Physical Science Concepts Second Edition

Author : Grant W. Mason, Dana T. Griffen, John J. Merrill & James M. Thorne

Published in : Brigham Young University Press

ISBN : 0-9611938-10-6

File Type : pdf

File Size : 134 mb

Language : English


This book is written to support a one-semester general education course in physical science. The course is required of virtually all non-science students at our university (about 2500 per semester) although some satisfy the requirement by examination. The course is meant to be a broad exposure to physical science. The students who take the course are primarily freshman who are not science majors, but who will follow the course with an elective which pursues some area of science in greater depth. The course is conceptual rather than mathematical. It is meant to be a presentation of some of the most significant ideas in science, as they might be presented to a lay audience by specialists. The course is supported by faculty lectures which include live demonstrations and audiovisual presentations without which the course would be much different and incomplete.
For a general education course to be a requirement for all, it must aspire to some level of universality.
Preference must be given to that body of learning which prepares students for a lifetime of learning, learning extending beyond the university experience. It must focus on laws and principles with the most general applicability and on the conceptual frameworks and models with which the widest range of physical phenomena can be understood. The course should help the student put in place theoretical structures into which he or she can integrate knowledge as it is accumulated after leaving the university. Such structures help to organize bodies of knowledge and establish proper relationships between their elements. Examples of such structures are Newton’s Laws of Motion, the Periodic Table of the Elements, and the Theory of Plate Tectonics. Each of these provides a framework for organizing large bodies of information while automatically establishing a relational structure between elements of information. Each of these would be recognized as a significant achievement of humanity.

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