keep a Fishy Eye on the Health of the Oceans: Researchers introduced SoFi, a soft robotic fish that can be operated underwater with a souped up Super Nintendo controller.Stephen Hawking to Be Interred at Westminster Abbey: The cosmologist’s ashes will be buried there later this year, near a few legendary scientists like Darwin and Newton.Profiles in Science: David Reich Unearths Human History Etched in Bone: The geneticist at Harvard Medical School has retrieved DNA from more than 900 ancient people. His findings trace the prehistoric migrations of our species.
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