Shimer College

NATSCI3 : Light, Motion & Scientific Explanation Course

Within the context of the physical sciences, this course explores the nature of scientific explanation.

We examine the development of the theories of falling bodies, gravitation, light, electromagnetic forces, and relativity. The investigation of physical theories leads the student to attempt to answer such crucial scientific questions as these: What phenomena need to be explained? How are they explained? What constitutes a satisfactory explanation? What is the nature of physical reality?

Prerequisites: Natural Sciences 1 and Integrative Studies 2

Reading List

Sir Isaac NewtonSir Isaac Newton

  • Isaac Newton, Opticks, Philosophy of Nature
  • Albert Einstein, Relativity

Selections from:

  • Galileo
  • Hans Christian ├śrsted
  • Christiaan Huygens
  • Thomas Young
  • Augustin-Jean Fresnel
  • C.F. du Fay
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • James Clerk Maxwell