Physics 102 001
Kevin Cahill (505) 205 5448

Office hours: I am in my office (room 176 of the Physics & Astronomy building on Yale at Lomas) most afternoons. Call first to be sure I'm there and so I can let you in if the building is locked.
You also may go to our Tutoring Table which is staffed by graduate students in physics in room 111 of Regener Hall and is open 27 hours each week. Here is the schedule.

The two books for this course are The First Three Minutes by Steven Weinberg and Physics and Technology for Future Presidents by Richard Muller. Reading these two books is good for you and is an important part of this course.

The content of this course is these two books and the material presented in class. You will be tested and graded VERY GENEROUSLY on these three items.

Errors in Muller's book:
On page 369, hydrocarbons should be carbohydrates. Oil is a hydrocarbon; sugar is a carbohydrate.
Pages 384--388: American petroleum engineers have developed hydraulic fracturing (fracking) as a relatively cheap way to produce oil and gas in the US.

We will use UNM's Blackboard Learn for quizzes. You can log onto Learn and click on the Quizzes/Tests link in the menu on the left side.
There will be 10 online quizzes on the book Physics and Technology for Future Presidents. These quizzes will count for half of your final grade.
There will be one online quiz on the book The First Three Minutes. It will be worth 20 percent of your final grade.
There will be one online quiz on the lectures (and possibly on the books since they overlap). It will be worth 30 percent of your final grade.
You can take these quizzes any time you want and you can take the quizzes as often as you want and keep the highest score.
There will be no final exam.

The deadline for completing all 12 quizzes is noon on Thursday 11 May.



I have been taking attendance; students who attend class regularly will learn more and so will get extra credit.
This course has two purposes: to educate you and to help you get a UNM degree. I will grade the course generously so as not to frustrate the second purpose of the course.

Weinberg's book has four parts: the main text, a glossary, a section of mathematical derivations, and an afterword. You should read the main text and the afterword, looking up technical terms in the glossary as needed. The mathematical derivations are intended mainly for graduate students and professional physicists, so reading that section is optional.

In the six-minute YouTube video, I briefly describe Weinberg's book and some things that were learned about dark energy and dark matter after his book was published.
I discuss what we think may have happened in a few instants just before the Big Bang in the five-minute YouTube video.
I explain that we use the term cosmic inflation to denote what may have happened just before the Big Bang in this one-minute video on YouTube

I am writing some class notes. Here they are.

Alan Guth explains inflation on YouTube

Nicola Twilley describes the discovery of gravitational waves in this New Yorker article.

A short history of the last 14 billion years.

Steven Weinberg's NYRB article The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics. Part 1 is of special interest.

The cosmic microwave background radiation as measured by the Planck satellite of the European Space Agency.

ESA website on the CMB.

An image (detected by gravitational lensing) of a huge filament of dark matter between two clusters of galaxies, Abell 222 and Abell 223. Nature 487, 202-204 (12 July 2012)

A map of dark matter (yellow and red) across a huge region of space in which the black circles are clusters of galaxies.

NASA's picture of the day.

A gallery of Hubble images.

JPL's website of images from the Spitzer telescope.

Hubble image of two interacting galaxies, UGC 1810 and UGC 1813, in Arp 273.

Radio images

NASA's eXtreme Deep Field image of 5,500 galaxies. There are 2 trillion galaxies in our universe.

Link to some lovely NASA images taken with the Hubble telescope.

Link to an MIT computer simulation of the evolution of the universe.

Link to a webpage on the Stirling engine.

Link to a webpage about stars: how they form, how they evolve, what they do.

Information about units.

A periodic table.

A remote periodic table.

A remote poster of the standard model of prticle physics. The poster omits the Higgs boson which has a mass of 125 GeV/\(c^2\).

Diagram of the apparatus that Davisson-Germer used from 1923 to 1927 with which they showed that electrons, like photons, are particles that go on average where their wave functions tell them to go.

Link to image of transparency of Earth's atmosphere from .1 nm to 1 km. The heat of the Earth leaves at wavelenghs around 10 microns.

Movies of wave motion.

Feynman's demo of electrons going through two slits.

Link to some recently released films of nuclear explosions.

Link to an NYT video about meteor showers.

Link to a website about meteor showers.

Link to a website about total internal reflection, which is used in the fiber-optic cables of the internet.

Link to a website about antennas.

Link to some images and information about stars and gas in space.

Link to some images and information about planetary [sic] nebulas, which are expanding glowing shells of ionized gas ejected from old red-giant stars, which are stars that fuse hydrogen outside their cores but no longer in their cores.

Link to an NYT video of places where extraterrestrial life may exist.

Link to video of collapse of Tacoma Narrows bridge.

Link to my mathematical notes on laminar flow.

Link to webpage about pendulums.

Earth as seen by Cassini inside the rings of Saturn.

Link to a webpage about mirrors.

Link to a webpage about lenses.

Images of the Crab nebula remnants of a supernova observed in 1054 by Chinese astronomers.

Methane leaks in one's front yard.

Beats.

Saturn.

More Saturn.

Atoms and molecules of living beings.

Cellular metabolisms of living beings.

Some molecular devices of living beings.

Some molecular structures of living beings.

Panel 2- 1 of MBoC5.

Panel 2- 2 of MBoC5.

Panel 2- 3 of MBoC5.

Panel 2- 4 of MBoC5.

Panel 2- 5 of MBoC5.

Panel 2- 6 of MBoC5.

Panel 2- 7 of MBoC5.

Panel 2- 8 of MBoC5.

Panel 2- 9 of MBoC5.

A NASA webpage about planets.

Some fresh thoughts by Freeman Dyson.

Something about superconductivity.



Videos of the course lectures:

The first lecture is on YouTube.

The second lecture is on YouTube.

The third lecture is on YouTube.

The fourth lecture is on YouTube.

The fifth lecture (abbreviated by equipment failures) is on YouTube.
In this lecture, I converted 0.02 mm to a distance in meters that was too short by a factor of 1000. I corrected this error in the sixth lecture.

The sixth lecture is on YouTube.
Here is a description of the demo that estimates Planck's constant.

The seventh lecture is on YouTube.

The first half of the eighth lecture is on YouTube.
The second half of the eighth lecture is on YouTube.

The first half of the ninth lecture is on YouTube.
The second half of the ninth lecture is on YouTube.

The tenth lecture is on YouTube.

The 11th lecture is on YouTube.

The 12th lecture is on YouTube.

The 13th lecture is on YouTube.

The 14th lecture is on YouTube.

The 15th lecture is on YouTube.

The 16th lecture is on YouTube.

The 17th lecture is on YouTube.

The 18th lecture is on YouTube.

The 19th lecture is on YouTube.

The 20th lecture is on YouTube.

Due to a problem with the video camera, the 21th lecture is not available.

The 22d lecture is on YouTube.

The 23d lecture is on YouTube.

The 24th lecture is on YouTube.

The 25th lecture is on YouTube.

The 26th lecture is on YouTube.

The 27th lecture is on YouTube.

The 28th lecture is on YouTube.

The 29th lecture is on YouTube.

The 30th lecture is on YouTube.