Physicists in the Nuclear Age

PHYS P20/3.0

For those interested in the impact of science on our century. Modern physics, especially nuclear physics, will be introduced by emphasizing the personalities, thoughts and writings of key scientists such as Bohr, Einstein and Rutherford and the ways in which they related to and shaped their political, scientific and social environments. Enrolment is limited.

Description

The general aim of the course is to give you an appreciation for the adventure of science, from Newton to the 21st century. Starting from an enterprise undertaken by a few isolated geniuses at the beginning of the 20th century, it is now the most important industry of research and discovery. The course will focus on the important personalities behind this scientific adventure as they go beyond the confines of the laboratory and influence the political, military, social, and economic transformations of our society. This adventure is not without personal intrigues, often reaching huge political and social dimensions and more often than not, guided by military objectives. How scientists have remained faithful to the level of integrity necessary for honest appraisal of their work will be part of the discussion.

Evaluation

The course assessment will be based on one assignment and a final exam.

Assignment60%
Final Exam40%

Final Examination

Students must write their exam on the day and time scheduled by the University. The start time may vary slightly depending on the off-campus exam centre. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period.

Topics

  • The Myths of Science: Scientists - technologists or geniuses?
  • The Art of Science: Painters before Scientists
  • Science and Reason
  • What is the relation betwen science and reason: Or more precisely, how to construct scientific reasoning as opposed to pure logical reasoning.
  • Science and Society
  • Science and its Environment
  • Science and the Military
  • Science and Evolution
  • Is God in the Laboratory?
  • The End of Science

Instructor

The course will focus on the important personalities behind this scientific adventure as they go beyond the confines of the laboratory and influence the political, military, social, and economic transformations of our society. This adventure is not without personal intrigues, often reaching huge political and social dimensions and more often than not, guided by military objectives. How scientists have remained faithful to the level of integrity necessary for honest appraisal of their work will be part of the discussion.
 
Dr. B. Castel
Email: castelb@queensu.ca

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend, on average, about 10 - 12 hours per week on the course.

Course Resources

About SOLUS

SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

About MOODLE

Moodle is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into Moodle to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the Moodle site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a good-quality computer (Windows XP/Vista/7, Pentium III, or Mac OS X 10.5, G4 or G5 processor, 256 MB RAM) with a high-speed internet connection, soundcard, speakers, and microphone, and up-to-date versions of free software (Explorer/Firefox, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader). See also Preparing For Your Course.

Dates/Deadlines

The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s are 1 April (for May summer term), 1 June (for July summer term), 1 August (for fall term), and 1 December (for winter term). All documents must be received by the 15th of the month following the deadline. You can register for a course up to one week after the start of the course. See also Dates and Deadlines.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2014-15 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $605.31; for a 6.0-unit course, $1210.62. See also Tuition and Payment.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point
A+4.30
A4.00
A-3.70
B+3.30
B3.00
B-2.70
C+2.30
C2.00
C-1.70
D+1.30
D1.00
D-0.70
F0.00

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.