Available courses

This course examines the entire universe, as observed today with the instruments of modern technology, and as explained with the ideas of physicists and astronomers.  

This course is a hands-on opportunity to learn by exploration and discovery how physicists and astronomers have arrived at their current understanding of the universe.  The class uses images and data from the university's telescopes in Kentucky, Arizona, and Australia, along with experiments you can do at home and with web resources.

This basic observational astronomy class emphasizes  optical astronomy from the ground and from space with the goal of developing your understanding of how the data are acquired, how to access data, and the use of physics and computing to understand its meaning. Each week will cover a new topic with content usually available early in the week and an simple assignment due by the next Monday. To complement the weekly assignments we will have individual short research projects with a culminating report at the end of the semester. The class provides optional visits to the University's Moore Observatory near Louisville, and remote observing online with our facilities in Arizona and Australia.

For the Fall Semester 2021 it is taught entirely online.

Our understanding of the universe, whether at the largest scale of the most distant galaxies or the smallest  of the elementary particles, is based on physics.  In this course we look at its elements, including ideas of space and time, forces such as gravity and electromagnetism, the character of light, the meaning of quantum mechanics, and the profound ideas of Einstein's theories of relativity.  Some mathematics is required but using only algebra, a calculator, and imagination.  It  is a course for anyone 

This is the first of a two-semester sequence on the fundamental concepts and methods of physics. Physics is the foundation of the sciences that enable us to understand the universe on the largest and smallest scales, from the beginning of time to its uncertain future.  It is also the practical basis of contemporary technology, engineering, medicine, and biology.  This semester we explore how physics works, learn the necessary math concepts to use it and study mechanics and gravity, heat and energy, and vibrations and sound.

This is the second of a two-semester sequence on the fundamental concepts and methods of physics. Physics is the foundation of the sciences that enable us to understand the universe on the largest and smallest scales, from the beginning of time to its uncertain future.  It is also the practical basis of contemporary technology, engineering, medicine, and biology.  Many of these applications depend on electricity, magnetism, light and even quantum mechanics.  This semester we explore the basic physics of electricity and magnetism, electronics and electrical devices, the nature of light, its production and control, the elements of quantum phenomena, and contemporary ideas about relativity, gravitation, and the universe.



This lab class is the first of a two-semester sequence on the fundamental concepts and methods of physics. It explores the physics of mechanics, heat, and sound  through laboratory experiments, simulations, and analysis of real data.


This lab class is the second of a two-semester sequence on the fundamental concepts and methods of physics. It explores the physics of electricity, magnetism, light, quantum mechanics and relativity through laboratory experiments, simulations, and analysis of real data.