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PHYSICS 216: Back of the Envelope Physics

This course will cover order of magnitude or approximate, low-tech approaches to estimating physical effects in various systems. One goal is to promote a synthesis of understanding of basic physics (including quantum mechanics, electromagnetism, and physics of fluids) through solving various classic problems. Another goal will be to learn how to decide which terms in complicated equations can be omitted or simplified - and to obtain general features of the solution without solving them in their full complexity. We will be applying techniques such as scaling and dimensional analysis - with the overarching goal to develop physical intuition.
Terms: Spr | Units: 2
Instructors: Simon, J. (PI)
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