Physicists in the Nuclear Age - Online physics courses | Arts and Science ONLINE

Physicists in the Nuclear Age

Digital illustration of an atom in blue and grey.
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.

Learning Outcomes

Topics in this course include

  • 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


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.


Course Resources


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 OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ 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 onQ 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 or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

Computer Specifications

  • Windows 8.1 or newer
  • OSX 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer
  • Dual Core 2 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Soundcard
  • USB Headset
  • Webcam

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome (preferred - latest version)
  • Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ
  • Edge is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ

Internet Connection

  • Wired high speed access: Cable or better
  • Wifi is not recommended


  • Latest version

Media Player

  • Flash (latest version)

Adobe Reader

  • Latest Version


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

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

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

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

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.