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For the official PDF copy of syllabus, click here . You  need Acrobat Reader (obtainable here ) to view this document.

Syllabus highlights ( Description | Text | Requirements | Grading ):

(for complete and official document with schedule, download pdf)

Course Description:

A course on the development of ideas about the universe from ancient Greece and Egypt to European renaissance and modern physics perspectives. The course will emphasize the evolution of the modern scientific method via a series of simple laboratory experiments, and contrast the actual process of discovery with the more common rational, linear narrative of scientific development. Simple qualitative ideas about gravity, optics, space and time will be explained at an introductory level as needed to complement the historical discussion.



1. Frederick Gregory, Natural Science in Western History, Cengage, 2008, selections (required text)
2. Course pack at Target (required)  

Other Recommended Texts:


Required materials:


Required work:


Grading policy:

Homework: 30%, Labs: 25%, Midterm: 20%, Final: 25% Students are responsible for all announcements made in class.

There will be no "extra credit" under any circumstances unless specified explicitly in the assignment.   Letter grades may be assigned according to a "curved" distribution:  > . However the following scores will guarantee the following grades: 90--A, > 87--A-; >84--B+, > 80--B,>77--B- >74-C+, >70--C, >67-C-, >64-D+,>60--D.  

Makeup/late policy:   a makeup will be available for the midterm exam in the case of a medical or other emergency with presentation of an officially documented excuse. Because the drop policy for homeworks and labs is very generous, makeups will not be available and late assignments will not be accepted.

You are responsible for all material covered in the textbook, lab, and in lecture, including any announcements  made or special handouts distributed in lab or lecture.   If you must be absent during a given lab or lecture, check with a friend to make sure you know what was covered.


Remark on UF requirements:

If you are registered for PHY1033C, you automatically satisfy GenEd physical science and laboratory requirement by taking this course. If you are registered for HIS3931 or IDH3931 you must obtain this credit by petition. It should be granted automatically.


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