Physics in Electro-optics & Nuclear Technology
- Instructors: Niels Gronbech Jensen & Diego Yankelevich
- Prerequisites: Algebra II, Physics
- Typical Field Trips: McClellan Nuclear Research Center, Exploratorium
Core Course (4 Weeks)
Great Physical Science Ideas and Applications
We will investigate the foundations of western scientific techniques in physical science. Students will explore how and why we have come to develop the "scientific method", what it means to do basic and applied research, and how the principles of Newtonian mechanics, quantum mechanics, and special relativity are linked directly to the centerpiece of the Cluster: the relationships between observation, physics, and technology. We discuss several physics applications, such as optical communications and nuclear technology in both power production and weapons. We anticipate outings to relevant destinations, including McClellan Nuclear Radiation Center.
Supplementary Courses (2 Weeks Each)
The Foundation of Modern Science
This section will explore the evolution of man's understanding of the rational world, from the ancient Greeks to Newton's equations of motion. We illuminate how simple observations can produce remarkable revelations of the world around us, and how theoretical considerations can be developed to eventually provide reliable and important explanations and predictions that can be used in science and technology.
Electro-optics - Optical Communications
In this course we will introduce the theory behind components used in fiber-optic communication links. Laboratory activities will provide hands-on experience with lasers, optical detectors, opto-mechanical components, optical fibers and lasers will be used to measure the optical properties of materials. Electronic circuits will be constructed in the laboratory to perform the modulation-detection of optical beams and electronic instrumentation will be used to characterize electrical signals.