Watch Stuff Do Stuff: Comprehending Physics Lab
Lab: Science in the 21st Century - HNRS 2331L

Instructor(s): Carmen Sorge

Course Description

Crucial to science education is hands-on involvement: showing, not just telling; real experiments and field trips and not just 'virtual reality.' Martin Rees  


We will be reading sections from texts such as those listed below as well as from current scientific journals. These will be available online.  

Richard A. Muller, Physics for Future Presidents: The science behind the headlines Richard Feynman, Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics explained by its most brilliant teacher  

Walter Lewin, For the love of Physics: From the edge of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time- A journey through the wonders of Physics  

Christopher P. Jargodzki and Frankin Potter, Mad about Physics: Brain twisters, Paradoxes and Curiosities  

Paul G. Hewitt, Conceptual Physics Fundamentals 


To take this class you need to be currently (or previously) enrolled in UHON 203  (Now HNRS 2331). This class is an extension of HNRS 2331. 

This class is one hour lab available as a SEPARATE class to be held outside of the regular class hours on the same days that class meets. The separate lab class is optional, if you need four hours of science credit, you can add this lab class to the three hour class. You will be designing and conducting your own experiments and demos and presenting them to the class. Contact me for further information.  

You will be participating in hands-on experiments in the classroom demonstrating physics principles and writing up a report on each lab. You will also research and present a short physics demonstration. Viewing of demonstrations impractical or unsafe for our classroom online are also required.  

*Please note that HNRS 2331 & HNRS 2331L (4 credit hours total) satisfies the Physical and Natural Sciences category of the UNM General Education requirements, but it does not serve as an official prerequisite to other physics classes and will not satisfy specific physics requirements for major or minor programs without the direct approval of that program.  Please contact your major or minor advisor if you have any questions about their physics requirements. 

About the Instructor(s): Carmen Sorge

I have taught both physics and mathematics from middle school level through college. I have a Ph.D in Educational Psychology, a M.S. in Science Education and a B.S. in Physics.  

I have been teaching for thirty plus years, and through that time have come to realize that the content matters but the love of learning is what will remain many years later. I aim to install a love (or at least tolerance) of physics into your brain. As Carl Sagan said “Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge. 
Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996)”.  

In this class we will cover many topics in physics, when you finish I hope for you to have, not just a better understanding of physics, but an appreciation for how physics is part of everyday life. Years from now, when a little kid asks you “why is the sky blue” I want you to think, “Hey, I remember something about that from Dr. Sorge’s class, let me refresh my memory”. I want you to see a rainbow, and not just think “cool colors” but “I know how that rainbow is formed”.