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Energy in the 21st Century and Beyond

Concepts of energy from a scientific perspective for understanding problems of energy conversion, storage, and transmission in modern society. Topics include fundamental concepts (kinetic and potential energy, heat, basic thermodynamics, mass-energy equivalence), established power generation methods and their environmental impacts, emerging and proposed technologies (solar, wind, tidal, advanced fusion concepts). Final team project. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors from non-science majors are particularly encouraged to attend; no previous knowledge of physics is assumed. One course.

Introduction to Astronomy

How observation and scientific insights can be used to discover properties of the universe. Topics include an appreciation of the night sky, properties of light and matter, the solar system, how stars evolve and die, the Milky Way and other galaxies, the evolution of the universe from a hot Big Bang, exotic objects like black holes, and the possibility for extraterrestrial life. Prerequisite: high-school-level knowledge of algebra and geometry. One course.

See also the Duke Teaching Observatory.

The Physics of Sports

Examines the physics behind a wide variety of sports, including football, baseball, hockey, soccer, track and field, swimming, and many others. Illuminates how scientific concepts such as force, momentum and energy provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of common sports plays seen or made on the field. One course.

Introductory Seminar on Big Questions in Physics

Introduction to six big questions representing frontiers of 21st century physics, such as what are the ultimate laws of nature, how does complex structure arise, and how can physics benefit society. Classes will involve presentations by researchers and by students, discussions of journal articles, and tours of physics labs involved with related research. Prerequisites: Precalculus and at least one quantitative science course at the high school level, such as chemistry or physics. One course.

Frontiers of 21st Century Physics

Introduction to six big questions representing frontiers of 21st century physics, such as what are the ultimate laws of nature, how does complex structure arise, and how can physics benefit society. Classes will involve presentations by researchers and by students, discussions of journal articles, and tours of physics labs involved with related research. Prerequisites: Precalculus and at least one quantitative science course at the high school level, such as chemistry or physics. Offered in Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan, China.

Physics and the Universe

Exploration of our understanding of the universe, including the formation of large scale structure, galaxies, stars, the elements, and life. Scientific innovations driving this picture including esoteric theories such as general relativity and string theory, and technological breakthroughs such as the Hubble space telescope and gravitational wave detectors. One course.

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