Introduction to the Physical Sciences (CLOSED)

Level: Open to students entering grade 9 or 10 in fall 2015.
Session: I, June 29–July 17, 2015
Days & Time: Monday–Friday, 10:10 AM–12:00 PM and 2:10–4:00 PM.
Philip Frankel,

A working knowledge of elementary algebra. No prior study of physics or chemistry is required.

Related Courses:

Students interested in this course might also be interested in Thinking and Problem Solving: A New Look at Mathematics or Introduction to the Science of Psychology.

I didn’t anticipate how in-depth we would go.— Nick Charnas, 2014

Course Description

A two-course introduction to theoretical and experimental science for students interested in recent scientific and technological advances. Each course meets daily, one in the morning, one in the afternoon.

Physics and Chemistry of the Atom

Students interested in science and mathematics meet each morning with members of the faculty for a comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of physics and chemistry. Emphasis is on understanding the structure, properties, and dynamics of the atom.

Lectures, demonstrations, and readings focus on the contemporary view of matter and energy. Topics include the motion of particles and waves, the fundamental constituents of matter, forces, energy, relativistic concepts of space and time, quantum mechanics, the electronic and nuclear structure of atoms, the periodic properties of the elements, chemical bonding and the formation of molecules, and chemical and nuclear reactions.

Experiments in Modern Physics

Students measure the spectra and Doppler shifts of starlight and investigate the structure of space-time using experiments that simulate the theory of special relativity. Expanding weather balloons are used to mimic the expansion of the universe, and to prove Hubble’s Law.


Philip Frankel

Philip Frankel earned a B.S. in physics and a B.A. in mathematics from Binghamton University and was awarded an M.S. in physics from New York University, where he conducted soft condensed matter research. He is an adjunct instructor at NYU and teaches physics at Hunter College High School in Manhattan. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Teaching Award from NYU for his contributions to undergraduate physics education.

Specific course information, such as hours and instructors, are subject to change at the discretion of the University.