Super Fast, Super Small, Super Cool
Technological advancements throughout the 20th century and into the 21st have given us access to realms of nature that are radically different from the everyday world that we inhabit. Specifically, we have learned that when objects approach the speed of light, when they are on the order of the size of an atom, and when temperatures are close to absolute zero, some pretty interesting phenomena arise that are not present in our slow, large, warm, everyday lives. Matter and energy behave in ways that blur the line between them and that challenge our understanding. In this course, we will lay down the general physical laws that govern these three realms. We’ll discuss how they differ from the laws that govern our everyday experiences and how the “super” realms connect to our own (if they do). We'll also use our understanding of the fundamentals to discuss areas of current research and new technological developments. These may include high-temperature superconductivity, nanotechnology, or other areas that the class wants to explore.