User Tools

Site Tools


Archive: Term paper assignment for 2018

Write an article that would be suitable for posting on a website. The target audience is your fellow class mates. The article should explain the physics of a contemporary challenge that is faced by society. As a working definition of “physics” think about “the mathematical relationships between quantifiable physical variables”. The advertisement for PH315 provides a helpful list of challenges faced by society. You could also look at the table of contents of “Physics for Future Presidents”).

Please submit your article as a pdf file (email to the instructor). To ensure the instructor doesn't miss one of the 58 emails, the subject line of your email must be “PH315 term paper”. The name of the pdf file should be LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME_PH315.pdf (where LASTNAME = your last name and FIRSTNAME = your first name). Please use 12 point Times or 11 point Arial. Please use 1.5 x line spacing and 1.25” margins. This gives me space to write comments when I'm grading.

The main text will include:

  • An introduction that explains why your topic is relevant (motivation) and what the reader will get from reading your article.
  • Background information that gives the reader context.
  • A middle section that includes
    • One or more physics equations (mathematical relationship between quantifiable physical variables). Accompanying text should define the variables in the equation, and explain the origin and/or meaning of the mathematical relationship.
    • One or more “original” calculations (using numbers that you think are relevant). Fermi estimates are encouraged.
  • A conclusion that
    • Relates back to points made in the introduction.
    • Interprets what your research and calculations mean for the reader
    • Calls out any challenges that remain unsolved

There should be at least 2 graphics that accompany your article:

  • One or more schematics (conceptual diagrams), created by you, that illustrates a physics idea
  • One or more graphs, created by you, that shows the relationship between two physical variables. I'm looking for graphs that help the reader visualize important feature(s) of the physical relationship. Ideally the graph will show that you have “a taste for interesting physics”.

Each graphic needs a caption describing what is in the graphic. As long as you have 1 original graph and 1 original conceptual diagram, you are welcome to include additional figures that are reproduced from other sources (always cite the source).

wiki/2018_term_paper.txt · Last modified: 2019/01/03 13:53 by ethanminot